How to create a business plan
Every business should have a business plan. Even if you never plan to pitch to potential investors and no-one else will ever get to see it, it’s still essential to create one for internal use within the company. Here’s how to create a valuable business plan.
Ensure when you write your business plan, you cover the following areas:
An overview of your company
What does your business offer and what are the unique selling points that make you stand out from the competition?
Goals and objectives
What are your company’s aims for the future? Ensure that all goals or objectives are SMART and include both financial and non-financial goals.
Market and audience
Who is your ideal customer? Create a persona to explain the different types of customer your product or service is aimed at. Why would they buy from you, and how do you intend to market to them?
Cover the size of your specific industry or niche and outline who your competitors are. You probably also want to have done a SWOT analysis and have a marketing plan that links to the business plan.
Pricing and services or products
You need to show your pricing structure for what your business will be offering and how this compares with others already offering those services in the marketplace.
The main sections of your business plan should be more of an overview. If you have detailed reports and supporting information, include these in the appendix at the end.
Show how the business is structured and what the organisation looks like. Who else works in your company, and what roles do they perform?
Are there other investors besides you, if so what percentage of shares are allocated to other shareholders and how much of the business do you own?
If you or a key person has specific experience that relates to your businesses success, then make sure to cover that off too.
What does your supply chain look like? How scalable is your company? What IT systems and other machinery is vital to providing a good product?
Do you have regulatory requirements, and how are you meeting those requirements?
What insurance will you need and what are the core risks to your company?
If you are a company that is already trading, then include historical figures as well as future projections. However, if you are a start-up, then you will need to explain your forecasted figures and have information to back up how you came to your conclusions.
All detailed reports should be located in the appendices at the end.
Show all the costs related to the business and identify whether additional funding is required or integral to your company’s ability to either set up or scale-up. If you plan to utilise loans, the include this in your financial forecasts.
As mentioned before this is where are all the detailed reports and other relevant information should be located. These should be used to back up the different parts of your business plan and confirm what you have already said.
You may want to include:
- CVs and other details about management, business owners and investors
- Market research reports
- Detailed insurance and regulatory information
- In-depth financial reports and forecasts
This is a live document
A business plan should not be something you create and then put in a drawer for the rest of time. It is a tool that you can use to aid your business and should be continuously updated as your company progresses.
Where to find additional resources
You can find help on producing a business plan and setting up a new venture on the gov.uk website here.
The Princes Trust also has templates which may prove useful in writing an effective business plan. You can find them on their website here.
Getting professional support
Consider seeking guidance from a business consultant to ensure that your business plan covers everything it should and meets the needs of its intended audience.
While it will be used internally, you may also need to leverage it to gain investment or to get funding.
An experienced business consultant can help you structure you plan correctly to increase the effectiveness of your plan.
We offer a free 30-minute consultation with one of our business consultants so you can discuss your plans and see how we can help you build a thriving and successful business for years to come. Contact us on 01424 776 214 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment today.
If you found this information useful, you may also want to check out the following:
- The benefits of having a business plan
- How to prepare your business for success in 2020
- Director responsibilities for limited companies
MRA specialise in business solutions and are Life Centred Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.