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What is a business plan and why do I need one?


businesswoman In order to be successful in business, it is essential that you create a ''business plan". Creating a good business plan will increase your chances of having and maintaining long-term success. It will also ensure that you prepare for the set up of your business in greater detail and it will be your own personal guide to assist you in your thought process.

So, why do you need one?

Setting up a business is a lengthy and complex process and even after you have created a thorough business plan there will always be something that you haven't anticipated.

Creating a business plan is also essential for further funding, anyone who is going to invest in your business is going to want to see that you are serious about your plans and that you are certain you can succeed. The more information you have to back your business, the more chance you will have of successfully getting a loan or grant.

Setting up a business for the first time can be a scary process, and it could be a lot more daunting if you don't have a business plan. If you are setting up a business alone, without a partner, you may feel like there is little information available to help you. By creating a business plan you will be helping yourself by setting out the key elements of what you need to begin.

What goes into a business plan and what should you include to ensure you are preparing properly?

First you should write about the objectives; personal, business and consequences. Write a business description; consider the details. 
 

• What makes it different to other businesses in your area?

• What will make you stand out against your competitors? 

• Write about your marketing plans and how you want to promote the business through advertising, are you going to publicise the business locally in a newspaper or hold an event to launch the business? 

• How much will the advertising cost? 

• Write about operating procedures; the hours of business, where you are going to be based, who you will be working with.

Consider your options for small business Insurance - there are lots of different types of insurance. Research which insurances are essential for your business and which insurances you don't really need. Get quotations from websites and make sure you are getting the best deal.

Planning your finances carefully is also essential to the success of your business. There are plenty of spreadsheets available online to help manage your finances for your business, research these and write out your profit and loss projections as any lender or investor will want to see these figures - so make sure they are accurate.

Creating a business plan and making it as thorough as possible will help the business seem more realistic in terms of what can be achieved.

The more detail you include, the more certain you will feel that you are fully prepared. The plan can also help others to visualise your ideas and take your business ideas seriously, which could result in successful funding for your business.

A good, coherent business plan is like a bible that you will want to add to constantly as you learn more about setting up a business and without it, your business could be heading for disaster.

Planning for a business is an essential part of the set-up process if you want to succeed, and failing to plan, is inevitably planning to fail.
 

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