When you start your own business there is so much to consider and take care of. With plenty of moving parts it’s easy to become overwhelmed and find the whole process difficult. This is where a business plan comes in, and how it will help you stay on track whilst setting a blueprint for the future of your business.
Why do I need a business plan?
When you’re in the preliminary stages of starting a business there are some important questions you need to ask yourself. What goals do I want to achieve? How am I going to achieve them? What problems will I run into along the way? This is where your business plan will come in handy because these are all things you’ve already considered, and you know exactly where to go from here.
A business plan is also a great way of sharing ideas and information about your business. By using this as a base you can then estimate how well you will do when you start up, and change or develop aspects of your business accordingly.
By planning ahead you will be able to spot areas of your business that could cause issues in the future. This will give you the opportunity to develop plans to deal with any problems as and when they happen, rather than having the pressure of working out how to fix it at the time.
Formatting a plan to suit you
When you think ‘business plan’ there tends to be the assumption that it will be a massive document full of facts and figures, in reality this doesn’t have to be the case. Every business will have a different plan, choose a plan that will suit your type of business the best. There are even some great templates available, so all the hard work has been done for you!
Easy to express your thoughts: You want to use a plan that will make it simple to show your ideas and thoughts. Some plans will require visual aids and images, such as a designer or a company with lots of statistics to show. Whereas a writer will probably just use a document.
One you will actually use: Many people will use a business plan to get set up then never even look at it again. Why not use it as a daily part of running your business so you always have a plan to fall back on.
Easily presentable: Your plan will be seen by plenty of people, so it will need to be something that is easily read and understood. Especially if it is someone you are trying to get on board such as potential investors.
What do I need to include in my business plan?
All business plans will be different and require a variety of components, but when it’s comes down to basics this is what you will need:
Business overview: What do you do and how will you be different?
Audience and market: Who will you supply and how will you reach them? Who are your competitors and how big is the market for what you are offering?
Goals: What do you want your business to achieve? Setting some objectives early will give you an idea if the business is succeeding.
Products: What are you selling and how much does it cost? How will this compare to your competition?
Finance: You will need to include details of prices, sales, costs and investments involved. If it’s investors for your start-up that you are looking for then make sure you include details about what your likely to return.
Who is involved: A business is only as good as the people involved in it. Make sure you provide information roles, experience and how they will benefit the business.
With a good business plan in place you are giving yourself a head start and making sure that you will be prepared for the future. A well thought out plan can maintain success and growth, as well as prevent any issues that may be down the line.
As accountants in Brighton Plummer Parsons have years of experience advising the local business community. If you are in need of some help with a business plan or simply need some advice please don’t hesitate to contact us.