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So, you are ready to start writing your business plan, what should it contain?
So, you are ready to start writing your business plan, what should it contain?

There is no perfect template for a Business Plan, but usually it will include the following:

1. Executive Summary – This is the first thing in the plan, but the last thing to be written. This is a summary of everything else that follows. It needs to capture everything in the rest of the plan with a summary of the financials.

It should be engaging enough to make the reader/investor want to read on.

2. Business Description – This should be about what the business does and what it is going to do. Including:

Mission/Vision of the Company, including the Core Values that the Company is built around.
The Problem – What is it that the Company is providing the solution for, how big is the problem?
The Solution – What can the Company provide to address the problem and why it is so good.
The Delivery – How the business will get the solution to the customer.
The Innovation – If the Company is doing something different is the product/process patentable or open to R&D Tax credits?

3. Market Analysis – This should describe:

The whole of the market that the Company operates in (with values)
What part of the market you want to exploit.
The Customer – Who you are solving the problem for.
Where the Company currently sits in the market and where it wants to be

4. The Competition

Who else is out there
Why you are different.

5. Marketing Plan

How is the Brand to be developed.
What marketing channels will be used (social media, TV, radio, mail, email etc) and likely costs?
What has worked in the past?
When will Marketing campaigns convert to sales?

6. Company Infrastructure

Who the key people in the team are.
The key staff that need to be recruited.
How the workforce will be structured underneath this team.
When the changes in the size of the workforce will happen (recruiting or downsizing)?
The processes and procedures that are in place to manage this (e.g. ISO) and what needs to be developed.
The IT infrastructure in place, and any new systems implementation needed.

Now for the bit they always ask for on Dragons Den.

What will everything you have written about so far actually translate into?

What do “The Financials” look like?

This comes in two parts:

7. Financial Plan – a SUMMARY of:

Profit and Loss & EBITDA
Balance Sheet
Other KPI’s that will drive the business
Key assumptions
“What if…?” Analysis (i.e. what would happen if the sales plan was worse or better than predicted)
The supporting detailed figures should be put in the Appendices at the back of the Plan.

8. Investment Required (The Ask): If you are looking for new investment from banks, investors, parent company it should clearly set out what the Company wants and when.

The financial input required
When the investment is needed (with stages if necessary)
Who else already has a financial investment in the Company (Investors and Lenders)
What can be achieved with the investment and “payback”
As stated before, there is no perfect template for a Business Plan and no two plans will look the same. The Plan may not need to include all the items I’ve gone over, but if you think about them it will give you a good basis for your Business Plan


11th February 2020