Was one of your resolutions for 2019 to work on growing your business? While most New Year’s resolutions focus on personal goals, now is the perfect time to update (or create) your business plan.

Research shows that “those who took meaningful steps to achieve their resolutions—setting step-by-step goals or telling their friends and family, for example—were far more likely to achieve their desires than those who made no specific commitments.” Being specific and writing down your goals leads to greater success.

Tim Berry urges companies to update their business plan at least once a year.

  • “Talk to your customers and potential customers. Review your value proposition. What are your customers buying? What problems do you solve? What other solutions can they choose?
  • Try to come up with a new market segmentation. Segmentation is the grouping or divisions you see in the market. For example, if you normally view your market by type of product, look at it by channel or buyer. If you divide by region, divide by size of buyer company. Think up a new segmentation to give you a fresh view.
  • Look at the larger potential market for the problems that need solutions. Look at contiguous businesses. Look at changing trends and technologies.”

The Small Business Administration defines a business plan as “an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.”  While aimed at creating business plans for start-up companies, the SBA provides a series of articles detailing the elements that make up a typical business plan. If you need additional direction, Entrepreneur has a section on their website on the process of creating and using a business plan.

A business plan can capture your company at a moment in time while providing a roadmap for future opportunities. What goals do you have for your business in 2019? If you could benefit from market research to assist in your planning efforts, contact Access/Information today.