How to write a business plan
It's well worth investing time and effort in a good business plan.
We've helped our clients write a fair few business plans over the years, and without exception it is true to say that the process of researching competitors, customers and the market has generated insights and conclusions that have shaped the way the business has grown. And that's true even if the company has been established several years.
Here's what we normally like to include in a business plan:
Executive Summary: Brief description of product or services; Opportunity to be exploited; Details of management team and ownership structure; Financial projections; Funding requirements (if any)
Explanation of Business Concept: Detailed description of products or services; Explanation of competitive differentiation; Overview of how management team's skills and experience are relevant to concept
Competitor research: Overview of key corporate competitors; Overview of niche / subsegment competitors; Overview of competitive products / services
Customer research: Customer segmentation by profile, requirements and value; Explanation of buying preferences / requirements by customer segment
Market growth: By subsegment over time; Discussion on drivers of growth
Sales and Marketing Plan: Method of identifying and targetting potential customers; Positioning / pitch to potential customers
Operational plan: Key roles and responsibilities; Infrastructure requirements; Timeline for implementation
Financial Projections: Profit and Loss: upside, base case, downside case; Cash flow; Balance sheet; Investment requirements