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How to make a business plan

Before you start your own business, you’ll need to create a business plan. Getting this right can mean the difference between a successful business and one that’s set to fail from the beginning. In this guide, we’ll explain what a business plan is, what you need to include in it and how we can help provide you with the tools you need to get your business up and running.

What is a business plan?

So, what is a business plan? It is a document which explains the purpose of your business. It should be a written document which explains your goals, objectives, and financial projections. It should also explain how your company is run and what it sets out to achieve. Every business should have a business plan.

Why do you need a business plan?

Creating a business plan is essential when starting a new business or when establishing a new direction for an existing company. Some of the reasons for creating a business plan include;

  • Provides a clear explanation of what your business sets out to do.
  • Provides evidence to potential financiers as to why they should lend or invest in your business.
  • Helps to explain your business to potential associates or business partners.
  • Identifies potential challenges or problems.
  • Makes it clearer to set out your business goals, focus and develop ideas.

What does a business plan need to include?

It’s a good idea to create a framework to help put your business plan together. We’ve created a simple checklist to make sure you include the key information you need to create a successful plan.

Introduction to your business plan

  • Cover page
  • Contents page
  • A key summary and purpose

What does your business do?

  • History of the business
  • Leadership structure
  • The unique selling points
  • Benefits and any disadvantages of your business

Knowledge of your industry

  • Key features of the industry and key industry information
  • SWOT analysis, who is your competition?
  • Your position in the market
  • How product or service is priced

How are you going to generate income?

  • How you plan on marketing your product or service
  • The sales channels you plan to use for selling your product or service

How is your business structured

  • The business and personnel structure?
  • How much do you propose to pay people who work for you, and how much do you plan to pay yourself?
  • The advantages and disadvantages of your workforce

How does your business operate?

  • Where are your business premises?
  • What equipment do you need?
  • Who are your key suppliers, and how do you choose your suppliers and manage your relationship with them?
  • How you plan to manage your customers’ information
  • Any regulatory or legal requirements you need to adhere too

Financial information

Past figures

  • Any past financial information like sales figures
  • Gross margin costs and profit and loss reports
  • Explain your cash flow, working capital and profits in comparison to the industry standard

Future forecasts

  • Predictions for the next 3-5 years of sales, margin, profits and losses

Appendix

  • Explain any additional context to your business plan

Top tips to when developing your business plan

Don’t be overly optimistic

It’s important when you’re creating your business plan to make sure you’re not overly optimistic when forecasting your financial results. If you are too optimistic, it can prevent potential investors from financing your business as they will question your credibility. Assess the risks and include a backup plan if something goes wrong.

Business solutions for start-ups

Here at Grosvenor House, we have a range of services ideal for start-ups or new businesses. Our virtual office service provides you with a business address and optional add-ons such as mail and call forwarding.  We also provide flexible office spaces and meeting and training room hire all with state of the art facilities tailored to your business needs. For more information get in touch with our helpful team today!