“No business plans to fail – it simply fails to plan”
Having a business plan is crucial for all businesses. While the main reason most people prepare a detailed business plan is to raise finance, your business plan should not just be a tool for raising capital but a blueprint for your business’s future.
If you are starting a new business your business plan should contain the following elements as a minimum:
A contents page;
An executive summary;
The business objectives and mission statement;
Product or service profile;
A marketing plan with market analysis, sales forecasts and competition assessment;
A financial plan with both short (1 year) and long term (say 3 years) projections;
Details of financing including loans, security and guarantees;
Personal financial status of all principals involved in the business;
An organisational plan of the management and legal structure; and
Appendices with all supporting and additional information relevant to the plan.
The outline above will form the groundwork for the planning process. Once the plan has been drafted, review it for completeness, objectivity and logic. It is recommended that you seek professional advice in the completion of the business plan, especially if you are seeking to raise finance from the outset.
Remember to review the plan regularly to ensure your business is on track or to redefine the direction of the business.