As entrepreneurs, most of us have prepared a well-thought out business plan. It is essential if you are looking for any sort of financial assistance when starting up and will keep you focused while building your business. Having a plan to follow will also increase your chances of success. However, a few years into your business, is your original business plan still relevant? Probably not.

A yearly plan for an established business is an essential organizational tool if:

* you're looking to grow your business
* there is a lot of activity going on in your business every day and you tend to bumble-bee, jumping from "flower to flower" not knowing where to focus your time
* you don't have a clear plan and consider different options every day

While there are many templates and varieties of business plans available on the web, your yearly plan does not need to go into as much depth as your original. Here are the 5 main areas you will need to cover when planning for the year ahead:

1. Where are you now? List the services that you are providing, the products that you are selling, the number of hours you work in your business, and the number of hours you work on your business.

2. What are your goals? List the goals you wish to attain. We all have a financial goal so write your specific money goal for the year and the top 2 or 3 priorities that will get you there.

3. How are you going to get there? Work backwards from your financial goal and identify the steps necessary to achieve it. For example, if your goal is to make $75,000 for the year, how many clients do you need, how many products do you need to sell, how many workshops do you need to conduct and what do you need to charge for these things? Break these goals down monthly and then weekly and tweak until you have reached a realistic and attainable financial goal and plan that sync.

4. When are you going to do what's needed to achieve your goals? Take your monthly and weekly goals to create your action plan. This will determine the number of clients you will work with and when, what products and programs you will create, how many you need to sell and when etc. The action plan can be transferred over to your weekly schedule.

5. Who do I need help from to achieve my goals? List what tasks you can no longer continue to handle. Consider outsourcing things like your accounting to a bookkeeper and your technical and administrative tasks to a Virtual Assistant to free up your time for the profit generating tasks.

Going through this process helps you to identify your intentions and forces you to paint a realistic big picture plan for the year. Each small step taking you towards your bigger goal. This strategy may be the one business activity that helps your business to grow more than any other.

Author's Bio: 

As a Business Support Specialist to small business owners, Jennifer Hazlett provides technical and administrative assistance specializing in planning, implementing and managing various internet marketing strategies. Jennifer combines her current work experience with her extensive corporate background to create programs and services that help the small business owner get their business going, growing or back on track. Sign up at Jennifer's website, Alternate Admin for your complimentary report "101 Ways to Boost Business with a Virtual Assistant" and receive her free monthly ezine "Home Sweet Home Office" full of practical tips, tricks, tools and resources for the small business owner.