Fail to plan, plan to fail. All new business require a well thought out business plan and goals backed up by budgets, forecasts, projections, and a road map of how they are going to get there.
Invariably these plans will have market research, competitor analysis, profit forecasts, and cash flow projections.
If you don’t know what your goal is then you have no target to focus on. Your decision making becomes reactive since there is no forward looking element to it
The very process of preparing a business plan will crystallise your thoughts about your business and what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it.
It gives you FOCUS and PURPOSE
The business plan will clarify your business idea and define your long-term objectives. It provides a blueprint for running the business and a series of benchmarks to check your progress against. It is also vital for convincing your bank or investors — and possibly key customers and suppliers.
It has to be remembered that preparing a business plan is not a five minute exercise but is certainly is a worthwhile and necessary exercise.
FIRST – Set your goals, what is it that you want to achieve. Examples may include
Build a business and sell it in 5 years?
Have sufficient income to sustain yourself and family – it may be that you have to work part time initially
Be the preferred provider of your product or services in your area.
Get X% market share in 5 years
Reach £X turnover in 5 years
Doing 30% of your business overseas
Of course the goals have to be reasonable but there is no point in limiting yourself either. There are many examples of multi-million pound businesses that started in someone’s bedroom
SECONDLY – How are you going to get there. Any journey requires a roadmap of how to reach your destination. So a lot of thought needs to be paid to how will achieve your goals. You must research your business proposition and your target market.
How big is your market?
What differentiates your product or service?
Who are you competitors and what do they do?
Maybe you will buy a business to achieve your goals
How will I market my business
What business structure should I use – Sole Trader, Partnership, Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership
The list goes on
FINALLY – Prepare the plan.
Most business plans comprise of the following sections
Markets & Competitors
Sales & marketing
Risks To Your Business
We regularly help new and existing businesses prepare compelling business plans for various uses whether it be bank, equity funding or to crystallise your business goals. The business plan is yours and must be prepared by you but we can help. Certainly it is always advisable to get an accountant help prepare the financial forecasts. Pop in for a coffee and chat about how we can help