A military adage by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz states, "No battle plan survivescontact with the enemy." For businesses, this translates to "A static,inflexible business plan will not survive in the real world."

A useful business plan is a live document. As you review implementationresults with the people responsible, you will often find the need to set newgoals and make course corrections. Keep track of the original plan andmanage changes carefully. Although changes should be made only with goodreason, don't be afraid to update your plan and keep it alive. We recommendusing a computer for your financials so that you can easily make changes, asdescribed below.

Prescription for Live Planning

After your plan starts, type actual results into the sales forecast, balancesheet, profit and loss, and cash plan. Watch what the plan vs. actualworksheets tell you. Note when actual results indicate that you need to make changes. Stay in the actual mode and make adjustments to future months of your actualcash plan. After all, it is already more accurate than the original planbecause it has actual results for the months already completed. As each month closes, type actual results over your revised plan numbersinto the actual area.

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