Revising Your Business Plan in a Difficult Time – 2008

Fran Miller, Ph.D. ©

In difficult and stressful economic times, it is a great idea to go back to the drawing board, review your strategies, and redefine your business plan.

Remember when you last reviewed your vision and mission? It’s a good time to go back to that early view of what you hoped for your business and reevaluate it. What is your revised and current vision for your business? What is your primary mission for you and your company? One way to start thinking about this is to remember your values. Are you placing integrity at the top? Are you remembering the discipline it took to get started? It’s also going to take discipline and determination to revamp your business and to have it succeed in these lean times. What other values are important to you and your staff? Which ones will help right now with these current stresses? These are some important considerations for aligning your business in the current market.

Other important factors are your goals. What are the goals that you set forth when you started your business? What goals are going to be important for the next year? For example, survival would be good goal! What budget changes are necessary to survive the next year? A few months ago we tightened our belts , and now we are probably going to have to develop an even leaner plan. Goals for your personnel are just as important as your economic ones. What is needed for staff relations? This might be a good time to make an effort to improve company communication skills. When you think about it, there is nothing more important than communication. It is the basis of success with your customers, and it is the primary factor that determines the success of all personnel relations. Consultation or coaching could be obtained for management or other personnel.

An important question is whether there is any conflict, personnel relations’ issue, or other unfinished business that is kind of hanging there and unresolved in your office. Resolving these sensitive issues will eliminate unnecessary stress in the company. One on one meetings, group brainstorming, and company retreats are good ways to get to, and address, these issues. This is another occasion when consultation might be useful. Conflict resolution skills can be improved, and will relieve underlying tension for everyone.

Lastly, stress and anxiety management techniques are extremely important. This can also be a topic for business meetings. One technique that you might experiment with is mindfulness practice. The author, Jon Kabot Zinn, has successfully trained medical staff in mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, reduce judgmental tendencies, lower or eliminate depression, and increase relaxation. 

By implementing these strategies you will increase your chances of surviving a very lean, difficult, and stressful time. I hope these suggestions help to increase goodwill and optimism in your business.