How to Write a Business Plan
16th Dec, 2016

How to Write a Business Plan

How to write a business plan

Almost every other day, someone around the world is starting up a business. Sometimes it just doesn't go as well as hoped, maybe the idea was good but the execution wasn't right. This is where a business plan will come in to play. Before opening up any business, it is always good idea to have a business plan. Having a business plan will help you look at all aspects of a business before considering going forward with anything. It will help you understand the market, set achievable goals and identify potential problems that may come along the way.

Why is a business plan so important?

What is a business plan?

A business plan is essentially a detailed explanation of what your business is all about. This could be anything from a 2-page document to a 150-page document depending on the business. It will hold key information to how the business will run and what the future holds for the business.

Why is it so important?

If you are looking to invest your money into a venture and expect a return of profit at the end of the year, then you will need to write up a business plan. It pretty much holds all the information to the business and will help you set goals. Once it’s all down on paper, you can make sure that you are on target with the projections made and ensure that you are moving forward.

Structuring your plan

A business plan structure is very simple. You have to make sure you cover all aspects of a business, whether the plan is for personal use or for potential investors. It's important to know the ins and outs of a business before getting started. Here are some of the main areas that should be covered in a business plan:

  • An overview of the business idea (summary)
  • Full description of the business
  • Marketing strategies
  • Current market and competition
  • Management and operations
  • Financial details and projections
  • SWOT analysis

The business plan should always be from the perspective of the investor, when an investor looks at your business plan certain questions should be answered in their head such as what is the purpose of the plan is, what the future holds for the company, when they will get a return on their investment and within what time frame.

On the BBC show "Dragons Den" investors have stressed the importance of market knowledge when presenting their business plan. An entrepreneur should undertake market research and ensure the plan has it included as point of reference to why their plan might be successful. The market research will help you predict the growth and how you can gain access to the market.

Whilst writing your business plan, financial information is very important. Your business plan will be more successful if the financial side is transparent. Costs should always be shown in full and predicting future sales should be realistic. Whilst we know you believe in your business showing outrageous figures can put any investor off. Costs within a business are usually predictable but your business depends on the level of sales and very unpredictable unless market research has been carried out. If maths and charts are not your strong point then get a professional to help, they can help you create a cash flow and a break-even chart.

Thinking of starting your own business, perhaps one of our business courses in London will be valuable.

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