When starting a new business, it’s always a great idea to have a plan outlined before you officially open the doors to your building. Whether it’s your first gym, dance studio, or swim school or you’re expanding your youth activity program to add additional locations, a business plan is always needed to keep you and your team on the path to success.
What is a business plan?
Simply put, a business plan is a blueprint you plan to follow when opening a new business. It includes an overview of your business and the strategies you will put in place to achieve short-term and long-term goals, leading your business to generate profit.
Even though your business plan is developed before the doors even open, that doesn’t mean the plan is final. As your business grows, so does your business plan. It’s important for your business plan to evolve with your progress and the current market trends.
How frequently should you make updates to your business plan?
While updates should be made to your business plan as needed, we’ve simplified how and when to make certain updates along the way!
Updates made on a yearly basis are going to usually take the most time. Whether your ‘year’ goes along with the local school system or the calendar year, it’s always a great idea to get feedback as you head into a new year or season. Your customers will let you know what worked and what didn’t – all you have to do is ask!
When gathering feedback from your customers, you also have to be committed to making changes where it makes sense. It’s impossible to please everyone but you’ll be surprised at even the smallest or simplest changes that can turn parents that are on the fence into your biggest cheerleaders.
As you’re considering what updates can be made to help with customer satisfaction to retain current students, it’s also a great time to adjust segmentation for marketing efforts to attract new students. Has the ideal family or student changed since last season? Is there a different age group you should be targeting? How can you better reach the perfect customer?
As a business owner, finances are top of mind constantly. A bookkeeper or accountant will encourage you to use a period of time to compare planned finances versus actual finances, the most manageable being monthly.
This is a great check and balance process to make sure you aren’t consistently underestimating expenses and or revenue. Whether you need to adjust your estimate or your spending, you can keep a pulse on the bottom line in a reasonable time frame to make updates where needed.
From time to time, updates need to be made on a more frequent basis. Some examples include:
- Inviting new employees to a weekly check-in or staff meeting.
- Offering a promotional or early bird special for new students.
- Attracting new families with multi-channel marketing campaigns.
- Allowing makeups after an unexpected weather closure.
- Adjusting to the local market interests with new offerings.
Having an open mind to adjust as needed will only make your new business more successful and that’s the goal – right?
Why is it important to update your business plan?
It’s important to update your business plan as you move through various stages of being an entrepreneur. We all know how plans go – you make the plan, you hope to follow the plan, and something out of your control makes that plan impossible. That’s why it’s essential to be flexible and make certain adjustments throughout your journey.
Showing flexibility and changing with the market instead of fighting against it will only lead to success. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching it all come to fruition and progress.
Class management software is a vital tool to aid you in executing your youth activity center’s business plan and making updates along the way. See if Jackrabbit Class is the right fit for you – you get the first 30 days free!