I teach classes in my community and for the SBDC. In each one I say “Your business plan should be a living, breathing, written document.” This means you are to write it before opening your doors, or in many of your cases, launching your website.
Once written though, it isn’t meant to sit on a shelf and draw dust. It’s meant to be your map to your destination. Imagine getting on a plane, fastening your seatbelt, listening to the emergency procedures. Now the pilot comes on and says, “I know some of you had hoped we’d land in San Diego today, but we are thinking of detouring to Seattle to pick up two passengers, landing in Dallas to let six passengers off, then if we have enough fuel, we’ll get the rest of you to San Diego.” Wow! It’s time to jump off that plane!
You think this story is crazy and unrealistic, but 90% of you are running your business like this. You have no flight plan and you are blown in the wind in all directions.
If you are one of the 10% that do have a plan, you haven’t looked at it in a while---maybe even since the ink dried. My recommendation to my coaching clients is ideally you review it monthly. If not that frequent, at the bare minimum view quarterly. This is why I say it should be “living, breathing”. It is meant to be changed, tweaked, and modified based on internal and external factors that negatively and positively affect your business model.
Once you tweak it, it helps you adjust your flight to avoid turbulence in the marketplace, passengers, or rather employees, that want to skydive, and provide you a safe landing to your destination.
By the way, what do you consider your destination? I’m guessing you have a dollar amount in your mind that is your ultimate goal. Have you considered your destination being legacy planning---allowing your business to outlive you through a successful acquisition or passing on to your children or key employees?
I hope your business plan breathes life into your business for a safe landing! Here’s to a great flight; relax and enjoy the ride.