A good business plan is a fluid document. It has to be. No matter how well we plan, we’re going to get some things wrong. Other things are going to change over time. We’re going to develop an interest in new things. Some activities won’t be profitable. Others won’t be enjoyable. It’s all part of the process.
A business plan provides your writing business with structure, form and foresight, not a rigid plan of action you must follow to the letter or to the date. As you implement your business plan, you will probably have to tweak it. Feel free to move things around, to re-schedule, to remove, to replace. It’s your plan and only you can know what should and should not be in it, and sometimes the only way for you to know that is to try it out and get a feel for what’s working and what’s not.
After a few weeks of trial and error, you will probably have a solid business plan you are wholly comfortable with. That doesn’t mean the testing and refining process stops. Work your plan for a while. Try it out over a longer period. Monitor your progress, your success, your failure and your passion as you go. After a few months, take another, closer look at your plan and revisit the question of what’s working and what’s not. Consider whether your time-frames are proving accurate, whether your interests are quite where you thought they’d be and whether your approach is working for you. Then, revise accordingly. Test it out again. Tweak it, work it, and revisit it regularly.
When reconsidering your business plan, don’t just focus on replacing failed ventures with new opportunities or adjusting strategies that aren’t working. You also want to take a close look at your successes. If you’re making more progress than you expected in one area, you may want to consider increasing your efforts (and thus your success) in this area. Or, you may want to scale back and let yourself coast while redoubling your efforts in another area. You may want to speed up your timetable. Managing your success is even more important than managing your failure. They say you learn more from failure, but I think that’s mostly because failure forces us to revisit what we’re doing. You can learn from both success and failure if you invest a little time and effort into the process.