How to Write a Business Plan

How to write a business plan

Every business needs to have a business plan. It will provide both a direction to guide the company and also for any outside investment.

It is essential to learn how to write a business plan and what to include in it. The plan needs to be clear, concise and easy to read. Do not include any technical jargon.

If possible, get someone non-technical to read through it before you give it to the relevant investors. If you are writing the plan for a specific target, it is worth asking for any particular information they want, including. If it is for a bank check on their website as they sometimes provide templates.

Why Write a Business Plan?

There are many reasons why you may want to write a business plan, including:

  • For investment into the business, by either another business, individual or bank.
  • It sets out how you want to run your business, what your goals are and how you want to achieve them.
  • You may find gaps in your plan if so it is an excellent chance to fix them.
  • It can help you to prioritise your business activities, find out what is important and focus on them.
  • If you are looking to employ a new management member, it is an excellent tool to use.

How to Write a Business Plan  – Template

Make sure that the plan focuses on the points needed, and there are no mistakes in it.

The first thing to look at is what to include in your business plan:

An executive summary

An executive summary needs to explain the key points to your business. It is a summary of your business, it
is, therefore, best to write it last, when all the other sections are complete.


You will need to include the main points from each section. After reading the executive summary the reader
should know what your business is about and want to know more.

How to Write a Business Plan – The business

Information about when the business started or when you plan to start. Any history for the company and it’s legal
structure. Information about the management of the company and the skills that are available.
Describe what you have achieved both for this business and previously.

Products or Service

Include a brief description of what your product or service is and why it is unique. If there as any competition for your product
or service give as much detail as possible. Describe how you are planning to develop your product or service. Are there any patents
that you either have or applied for and still waiting for approval.

Marketing

Include as much detail as possible about the market size, who you are planning to target and how you plan to focus on them.
Include how you are going to sell whether it is by adverts, internet, word of mouth or direct sales. Who will make the sales? Include any details of market research that has been completed.

Operational Details

Give details about where your business will be based. Whether you own or rent the premises, include any equipment that is needed. Explain that if your business expands how you plan to deal with the expansion. Do you have all the suppliers you need, and are they capable of meeting your needs?

Your business plan may need to include details of management, especially if you are looking for investment. If you feel it is necessary to attach a CV for the relevant staff.

How to Write a Business Plan – Financial Forecasts

Include a summary of your financial forecasts. You will need to produce forecasts over at least three years, detail any assumptions that you have made
and include as many details as possible.

You should include the following forecasts:

  • Sales Forecast
  • Cashflow statement
  • Profit and Loss Forecast
  • Balance sheet forecast
  • Risk analysis

If you are having problems with your financial forecasts, it is worth contacting an accountant or a professional.

Further information on how to write a business plan is available on Startup Donut.

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