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44 years of success - Established 1974

44 Years of Success
Established in 1974

"Helping you gain
.control of your career"

What should you do first when starting your own business?

 

The first, and most important, task you should carry out when you’ve decided on what business you’d like to start is to complete a business plan. A business plan allows you to pay attention to all the important aspects of your business. It helps you know what you are going to do and how you are going to do it, by:

  • providing goals and targets and the means to achieve them
  • reducing the element of risk and, by doing so, reducing stress
  • raising your confidence in your ability to run a business
  • providing a framework for identifying and avoiding potential problems before they arise.

 

As well as these benefits, having a business plan also helps to persuade professional advisors and, more importantly, lenders that you are prepared and serious about your business. They’ll be more likely to loan you the capital you’ll need to start your business if you present a comprehensive business plan; so it’s important that you spend time getting it right. Plus, being able to see your business plan could help secure large contracts from customers and re-assure suppliers that you’ll not be out of business before they get paid.

What does a Business Plan Contain?

A business plan is typically made up of the following sections:

1. Type of Business – if you don’t know this by now you aren’t ready to start your business plan.

2. Business Structure – sole trader, partnership or limited company?

3. Administration – such as business name, legal requirements, insurance.

4. The Proprietors – who are the owners or directors of the business?

5. Financial Requirements – such as how much money will be needed, what will this be used for, where will it come from and are there any savings/reserves?

6. Market Research and Marketing – to make sure that people want to buy your goods or use your services and that you can market them successfully.

7. Forecasts – to predict sales levels.

8. Budgets – very important for you to know how much you’ll need to spend and how much you’re likely to make. 9. Cash Flow – to predict when you’ll have positive cash flow and the maximum working capital required.

10. Prices – important for ensuring you don’t over or under-price your product or service.

11. Record Keeping and Financial Control – important for tax purposes and to know where your finances stand

12. Competition – who are they and how serious a threat do they pose?

13. Suppliers and/or Sub-Contractors – who will they be and have you found them yet?

14. Equipment and Machinery – new, second hand or lease?

15. Production – if you are planning on making things, this is very important for determining productivity and prices.

16. Premises – where will your company be based and will you buy or rent?

17. Staff – work alone, draft in family members to help or hire outsiders?

18. Future Plans – where do you want your business to go in the future?

19. Threats – can you identify any possible threats to your business and how will you deal with them?

20. Why Will The Business Be Successful? – you really should try hard to answer this question as thoroughly as possible because, if you can’t, it’s likely the business will not succeed.

21. Contingency Plans – put plans in place to cope if the unthinkable happens.

It takes time and lots of revision to get a comprehensive business plan that’s ready for presentation to the bank or other investors. But, putting in the effort now can give your business the solid foundation it needs to flourish in the future.

Business Training can help you Start Your Own Business and write your business plan. To find out more request a prospectus for our Start Your Own Business course.