Writing A Business Plan
YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
Like most things in life, it helps to have a plan of action! Your business plan should be a living and constantly evolving plan, as circumstances may well change as you going along.
You should also be aware that you need to taylor your business plan according to your audience; so for example if you are looking for investor funding, the plan would look very different to a plan you are doing for yourself.
The guidelines given are in how to write a general purpose business plan and the sections you may see:
- Company Information – to include name, address, company number and directors
- Executive Summary – to include business summary and a financial summary (it often helps to write this last after you have written out all the detail)
- Mission Statement – this is a statement that sums up what you’re about but doesn’t talk about how you will do it, for example Coca Cola wants To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.
- Goals – so that you know where you want to go and in what timeframe.
- Owner Backgrounds
- Services/products – what service or product are you providing? What process has your business got in place that will help you to provide that?
- The Market – really do your homework as to who your customers are and why they would come to you; you should know who your typical customer is, where they live and theirhabits.
- Market Research – comprised of desk research for example looking at stats for the industry you are trying to break into; and also field research for example get out there and talk to as many people as possible! Maybe even do a survey if you can, make some calls, do some visits: Would they buy your service? Do they feel there’s a gap in the market?
- Marketing Strategy – what strategies are you going to use to build a brand for your business and how much will they cost?
- Competitor Analysis – really think about who all of your competitors are, their strengths and weaknesses, and how well established they are; can you put a different spin on what they’re doing already that will make you stand out? Think about what the Unique Selling Point (“USP”) of your business is? It is always useful to do a SWOT analysis for your business (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
- Financial Assumptions – mention the assumptions that you have used to do your financial analysis.
- Financial Analysis – you need to be able to monetise all of your ideas and make a reasonable estimate of revenue and costs for Years 1 to 3.