External Finance

Write a business plan

A business plan is a written account of how you see your business developing. It allows you to:

  • measure progress
  • identify things not going to plan
  • show outsiders your business aims and prospects
  • estimate future profits based on sales forecasts

Your business plan will show the overall shape of your business and the effect a decision in one area will have on another. It identifies the opportunities, and also the threats to your business.

How to write a business plan

Your business plan should cover all the relevant aspects of your business, including:

  • your business idea
  • the market
  • your people
  • your marketing
  • advertising strategy
  • premises and equipment
  • setting up costs and overheads
  • a break even analysis.

Lack of hard information or experience may require you to make realistic assessments rather than firm conclusions - you can always adjust your plan later as results come in.

Action Checklist

  • Use our Business Plan Software to help prepare your plan.
  • Review your plan regularly. Some businesses produce monthly or quarterly plans, or write a plan to deal with seasonal variations or particularly demanding times of the year.
  • Consider producing one version for use with outsiders to ensure your company is seen in the best possible light and another inspirational version for internal use.
  • Contact the Business Relationship Manager at your nearest branch, or see the useful contacts section for information on Enterprise Agencies, accountants and corporate finance specialists who can provide further help and advice.