One of the most important steps you’ll take when you start a business is to write a business plan. A business plan will help you to think about all the different aspects and practicalities of your business idea. It will help you ‘sense check’ the logic and possibilities of your idea, and highlight any areas that need more planning.
A good business plan will also give you a direction and goal to work towards. And without a well-considered goal, how will you know what success you are realistically aiming for?
What’s in a business plan?
A good business plan will include:
- An executive summary detailing your business proposal.
- An overview of the aims of your business.
- Information about the product or service you are offering.
- Details of the management team.
- Financial forecasts.
- Any other relevant information, such as market research or technical product information.
Your business plan should cover all the important information about your business, including:
- The reason you are starting your business.
- Your business goals.
- Your growth projections.
- What your business does.
- What sets your business apart from the competition.
- What section of the market you are targeting.
- What funding you need.
It’s important that your business plan is well-researched and realistic – especially if you are using it to obtain funding. If there are any holes in your thinking or your financial projections are unrealistic you’re unlikely to interest an investor.
Using business plan templates
When writing your business plan you can create your own from scratch, or use or adapt an existing business plan template. There are lots of good, free templates available to download. We advise taking a look at a few and choosing the one that feels like the best fit for your business.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:Hannah Martin