How to write a business plan

When it comes to starting a new business one of the first things you will want to do is write your business plan. There's lots of advice online about what to put in a business plan, how it should be laid out and what your financial projections will be. This is great if you are writing your business plan in order to approach a bank and ask for a business loan. 

I'm not teaching you how to write a business plan for somebody else. You can find enough templates and instructions on how to build a good business plan which you can take to your investors. 

I'm teaching you how to write a business plan for yourself

This is important because how you see your business, where you see it going and having a journey plotted out is essential to your idea being a success when you put it into action. 

Also a business plan is not something that you write because you feel you have to, because you think it is part of the process of starting a business and is then filed away and never looked at again. A business plan is something you refer back to on a regular basis and check that you are achieving your goals. 

A good business plan is something that evolves as your company grows, you grow and your ideas grow. 

The plan itself should just be a visual that you use to keep yourself in check. 

You can do this in whatever way suits you be that an A4 sheet that you keep at the front of your current notebook. A printout that you update or my personal favourite - a huge big sheet of paper, chalkboard or whiteboard that sits in front of me on a daily basis so large that I can't miss it. 

At the top of the sheet, write down your goal and how you will achieve it. 

I'm going to use a craft business as an example. 

Say this business sells embroidery kits. They cost £4 to make and sell at £8 each. The immediate goal for this business might be to cover initial costs which they want to do within the next 3 months. If three months' of costs came to £400 then they would need to sell 100 units in 3 months, which is 34 units a month. 

The business plan might look something like this: 

 

business-plan.JPG

Remember this is just an example and you might find you work better with something different. 

Each of the large tasks on the plan can then be broken down into smaller ones. 

TIP: 

At the start of each year write down what you want to achieve in your business that year and then write the first step you need to do to work towards it. Go back and have a look at your progress each month. 

And this plan works just as well for service-based businesses as it does product-based ones.