Creating a well-structured business plan will give you direction and help your business become a success. A business plan provides a roadmap for your business's future and is essential if you wish to attract funding.
A business plan is vital for securing finance
If you're seeking finance for your business, a business plan is an essential document to help you convince lenders and investors that you should be taken seriously. Whether you're new to business or have been operating for years, lenders and investors will only risk their time and money if they are convinced your business will be successful and profitable.
Your marketing plan is also a crucial part of helping you to attract funds.
A business plan provides a roadmap for success
A complete, thoughtful business plan is one of the most valuable tools in helping you reach your long-term goals. It gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the road.
A business plan gives you control of your business
Business planning can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but many successful businesses look at it as an opportunity.
The planning process helps you learn about the different forces and factors that may affect your success. If you're already in business, it helps you to step back and look at what's working and what you can improve on. Instead of worrying about the future, a business plan helps to give you a sense of control over your business and your livelihood.
Writing and researching for your business plan gives you the chance to:
- learn about your industry, market and competitors
- write down exactly where you are in the market and where you're headed
- identify challenges you may come across and work out strategies to avoid or overcome them
- understand your business finances, including managing cash-flow and determining your break-even point
- set specific goals, timeframes for achieving them and how you'll measure performance
- make sound business decisions that focus your activities, maximise your resources and give you a competitive edge.
It's important to have a business plan, but it's just as important to keep it up to date
A business plan is not a document you create once and store in your bottom drawer. It's a living guide that you should develop as your business grows and changes. Successful businesses review and update their business plan when circumstances change.
Set yourself a reminder to review your business plan regularly.
If you have a team in your business, holding brainstorming sessions is a good way to benefit from their knowledge - it ensures you're all on the same page and that you get their support.
You don't have to start with a blank sheet of paper
We have templates of business and financial plans and are happy to share these with you. There are also many templates and guides available on the internet.
Often getting started can seem the hardest and most daunting thing, but once you get going you may well find the process easier than you think.