The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Revising and Reviving Your Business Plan

A static business plan gets you through start-up and then sits in a file.  A dynamic business plan is your key strategy guide, being adjusted and updated as your business environment evolves.  The changes may be conceptual (dictated by a new product, competitive pressures, regulatory shifts, or other normative issues) or factual (data and chronological updates, recast tables and charts, etc.).

Particularly if they involve investors or outside financing, financial imperatives are easier to deal with in the context of a current and well-maintained financial plan. In a rocky credit climate, anything less than taking your best shot may deny you the financing you need.

Every business plan is (to some degree) wrong.  Every business plan is about the future--and who gets the future right in every detail, every time?  As actuality rears its ugly head, use it to replace your assumptions, no matter how fondly held.  If your business plan is a bronze plaque on the wall, you're immortalizing misassumptions!

A well-designed business plan monitoring process, with scheduled and orderly data reviews, is much more effective than an impromptu pillage-and-plunder approach.  The availability of accurate, current raw data on inventory, profit margins, key financial ratios, and other goals will show how or even if the plan is working.  Deal with reality while it's still a smoldering ember rather than a raging blaze threatening your company's progress.

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