New Year’s is a great time to re-evaluate your personal priorities, looking at where you are and where you’d like to be.
The same can be said for refreshing a business plan: it gives you a better understanding of your goals, and how close you are to achieving them.
Your business is likely to change over the years, as new objectives, partnership possibilities, management strategies, or other critical changes present themselves. This means that maintaining an updated business plan is critical to ensuring that your company is on track for growth and success.
To help you, Digital Resource, a leading Florida internet marketing company, will share five factors to look at when you're refreshing your business plan.
Let’s get started!
As a business owner, you have to understand your balance sheet. At the end of the day, a for-profit business has to bring in more money than it spends. That said, if your business is new, making a profit might take longer.
Freshbooks claims that most small businesses take at least 2 to 3 years to be profitable and become genuinely successful once they've hit the 7 to 10-year mark.
Entrepreneurs can direct their business properly by tracking financial performance over time. Monitoring essential areas of your financial data allows your business to stay financially solvent.
Understanding this information is also essential for the financial section of your business plan, which typically includes a P&L statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
Besides the financial aspect of your business, you have to evaluate the most visible aspects of marketing your brand: this includes your logo and, in some cases, tagline.
Most of these might focus on the outside representation of your company, but how they are created speaks volumes about the quality of services and products you offer.
Your logo will typically go on the cover page of your business plan, which means it forms the first impression that anyone reading your business plan sees.
Take a look at your logo; is it easily identifiable, memorable, and clear? What feelings is it going to elicit when someone looks at it? If you’re unhappy with it, it’s a good idea to change it before presenting a business plan.
If you decide to change your logo, you should update your brand's website and social media profiles. Consistent brand visibility improves sales and profit. Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by 23%.
Remember that brand evaluation is critical to meeting the needs of your customers. You can’t help them if they don’t know who you are!
Your employees drive your company. Conducting an annual employee performance evaluation benefits both parties.
A statistic from intelliHR states that 60% of employees want feedback daily or weekly. Feedbacking, also known as employee assessment, reminds your staff of what they should deliver in the company. It also lets them see where there’s room for growth.
Your business plan will likely have a section called, “Company Organization and Key Personnel.” This is where information about members of your company can go.
For small businesses, this will likely be most employees, who are likely to fulfil many functions. Enterprises will want to ensure they’re discussing the C-Level. You should use your own judgment to determine who other key personnel are.
As a business owner, it’s important to be as objective as possible about the current state of your business. One of the ways to achieve this objectivity is to study from other people's perspectives: your customers.
Brand reputation is integral in the growth of any form of business. Do not be afraid of going over your site's reviews or rating tab. Bad reviews might be unpleasant to look at, but they often present serious learning opportunities.
How you handle negative reviews can also make or break your reputation.
Microsoft survey in 2017 reported that about one in three people (30%) say the most critical element of customer service is speaking with a knowledgeable and friendly agent.
Have someone from your company review the feedback from your customers and clients. Don't just send them automated responses, especially if it involves serious issues. Train your customer service representatives to avoid sounding robotic and provide proactive solutions to your customers.
Your customers will thank and appreciate you once your reps effectively review client feedback and provide proactive solutions.
This process can also provide you with useful information for the “Market Overview” section of your business plan.
Entrepreneurs shouldn’t make decisions based on assumptions. You need solid facts and data to back you up in decision-making.
The market is vast, and specific circumstances dictate how it moves. As you draft your business plan, you must consider that your customer and their needs can change.
Here are some of the questions you should consider when conducting market research:
If you never cease to learn about the market, you will stay on top of things. Start journaling what you've learned and continue it for the months to come.
This information will also be useful for the “Market Overview” section of your business plan.
Running a business is never easy. Along the way, you'll face challenges, but you have to strive and ensure you keep moving forward.
Do you want to revamp your business this 2022?
If so, then you've got to have a marketing plan and strategy!
Digital Resource, a Florida-based internet marketing firm, provides small business owners with search engine optimization, digital advertising, and social media marketing services. Our goal is to help you in achieving competitive search engine results, increasing brand recognition, and converting leads into income.
Contact us now to see how we've helped small companies land on the first page of Google, and how we can help you do the same.
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