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.
There is no fixed structure that a Business Plan should follow but a good Business Plan will include the following:-
- Executive Summary
- Background details of the organisation
- Operation and delivery
- Measuring what matters
- Management and personnel
- Funding and Finance
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.