Business Plan Writing For Startups and Small Business

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http://startupsuccess.co.uk. Writing a business plan for your start-up business can be a daunting prospect but often it’s not as difficult as you expect and is essential if you need to secure investment or a bank loan to get started.

A business plan has a number of other advantages too. It will focus your mind and clarify exactly what it is you want to do, as well as the steps you need to take to make it happen.

It will also help you to identify potential problems and will give you a series of benchmarks to measure your success against.

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Business Plan Writing For Startups and Small Business

  1. 1. Business Plan Writing For Startups & Small Businesses
  2. 2. Writing a business plan for your start-up business can be a daunting prospect but often it’s not as difficult as you expect and is essential if you need to secure investment or a bank loan to get started. A business plan has a number of other advantages too. It will focus your mind and clarify exactly what it is you want to do, as well as the steps you need to take to make it happen. It will also help you to identify potential problems and will give you a series of benchmarks to measure your success against.
  3. 3. According to Lord Alan Sugar “No bank’s going to give you money on the basis of your ideas. You need a business strategy, clear plan, balance sheet and informed backers. No one’s going to tell you how to do it, and if you don’t know how to do it, then stay with the job you’re doing. Because if you’ve not got a road map in your head, then forget it.”
  4. 4. Business Background: This should include the experience and qualifications you have that are relevant to the business you are setting up, where the initial idea for the business came from, and the progress you’ve made so far in setting up the business.
  5. 5. Product or Service: Explain in clear and simple language exactly what your product or service will be. Explain how it will be different from other products or services currently available and what your customers will gain from it. You can also suggest how the product range or service offering may increase or change in the future.
  6. 6. Industry Background: Give a brief overview of the industry in which you will be launching your business. Detail any current trends or developments in your industry that are likely to impact positively or negatively on your start-up business.
  7. 7. Customer Demographic: Provide a profile of your customer including factors such as geographic location, gender, age, and income level. Outline any trends within the market segment you are targeting. Finally list any customers that you already have, or that have expressed an interest in working with you.
  8. 8. Competitors: Make a list of your main competitors along with their strengths and weaknesses. Explain why you think their customers will be willing to give your new business a try instead, and consider how your competitors are likely to respond to losing business.
  9. 9. Sales and Marketing: Detail the planned process for selling your product or service, for example will you sell online through your own website or will you sell face- to-face from a business location? Include prices and customer service plans, and consider whether you will be able to make repeat sales. Describe how you are planning to market and advertise your product or service.
  10. 10. Personnel Requirements: Outline your management structure and the individuals involved, along with their qualifications and relevant experience. If you will require employees, provide a list of roles and the skills needed to fill them.
  11. 11. Other Requirements: Will your business need an office location or a workshop? Will you need special machinery to manufacture your product or provide your service? Make a list of the items your business will need right away, as well as those it may need in the future.
  12. 12. Financial Forecasts: As the part of your business plan that investors will turn to first, your financial forecasts need to be realistic. These are a way of translating what you have said about your business into numbers. You will need to include a sales forecast, a cash flow forecast, and a profit and loss forecast. These will provide measurable benchmarks to measure the success of your business against. Include any assumptions used in your forecasts.
  13. 13. Financial Requirements: If you’re looking for a loan or investment you will need to show how much finance you require and what it will be used for, as well as what form you would like to receive it in. In addition to factoring in the finance required by your financial forecasts, you will need to identify any areas of risk that will require contingency funds.
  14. 14. Although there’s a lot of ground to cover in your business plan, it is important to keep it short and to the point. If you want to include supporting information such as CVs or relevant market research you can add these as appendices. Ideally an initial scan of your business plan should make investors, banks, or even suppliers and customers, want to look into it in more detail.

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