Having a well thought-out business plan is essential to the success of your business. Your plan covers the reason why you’re in business (your objectives), your strategies for getting ahead of your competition, and the key sales and marketing plan you have in place to get there.
Though business plans are created to be read by individuals outside your company, preparing a business plan is a great way to simplify your thinking and dig deep on your objectives. These objectives can be turned into targets to work towards in the future, allowing you to accurately monitor how your company’s performing over time.
Anybody who reads your plan should be able to understand the essential elements of your business immediately. Your business plan is the first document you’ll be asked for when you’re looking to secure a loan (or investment), therefore using simple phrasings (and avoiding industry-specific jargon) is essential.
What to Include in Your Business Plan
The Prince’s Trust provide a free business plan template on their website that highlights how your plan should be formatted. To give you something of a head-start, here’s a brief description of everything your plan should include:
Business Plan Overview
This is the one section that’ll be read by almost everybody who sees your plan, so avoiding jargon is paramount. Here you should write a few sentences on your future plans for your business going forward.
Description of Your Business
Describe where your business is currently at, your objective going forward, and what you’re going to do to make them a reality. Provide as many key details as possible.
Description of Your Product or Service
Here you should describe what your product or service does, and explain to the reader its Unique Selling Point (USP); what makes it different from the competition.
Target Market and Marketing Plan
Define your current target market(s) alongside a brief overview of your competition and your current standing in the market. Provide details such as the market share you currently have ahold of, and your plan to achieve more of it.
Uncover the unique expertise of your personnel; explain why they’re an asset to you business.
Fairly clear-cut; write about your core production methods and where your premises (or offices) are located.
Your financial forecasts are perhaps the most important part of your business plan from an investor’s point of view. Here you place everything you’ve previously written about into numbers; providing a cash flow forecast and profit and loss predictions for the coming year. More information can be included in appendixes. Our accountants and advisors can help you to present this is in the best way by providing management consultancy services to support and build your case.
Your Financial Requirements
Here you’ll state how much financing you’re looking for (if you’re presenting your business plan to an investor), and in what form. You’ll improve your chances of investment by also noting how, exactly, each penny will be used, how you’ll be making repayments, and whether or not you can offer any security.
Experienced SME Accountants
To speak with a professional to discuss how you should approach securing financing for your small to medium-sized business (SME), and how your business plan can be instrumental for this cause, contact us today on 020 7129 1199 or get in touch with us via our contact page to arrange a complimentary, no obligation meeting.