Make a Plan

A business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. 

It also describes the nature of the business, background information, financial projections, and strategies to implement and achieve stated targets.  In its entirety, this document serves as a road map that provides direction to the business.

Plans don't need to be long and wordy.  Instead focus energy on understanding the marketplace and the opportunities.

Establish or revisit your vision and mission statements - these statements should define why the business does what it does and what the business will be in the future.

Perform a SWOT analysis - review the business's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats; this will then allow resources to be targeted appropriately.

Look at competitors and understand your USP in the marketplace.
Review the potential strategies for your business.

What are the goals for the business - measurable actions.

Use the information from the SWOT analysis to determine the priorities.  The goals for the business should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results, Timely.

Writing a business plan - information from the Gov.uk website

Youtube link to How to write a business plan to start your own business

Youtube link to What is strategic planning

 

Business plan tips for start-up businesses

Remember, your business plan is a tool to help you build a better business, not just a homework assignment.

There are 3 key rules for writing a business plan:

1. Keep it Short

Business plans should be short and concise.  The reasoning for that is twofold:

First, you want your business plan to be read (and no one is going to read a 100-page or even 40-page business plan).

Second, your business plan should be a tool you use to run and grow your business, something you continue to use and refine over time. An excessively long business plan is a huge hassle to revise—you’re almost guaranteed that your plan will be relegated to a desk drawer, never to be seen again.

2. Know your Audience

Write your plan using language that your audience will understand; avoid jargon, or acronyms that won’t be familiar.

3. Don’t be Intimidated

The vast majority of business owners and entrepreneurs aren’t business experts. Just like you, they’re learning as they go and don’t have degrees in business.

Writing a business plan may seem like a big hurdle, but it doesn’t have to be. You know your business—you’re the expert on it. For that reason alone, writing a business plan and then leveraging your plan for growth won’t be nearly as challenging as you think.

And you don’t have to start with the full, detailed business plan. In fact, it can be much easier to start with a simple, one-page business plan and you can then come back and build a slightly longer, more detailed business plan later.

Think about:

  • What your business will do
  • The products/services it will provide
  • How customers will access your products or services
  • Your approach to pricing
  • Your long and short-term objectives - including a series of benchmarks if possible that you can check your progress against

Gov.uk - Write a business plan

Cashflow Forecast Template

 

 

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