How to create a successful business plan

Jan 24, 2023

As a budding entrepreneur, you’ve undoubtedly spent countless hours thinking of the best ways to manage your business.

Whether you’ve had things up and running for a while or are about to take the leap and open your first startup, you’ll be well aware of the importance of having a fully-formed plan.

If you don’t have a business plan already put together, it’s not too late. Actually, there’s never a bad time to get a start on one. Even some of the most hardened and experienced business owners could benefit from building a plan from scratch.

Sometimes, the hardest part of creating a successful business plan can be getting the ball rolling. If you’re unsure, here are some tips.

Be clear and direct

Suffice to say you won’t be the only person reading your business plan. In fact, you’ll likely have to present it to people if you’re looking to gain investment or find a loan to support your development.

For that reason, your business plan should be easily digestible and clearly explain the concept of your business, how it will run, what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them.

Your plan should be an insightful representation of your ideas and answer the most important question: will your business be a success? If so, how?

Don’t bog the reader down with jargon. Explain everything in the simplest terms possible, but avoid being patronising.

Dive into the finances

Investors and lenders aren’t likely to part with their hard-earned capital if they feel a prospective business risks being a bottomless money pit. That’s why you’ll have to include realistic financial projections for your business.

If you’re a new startup, the best way to do this would be to analyse your market and look at competitors running costs, as well as how much you expect to spend and make.

As an existing business, this part is a little easier as you’ll have previous sales data to base your projections on.

Either way, you’ll need to create a cashflow projection that will help explain how much money you can expect to make while accounting for loan repayments and returns on investment.

Your plan should also propose how much money you’ll need to get everything up and running or help you reach your growth goals.

Don’t be afraid to highlight possible challenges

It’s one thing to talk about how successful you want your business to be, but it takes a great businessperson to identify any challenges and obstacles they may face.

Something as simple as planning for a quiet period over the calendar year can prove to others that you know what to expect. You can create a contingency plan describing how you’ll overcome this hurdle without heavily impacting your business.

As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

As an accountant for help

You may not consider an accountant the first port of call when building your business plan, but you’d be surprised how beneficial it can be.

Experienced accountants (much like us at JP Harrison) understand how the financial side of a business can be the make-or-break factor. And, when it comes to cashflow and sales forecasts, there’s no one better to analyse the numbers than an accountant.

By sitting down and discussing your goals with your accountant, you’ll find that your business plan will be meticulous and cover all the bases.

Give us a call

Having a successful business plan can help you create the strongest foundation possible for your future career. But if you’re unsure where to start, we’ll be happy to help you get the ball rolling.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you create a business plan.

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