Business Plan Be Used
Your Business Plan
How or when will your business plan be used?
Obviously, if the business is seeking investors or lenders.
For many, that is the only usage, and when its purpose is
fulfilled the plan goes into the history archive. In other words, it was a static, one-time document.
Our experience suggests that it should be used often.
Considering the possible users mentioned above, it becomes
clear that the real use for a business plan is as a
dynamic living document.
- It should have 1, 3 and possibly five year financial
projections, and the 1 year should be broken down monthly for
that first year. Make sure that the projections are translated
into the operating budgets. Regular management meetings will
then be tracking actual performance to this plan. Don't worry
or dump on managers if they do not meet the plan exactly -
but make sure that you all know WHY the plan was not met
(whether variance was positive or negative) and WHAT you are
going to do to correct.
- The vision and mission should be reviewed and re-affirmed
at least annually - often as the opening segment of a
management retreat or shareholder meeting. And, of course,
as part of a family meeting about the business.
- Specific components such as product plan, marketing
plan, capital plan, competitive
SWOT analysis should be part
of an annual review process with the senior management of
that functional area.
- Middle management should see and know that their
periodic and annual goals come from the business plan
- All employees from CEO down to lowest levels should
have the vision, mission and relevant segments reviewed as
part of their annual or more frequent personal performance
- Segments should be used as much as possible
throughout the year in meetings with suppliers, customers and
even in the company's community and charitable
- Suffice it to say - use it often! Our favorite experience was
with the CEO of a family business who always carried several
copies of the executive summary page. One was taped inside
the lid of his briefcase where he could glance at it as it sat
opened by his desk, during a stopover in the airport or on the
plane, in his hotel room at night... he says that it was a
constant reminder for him to relate everything he encountered
during his business day to the plan. Management meetings
and plant visits in his company were famous - woe to any
manager or employee who didn't heed the vision, mission or
know how his/ her activities related to their section of the
plan. They would be promptly served with a copy from his
inexhaustible supply. In his company, the business plan
was alive and well every minute of every day!
- Suggested Resource that allows you to create a winning business plan quickly and easily. Click here to learn more.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template
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