If you’ve started your own small business there’s a good chance that someone, be they a friend, relative or business manager, has advised you to make a business plan. A business plan allows you to put down on paper exactly what your business goals are, as well and how you intend to achieve them and by when. However, a business plan is only as good as your ability to stick to it, so we’ve thrown together five tips to help you to stay focused on your goals.
Review Your Plan at Regular Intervals
Most of us write our business plans when our businesses are in their infancy, and it’s really common to look at your plan a few months later and find that the goals are largely irrelevant. We can make all the plans we like, but if something unexpected happens, like your business becoming a roaring success much faster than you expected, you’ll definitely need new goals! Review your plan regularly and adjust it accordingly.
Don’t Be Too Rigid
Following on from the above point, being too rigid and refusing to deviant from or change anything about your plan is a sure-fire way to fail. Allow yourself a bit of flexibility within your business plan and your approach to it and you’re far more likely to achieve your goals in the long run. When you wrote your plan, you had no way of knowing what the future would hold, and stubbornness won’t help you in this situation.
Add On As You Go
Starting a new business often feels like it requires a crystal ball and someone reading tea leaves to predict how things will go, but of course, no one can see the future. With this in mind, it’s often useful to have space in your business plan to add new goals as you go. Small businesses can evolve at what feels like breakneck speed, and recognising the need for change and adding to your plans can help you to keep your plan relevant.
Ask an Expert
It’s so easy to look at the minutiae of your business, as an interested party, rather than looking at it as a whole as an objective third party would. Take your business plan to a small business expert to see if they can add a more realistic spin on things and help you to manage your expectations of how your small business should grow. It’s much easier to spot glaring errors when it’s not your own passion project that you’re appraising.
Find an Accountability Partner
It’s a well-known fact that we’re way more likely to stick to our goals if we’re accountable to someone else. Knowing that we’ve got to report any progress to someone on a regular basis give us the impetus to keep going, and in turn, they achieve their goals by being accountable to you. This summer, we’re running a series of accountability session, during which you can talk to us about your intended goals and meet other people who, like you, want to stick to their business plan and need help with staying accountable. Follow the link below for more details about the sessions and how you can book your place.
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