What Is A Business Plan?

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In its simplest form, a Business Plan is a document that records the strategic business direction of an organisation.

 

The business plan is the document which establishes the organisation’s short, medium and longer-term objectives, including financial forecasts for 1-3 years. These objectives and forecasts can change as the organisation develops.

The business plan will highlight:

  • Strategic aims and objectives
  • Skills and experience
  • The projected market for the organisation’s product or service
  • How the organisation intends to reach its customers (the marketing)
  • Legal status including company structure
  • Level of investment required
  • Financial forecasts

All objectives and targets in the plan should be SMART ie.

  • Specific,
  • Measurable,
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

There is no fixed structure that a Business Plan should follow but a good Business Plan will include the following:-

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Background details of the organisation
  3. Strategy
  4. Marketing
  5. Operation and delivery
  6. Measuring what matters
  7. Management and personnel
  8. Funding and Finance
  9. Appendices

The Business Plan is a living document and is a useful reference for showing the development of the organisation.  It is a good idea to apply document version control to your Business Plan as this can help to track progress.

Properly managed, a good Business Plan will be a great asset when attracting financial support from funding bodies, banks and investors.