Developing a Business Plan

 

A Business Plan is like a road map. If you have a clear idea of where you want to end up you have a much better chance of reaching your destination. The clearer your ideas are the more others, such as advisors, banks etc. are likely to support your business. A good business plan will clearly describe what the business intends to achieve and how. It will demonstrate evidence that there is sufficient potential customer demand for the product or service at the proposed price points, and contain accurate costings and financial forecasts.

See: www.gov.uk/starting-up-a-business/develop-and-plan.

Your business plan can also help to provide your business with its overall identity as well as reminding you of the direction the business is heading. So make use of it as the business develops and refer to it to keep you on track – if your business starts to fail you might find that you have lost touch with original ideas and targets. Maybe the business plan requires some rethink but do not change without getting advice – remember your financing was based on the soundness of a plan so check with funders before changing tack.

Do make sure that you write a realistic and honest business plan. It takes time to get any business off the ground and to develop a customer base. Remember that shoppers and potential customers will often look and not necessarily buy on their first or second visit. People often need time to shop around for the best deal as well as getting the funds together before making a purchase.

Your first three to six months or so might see lots of outgoing costs and nothing coming in from sales so you should not assume that you will have sales from day one. Build in a buffer in your financial planning from the start of trading – this will show banks and advisors that you have thought carefully about the difficulties of starting out in business.

AND FINALLY:

Do something you enjoy and believe in – this is much more likely to be successful!

- Do not give up easily or without a fight – be positive; remain determined to make a success of your idea

- The first year will be hard and might not turn any profit and may even make a loss. But, if your product or service is good enough and you believe in it, then keep going even when the going gets tough

- Determination is often the key to a successful business.

**And never forget how important your customers are to you!**

 Business Structures