What information should I include in my business plan?

posted by 5 years ago in Tips

When starting a business, it is crucially important to know where and how to begin the journey, and in order for you to get going you must produce a business plan which will help get things off the ground. A business plan will also help assist your SME into growth as well as starting up.

So, you’re looking at a blank sheet knowing you have to come up with at least a simple business plan, but where do you start? These steps will get you going…

Know your market

For your business to sell, you must know who you are targeting and who is already playing in that field. As with most sectors you won’t be the first to launch your product but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the best within it. Stand out from your competitors, know who they are and what they do and work as hard as you can to differ yourself from them.

Find a business plan sample

You can find basic free business plan templates on the internet. Obviously, it’s not one size fits all, however these will serve as a useful guide to what you should be including in your business plan.

Forecast a believable first year of trading

For a business to have motivation when it first starts, a forecast is crucial because not only does it give you all a clear direction of where you need to drive to it also encourages those involved to succeed and perhaps inspire to go further.

To create a forecast, you must take three things into consideration;

  • Costs – what is your company going to spend for the first year?
  • Sales – what are you predicting the business to sell in its first year?
  • Cash-flow – will the business have enough cash-flow to try new things and stay afloat?

Assign all positions

Going into business doesn’t have to be lonely, and as long as you have a team there supporting you then you should never feel alone. Becoming an entrepreneur won’t happen over night unfortunately, but with a productive and trusting team patting your back every step of the way you will feel like you have accomplished it already. Every role needs a head, and you are not expected to fulfil every role by yourself. Don’t be a lone wolf, be the leader of the pack.

Be realistic!

When going into business, you must try and be conservative, you want your figures and goals/targets to be impressive but they also need to be realistic, if not you can run the risk of disappointing not only yourself but perhaps your investors or peers? We understand that starting a business comes with a lot of pressure, but that doesn’t mean your figures need extra 0’s added to them or your plans to be the business equivalent of skydiving!

And finally, good luck!