Business Plans are prepared for any number of reasons, but they generally revolve around a perceived need for finance in one form or another. Short term, you may be looking for additional working capital, or you may be investigating a specific growth project. Longer term, you may be thinking of selling your business to an outside investor.
Whatever the reason, you'll need to be able to demonstrate that you have a sustainable business, one which has appropriate commercial management and a good track record.
A good business plan sets out the strategy of the business, linking its history to its plans for the future. It explains what it’s doing now, where it wants to get to, and how it’s going to get there. And it needs to address the key questions that potential funders will ask, be they banks, investors or grant providers.
So our business planning process starts by discussing exactly what you need a business plan for, and the potential audience. The structure, level of detail, even the basic content, will be different depending on what message you want to get across, and to whom.
This is followed by a structured process that will ensure that all the appropriate information is incorporated into the business plan. This would normally include background information, details about the market in which you operate, your staffing and management structure, your marketing and operational plans, and your financial forecasts.
If this is your first experience of business planning, a Business Strategy Workshop may help clarify your thoughts.
Sometimes, particularly for smaller businesses wanting to prepare regular overviews for internal purposes, a shorter final product is more appropriate. Together, we can produce a "One-Page Business Plan", which aims to condense your thinking into just one page of A4 paper, and covers the following areas:
- Vision Statement – the dream
- Mission Statement – why the business exists
- Goals – definitions of success
- Strategies – how to grow and manage the business
- Plans – specific actions
Clearly there is some overlap between each of the headings, and the work we do together will highlight these. It’s a shorter process than a full-scale business plan, but the need to set out only the key points usually leads to debates as to the relative importance and interdependence of the various aspects of the business.
Ideally this is an exercise that should be revisited and fine-tuned on a regular basis. Comparing this year’s end-product with one prepared a few years ago can be most enlightening!
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with your Business Planning, please CONTACT US to arrange a free, no obligation meeting.