Writing a useful business plan takes a lot of thought, consideration and information.  So where do you start?  And how is it used when you want to start a business?

You should check out the Business Model Canvas as well – it is a business tool used to visualise all the building blocks of starting a business, including customers, route to market, value proposition and finance.  The Lean Canvas, a variation adapted from Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas, is a 20min, 1-page business plan version that helps you pull apart your idea.

There are 10 sections that could be included in a business plan:

  1. Executive Summary: This outlines your proposal, and summarises what you say in the rest of your plan.  This is extremely important!
  2. Background:  The 5W’s: who, what, where, when and why you are doing this? And how you want to continue doing it.
  3. Markets and competitors: Who are you targeting, who are your competitors and why you have an advantage.
  4. Sales and marketing: Who are your customers and why do they need your product?  How will you sell to them?
  5. Management:  Who will be managing the business and in what capacity?   Will it be full time?
  6. Operations: Where your business is, what facilities you have, who your suppliers are or supply chain will be.
  7. Financial forecasts: Cash flow, profit and loss, and balance sheets.
  8. Financial requirements:  How much do you and will need to run the business?  Plus what if scenarios.
  9. Risks: What are your risks and how will you mitigate them?
  10. Appendices: Any relevant information cited previously.

Remember to keep it as short as possible, but be clear as well.

Write a Business Plan – GOV.UK

Write a Business Plan – Great Business

Write a Business Plan – Startupdonut

 

 

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