I have emphasised to a couple of business owners over the last two days the importance of a written business plan. It is a particular temptation for very small businesses to keep the plan in the owner’s head. This often means that it is unspecific, and that necessary choices are not made and that goals are not set.
The very process of writing the plan out forces the business owner to crystallise the plan. It can then be used to monitor progress, on a minimum of a quarterly basis. Reasons for falling behind can be explored, as well as those for doing better than expected. Adjustments can then be made to the running of the business. That may mean changing the product mix, doing more of less of a particular marketing activity, or reviewing funding requirements.