Writing A Business Plan

Preparing a solid business plan is the key to securing funding.

Creating a business plan

A robust, well-written business plan helps potential lenders or investors understand the vision and goals of the business.

It also brings focus to the management’s understanding of the business strategy and helps them understand the risks inherent in the strategy and the impacts of any deviations from their plan – particularly when it comes to funding.

An investment-ready business plan is a critical element in securing funding, both equity and debt based finance options. It sits at the front-end of the finance journey so you can not only secure finance but to help determine which source of finance is right for you.

Information will depend on the target audience, but it should incorporate:

  • an executive summary, highlighting the main points, designed to grab the attention of potential lenders or investors;
  • details of key personnel, their responsibilities, skills and experience;
  • market analysis of the company, its products or services and its competitors;
  • details of current and intended client base;
  • a marketing plan targeting new or existing customers;
  • historic financial information covering the last three years of trading (if available) – accounts (audited if available), and key accounting ratios;
  • cash-flow data, including information about standard payment terms and typical debt turn;
  • financial forecasts for the next three to five years, presented as the historical information, and highlighting the key underlying assumptions;
  • additional ‘flexed’ forecasts showing the impact of key downside scenarios, such as sales targets not being met or cost savings taking longer to come on stream;
  • cash-flow forecasts covering the next two to three years (or in the case of a start-up or turnaround, until the business moves into profit), clearly highlighting the amount of funding required; and
  • how creditors, capital expenditure, debtors and stock will be managed over the forecast period.

What is the next step in creating a business plan?

We are more than ready to help you get your business plan ‘investment ready’, get in touch using the form below.

Head back to our Finance Journey to continue.

As well as talking to us, there are some great books available on the subject:

How To Write A Business Plan (creating Success)

This book is designed to lead you through writing your own business plan, including the structure, business background, proposal, financial information and using business plans for bidding.

The Business Plan Workbook

The Business Plan Workbook is the essential guide to all aspects of business planning for entrepreneurs, senior executives and students alike. Based on methodology developed at Cranfield School of Management and using successful real-life business plans, The Business Plan Workbook brings together the process and procedures required to produce that persuasive plan.

How To Write A Great Business Plan

Shows how to avoid common mistakes. Includes sections: the people; the opportunity; the context; risk and reward; the deal and beyond; beware the albatross; business plans- for entrepreneurs only?; who are these people anyway?; the opportunity of a lifetime- or is it?; visualising risk and reward; and a glossary of business plan terms.

What solution do Next Level Business offer?

At Next Level Business we can offer a fully compliant pension setup for you and your business along with the ongoing management of the contributions and payments to the pension provider. We provide a one stop shop service on a low fixed price basis so you can focus on getting back to business.

We recommend this service alongside the operation of our digital payroll service. Get in touch to discuss a tailored proposal for your business.

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