As Michigan business owners manage the affairs of their companies, they may not think about the need to revise their business plans at various intervals. However, good business planning at the outset is not of much use if that plan is not revisited to measure success or to determine areas that may require adjustment. A business plan may be considered a living document, meaning that it is important to make such a review from time to time to ensure that the document is relevant and current.
It is helpful to recognize that the task of updating a business plan is not as difficult as that of creating the document in the first place. An annual review is recommended for evaluating and updating, allowing for current information about the previous year's performance to be compared with expectations for the coming year. Additionally, there are certain situations that should trigger a business plan review. These include regulatory changes that may affect one's business operations as well as changes in terms and conditions with major vendors. Both positive and negative economic changes could affect one's operation, making a review of plans important.
Competition can play a major role in one's own operations, especially in areas of pricing or in the copying of services or products. It may be necessary to consider legal action in such instances, especially if intellectual rights have been violated. Loss of key employees or increasing the magnitude of one's operations may also prompt changes.
In reviewing and updating a business plan, legal insight may be helpful, especially if there are concerns with issues such as copyright or patent infringement. A lawyer could assist in drafting and maintaining copies of the updated plan for future reference and may offer recommendations related to the legal implications of changes.
Source: Business 2 Community, "When is a Good Time to Review and Renew Your Business Plan?", Hal Shelton, July 26, 2014