Where do you see yourself in five years? We’ve all heard this before—been asked it or asked it of others—or some close variation of the inquiry. But, have you ever considered this in regard to your business? Where do you want your business to be within the next five years? Are you prepared for that—taking the steps necessary to get your business there? Are they outlined in your business plan?

Your business may be going strong and it may have been years since you last gave a thought towards your business plan, but in order to achieve your desired growth for your company, you are going to need to update or rewrite that strategic business plan of yours. Here are a few tips to help!

  • Analyze your business, honestly. Perform an unbiased review of your business. Gather bookkeeping and accounting documents, mission statements, your old business plan, and anything else you believe is vital to determine where your business strengths and weaknesses lie. Review market conditions to determine if there is opportunity for growth of if the market is tight and if considerations should be made. It is important at this step to be as honest as possible with yourself to ensure an accurate business plan can be formulated.
  • Consider the next 5 years—or if you like, the next 10 or 20 years. How much do you want your business to grow—do you want to add products, services, or increase your staff or do you enjoy keeping your business small and moderate? You’ll need to formulate your renewed vision for your business before you can start working on a modified business plan.
  • Not sure about where your business will be? Focus on just your personal life then and work your way out from there. Would you like more freedom to travel? Then you may need to focus on growing your business so you can hire someone to take over. By considering your own goals in life, you can determine which business goals need to be taken in order to reach them.
  • Begin your short term planning. You have your vision, now its time to work towards making it happen. Take the first steps needed to achieve your 5-, 10-, or 20-year business goal.
  • Don’t forget to plan for everything! Your business plan should account for all aspects of doing business—sales vs expenses, staffing needs, improving or increasing inventory, financial projections and expectations, marketing and sales efforts needed, etc.
  • Review every six months to see if you are on track to reaching your 5-year business plan. You’ll have to determine for yourself what you consider to be successful and how to measure if you did succeed. Adjust and make modifications to your plan or practices to make sure your goals are within your reach within the time you allotted.