Business Plan – What is it? Why do I need one and how do I write one?

A Business Plan is basically a mission statement that will set out your vision, structure, methods and helps plan your business for the future. It will include a marketing analysis, financial statement and describe the operational details of the business.

Your Business Plan should become a living document. That means it should the reviewed and revised regularly, updating your plan as your company grows and changes.

Who should write a Business Plan?

Anyone who wants to start a business. The business plan should set out their business vision for the future. Sometimes start up companies need funding to get going and business owners/entrepreneurs can then show their Business Plan to potential business investors. These investors will want to know why this business is a good investment and when they will see a return on their investment.

Those already established in business can also benefit from developing a Business Plan to get further funding to manage business expansion. It can also be useful to re-evaluate the company's vision and goals.

Why is a Business Plan important?

Most business owners write a Business Plan to get funding for their company, however, a Business Plan is also an important document that can help you to:

  • Think about all areas of your business
  • Understand your competitors and target market
  • Develop a plan and actions to achieve your goals
  • Set benchmarks of success to measure your progress
  • Foresee issues regarding competitors, cash flow, and long-term viability
  • Manage cashflow with an income statement
  • Consider the regulatory requirements and insurance requirements of your industry

How can I write a Business Plan?

Please find our free Business Plan template below:

Business Plan Template 010619

Business Plan Template 010619

It contains the following key sections:

  1. Executive Summary and Elevator Pitch
  2. Owner(s) Background
  3. Products and Services
  4. The Market
  5. Market Research
  6. Marketing Strategy
  7. Competitor Analysis
  8. Operations and Logistics
  9. Costs and Pricing Strategy
  10. Financial Forecasts
  11. Back-up Plan

Should I review my Business Plan?

As mentioned above, your Business Plan should be a living document updated regularly (at least once a year) or whenever something changes. Complete an update of your plan when new developments occur within your business and your industry. If you are changing your business completely, it is important to either start a new Business Plan or completely revise your current plan accordingly.