Writing a Business Plan
Creating a business plan is one of the most important things you will do when starting up. It will help determine whether you gain funding from potential investors, and it will help you to clarify your business objectives and direction. As your Kingston upon Thames based accountants we can assist with the process, ensuring that you have realistic financial projections and maximising your chances of raising any funds you need.
When writing a business plan, you should take the time to consider what information you will need to accumulate, as well as any early decisions which need to be made. You should also plan how you will market the business.
Good business plans include:
- A business description and mission statement - every business needs a clear declaration of why it exists, and a basic description of how it intends to meet its primary objective.
- An analysis of your marketplace and the niche your business fills
- Management and people profiles - potential investors need to be convinced that competent people are steering the business
- Sales and marketing objectives - your strategy for bringing your products or services to market
- Competitor intelligence - name your largest competitors and explain why you can serve your market better than these rivals
- An executive summary - briefly summarising the main points of the business plan
The plan must also include financial projections. Prospective investors and lenders need a good idea of the financial aspects and potential of your business. As your accountants we can help with projections of basic data such as:
- a profit and loss account
- a projected balance sheet
- an analysis of cashflow
You and your management team will also need to show that your figures account for the key 'drivers' that will govern your success or failure.
There is often a temptation to be over-optimistic as regards expected sales, with many entrepreneurs drastically overestimating the size of the marketplace. However, when compiling your business plan it is important to carry out thorough research. Although many business plans include a SWOT analysis, large numbers focus on the strengths and opportunities and overlook the threats and weaknesses.
We have helped numerous start ups to prepare successful, realistic business plans. For more information and advice, contact us at our Kingston upon Thames office.