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Tips for Updating Your Business Plan

Spring 2021 Issue

By Greg Gonnering, Vice President of Mutual Assistance

One thing we learned in 2020 is that things can change in a minute. To ensure you’re doing what you can to prepare for the future, check when you last updated your business plan. If it was more than a year ago, now is a good time to review it.

Updating your business plan gives you a chance to review old goals and set new ones. One tool for setting new goals is a SWOT analysis, which helps you identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Begin by making a list. Strengths and weaknesses should come from inside your organization and opportunities and threats from outside of your organization. Once you have listed all the items in the four categories, you will need to determine how to capitalize on your strengths, overcome your weaknesses, take advantage of your opportunities and limit your threats.

For example:

  • Strengths
    • Products: We offer a wide range of products that include home, farm, dwelling, mobile home and commercial business in a six-county area.
    • Goals to Capitalize on Strengths: Reach out to various agent forces to launch a growth initiative and increase awareness of the products we offer.

Identify at least three or four items for each category and explain how you plan to address them. Then each year, you can review and make necessary changes. Having a working SWOT analysis helps your mutual stay accountable to important matters.

It also is beneficial to include information in your business plan about:

  • Catastrophe claim handling: How will your mutual handle a storm event, from a small storm to a worst-case scenario? Remember WRC’s CAP Plan is always available.
  • Succession planning: How would your mutual continue to operate without key personnel managers, directors and office workers?
  • Business continuance planning: How will your mutual continue to operate in the event of a business interruption? An interruption could be a power outage that lasts for a few days, a tornado that destroys the building or a ransomware attack in which a hacker prevents you from accessing your data.

As always, WRC’s Mutual Assistance Team is here to provide guidance if you want to review or write a business plan.