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Starting a Business

60-Second Guide to Using Your Business Plan to Monitor Progress

2 min read
Brought to you by SCORE

You've put a lot of time and effort into your business plan. What happens when it's done? Think of your business plan as a living document and refer to it and review it often.

In just 60-seconds, we'll show you how to use your business plan as a tracking and evaluation tool, so that you can determine if your business is heading in the right direction or if it has wandered off course.

0:60 Schedule Periodic Business Check-ups
Many factors that affect your business are tied to an annual cycle. To ensure that your business plan continues to serve you well, make it a habit to update it annually. Set aside a block of time near the beginning of the calendar year, fiscal year or whenever is convenient for you.

0:49 Review Your Data to Assess Business Performance
Compare your expected results against your actual results. Because your business plan sets forth marketing, operational and financial milestones, you should carefully analyze actual operating results against the goals and objectives established in your plan.

0: 38 Fine-tune Your Plan
Parts of your business plan may feel very tight and others still may need some work. Look for ways to improve what you've done so far. Incorporate the experience you've gained as a business owner into your business plan. Anticipate future events-good and bad-that may affect your business. Take appropriate action if goals outlined in your plan haven't been met.

0:25 Get Help From Others
After you change and update your business plan, share it with an advisor. SCORE business counselors are experienced in helping entrepreneurs create and revise business plans.

0:10: Strive to Operate Your Business According to Your Plan
Your business plan is a working document that will work for you if you use it to remind yourself and your team where you are going and how you will get there. Whether you're updating your business plan for the first time or the 20th, treating your business plan as a dynamic document that evolves over time proves to yourself and others that you understand your business and you know what is required to make it grow and prosper.

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