When you run a small business, it’s important to consider where it will go in the future. Thinking about business growth will help you improve your services, increase your client base, and avoid slumps. One way to do this is with a continuous improvement plan. If you’re not sure how to create a continuous improvement plan or even what one is, we can help. 

This guide will cover how to create a continuous improvement plant or your business, including: 

  • What is a continuous improvement plan? 
  • What should a continuous improvement plan include?
  • How can you make the most of your plan? 

What is a continuous improvement plan?

A continuous improvement plan is a document that outlines the constant effort to improve your small business. It can tackle every aspect of your business, detailing problems or opportunities as well as strategies for fixing them. With a continuous improvement plan for your business, you can approach growth and problem-solving in an organised and efficient way. It’s essential in planning the growth and success of your business. 

What should a continuous improvement plan include? 

If you want to know how to create a continuous improvement plan, you’ll need to know a bit about the process. The continuous improvement model follows a cycle of planning, doing, acting, and checking. So, to write a successful plan, you’ll need to think about these elements. We’ll outline the essential things to include.  

Objectives 

The first thing to include in your continuous improvement plan is objectives. This section identifies the problems or opportunities for growth within your current business. For example, maybe you want to increase earnings, make your operations more efficient, or strengthen your time management

Some objectives to solve these problems could be, for example, to introduce a new product or service, redesign your website to make it more accessible, or transition to a new project management tool. So, take time to think about this for your business in particular, and outline a few key objectives for your continuous improvement plan. 

Strategy 

Once you outline your plan’s objectives, develop a strategy for achieving them. In other words, this is where you consider how you’ll make it happen, including a task list, timeline, and way to measure your success. 

For example, if you want to redesign your website, you might research what a good website should look like. Then you could revamp your business brand identity and decide on a design theme and main elements. From there, you could map out two months to write and design each page and launch site. 

In this part of the plan, be sure to outline a strategy for each objective on your list. Researching tips for that specific objective will help you understand where to start. By breaking up the project, it won’t feel as intimidating. Plus, you can measure your progress as you work through the strategy. 

Funding 

Next, you’ll need to consider the funding you may need to achieve your improvement objectives. If you plan to develop and sell a new product, for example, you might need to invest in product design and testing. You’ll then need to add up how much it’ll cost to produce this new item and how that’ll increase the expenses of your business. 

As you calculate the money you’ll need to achieve this objective, you can plan how to fund it. For example, you might set business earnings aside to save for growth, seek an investor, or apply for a loan

In this case, also consider how achieving the objective might improve your business and lead to greater earnings. Tracking how the investment translates to earnings will help you track how much it’s worth. 

To find the funding you need, start comparing the options. You can research loan options to apply for or crowdfunding platforms. Or, you can contact potential investors and put together a pitch for them. 

Follow through and checks 

The final step of creating your continuous improvement plan is to follow the strategy and track it’s progress. In this part of the plan, you’ll develop a way to evaluate the success of your improvements. For example, you might closely track the sales of a new product and compare that to the money you put into developing it. 

You can also assess how successful your strategy is in completing the objectives. If you check over the plan as you go, it’ll be easier to alter it so your improvements are more effective. 

How can you make the most of your continuous improvement plan?

Now that you know how to create a continuous improvement plan for your business, you might wonder how to make the most of that plan. 

Sweat the details

First, be sure to include as much detail as possible and regularly check in with your plan. The more detail you have, the easier it will be to achieve. Plus, it’ll help you track your progress because you’ll have specific expectations to check. 

Organise your approach

Also, be sure to create clear timelines for your plan and stick to them firmly. With this commitment, you can focus on achieving progress rather than just planning for it. You might also want to use a project management tool like Trello to organise and complete your tasks. 

Plus, to track the finances behind your improvement objectives, you’ll need to organise your finances well. To do this, you’ll need modern accounting software like Countingup. Countingup combines a business current account with accounting software to help you stay on top of your finances all in one place. 

The Countingup app is accessible from wherever you are, and it’s features let you stay on top of your transactions. With automatic expense categorisation, the app clearly and instantly labels transactions, so you can easily find what you spend on your improvement strategy. 

Continue the cycle

Finally, remember that a continuous improvement plan is cyclical. As you achieve objectives, keep asking yourself where you want your business to go, and make new ones. This plan should be ongoing, helping you move on to new problems and consider new solutions. 

Simplify your business finances with Countingup 

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you run a business, especially when you grow that business. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Aside from helping you track your transactions, the Countingup app generates cash flow insights, which help you better understand the success of your improvement plan and overall business performance. 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Find out more here.

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