Business Plan Template
Before you start trading or apply for funding, you'll need to write a document crucial to your business's success: your business plan.
A business plan is a formal document which outlines your business strategy and your business goals. It should include information about your products or services and the market that it will operate in. Continue reading for our business plan writing tips and to download our free business plan template.
Before delving into the finer details of your business, your business plan should first give a basic outline of your business. Within the first couple of pages, outline the type of business you want to start, what your business aims to do, and what your business goals are. Within this, demonstrate your understanding of the market your business will operate in, briefly explain why your business will succeed against competing businesses, and who your target market will be.
Keep to structure
Your business plan will be viewed by others so it’s important that it is logically structured. Others who may read it should be able to find information quickly therefore it should be set out in clearly marked sections. To check the structure of your document, do a quick test: ask a friend or family member to locate an important section of your business plan such as your cash flow forecast. If they can’t find it, you may have to revaluate your business plan layout.
Be clear about funding
There are many different funding options available for small business owners which is why your business plan needs to address the funding you’d like to acquire. Research funding first, keeping in mind how you will use it, and include it in your business plan. Also think about the future and how any funding may impact important decisions such as business growth and expansion. It may also be beneficial to include a timescale for when you’d use the funding.
Know your market
Every business owner needs to consider the market their business will operate in and also their desired customers. Demonstrate within your business plan your understanding of the market, think about your customers and your competition and how your business will succeed.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of writing a business plan to never look at it again. Create a working document that develops with you and your business. One way you can encourage this is to create short-term actions which, together, will create a long-term business strategy. Turn these actions into business goals you want to achieve and mark them off as you go.
Your business plan should be a high-quality and concise document which you will use not only for your personal records but also in any attempt to acquire funding. It’s therefore important that you dedicate time to proofreading your document and checking it thoroughly. Treat the document as your top priority.
Setting up a new business is a long process which shouldn’t be taken alone. Talk to business owners, ask them what challenges they faced when setting up their business and how they overcome them. Additionally, it can be beneficial to seek support from enterprise agencies such as PNE Enterprise where an experienced business mentor can help you to write and proofread your business plan.