Business Plan Analytics Through Key Performance Indicators (KPI's): Identifying key performance indicators for your business to use as benchmarks throughout the year is perhaps the most critical step you can make with regard to business analytics. Not only will KPI's help identify key shortfalls in the plan, but will help narrow your focus in addressing the shortfalls. For instance, recognizing that you have an issue in labor isn't merely enough when you consider the following possibilities: a) labor rates may be too high; b) overtime has exceeded its budget; c) the issue is regionally_based, not across the board; d) man hours may have exceeded its allocated budget, etc. It could be a myriad of triggers that caused labor to exceed its budget and KPI's enable you to drill down to the cause. KPI management requires a disciplined review process established monthly that fosters a blended analysis throughout the year that compares actual results against both budgets and forecasts.
At this point, you may be tempted to skip writing a business plan altogether, viewing it as an unnecessary exercise in jumping_through_the_hoops, suggested by some old business professor who probably never held down a "real" job anyway. Maybe it's okay as an assignment for an MBA class, but it would be just too confining and irrelevant for today's fast_paced business environment. Anyway, you're ready! You've thought about this business venture for a long time and talked it over with friends and everybody agrees it's a great idea. Best to strike while the iron is hot!