Tips for Writing a Business Plan

Untitled designYou have made the decision to start your own business – congratulations!  Now you need to write a business plan…

Regardless of whether you require  investment or lending to start your business, it is essential to write a business plan.  A business plan is a document that describes your business, your business aims, the market your business is in and forecasts for growth including financial growth and staffing etc.  Below are some essential tips and things to consider when writing a business plan.

1. Write a mission statement for your business.  This might take some time to perfect, but it will be the fundamental objective on which you can write your business plan around.

2. Be clear about your business.  What will your business do? What products or service does it provide? Who will buy your product or use your service and how to they access it?

3. Research your market.  You need to be sure there is a market for your business, so take some time to research who will be using your business

4. Detail your USP.  If you have competitors in your field, what is going to make you stand out?

5. Include an Executive Summary.  This is a summary of your whole business plan and needs to pack some punch with potential investors/lenders

6. Do your Maths.  You need to ensure you have sound financial projections for your business, taking into account any strategies for loss

7. Take your time.  A business plan can take weeks or even months to perfect.  Read it and amend it as your plans take shape

8. Enlist a proof reader.  This does not necessarily have to be a professional, but your business plan need to be checked thoroughly for spelling and grammar mistakes.  There may be local business support services who will check your plan over for you

9. Make your business plan look professional. Ensure you have a cover page and contents page

10. Find a mentor.  Use social media to network with others who have started their own business, you can glean some excellent advice and support from those who have ‘been there, done that’

Useful business planning websites:

Business Link: www.businesslink.gov.uk
Bytestart: www.bytestart.co.uk
Direct.Gov: www.direct.gov.uk
Smarta Home Business:  www.smarta.com

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