A business plan is essential for every company, whether a brand new one looking to set out its aims or an established one presenting its changing strategy for the future. This could be as short as a few paragraphs laying out what you plan to do and how, or a one hundred page document going into plenty of detail.
The more in-depth the better if you want to provide investors and clients with the confidence that your business is onto something. For new companies especially, a watertight business plan is essential: don’t miss out any small detail when constructing a plan for your company’s future.
Before sitting down and writing out the entire business plan it is advisable to start with a draft. The financial requirements of your business will be one of the most important factors, so sourcing all the relevant documents and information, then thinking about how you’re going to fund the start or continuation of the company and discussing with investors and other management first, is the best way to approach this.
Every business needs some capital to make a profit, so laying out how you will gain this is vital. There’s no point in claiming the business needs a minimum amount if it then has to borrow more in the future, as this demonstrates bad planning.
The team behind your business are an incredibly important aspect of every company which can sway investors. Therefore it must be included in a business plan. This doesn’t need to be a detailed, CV-esque account of each employee but a briefer biography stating how their skills will boost the business.
Showing what specific management and other key employees have done in the past and highlighting where they fit in the business builds confidence that the plan will succeed. Be sure to include yourself, not for an ego trip but as the business plan writer you’re clearly a key figure.
Past, Present and Future
For existing businesses it’s important to mention the company’s past, results and present state to set out its future. New start-ups need to explain why they intend to start, the gap in the market they’re filling and how they aim to achieve all of this.
All the details, from renting serviced office space to budgeting on a weekly basis, need to be accurate. Targets and deadlines for meeting them give the impression of a well worked out plan, while constant reviews of the business plan over time should help further refine it.