Four questions to ask before writing your business plan
Wait! Before you write that business plan, here’s some questions to ask yourself:
1. Have you done your research?
A business plan should be based on much more than guesswork. While you don’t have a crystal ball, you can at least review your competition, know your approximate start-up costs, meet with your accountant etc.
2. Who is your plan for?
Yourself, a business partner, a concerned spouse, your accountant, a financial backer? It may be that you need multiple plans for multiple organisers. But start with yourself.
3. Do you know what a business plan looks like?
There are many templates available online and your accountant should also have some guidelines. But don’t be too rigid about following a script — your plan should arise from your product/service and your own business aspirations. At the very least it should include:
- Title page
- Business summary
- Operations plan (structure, location, staff etc)
- Marketing plan
- Future projections
- Financial plan
- Supporting documentation.
4. What sort of figures are you using?
If your business is totally new (i.e. it hasn’t evolved from another business), then your figures will be ‘expected’ rather than ‘actual’. Be sure your plan is clear about that.
Write your business summary last but include it first.