Prepare a business plan
What a business plan should include
Your business plan should provide details of how you are going to develop your business, when you are going to do it, who's going to play a part and how you will manage the finances.
Clarity on these issues is particularly important if you're looking for finance or investment. The process of building your plan will also focus your mind on how your new business will need to operate to give it the best chance of success.
Your plan should include:
- An executive summary - this is an overview of the business you want to start. It's vital. Many lenders and investors make judgments about your business based on this section of the plan alone. See the page in this guide on the executive summary.
- A short description of the business opportunity - who you are, what you plan to sell or offer, why and to whom. See the page in this guide on your business, its products and services.
- Your marketing and sales strategy - why you think people will buy what you want to sell and how you plan to sell to them. See the pages in this guide on your markets and competitors and marketing and sales.
- Your management team and personnel - your credentials and the people you plan to recruit to work with you. See the page in this guide on your team's skills.
- Your operations - your premises, production facilities, your management information systems and IT. See the page in this guide on your operations.
- Financial forecasts - this section translates everything you have said in the previous sections into numbers. See the page in this guide on financial forecasts.
Download our business plan template (DOC, 458K).
Download our business plan template in ODT format (ODT, 33K).
See our videos and e-learning resources to create your business plan.
Subjects covered in this guide
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