Business Plan Template

If you need help writing your business plan, this is the perfect guide to get you started...

Just thinking about writing your business plan might sound just about as exciting as it is watching the same episode of your spouse’s favorite show every night… Well if that sounds like you, we are here to help. We have put together a template for writing your own business plan, remember your business plan is a bit like your CV it grows with you and changes as you do. We have included tips to get you started, simply add your information under the headings and you’ll have created the first version of your business plan in no time.

1. Your Business Information

As this is usually the first section of your business plan it is important to include your business name and contact details.

2. Executive Summary

In this section you really want to explain your business in a few sentences, really thinking about your image as this is the first thing someone will read about your business, make it stand out but include key points, here are some further examples:

  • • What problem you will be solving you will be solving?
  • • What your target audience is?
  • • What are your products and services?
  • • What your niche is, how do you stand out from your competitors?
  • • How will you create business revenue?

3. Your Mission Statement

Your mission statement should explain in a few short sentences what your doing, why you are doing it and and give an overall image of your business ethos and goals. This should give people a clear picture of your business, almost in the same way an advert does but generally for your business overall.

4. Short term goals

It is a good idea to set clear goals that are achievable, measurable and relevant to your business. You can start by selecting 3 – 5 things that you want to achieve over the next 12 months. Think about keeping these specific in terms for example: saying, “over the next 6 months we aim to sell 500 units”, rather than “we will sell out by the end of the year”. Remember short term goals are like stepping stones to the overall business mission.

5. Mid to long term goals

Here you want to discuss any future or long term goals you have for the business, over the next 3 years plus. This can either be 1 solid goal or a mixture of goals that you are working towards such as expansion, sales targets or any other target that you want to achieve.

6. You & Your People

This is where you highlight the key people in your business showcasing the skills and experience of the people in your business even if that’s just you. You could also include LinkedIn profiles or other online portfolios.

7. Your Products & Services

This is not just about listing a range of products and services which you plan to sell, you want to think about how your business will make money, what revenue streams to you plan to use for example, if set up a hospitality business, you might make money from memberships, but also additional money from events and also by selling additional products to people who use your services. You should think about all the ways your business plans to generate revenue.

8. Branding

Branding is the single most important component regarding how your business looks and feels. Your branding is your image and the first thing a customer sees. You want your brand to represent you, think about how you want people to feel when they see your brand, and what tone you want to have with your customers. You also want to use your branding as an opportunity to stand out from your competitors. You should always consider your brand when dealing with any aspect of your business.

9. Marketing Strategy

You want to think about the type of marketing strategies you will use, perhaps you will find online digital marketing is the way forward for the business. This could be by using social media platforms, and/or email marketing, or you might find that traditional offline methods work for you best, or you might want a mixture of both. However, remember that your marketing should be measurable so you should set clear objectives and a budget for each campaign.

10. Competitors

Think about who your competitors are, what share of the market you want to achieve. This is also a good opportunity to included some market statistics. You want to analyse your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses against your own, and use this information to position yourself wisely. You can also highlight how your niche fits in around the current market trends.

12. Your Finances

This should include:

  • • Your initial costs, for things like equipment and inventory.
  • • Your running costs, which could include things like rent and electricity.
  • • You should also include any investments or funding that you will require to start up.
  • • Your financial forecast, for example the next 12 months which is an estimation on how you think your business may perform.