A good business plan can be a key tool for starting and running a business. The business plan turns your business strategy into a roadmap for the business, setting out what your business is and how you plan to run it.
If you need to raise financing for your business, you are likely to find that lenders or investors want to see a business plan. But even if you are funding the business yourself, you should have a plan.
When you write a business plan it forces you to think more clearly about your business idea and what your objectives are. It helps you set goals and plan how you will achieve them. And it helps you check that it all makes financial sense.
Planning isn't always easy, particularly when you face uncertainty. But even if you don't know as much as you would like, a plan is a helpful starting point. You can update and improve your plan as your circumstances change and your business grows.
How to write a business plan
If you aren't sure how to write a business plan, you may want to talk to other start-ups about how they put together a business plan. You can also look at business plan examples to see what other start-up businesses have done.
Your plan should demonstrate that you understand the market and have thought about what you are going to offer, whether you need staff or premises, and so on. The plan must include financial forecasts showing the costs and cash flow you expect and any funding you need to raise.
Working through a business plan checklist will help make sure you are taking the right approach and have covered everything you need to.