5 Ways to Improve Your Business Action Plan

Writing a business plan increases your chances of investment and growth, however, many still make mistakes in their business plan.

Why is business planning so important? To quote Benjamin Franklin: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."

Without clear objectives, specific directions and sustainable strategy you are taking your business on a road trip with no idea where and how to get there. Not having a business plan ensures lack of innovation, viability and action.

When Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a cat in a tree, do you remember their dialogue?

"Which road do I take?"

"Where do you want to go?"

"I don’t know."

"Then, it doesn’t matter."

So, where is your business going? You should be asking this question as it show the importance of a business action plan. Why do you need a business plan?

A business plan gives you focus

While preparing a business plan, you are focusing on your goals. By thinking about your business "inside out," you can identify opportunities, and think more clearly about the marketplace. Extensive research related to your business will help you access your competitors, customers and your position on the marketplace.

A business plan brings innovation and viability

When you identify business trends, you can think about innovative ways of increasing your presence on the market and improving your product or service. When you assess the viability of your business, you will be able to devise new strategies and drive your business to success.

A business plan develops a course of action and strategy

In a business plan, you document a key issues and actions within specific time-frames - crucial steps for your strategy and future opportunities. Focusing on key activities and committing to a particular course of action, you can monitor your progress. When your ideas and plans are well thought out, you can create a more collaborative environment and ensure your service or products are financially viable.

A business plan supports business growth

If you are seeking investment in your business, a well-structured and thought out business plan will help you convey the right message to the investors. Why should they invest? Will the company be able to generate sufficient cash flow? It’s important to help investors feel confident in your future scenario, and a well-written business plan will help highlight the opportunities and the values of your business to the potential investors.

A business plan addresses compliance issues and risk management

In a business plan, you are required to address compliance issues (taxation, contracts, permits, insurance, and so on) - all key information that will help you clarify you are meeting the legal obligations. Identifying risks in your business is crucial for better management. Once you identify the risks, you can address them properly.

Increased awareness of the importance of a well-written business plan does not always translate into action.

Writing a business plan increases your chances of investment and growth, however, many still make mistakes in their business plan.

Here are some tips on how to improve your business plan.

#1 Improve your business plan as your business grows

While you need a good plan to start a business, your business will grow and your situation will change, accordingly, your business plan should adapt to those changes. You need to keep in mind that planning is a regular activity - a business will suffer unless you update a business plan.

Moreover, by improving your business plan you can reflect on your experience, assess your expectations, both financial and nonfinancial. Over time, you also develop a better understanding of your market, customers, competitors and industry - these factors will influence your business strategy.

#2 Know your customers

The better you know your competitors, the better you will know your customers. Spy on your competitors and develop a good strategy for your business to stand out from the crowd. Look through the eyes of your customer, as their feedback and behaviour will help reassess your sales and marketing objectives. Focus your energy on your customers, and conduct regular customers surveys - the results will indicate what needs to be improved.

#3 Don’t make projections, search for actual results

To know how your customers behave and your industry works, you need to make smart projections. To set clear goals, you also need to deal with measurable results. Many tools can help you assess your business situation and help to set clear goals, however, as long as you are only dealing with projections, not actual results, you can significantly hurt your business.

#4 Strengthen your personal skills

If you wish to grow your business, you need to develop your personal skills. By discovering your area of excellence, you can get the best of yourself and do best for your business. Quality and quantity of your business depend on your personal values, strengths, expertise, and ability to develop your talents. Your personal skills and excellence will determine the approach to your work.

#5 Be realistic!

If you want to add credibility to your business, be realistic. If you want to achieve your goals, be realistic. Having an excellent idea is paramount, but having a realistic plan is mandatory. Unreasonable and unrealistic action plan is a waste of time - it’s a common mistake many ambitious entrepreneurs make. To achieve success, you need to be realistic with time and resources.

At any stage of business development, planning is vital. A successful business is developed with motivation, cognitive resources, and proactive planning.

Remember: A business plan document and a business plan are two different things.

Author Credits ::

Damian Wolf is an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast. He mostly writes about technology news and ways how to grow your business. The idea for this article came from TallyFox Intelligent Collaboration blog.