Updating Your Business Plan and Changing Things “On The Fly”

Changing Things “On The Fly

“Updating Your Business Plan and Changing Things On The Fly” written by Mike Marko.

Ok, so you started.

But you aren’t too sure about what to expect.

And you don’t know what you don’t know.

And you are probably full of self-doubt.

That’s ok and perfectly natural. But I do want to offer you a CONGRATULATIONS for getting going. You took a courageous step.

Expect that you’ll have to change course as you go. It’s only natural.

That’s why today I want to talk to you about updating your business plan and how to keep things moving.

Updating Your Business Plan

Previously, I talked about overcoming analysis paralysis and how not to wait until the plan is perfect. Now that you are moving, let’s roll up our sleeves and plan for change.

I use the expression, “build the airplane while its flying” to help illustrate how literally you are changing things on the fly even if they aren’t “finished” 100%.  Updating your business as you go should be expected.

Updating your business plan should feel natural. Things are always changing. You should update your business plan when you’re working out at the gym, when you’re caught in traffic, and when you’re walking alone.

Update your business plan when listening to customers.

This may seem like chaos, but it’s actually the opposite. The constantly updating the business plan will actually make order out of the chaos.

This does mean you need to plan to update the plan.

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Reviewing Your Business Plan

There are two intervals to look at when it comes to reviewing your business plan.

Updating Your Business Plan and Changing Things “On The Fly”The Annual Update

You should update your plan at least once a year.

You can start with the old plan and revise. Make sure you’re taking a fresh look… a 30,000 foot view look… to make sure you are objective.

  • Talk to your customers (and potential customers).
    Review your unique value proposition and make sure that it is what your customers want. What problems do you solve? What solutions can they choose? And how are you unique?
  • Try to come up with a new market segment.
    When you look at the market in segments, it means you try to divide it based on groupings or divisions you see in the market. So now’s time to change it up. If you are dividing by profession, then divide it by products or services sold. If you divide by region, then divide by the size of the buyer companies. By creating new segments it gives you a chance to have a fresh view of things.
  • Look at the larger potential market for that solution.
    Evaluate where the market is going, your success, and where you can expand your reach.

The Monthly Update

Since accounting, finances, and marketing reports normally work in months, you should use that as an opportunity to take another look at your business. Make sure you have a monthly review of the difference between planned results and actual results for your sales, profits, balance and cash.

Updating Your Business Plan and Changing Things “On The Fly”

Managing Major Revisions to the Business Plan

The business planning process involves an important paradox. Strategy works only when it is consistently applied over a long period of time. That means that you can’t implement strategy without following a long-term plan.

However, blindly following a long-term plan can also kill a company that stubbornly insists on following a plan that isn’t working.

That’s why you have to “manage” that business plan. The owners, managers and operators of the business have the responsibility of balancing between consistently applying long-term strategy and blindly following a failing plan.

There are no easy rules for this. But where you start looking is for clues is in false assumptions. Have any of your business assumptions been proven wrong?

This kind of subjective judgment is what makes business plan management so important. The planning process, with its regular review, is critical to its success.

plans are nothing - Updating Your Business Plan and Changing Things

Adjust to the Trends

Watch the trends. See what the market place is doing and try at least to keep up if not get ahead of them.

I have a knack for helping my clients get ahead of the trends so they can get ahead and stay ahead of their competition.

Adjust Your Business Model

Your first business model may not be the best. You may be able to improve it.

It’s wise to look at your business model regularly and keep updating your business plan. Even as I write this blog post I’m presently re-evaluating my entire business model in preparation of ramping things up for 2018.

Even of the year planning for the following year is a natural time to look at your own business model.

Make Sure Your Unique Value Proposition is Unique

Make sure you stand out from your competition by offering something a bit different… and emphasizing your strengths. Your unique value proposition helps you show your customers what makes you special.

As you grow in success, others will want to imitate you. At that you want to take the time with updating your business plan to adjust your value proposition so it is unique in your market place.

Updating Your Business Plan and Changing Things “On The Fly”Every Business Plan is Wrong

Let’s face it… your business plan is wrong.

Really all plans are wrong. Plans are about the future and you can’t get the future right (unless you have a perfectly working crystal ball.. but good luck with that.)
That means you have to keep the plan fresh and watch it closely. Your plan should be to constantly watch for difference between the plan and actual results.
You just need to be prepared to change as things change.

But at least you are moving. And when you have a constantly improving plan that you move with, you are on the path to success.

Final Thoughts on Updating Your Business Plan

In this blog post we talked about updating your business plan for success.  We talked about how you should be continually monitoring your business results against your business plan, and how to keep things on track.

The main point is that at least you are moving forward with your plans.  That’s the key obstacle of many people who are struggling with overcoming analysis paralysis… they don’t actually get started.

Now let’s keep the train on the tracks, so to speak.


If you need help getting started, planning your services and/or products, running marketing campaigns like Facebook ads, or creating capture pages or lead magnets, then feel free to contact me and we can talk about the different consulting options we offer. Or use the link below to apply for your “results in advance” free consultation and let’s get started right away:

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Updating Your Business Plan and Changing Things “On The Fly” - Mike Marko

Author: Mike Marko
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