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Writing a business plan



Author: Guy Rigby

The Challenge

A well-drafted business plan is crucial when raising finance or trying to attract investment, but it is also an essential tool for the successful management of a business. Including the right information will help you to develop your business and win new clients.


The Solutions

Executive summary

Write a short Executive Summary that encapsulates the whole plan- preferably just one page.

About the business

  • Describe the business, including its history, structure, strategy and mission statement
  • Highlight the skills and experience of key people like partners, directors and other key staff in this section
  • Outline the product or service you provide and any innovations and achievements
  • Describe your current and anticipated personnel requirements including any training and promotion policies
  • Include a SWOT analysis, but don't avoid weaknesses or threats: these can only be dealt with after being identified
  • Report on your business premises and outline any planned expenditure

About the market

  • Analyse turnover by market segment, indicating the profitability of each area
  • You can also including information about your competitors in this section, for example their strengths, weaknesses and market share
  • Detail any major clients and business relationships to show your strengths and to allay any concerns over business concentration
  • Outline your marketing activities to demonstrate how you identify and develop new business

Financial information

This is normally provided as an appendix.

The following should be covered:

  • Five year summary of profit and loss account
  • Key ratios to demonstrate your firm's strength
  • Profit and loss projections
  • Cash flow projections
  • Forecast balance sheet
  • Detailed explanation of any assumptions
  • Sensitivity analysis

For help with your business plan and for advice on how you can attract investment and develop your business, contact Guy Rigby on 020 7131 8213 or email Guy Rigby