“Fail to prepare and prepare to fail”. It will not surprise you to know that this wholeheartedly applies in a corporate environment, and yet we have consistently seen businesses over the years without any kind of written business plan… and as a result their strategy can become muddled and their direction of travel easily lost.
A business plan is the blueprint
Whilst business plans may be drawn up for different purposes, they share common features. Business plans serve a dual purpose: to galvanise the business strategy and communicate this strategy to other stakeholders.
Business plans serve a dual purpose: to galvanise the business strategy and communicate this strategy to other stakeholders
Roll up your sleeves
If we have one piece of advice for people who need a business plan – don’t outsource it! Yes, consult people for help and input and guidance, but make sure you do the drafting – you will be better off for it.
Our typical engagement for a client in need of a business plan will be helping the client make decisions about what goes into the plan; what is the target market, marketing strategy, pricing strategy, financial forecast etc. However, we believe the entrepreneur and, by association, the business itself, gets most benefit from committing the plan to paper themselves.
The process of carefully considering how the business will operate from all angles serves to focus the mind and will result in a document that far more accurately reflects the vision than any third party could produce.
Writing with a purpose
Business plans can serve multiple purposes and the purpose affects the content and emphasis of the plan.
A business plan for the Board might cover long term ambitions and exit strategy, whereas a debt funder is more interested in the security of cash flows and interest cover ratios. It is important to know who you are writing for and why before you begin putting pen to paper.
How can we help?
As well as the obvious solution of writing the plan alongside you we are also able to help with areas of challenge such as:
- Financial modelling.
- Assessing the competitive landscape.
- Making introductions to funding institutions.
Writing a business plan can throw up questions that you may be unable to answer; we can help you find those solutions.