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Tips for updating your business plan

As a leader, you set the roadmap for your business. A business plan is one of the many tools you likely rely on to set the strategic direction and priorities for your business. As market conditions change and your business evolves, it’s important to look at your plan as a living and breathing document. Follow our tips below if you are ready to update your business plan.

1. Define success.

The first thing to ask yourself is ‘What does success look like for my business and has that changed?’ A lot happens throughout the year, and as you look at your business plan you may realize your definition of success has shifted. If that’s the case, you will want to consider what goals you need to set to achieve this new benchmark. If your definition of success hasn’t changed, you should still spend time reflecting on how you will continue to stay on track. Defining what success looks like will allow you to lay the groundwork for setting your business goals.

2. Ensure your goals are reasonable, measurable, and achievable.

Once you define success, you want to ensure your goals are reasonable, measurable, and achievable. You may want to think about this on a quarterly basis for your business. Have multiple people at different levels of your business weigh in on the business goals, especially those responsible for execution. By involving people across the organization, you are more likely to create buy-in and commitment to the outlined goals.

3. Dig into the financials.

The financial portion of your plan is important as it helps you map out how to financially sustain the business throughout the year. In your plan, we recommend showing how you will allocate capital, how you will generate revenue, and how you will effectively manage expenses to create reasonable net operating income. This information can be helpful if you are looking to secure additional funding throughout the year.

4. Analyze the macroeconomic conditions and competitive landscape for your business.

It’s important to anticipate potential changes to the economic environment and your industry in the next year, and plan accordingly. First, we recommend evaluating your operating costs. Will labor costs go up or down? Do you need to cover more overhead costs? What technology needs to be upgraded in the next year? Do you need to borrow money to cover increasing costs? Then, you will also want to assess how the competitive landscape for your business has changed. We recommend conducting a SWOT analysis to uncover any opportunities and threats that might impact how you plan.

By updating your business plan, you’ll determine where you want to go and how you’ll get there. As your trusted partner, we’re always here for guidance and support as you reflect and plan for your business. If you’re interested in learning more about our financing options, our commercial banking team is ready to serve you.

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