Early Stage Planning

Business Plans

Having a well-thought-out business plan will make life much easier in the long run. Careful planning means you’re less likely to forget things; it allows you to set targets to aim for and helps you measure to your success. The purpose of a plan is that it allows anyone to assess your ideas on paper. It is primarily for your use because you need to understand how the business works and be able to explain it to others, particularly if you need their support somewhere along the way (e.g. family, friends, bank, other lenders, investors, suppliers and key customers). 

The areas usually covered in a typical business plan include:

  • Description of the business (general explanation and overview of how the business could function, briefly touching upon each of the aspects mentioned below).
  • Evidence of the market (size and location of market, buying patterns, competition).
  • Sales and marketing (e.g. who your customers are, how you intend to promote and sell to them, what your competitors are doing and how you compare).
  • The product or service (its advantages and disadvantages) 
  • Management of the business (the key people, and their range of skills).
  • The operation itself (e.g. location, facilities, employees, suppliers). 
  • Financial forecasts.
  • Financial requirements. 
  • Assessment of the risks involved.

Any plan should be tailored to meet the requirements of the person or organisation you want to see it. Some organisations offering grants may have a particular format they wish you to follow and will provide details. LaiPeters & Co Corporate Finance department can offer assistance in writing business plans, also sometimes referred to by the term information memoranda.