Happy New Year! As an entrepreneur, one of your resolutions should be to revisit and renew your business plan for a new year. The Premier Edition of Business Plan Pro includes a great little feature to get you started.
On the File menu, click Archive and Roll Forward
What this changes
A copy of your old plan is now Archived for safekeeping, and the financial data has rolled forward one year. This means:
- Start-up plans become Ongoing plans: instead of a Start-up and Start-up Funding table, you will now have a Past Performance table which summarizes previous years of financial data.
- First Year becomes Previous Year: The first year of planned data from your original plan becomes the most recent year of the Past Performance table.
- Annual Data moves back: Third Year annual forecasts move back a year, to become Second Year annuals.* Standard term plans then have a new, blank third year column to forecast, while those set for long-term planning see their new year as year five.
* NOTE: If your original plan was set for two years of detailed monthly forecasts, the second year monthlies retain their original value, for you to manually type over.
Review Past Performance
Before you go forward, take a look at the data in the Past Performance table. Is it accurate? The planned tables include only your original forecasts, not actual results from your real business operations. Where your plan differs from accounting data for the previous year, type in your correct past results.
Now, update your plan
You’re now ready to start planning your new business milestones and budgets, based on the insights you’ve gained over the past year. You probably don’t need to review every section of your plan – has the business moved, or changed owners? – but make sure to walk through all of the financial tables and, of course, the Milestones. And don’t forget to distribute your plan! You may not need to send it to investors, but your managers and anyone else who is affected by changes in the next year’s budgets, goals, marketing strategy, etc., need to know that your business plan is an ongoing process, and that their active participation is required.