More than likely you’ve seen changes in your business since the hit of the pandemic. Are you feeling lost in the storm? Maybe your scrambling to keep up with demand; maybe your hustling to keep it going and make ends meet; maybe your business has become obsolete during this time. No doubt, we have all been affected and are all experiencing different circumstances. Updating your business plan is probably not the first thing on your list to get done.

However, in the rapidly changing landscape of this new normal, it is critical to get a plan in check for your business… and revisit it often. It does not have to be a lengthy 20-page document professionally formatted. If you are already running a business, that’s probably not necessary (unless you are applying for financing, then yes, you want to put polish on it). Essentially, a business plan is a map with applied strategy. It shows where you plan to go and how you plan to get there.

Taking that into consideration, here’s a down-and-dirty business planning tool to use for a quick assessment of your business. Get a pen and paper ready.

  1.  Divide the page into three columns.
  2.  In the first column, write down all the things that have changed in your business.
  3.  For the second column, write down all the things that are staying the same.
  4.  Use the third column to jot down ideas of what you want to implement that are new. This third column can also be a space for writing “problems” with proposed solutions.

If you have details such as target dates and costs, add those too. Keep adding to the lists as time goes on or refresh when necessary.

This tool not only outlines a course but will give you a visual of where you may need to put more energy. For example, if a lot has changed, you may need to start getting ultra-creative with your solutions. If you’re short on incorporating new ideas, some research may be in order. If things are mostly running as before, stay the course utilizing your strengths.

It may seem rudimentary, but your brain (and spirit) will respond as it is given direction. It is one small thing you can do in order to get a handle on a situation and put some structure to it, while at the same time remaining adaptable. We can’t yet see how all of this will play out. It’s wise to fly with your navigating tools in check to guide you.