If you’re a fan of television shows like The Apprentice or Dragon’s Den, chances are that you might be a bit of an entrepreneur yourself. Have you had a great idea or strong desire to embark on your own business venture? Maybe you’re already on that path, and you’re developing your own business idea into something?
However far down the line you are, you will have no doubt discovered the need for planning. Planning can be the hardest part of a business because you really need to sit down and put some work into it. Planning forces you to ask some fundamental questions about your methods and strategies, to really put your operation under the microscope.
Businesses that are run without sufficient planning are only able to operate on a day-to-day basis. With no long-term vision, businesses without plans can only function in a reactive way, entirely at the whim of external forces. A well constructed business plan provides a clear mission statement and a solid foundation for an enterprise to be built from.
A plan doesn’t have to start big. To get the ball rolling, simply try writing a paragraph on a slip of paper, describing the intent of your enterprise. This forms the initial seed of the plan, and it’s the best place to begin. To develop this further, you’ll need to state the strategy of your business. You begin with your resources or your ability; the plan should show how you use those things to achieve a profit. Then, looking approximately three to five years down the line, you should state what changes there have been to those resources or skills that allow you to create greater profitability and an increase in assets, building from where you started out.
First off, you’ll need to figure out who the key people are going to be in your organisation. Write them into your plan, clearly stating what it is that they bring to the operation. Identify the strengths of those involved early on and define how best you will make use of those abilities.
Create a profit and loss forecast, detailing all of your outgoings and expenses, as well as what you’re expecting in terms of payments coming in. Make sure you include everything into your costs, from bills and wages to stationery and printing costs, postage and fuel, and so on. Leave no stone unturned, because these are all costs you will have to account for later.
You will also have to consider how you are going to promote your enterprise and how you will get your message across. It’s likely that you’ll need advertising of some description, in which case cost out all of the options, as well as what the requirements are. This may involve external agencies such as printers, designers or marketing teams hired by you to get the job done. These will be significant costs that have to be worked into your plan at the earliest stage.
It’s important for you to understand all of the aspects involved in getting your business up and running, which may be a daunting task if you’ve only got yourself to answer to. This is where hiring the help of an outside business services agency might be useful. To assist you in putting together a really solid business plan, use a UK business directory like Directory Store to search for business services in your area, including accountants, who can help you with your business plan.
Speaking your ideas through with a trained professional will help streamline your objectives and refine your business idea, making your enterprise as efficient and as profitable as possible. Honing your plan in this way not only tests the viability of your idea, it makes for a compelling case if you’re hoping to raise finance on your proposal.