A business plan is a must if you are thinking of getting outside financing through a loan or investment. However, even if you are starting small and starting with your own funds, a business plan will help you to plan: how much money you’ll need to get started, how to get profitable, what you need to do and what the longer-term future looks like. Think of a business plan as a road map for your business, a tool to help you manage your goals and track your progress.
If you’ve already developed a simple overview of your business, using a tool like the Business Model Canvas, this will be a great starting point for you. How formal or structured your business plan will be, will depend on whether you plan to use to raise funds or use only as an internal document.
There are different ways to structure a business plan, but most contain at least the following elements:
A great way to get support in writing a business plan, check the list of training opportunities here. You can also seek support from the list of service providers here. There are also numerous websites that can provide you templates, guidance and advice on writing business plans.
The type and detail of your business plan will again depend on its ultimate purpose. If you are seeking investment or a loan, you will need to describe your operations and financial forecasts in greater detail than if you are using it for internal guidance.