Published on July 9th, 2014 | by Sally Wenham

Preparing A Business Plan

For anyone contemplating starting a new business venture, one of the first essential things to undertake is a business plan giving an overview of the financial and operational aspects of the business. It is an essential planning tool that enables a sense of direction to be established for both the short and long term.

A business plan is also the ideal means of proving that the idea is actually feasible in the first place. Covering all the essential aspects of running a business, the document will address the perceived risks and opportunities, will outline the people involved, the product or service, as well as marketing and legal aspects plus financial considerations.

Writing a business plan will need to encompass the name and whether the concern will be operated as a sole trader, limited company or partnership as well as the resourcing requirements of the enterprise.

It is then important to clearly set out the product or service offering and how it will be tailored to meet the perceived demand in the marketplace.  To be able to identify the target market for a business it is essential to undertake market research first to establish the current conditions. The considerations to clarify will include the profile and buying habits which prevail as well as whom the main competitors are and how market share can be achieved at the expense of rivals.

Also essential to any business plan is details of the product or service offering itself and the infrastructure required in order to deliver the proposition. In addition legal aspects will need to clarify ownership of licenses, patents and trademarks required to turn these plans into reality.

It is also vital to have a calculator to hand for some number crunching as financial issues will also make up a significant part of the business plan detailing a breakdown of overhead considerations and cash flow forecasts. Also set out in an accounts pad will need to be a timescale of when the business is expected to become profitable bearing in mind that it is likely that starting a new business will involve seeking financial assistance in the form of a bank loan or an investor.

Good luck, it’s time to mean business!

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