Whether you are setting up or looking to grow your business, a good business plan will help you focus and plan for the future.
Writing a business plan can take some time and some areas of the plan will be easier to tackle than others.
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.
Make sure your business plan covers the following:
|The purpose of the business||Very generally what the business will do. For example - a hair salon and the proposed name.|
|The products of services the business will offer||What 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 business||How many staff the business will have and whether the owner will be involved in the day-to-day activities.|
|The proposed start of the business||All potential customers will need to be aware of this date and any marketing literature must have a set date.|
|The location of the business||Where the business will be run from.|
In your business plan make sure you cover the details about the person or people involved with the business idea:
|Experience and qualifications||A 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 circumstances||Give 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 business||Explain how involved the business owner/(s) will be and the amount that they are prepared to invest in the business.|
In your business plan explain:
|The proposed structure of the business||This 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 business||The 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.|
In your business plan explain the proposed initial financial structure of the business:
|The owners||Identify 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.|
|Investors||Identify 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.|
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