About the only person who doesn't need a business planis one who's not going into business. You don't need a plan to start a hobby or to moonlight from your regular job. But anybody beginning or extending a venture that will consume significant resources of money, energy or time, and that is expected to return a profit, should take the time to draft some kind of plan
Plan an Updating Checklist
Here are seven reasons to think about updating your business plan. If even just one applies to you, it's time for an update.
- A new financial period is about to begin. You may update your plan annually, quarterly or even monthly if your industry is a fast-changing one.
- You need financing, or additional financing. Lenders and other financiers need an updated plan to help them make financing decisions.
- There's been a significant market change. Shifting client tastes, consolidation trends among customers and altered regulatory climates can trigger a need for plan updates.
- Your firm develops or is about to develop a new product, technology, service or skill. If your business has changed a lot since you wrote your plan the first time around, it's time for an update.
- You have had a change in management. New managers should get fresh information about your business and your goals.
- Your company has crossed a threshold, such as moving out of your home office, crossing the $1 million sales mark or employing your 100th employee.
- Your old plan doesn't seem to reflect reality any more. Maybe you did a poor job last time; maybe things have just changed faster than you expected. But if your plan seems irrelevant, redo it.