• Starting a business
    • Business planning

Writing a business plan

  • Article

Your business plan outlines what your business does and what you are trying to achieve. It explains what the market opportunity is, what makes your business special and how you will make it a success.

Writing a business plan helps you:

  • check that your idea makes sense;
  • plan your sales, marketing and business operations;
  • identify problems and how to overcome them;
  • set out your objectives and the financial return you expect;
  • work out what financing you need;
  • convince other people to back your business.

Driving your business forward

Identify what makes you better than the competition

  • Think also about what the key ingredients of your future success will be and how you will strengthen your position in the market.

Establish your overall business aims

  • Where do you realistically intend to be in three years' time?

Decide on half a dozen key objectives that will make a significant difference

Many businesses think in terms of:

  • income - more sales, better margins;
  • customers - new customers, higher levels of customer satisfaction;
  • products - improving existing products, launching new ones;
  • human resources - recruiting new employees, developing new skills.

Set clear targets

  • You should know exactly what you want to achieve, by when.

Work out how you will reach these targets

  • Look at each aspect of your business in turn and create a step-by-step action plan for it.

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