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It is essential that every business has a business plan in place
that works. It is just as essential that the business plan is
realistic and tailored specifically to meet the purpose of the
business, and that it is followed.
a Business Plan
What is it?
A business plan is a document that is compiled to show the businesses
aims and objectives, its strategies, the market it is in, the
customers it is targeting, a competitor analysis and its financial
Why do you need one?
The purpose of a business plan is to make sure that the proposed
venture will make money and the will be financially stable;
otherwise the business will cease to function. It is important
to be ethically and socially responsible as a business, and
it can improve your image if you are seen to be acting in such
a way. Elements of how you propose to be corporately responsibility
should be included in your plan. A business plan has a number
of purposes. Primarily, it secures your external financial position
and it is a means of measuring the success of your business.
Who is a business plan for?
Anybody with an interest in your business will want to see your
business plan, but obviously essentially you decide who sees
it. As it a means of securing your external funding, your bank
will want to ensure that the document is as legitimate as possible
as they are potential investors into your business. It would
therefore be beneficial to you to ensure that your plan is as
viable as possible before you show it to your bank.
The business plan, essentially, is for you. It is a means of
identifying what market your business will operate in, what
products you intend to sell, and identifying your potential
and current competition. It enables you to also identify any
pitfalls before they get you into trouble, because even if you
do not spot them, letting friends or potential partners, or
even a solicitor have a read may result in potential problem
areas being spotted and you being able to resolve them.
Anyone who is interested in buying your business from you may
wish to see your business plan so that they can gain an insight
into where you were going with it and what you hoped to achieve.
Consequently, it is imperative that you treat your business
plan as a live document and update it all the time. This is
important because if you diversify your product range, for example,
this could impact the market you are operating in, the consumers
you are targeting, and your competition, all of which could
have a substantial effect on the financing of your business.
You may, for example, need to borrow more money to expand an
existing range in your product portfolio, and if this is worked
into your business plan, you will be in a much more favourable
position with the bank.
Be aware when writing your business plan that not everybody
who has an interest in your business will be as business-minded
so try to avoid using jargon and explain fully about the service
and the products you will be offering. Make sure you get someone
who is impartial to read your plan and make sure they can understand
What should a business plan include?
Your business plan should provide detailed information about
the intent of your business and how you are going to develop
it from an idea into a real up-and-running business.
The structure of your business plan can be categorised into
sections as set out here. Your business plan should be of a
manageable length, therefore keep it as short and concise as
possible and make sure it looks professional as this will reflect
your seriousness of opening a business. Ensure that it is proofread
before you get it printed out on top quality paper and bound.