5 Key Things Most People Miss In Their Business Plan
Writing your first Business Plan? Wondering where to start?
Find out what you need to make your business plan work for you. Here’s a quick and simple guide to the must-have content for Business Plans.
Nathan Lomax shares some good advice on how to write your first business plan.
It’s no surprise that many grown adults shudder at the question “How does your Business Plan look?”.
You might be thinking that it’s not really that important, and let’s face it, you’ve managed without one for this long? Perhaps you’ve simply never got around to writing your business plan, even though you know you should. Perhaps you’re just not sure where to start?
However, did you know that having a business plan could just be that difference between success and failure?
Why creating a Business Plan is so important?
- Business plans allow you to set goals and objectives as well as encouraging you to take a real good look at your business idea and its credentials.
- They can show you exactly what needs to be done in order to meet targets and complete those all important goals.
- They can help attract external investment from Banks and other lending bodies.
- They can be used to monitor progress and should be constantly updated as you progress through your business journey.
Why so many business owners fail to do this?
- It is often extremely difficult to accurately predict your costings.
- If the business owner carries it out themselves the plan is often bias and too optimistic.
- They forget to plan for external influences known to some of us at PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors)
- Business owners fail to conduct enough effective market research.
So what do I include in my business plan?
The business plan needs to include a whole host of different factors. From including financial forecasts and predictions through to basic details about your business. Below I have provided the “Top 5 topics to include in your business plan”.
Nathan’s Top 5 Key Topics for your Business Plan:
SWOT Analysis: Carrying out a SWOT (Strength’s Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is such an important tool to all business owners and yet so many neglect this very simple principle. By identifying the companies strengths you can see how you can benefit from opportunity whilst overcoming weaknesses and negotiating around the threats.
Business Details: You would have thought so simple and yet so often forgotten. Remember to include the businesses trading name and location. You should also include a description of the product and/or service you offer and your legal status (Sole Trader, Partnership, Public limited company or Private limited company).
Finance Requirements: Seeing as many of you will be writing this in order to apply for funding don’t forget to talk about it. You need to know how much funding you require. REMEMBER to also set out your plan of repayment too as if you don’t you can forget about getting any money from the bank.
Your Business Objectives: When writing your plan make sure you highlight your business objectives and what you wish to achieve. Top Tip: People buy the person not the product/brand so don’t just focus on the business objectives but also your own personal objectives.
Marketing Plan: I know you thought this was the only plan to think about. Don’t worry this one is just as straightforward. Make sure to include all findings of your Market Research in this plan. I also recommend you include a description and/or persona of your stereotypical client. This means their age, income bracket, gender and sometimes even their hobbies. Once you have done that take a good look at your competitors for ideas and try to identify those weaknesses that your idea is going to exploit.
Finally I would also suggest including your USP (Unique selling point or proposition). I have to be very careful when I say this as the typical response is “We are customer friendly” or “We are value led” . That’s great but which company advertises themselves as NOT customer friendly! This is not a USP…
If you would like help creating your business plan or are looking for a template to get started then I strongly recommend you check out “The Princes Trust” and their website.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!