Planning is a key element to running a successful business. To get where you want to go, you’ll need a business plan.
Most businesses don’t have any kind of plan. So, start with a simple plan that pinpoints what you want to achieve. A business plan is used to get backing. This can be as a start up, to get equity finance or debt finance, board approval, or the sale of a business.
For debt finance ensure your plan is conservative, cautious, risk averse. Forecasts readily achievable. Risk to such unambitious forecasts extremely unlikely.
For equity finance place as much emphasis on opportunity to exceed plan as the risk of falling short. Explore upsides creatively but realistically.
We recommend that the whole document is 25-30 A4 pages, 35 max. Can use PowerPoint but safer on A4,and if heading for a bank then must be on A4.
A recommended structure to a business plan is:
1 Executive summary (2 pages)
2 The business 2 pages
3 Market demand 3-4 pages What is driving demand for the buyers of a product such as yours?
4 Competition 3-4 pages Is industry competition between you and fellow suppliers of your product intense and will it intensify?
5 Strategy 3-4 pages How well placed is your company and what is your strategy for improving its position?
6 Resources 4-6 pages What resources will you deploy in implementing your strategy?
7 Financials and forecasts 4-6 pages Do your forecasts realistically reflect both external market trends and internal competitiveness?
8 Risk, opportunity and sensitivity 2 pages. What are the main risks and opportunities around the forecasts? What is the likelihood and impact of each? How sensitive are financial forecasts to adverse circumstances?
9 Conclusions – half a page
Appendices 35 pages max
Appendix A Market data
Appendix B Competition data
Appendix C Competitive position data
Appendix D Management CVs
Appendix E Marketing plan
Appendix F Operations data
Appendix G Environment , health and safety data
Appendix H Financial data
Good plans are clear, crisp, concise, coherent, consistent, credible, convincing. You must tackle risk areas including market demand risk, competition risk, strategic risk, financial risk.
We can help with some great Business Plan templates and advice. If you would like detailed specific advice please contact us.