Advice: When did you last review your business plan?

By Paul Pavli

- Last updated on GMT

Advice: When did you last review your business plan?

Related tags Business plan Strategic management Management

When did you last take time to step away from the ‘day to day’ and review your business plan?

I don’t know about you but 2014 flew past for me and if I am not careful so will 2015.

With Christmas and new year behind us, maybe it’s time to have a root and branch review.

The review should include a visit to all of the competitor pubs in the area: what are their strengths/weaknesses, how can you tempt their customers to your pub?


Your review should include a detailed look at the online and social media channels you use to engage with your customers. Hopefully, you have a website, but does it need a refresh? You need to check that it’s up to date with the latest pictures of your pub, menus and upcoming events. Likewise, are you posting regular content on your Facebook and Twitter pages, is it being well received and are you engaging with your fans? 

The review should also cover your point of sale (PoS) material including posters, menus and banners. Is your PoS really selling anything to your consumers or potential customers?

When did you last review your drinks range? It’s not just about the range you have on offer, the key to maximising profits is down to merchandising.  Are the best profit products (could be % or £s) located in the hot spots in your fridges and back bar area and are you competitively priced?


Have you planned your spring menu and decided on your must have dish? If food isn’t your key revenue driver, think about items on your menu that help drive wet sales and encourage customers to stay for an extra pint or two.

And while you are reviewing all of this, don’t forget the most important ingredient in your pub is your team, who deliver your customer offer. Having a well-engaged and motivated team is essential because it can improve customer satisfaction ratings by 18% and increase productivity by more than 40%.

So, schedule a training session to take them through your plans and make sure they are clear on what you expect of them. And, don’t forget team members may well have some thoughts on events or service improvements that you can tap into.


Set yourself a goal to create or update your business plan before Easter and use that as a milestone, like a big spring clean of your business (that would give you seven weeks to prepare it).

In summary:

  • Carry out a SWOT analysis on your pub and competitors
  • Review your range and re-merchandise, make sure your high profit items are in hot spots
  • Review your marketing and communications processes and make sure all of these are up to date
  • Brief your team on new plans and what they need to do to help you achieve goals (think about incentives to achieve these goals)

And finally, set a date to take another step back in three months so that you can review how it went and celebrate success!

Paul Pavli is operations director at Punch Taverns

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