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Top Tips & Guide to writing Business Plans.

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If you are new to business planning then this page is for you. You will find tips and ideas for creating and developing businesses successfully, with an easy to follow guide for effective business planning.  Our services.

Business plans

Business Planning ‘FAQ’s

Grants and other business support

Developing and expanding your business

Marketing your business

  • Purpose of the plan.
  • using a business plan.
  • common questions .
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  • Business Planning
  • Access to  Finance
  • online marketing
  • Grants & finance
  • Services
  • Business resources
  • To start your business plan: Write a single line or short paragraph about each factor below. Then consider the plan in the context of its purpose and intended uses

    Aims & Objectives of the business- what are they? This may change over time

    Your income needs, take into account that new businesses take time to start generating profits

    Assessment of finance to get started. Search for grants or fundingFind independent advice on finance

    Business Premises- what do you need , is location important, what will it cost?

    Marketing- how where and when will you market your product or services?

    Competition- who and where is your competition?

    Your customers - who are they, do you understand your target market and customer profile?

    Advertising & promotion- how where, when, and what will it cost? Find out about online advertising.

    Personnel- who will do what, do you need additional training, knowledge, resources?

    Insurance, Legal, & Contingency plans- what insurance do you need, licenses, etc?

    Pricing & Terms of trade

    Sales forecasts - how much do you think you can sell of each product or service, and when?

    Profitability forecasts - is the forecast return on your investment worth the risk?

    Cash Flow- when will money come in and be paid out?

    Once you have started your plan , each section can be expanded , and gaps filled in with research or by speaking to people. Visit the resources page for details of where to find more business advice.

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    Prepare a business plan to reduce risks and iuse a business planning checklist to help reduce risks and spot opportunitiesncrease the odds of success for your business.

     

    Business Planning : FAQ’s

    Here are some answers to common questions about  business plans and planning.  Don’t forget that the business environment like most aspects of life, is dynamic! Make sure you monitor and adapt your plan as things change. Start with a simple list , quality of your plan is better than quantity.

    What is the purpose of Business Planning?

    In any business there are things you can influence and control, and some things you can’t. Whether you are self employed, or developing a limited company, or perhaps buying in to a franchise, you will have choice in some aspects of the business and not in others. Business planning does not guarantee business success, however it can enable you to identify and exploit business opportunities, as well as helping you to manage the business, assess risks and make informed decisions.

    You will find a simple business planning checklist below, as well as a reminder of useful tools, methods , questions, and tips for business development.

     

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    How will Business Planning help my Business?

    Whether you are starting a new business, or developing strategies for business growth, business planning is essential if your business is to achieve its potential.

    Whether your business is a shoe shop, recruitment agency , hairdressing salon, gardening service, fashion designer, estate agent, financial adviser, or any type of business, planning will help you to manage the business, assess risks and opportunities, & make decisions.

    Read common questions about business plans.

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    Using a business plan- what is it for ?

    A plan may be used for many purposes, a few examples are given below.

    1. To examine key aspects of the existing or new business in detail including finance, marketing, sales and distribution, people, skills, premises and equipment.

    2. Establish key facts and figures , which will be used by you to decide for example whether or not to start the business, to measure business performance, and to assist in your decision making when the business is trading.

    3. If you need to raise finance to start the business, or perhaps apply for a loan or grant to develop the business further, the bank or any other investor will want to assess you and your plan before deciding to make any loans or investment.

     

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    Common questions about business plans

    Q. Do I need a business plan? Without some form of plan the risk of failing , however you measure it, increases. You may also find it difficult to obtain business finance or investment without one.

    Just as you might plan for a holiday,  a day trip, or a night out, planning helps you achieve your objectives.

    Q. What should be in the business plan? Look at the simple checklist below, this highlights the core content of any good plan.

    Q. How many pages should a business plan contain? A good business plan relies on quality not quantity. Content will depend on your business and every business is unique. Remember the reasons for doing the plan. Some plans consist of only a few pages but should address the elements in the checklist below

    Q. Do I need to write my plan down? Remember the reasons for creating the plan. Some businesses are very successful and have little or nothing documented, however risks can be greater, and opportunities may be missed.

    Q. Can any business benefit from having a plan? Whether you are a manufacturer, retail outlet, hairdresser, landscape gardener, coffee shop, or any other kind of business, having a plan will help you to to manage and develop the business .

     

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    Marketing Plan checklist

    Whatever size of business you have, one of the critical business activities is that of defining your marketing strategy.  This will affect your sales activity, and your business performance.

    Here are a few key factors to consider.

    Target Market- who are your customers, where will you sell , how often?

    Product / services-  what are they, is there demand? Who is the competition?

    Is the market growing?

    Price level - is it realistic?

    How will you attract customers?

    Who is responsible for sales and marketing?

    Find about advertising and marketing services from Vision4Business

     

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    Business Development - some things to consider

    You may wish to research further , so here is a list of key headings to think about.

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    SWOT analysis - great for assessing yourself, your business, and competitors!
    Key success factors- what are you aiming for and what key factors will determine success or failure?
    Measuring performance- what to measure and how ? profit? turnover? sales? other?
    Business Opportunities- how can you identify, assess and compare them?
    Risk management- how will you identify, assess and manage risk?

    High Growth - is your business ready in terms of resources, knowledge, skills, and motivation?
    Website & internet marketing- Do you understand how your business could use it?
    Computer Software & Technology- are you making the most of it?
    Management - do you have the skills, motivation, resources, aims?
    Managing Information- do you know how to use information for developing your business as well as for operational day-to-day issues?

    Find out about our business advice services.

     

     

     

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