It’s Time for a Third Quarter Review of Your Business Plan

The third quarter wrap-up is quickly approaching therefore it’s a good idea to review the progress on your business plan again. Your business plan should include short-term goals (3-6 months) as well as annual goals and long-term goals (two years or longer). It’s important to understand not only whether you’re meeting your goals, but why or why not and what changes need to be implemented to make sure you meet those goals.

As summer closes and you gear up for fall, you want to look at your progress on some crucial priorities in your business plan. This should start with your revenue and profitability. Are you meeting the targets you set at the beginning of the year? If not, it’s worth looking at how you’ve done on your other priorities to see if you can determine the reason.

This is the time of year when you should evaluate your marketing efforts. If you devised a marketing plan in January, maybe it’s worked out exactly as you had hoped. But nine months have gone by and the realities of your business are not always what you thought they were going to be. You need to consider whether that marketing plan requires an adjustment.

Remember, your business plan doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can see it as a living document that is open to amendments. If we can amend the Constitution, you can amend your business plan if it needs it!

You should also look at whether you’re hitting your target demographic. A simple but tailored customer survey – possibly conducted online or via phone, can help you find out. These techniques can often help you understand if you’re reaching the people you need to reach, and whether you need to tweak your approach to do so more effectively.

Take a step back and ask yourself, are you hitting your target demographic or do you need to tweak it? Create an online survey and/or make a follow up call to see if your customers are happy with your service and if you are meeting their needs/expectations.

Recently, one of our team members visited a local hair salon. She received a follow up call within the week to see if she was happy with the service they provided, and if she had any recommendations to improve the experience. Small businesses that follow up are smart, usually among the first to recognize the adjustments they need to make and tend to be more successful than those who do not. So, make it your priority to review your business plan before the year comes to a close and adjust wherever you may need to!

Have a question about business planning, products, or services? Contact Business Development or leave a comment below.

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