Whether you are setting up or looking to grow your business, a good business plan will help you focus and plan for the future.

How do I start to write a business plan?

Writing a business plan can take some time and some areas of the plan will be easier to tackle than others. 

  • Make initial notes every time you think of something and don’t worry if you can’t cover all points at the start
  • When you are ready to start to write the plan, make sure you use sections and these are in a logical order
  • It is important that your plan is simple, accurate and easy to follow if you are going to ask others to look at it
  • Try to avoid jargon or terms that only people in your type of industry will understand.

Can I use a standard template for my business plan?

A standard template can be used for a business plan, however, you will need to tailor it for your own purposes.

The Prince's Trust's has created a business plan template. The Business Plan Pack is divided into sections to help you develop your business idea and contains step-by-step information to guide you through the sections. Download a copy below. 

BusinessPlanPack.pdf

2.7 MB
Register to download

What content do I need in my business plan for 'what will the business do'?

Make sure your business plan covers the following:

 Information required
The purpose of the businessVery generally what the business will do. For example - a hair salon and the proposed name.
The products of services the business will offerWhat areas the business will specialise in and to whom they will be offered. For example - hair dressing, beauty treatments, training, sale of products etc.
Who will run the businessHow many staff the business will have and whether the owner will be involved in the day-to-day activities.
The proposed start of the businessAll potential customers will need to be aware of this date and any marketing literature must have a set date.
The location of the businessWhere the business will be run from. 

 

What content do I need in my business plan for 'who will set up the business'?

In your business plan make sure you cover  the details about the person or people involved with the business idea:

 Information required
Experience and qualificationsA curriculum vitae (CV) can be included in the business plan. This will give the details of each person's background, skills, experience and qualifications. 
Their current circumstancesGive details of what each person is currently doing. Are they employed? Will they continue to be employed? For example - Jane is currently employed as a senior hair stylist; she will leave her position in April after giving three months' notice. 
How much time and money can they commit to the businessExplain how involved the business owner/(s) will be and the amount that they are prepared to invest in the business. 

 

What content do I need in my business plan for 'how the business will be set up'?

In your business plan explain:

 Infomration required
The proposed structure of the businessThis should include job roles and descriptions, requirements in terms of IT and equipment and the proposed type to business. For example, sole trader, partnership or company
The financial plans for the businessThe financial plans are probably the most detailed requirements of a business plan. The plan should include details of: start-up costs, forecast sales, forecast profit (or loss), cash flow

 

What content do I need in my business plan for 'how the business will be financed'?

In your business plan explain the proposed initial financial structure of the business:

 Information required
The ownersIdentify how much the owners of the business are prepared to invest and how their funds will be sourced. For example by personal savings, loan or other family members. 
InvestorsIdentify how much the owners of the business would be seeking from other investors and the possible sources of those funds. For example a bank loan, bank overdraft, additional shareholders.

 

Next Steps

Visit GOV.UK for more on writing a business plan

Find further help and advice on how to write your business plan on GOV.UK's website. Also view and download business plan examples and templates. 

Read more

Where can I get funds for my business?

Every business needs to have adequate finance. Here’s some information about different sources of funding.

Read more

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