Why every business should have an up-to-date business plan

Posted on 05 March 2024 / Business

Plan to succeed: Why every business should have an up-to-date business plan

They say that failing to plan is planning to fail, and that can certainly be true in business. Having a business plan in place – even a succinct one – will help your business stay on track and guide you more directly towards your goals.

If you’re starting a new business, a business plan will act as your roadmap, taking into account every aspect of getting your business off the ground. It can evaluate competition, potential customers and feasibility, reducing the risk of failure.

But even if your business has been up and running for some time, an up-to-date business plan can help you specify your goals, and measure your progress via milestones or other metrics. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. So measuring your business performance against some key metrics is a critical part of running a successful business.

It’s also important to keep up to date with what’s going on in the economy and in your industry. A regular review of your business plan will ensure you can effectively navigate the ever-changing business environment, and deal with any unforeseen events. During difficult economic conditions, it can help to rewrite your business plan to identify new ideas and strategies that will help your business thrive where others may fail.

Many business owners have a plan in their head as to where they want to be, and what they want to achieve. A formalised business plan helps to solidify your business goals for the foreseeable future. It ensures your progress is monitored and informs your decision making as you move forward. It also makes it easier to share your vision with key stakeholders and partners, so everyone’s on board and can be accountable for their part in the business.

So what are the ‘must haves’ you should include in your business plan?

There are literally thousands of business plan guides and templates out there, ranging from a simple one-page summary to a comprehensive business manual. But here are the seven key pieces of information that we recommend you consider when putting a business plan on paper.

  1. Purpose, vision and core values – what do you stand for and what are your ambitions for your business?
  2. Market analysis – who are your key customers and competition?
  3. Goals – what are the specific goals you want to achieve in the next 12 months, and over the longer term?
  4. Strategies – how are you going to achieve those goals?
  5. Financial feasibility – considering the size of your market, and how much of it can you realistically capture, is your idea financially viable?
  6. Opportunities and vulnerabilities – identifying ways your business could grow, or threats to your success, can help you better capitalise on opportunities and survive when times are tough.
  7. Business compliance – set out what your business needs to stay compliant, such as business registration and structure, tax planning and GST compliance.

Struggling to put it on paper? You’re not alone!

Many business owners find it hard to create a business plan by themselves. When you’re involved with the day-to-day running of your business, it can be hard to take a broader, more strategic view. Engaging a professional can really help take the pressure off your business planning.

At Bridge, our team of professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience in a variety of industries and fields. Each of our staff has distinct strengths, insights and skills gained from working with various clients and industries. We can match you with the most suitable business advisor for your needs, who can sit down with you and help get your business plan in place. We can also follow up with you regularly to ensure you are moving successfully towards your goals. Our goal is to ensure your legacy of success.

Contact us if you have questions about business planning, or you’d like to discuss getting a business plan in place.

Related News

All news


90-day trial periods extended to include all employers

All employers in New Zealand, no matter their size, will be able to use 90-day trial periods, with… Continue reading 90-day trial periods extended to include all employers



General election voting leave

With the 2023 General election just around the corner, this article from has some helpful information relating… Continue reading General election voting leave



Is your business prepared for volatility?

With the election coming up next month, the economic ups and downs, interest rate rises, tight labour market… Continue reading Is your business prepared for volatility?