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Sustaining your business plan and making it work for you

A business plan may take a considerable amount of time and effort to construct as it is one of the most valuable documents a business can possess. The content of a business plan is the template for the core purpose and uniqueness of the business, providing the credentials of the business for investors and stakeholders to be made aware of, indicating the intended direction the business will take in the future.

The business plan will also consider any risks the business might be vulnerable to, and what the business might do to reduce the identified risks, providing some confidence to interested stakeholders that the business will survive and remain sustainable for its intended duration.

Once the business plan has been developed and has been imprinted into the framework of the business, the business plan becomes a guide for those steering the business toward its future goals. Unfortunately change is always occurring on a micro scale and sometimes on a much larger scale, whether change is internal with people, technology, ingredients, space, or the changes occur outside of the business with the supply chain, new products entering the market, variations in raw materials, new regulations and other influences.

Such changes can cause some difficulty in being able to manage the business in a way that the business plan indicates, leaving those steering the business in conflict with meeting the expectations of the business plan vs the current business environment that may have altered through various influences. The management team might then question the validity and purpose of the business plan after acknowledging that the only thing that is certain is that change will continue to occur.

A Business Plan is actually a living document and should be as vibrant as the business it is structured to guide. The Business Plan shouldn’t be buried in a filing cabinet and referred to from a distance, nor should the business plan be cast in stone and become the gospel document that all must adhere to regardless of what happens from the day it was scripted.  Such options may be detrimental to the operations of the business and certainly don’t meet the purpose of a Business Plan.

A Business Plan needs to be reviewed on a regular basis, generally on an annual basis and no longer than every three years so that the plan may be adjusted to meet the current business conditions.

The review should take into account the internal state and capability of the business in providing the goods that were originally intended.

  • Is the business able to produce more goods than previously, or less?

  • Are the goods being provided becoming outdated?

  • Are new variations to the goods more appropriate now?

  • Has the business gained, or lost some of its intellectual property?

  • Are there new business risks, or have the existing business risks changed?

  • Has the competitor market changed or evolved into something different?

  • Has the market changed making the goods more, or less in demand?

Reviewing the Business Plan and adjusting the content to meet the current business conditions will allow the Business plan to guide those within the business to meet the business owner’s current expectations, provide those leading the business to have clarity in the direction of the business, ensure that all within the business are going in the same direction, and aiming for the same outcomes.

The process of reviewing the business plan can be very beneficial when all of those steering the business are included in the review process. Some businesses include all of the staff in the review process, giving all staff the ability to express their views and offer suggestions on the direction of the business. This process may take a bit longer to complete, yet the added value of staff participation and aligning all staff with the same changes can have great benefits to successfully implementing any changes to the plan.


Noel Rodgers MBA – CMC

Business Advisor 

For further information on this subject please email Noel Rodgers 

E   M 0274 775583  


A business plan is your most valuable asset.




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