If you’re starting a new business, one of the very first things you should do is write a business plan.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a document that sets out the purpose of your company, your company’s plans & objectives and the strategies you will use to achieve them.
Your business plan is a living document. You shouldn’t just write it once then file it away and forget about it. It should be referred to, updated and modified as your business grows and changes.
Why you should write a business plan
Every company needs a business plan – even if it’s just you running the business alone. A clear business plan is crucial if you want to get a business loan or attract investors.
Writing a business plan will help you to:
- Clarify and articulate your business idea
- Identify potential problems and challenges
- Set clear goals that you can refer back to
- Measure success
What should a business plan include?
This length, content and detail of a business plan will vary depending on a number of different factors – but as a general guide, most business plans will contains the following sections:
- Executive Summary
- Business Overview
- Operations Plan
- Market Analysis
- Description of Products and Services
- Sales & Marketing
- Competitor Analysis
- Management Structure
- Financial Plan
- Financial Projections
If you’re struggling to write your business plan, your can find several examples and templates onine.
You can view real world examples of business plans at bplans.com.
You can download example business plans from The Prince’s Trust website.