Updating your business plan

27/02/2013 By Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson A well-drafted business plan is crucial when raising finance or trying to attract investment, but it is also, of course, an essential tool for the successful management of a business.A carefully researched ‘roadmap’ which includes the right information provides focus, prevents business drift and reduces risk.Prescription for live planning After your plan starts, save a copy of your plan in Business Plan Pro and then type actual results into the sales forecast, profit and loss, and milestones Actual tables. Note when actual results indicate you need to make changes.Stay in the Business Plan Pro Actual mode and make adjustments to future months of your Actual cash plan.Although changes should be made only with good reason, don’t be afraid to update your plan and keep it alive.Business Plan Pro Premier has Planned, Actual and Variance tables, complete with linked formulas, to facilitate active cash flow analysis.A strategic plan is extremely important for creating a strong, growing and profitable business.It’s your road map for implementing and achieving your vision.

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The only time a business plan will be removed from the pile of never looked at documents is when a loan is required and you have to show your business plan to guarantee your vision and a return, but isn’t this a little bit short-sighted?It clarifies your long‑term goals and the steps necessary to attain them over the next two to five years.But strategic planning is not a set‑it‑and‑forget‑it exercise.Your observations, along with financial and operational data, will allow you to identify areas where your strategic plan needs to be adjusted.When reviewing your strategic plan, your management team should take the following steps: The nature and needs of your business will determine the timing and frequency of your strategic plan review process.