Four times you should update your business plan

If you’re serious about growing your business, you should regularly update your business plan.

Of course, there are many instances that might require you to update your plan, so we’ve listed some of the most common and critical times to do it. 

When your competitors change

You should always have a firm idea of who your business is competing against.

If a new competitor enters the market, learn what benefits they offer customers, which might include location, price, quality or customer service.

Then analyse what that competitor isn’t doing to attract or keep customers – that’s how you can keep or gain a competitive edge.

The reason a competitor drops out of your market could also provide valuable insight into how you could better service your customers or even broaden your customer base.

Include these analyses when you update your plan to make sure you’re keeping on top of what your customers want and need from your business.

You should always have a firm idea of who your business is competing against


When you want new investment

Investors and lenders will want the most recent information about your revenue, operational costs and any challenges your business is currently facing.

Investors will also want to know the most recent opportunities of which your business could take advantage in the near future.

Explain how you effectively used any previous funding to build your business. 

When you want to introduce a new product or service

If you want to introduce a product or service that isn’t already flagged in your business plan, update the plan.

Review it to see how new products or services align with your medium- to long-term strategy and objectives.

Describe why it’s important for your business to launch this new product or service and how you will have an edge on your competitors in selling it.

You also need to consider whether your current staff can manage selling this product or service.

Remember, requiring new staff to manage the new venture could affect your profitability.

Update your business plan to keep up with new industry and economic trends


When you haven’t updated your business plan for a year or more

New industry and economic trends, updated laws and regulations, and shifting technology and customer behaviours are all examples of changes that could affect your business’ future.

Make sure you outline a clear strategy for how your business will survive and thrive through these changes.

Don’t have a business plan? Find out why writing a business plan can help keep you on track for success.