If you are contemplating setting up
your own business, first of all you will need to write a robust
business plan. Here are some tips that can help you do that.
business plan captures the strategic operational and financial aims
of your potential business.
A good business plan will
- an initial executive summary, summarising the detail of the business
- a written overview of the business' aims
- its product or service
- management team
- financial forecasts and appendices, such as the CVs of key
management members, market research data or technical product
The body of your business plan
should cover several areas in detail.
Clearly specify the reason for
the business being established. This should also include business
goals, for example, whether ambitious growth is desired or a
regular, steady trading level.
Explain what your business will
do in simple terms, highlighting any features that set it apart from
Include market and competitor
information, outlining what part of the market you are targeting,
key competitors and what differentiates you from them.
Think about your sales and
marketing strategy, include information on how the product or
service will be priced, channels to market, advertising and
Details of key personnel and
their relevant experience are also important, as is operational
information like office location, special equipment and expected
State the financing you need,
based on your financial forecasts.
Include details of any finance
provided by the founder or management team and indicate the key
risks to the business and any mitigating action you can take.
Your plan should also include a
sales forecast, cashflow forecast and a projected profit and loss
account for up to five years' ahead.
Larger businesses should also
draw up a projected balance sheet.
The figures used must be
reasonable - avoid being over optimistic. The involvement of a
qualified accountant in preparing these forecasts is recommended.