As the saying goes: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Running a business isn’t something you can just wing. Ask any business owner, and they’ll tell you that owning and growing your own organisation takes a huge amount of work and careful preparation, including creating an effective business plan.

The right business plan will provide you with a framework that you can follow in order to make sure your business remains on track and in line with your wider goals. With that in mind, here are 6 steps to creating the right plan for your business.

Ask yourself why

The first thing you’ll need to do when creating a business plan is ask yourself why you’re doing it. What do you ultimately want to achieve in your business, and how will your plan help you reach these goals? Do you want to grow your company, expand into new markets, improve your current operations, or something else entirely? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals and ambitions, you can start putting a plan together which works towards accomplishing them.

Address your finances

Budgeting is one of the key pillars of any business plan, so it’s important that your finances are brought into focus during every stage of planning. Preparing your finances involves creating a budget and forecasting both your revenue and expenses over the next few years, comparing them to assure that, in theory, you’ll be making more money than you’re spending.

You’ll need to know exactly how your business is going to generate revenue, and what costs will be associated with these efforts. This will give you an idea of how much money it will take to achieve your goals.

Prepare an executive summary

An executive summary is a document which, as the name suggests, summarises your company plans. It is a brief overview of your business and its purpose, as well as your intentions for the future. This should include your strategies and goals, as well as any unique selling points that help your business stand out from the rest of the competition.

Understand your target market

Once you’ve got your finances and summary down in black and white, it’s time to flesh out the rest of your plan, and this includes determining your target market, marketing strategy, operational details and more.

Ask yourself who you are creating content, products or services for, and ask who will be reading your business plan. Are you writing for potential investors, employees or customers? Each group will require different information.

Create an overview

With your finances, goals and audience prepared, you can create your business plan summary. This is typically the last section of the plan you create, as it offers an overview of everything that is included in the full business plan. Ensure that your summary is clear and concise, and does not mention any that is not included within the wider business plan.

Seek out support

Even if you plan on drafting your business plan yourself, it’s still advisable to have it reviewed by a professional, as they will be able to offer suggestions on how to tighten up your plan and make it even stronger. They can also provide assistance with financial projections to make sure everything is in order.

Completing your business plan isn’t the end of the road. You’ll need to keep it somewhere safe and regularly review your business plan so that it continues to reflect your business growth and goals.

Whatever you are seeking help for, TEDCO Business Support are here to help.logo-erdf

The team at TEDCO Business Support has helped thousands of businesses to grow, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), so we’re here to support you.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at hello@tedco.org.

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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