8 steps to update your business plan


It’s very easy when running a business to stop planning ahead strategically, especially when things are going well. If you have entered 2015 without a refreshed business plan then your business is at risk from beginning to drift and now’s the time to put a firm hand on the steering wheel.

Business plans don’t need to be long and extremely detailed, the important thing is you audit where you are now, articulate where you want to be a year from now and create a realistic map that you can keep looking at through the year to check you’re on track. Here’s how:

  1. Start by digging out your business plan for 2014. If you never had a plan or documented your aims and objectives than look back through your diary and meeting notes and write a summary of your aims and objectives for 2014 as viewed in November 2013.
  2. Now objectively list what you have achieved and what you have in part or not achieved. Be completely honest.
  3. Objectively list why you feel you achieved your objectives and also list why you believe you failed to achieve some or part of your objectives.
  4. List the unforeseen positives and negatives that affected your outcomes – they could be internal or external, for example the practice manager left in June or a local competitor massively increased their investment in PPC or, on the positive side, you recruited a brilliant associate who has had a major impact on the clinical team’s performance.
  5. If you could put the clock back to November 2013 what three things would you change or not do?
  6. Now, having reviewed your progress in 2014, it’s time to articulate exactly where you want to be this time next year. It is critical here to start with the personal objectives of the principal – the business objectives must be secondary to personal objectives if it’s going to be a realistic and sustainable business plan. So, the most difficult question: what are your personal objectives for 2015? Make these objectives SMART ie specific, measurable, achievable, results focused and time bound.
  7. Under each objective – aim for at least three – try and think of three strategies that can be used to achieve it. For example, if your objective is ‘earn 30 per cent more’, one strategy could be to allocate more resources towards big ticket clinical work over check-ups. A tactic to this end could be increase your pay per click budget on words like ‘dental implant’. Think of five tactics that will serve each strategy every month through 2015.
  8. Organise the information clearly. Make three subheads stating each of your three objectives. Under each one have three columns titled ‘Strategy 1’, ‘Strategy 2’ and ‘Strategy 3’. Have 13 boxes under each one and in the first one state the strategy. In boxes two to 13 put the months of the year and list the tactics you have allocated to each month.

Here’s a free template to help you TK131 Breathe Toolkits – Objectives Planner

If you’d like more help creating your business plan for 2015 and beyond give me a call on 07990 568909.

Best wishes


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