New Year, New Business Plan

By Small Business AllBusiness.com

The beginning of a new year is always a time when we set new goals, both for ourselves and for our businesses. If you truly want to achieve the business goals you’re setting for 2015, the best way to do so is update your business plan.

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It might have been years since you last looked at the business plan you wrote when you started your business. (Maybe you never even wrote one in the first place.) Either way, take some time as the year begins to think about how your business has grown and changed, and how you want it to grow even further in the coming year.

Here are five questions you should ask yourself when you are updating your business plan:

Mission: How has my vision for my business and my mission statement changed? You might have achieved your original vision and moved on to a bigger one. If so, that needs to be stated in your updated business plan.

Market: Your target market most likely has changed since you began your business. You might have expanded to a second location in a new city, started selling products online using ecommerce, or reached out to a different demographic than you originally focused on. You need to include this updated information in the market analysis section of your updated business plan.

Money: How well have your sales matched up to the financial projections in your original business plan? Did you surpass your goals or fall short? Do you need more working capital to keep up with orders? Perhaps now is the time you should seek investors to really expand your business to the next level. Meet with your accountant to go over your financials and get his or her advice on how you can develop a financial strategy to fund your business growth plans. Update your business plan’s financial projections accordingly.

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Management: Have you brought key employees on board who are making major contributions? Have your and your partners’ or key executives’ roles changed since your business opened? Update the management section of your business plan to showcase the current expertise of your team.

Methods: You’ve undoubtedly fine-tuned your business operations since you started the company. Be sure that the operations section of your plan explains how you currently run your business, including any systems and processes that make your business scalable and/or replicable.

Once you have updated the other sections of your business plan, revise your executive summary to make sure it still conveys what is unique and exciting about your company to potential lenders and investors who might read the business plan.

As you update your business plan, make sure that your company’s insurance coverage is up-to-date as well and adequately covers your current situation. Consider your growth plans going forward. Your insurance agent can help you assess risks to your business and provide protection to ensure that your dreams are covered.

Sam Meenasian is the Operations Director of USA Business Insurance and BISU Insurance and an expert in commercial lines insurance products. With over 10 years of experience and knowledge in the commercial insurance industry, Meenasian contributes his level of expertise as a leader and an agent to educate and secure online business insurance for thousands of clients within the Insurance family.

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