The first step in planning your business venture, clarifying your ideas, aims and objectives is to write a business plan.
Your plan is an essential document to ensure your ideas are feasible and is critical for bank New suppliers and larger customers may require this document and it's also useful to track progress against your original targets.
We have three templates you can use to do your business plan kindly offered by SCORE and Bank of Scotland. There are two for preparing the narrative of your plan (One for a startup business and the other for an existing business) and a cash flow template.
These free business plan templates can help you quickly write a business plan. You can download the templates to your computer as they are Adobe PDF files. You can simply click each of the template links below to open now, or right click your mouse to save for later use.
A basic business plan outlines the answers to questions about your intentions such as:
Here's the basic structure in summary from the downloads above:
It's best to write this last after you've prepared the rest of your plan because this is simply a summary of the whole plan. It should ideally be one page, but two pages are equally acceptable.
This area covers your mission statement, company goals and objectives, business philosophy, the industry you're in and legal ownership and key employees.
Describe your key products and services, pricing and margins.
Detail your marketing activities including market research, market trends and size, external market economics, barriers to entry. As your market is made up of customers describe their characteristics.
You also need detailed information about your competitors and why you'll be able to take market share from them. And finally you need information about your promotional activities to reach out and entice your potential customers to purchase your products and services.
This part describes how you're going to produce your products and any distribution issues to get products to your customers and your key suppliers.
People are behind all successful businesses, so it's important to include the key people and advisors.
If you're starting a new business then you should detail the costs you'll incur while starting up before the day to day operations commence. For most businesses, this is the amount they'll need initial funding for to begin trading.
Your financial plans should contain enough detail (i.e., monthly) for the first year then quarterly or yearly for the following two years. You should include a profit and loss account, a cash flow forecast and Balance Sheet and even a break-even analysis.