A business plan is a critical tool - not just during the start-up phase, but for established businesses also. Reviewing your business plan and updating it regularly gives you a chance to monitor your progress and take corrective action if things aren't going to plan.
Importance of reviewing your business plan
After you write your business plan and put it into practice, you should continually monitor it to make sure that you are achieving the business objectives. You should regularly:
- assess your progress to date
- analyse the most promising ways to develop your business
Some businesses choose to review their plan and progress annually; others do it every three to six months. Find out about the benefits of ongoing business planning.
When to review your business plan
Business plan cycle, or the process of reviewing and analysing your business plan, is typically:
- continuous - with the plan regularly updated and monitored
- annual - with the plan broken down into four quarterly operating plans
Sales driven businesses sometimes use a monthly operating plan, and weekly targets and reviews if needed.
Major events in your business' target marketplace (eg changes to competitors or customers) or in the broader environment (eg new legislation) should trigger a review of your strategic objectives. Read more about strategic planning for business growth.
Regardless of whether or not there are fixed time intervals in your business plan, it must be part of a rolling process. Regularly assess performance against the business plan and agree a revised forecast if necessary.
Find best practices to help you measure performance and set targets.