A business plan is written originally with the purpose of establishing a roadway to the future for your company. Entrepreneur has a breakdown of the details in a business plan, but in general it covers the concept for your business, the marketplace situation, and then the financial sector that could impact your business. Everything from the structure of your business to plans for succession in the future are contained within your business plan, but as the market itself and your business change, your business plan may need to change with it. How do you know when it is time to reevaluate your business plan?
Signs to Watch For
There are many signs you can watch for that tip you off that the time has come to reevaluate your business plan. From an internal perspective, unsatisfied employees who feel overwhelmed or lack clear understanding of their roles can be a big sign. Externally, flat-lined revenue and increased dissatisfaction among customers are also warning signs that something is amiss. The Small Business Association identified these signs, but what can you do if you have noticed them in your business?
You cannot afford to fall behind the competition. You need to be reading up on your market and the situations impacting it. Look at what your competitors are up to online to analyze and strategize on ways that you can perform better than them. Make sure you remain active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts. You need to stay connected to your customers always. More importantly, make sure the content you are delivering to your customers is relevant and appropriate.
Strategize and Organize
When it comes to factors such as social media activity, you need to have a strategy and organization to everything you do. Spending time on social media just for the sake of appearing active is a waste of your time and will not promote a connection with your customer base. You need to determine what the end goal is for your social media activity, and then determine what actions to take to achieve that goal. A good starting point in this process would be analytics. Look at your website data and dive deeper into the details. What actions have been effective for your business? Where is there room to grow? Do Facebook and Twitter have more services to take advantage of that your business is not already using?
Refine Your Audience Scope
The greatest message in the world is useless if it is broadcasted to the wrong target customers. You need to constantly review your marketing campaigns to ensure the message matches the audience. Ask yourself what your current content makes people feel and what action is it imploring them to take. The right content gives your readers something to think about and naturally encourages an action with a CTA.
Refresh Your Brand
Your company does not exist in a vacuum in time. As the world around you changes, so too must your brand from time to time. This does not necessarily mean changing the entire scope of products and services you offer, but rather, taking a deeper look at how you can reposition your brand to appeal to customers that might have different needs/wants/demands than your customer base did 5, 10, or even 20 years ago. This means defining what your brand represents right now, adjusting your message to meet the needs of modern consumers. Be consistent with your messaging, and stay true to the original roots of your business.
For assistance with reevaluating your business plan or to get started on creating one for your small, growing business, call us at Manhattan Ridge Advisors.