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There are essentially only four things you need in your business plan: This is about setting a realistic goal for your new business.It’s vital to have something to aim for, and a way of measuring when you have achieved it.The clearer your thinking can be about this, the faster you will be able to move.
Over the long term, it’ll keep you focused on what needs to be accomplished. Or, an internal document to guide you, your leaders, and your employees? The executive summary lays out all the vital information about your business within a relatively short space; typically, one page or less.
It’s also smart to write a business plan when you’re: Start with a clear picture of who the audience your plan will address. Defining your audience helps you determine the language you’ll need to propose your ideas as well as the depth to which you need to go to help readers conduct due diligence. It’s a high-level look at everything and summarizes the other sections of your plan. Below, you’ll find an example from a fictional business, Landscapers Inc.
Amidst that rush, the idea of writing a business plan—much less following a business plan template—often feels time-consuming and intimidating. It’s more than the old cliche, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” In fact, a wealth of data now exists on the difference a written business plan makes.
Even better—if you’re pressed for time—we’ve compiled the 10 steps and examples into a downloadable (PDF) template: But, first things first …
You simply need to know if it is possible for your business to achieve its goals with the sales you realistically could make.
If your forecasting reveals that you need to sell 10,000 items to hit your profit goal – and it’s impossible for you to handle that many items acting on your own – then you know you have a problem on the way.At all times be realistic – you might dream that you’ll be able to meet with 10 clients a day, every day…but in reality it is highly unlikely you will have the energy to achieve that every day.The easiest goal in a new business is a financial one, such as “I will turn over £50,000 in my first year trading”.You may not be financially motivated, but money is the best measure of how well your business is doing. Often a spread of targets work best and will ensure you are working on all the most important elements to successfully establish your new business.Having a good accounting system will really help you to manage your finances. You might not be able to answer exactly how you will do this at first, but if you have a vague idea of how you will grow, then you should write it down.With so many options to choose from, make sure you read Byte Start’s Guide to choosing the best online accounting software for your business to help you find the right one for you. For example, you might see that a series of joint ventures will allow you to scale up quickly.If you’ve never produced a cash flow forecast before, our guide on Why you need a cash flow forecast and how to produce one for your small business explains it all.In general you can make three assumptions about money: If you take these factors into account (always anticipate the worst) and you are still confident you can make a good profit, then you probably have a viable business.Remember that your business plan is not to impress other people; it is a realistic document to help you achieve your business goals faster.Here’s the point where you should do a sales forecast, but not to impress an investor.