What should be included in the business plan? Without being too prescriptive, there are certain necessary elements which need to be included. Such elements are: · Preliminaries _ such as contents, contacts and definitions; · An executive summary; · A description of the business; · A review of the market, the competition and market positioning; · The vision, mission and objectives; · The corporate strategy; · The plan for developing the products and services; · Financial projections; · An outline of the risks and opportunities; · A conclusion. Understand gaps and weaknesses within the plan.
Contextualise Your Budget _ Of course your budget will be extremely important. But sometimes people sort of pluck figures out of thin air, not giving it the context it needs in the business plan to make real concrete sense of how that budget is going to work. So it is crucial that every time you mention financials in your business plan, to really give them the correct context. When I have worked with clients in developing business plans, there has been a budget or amount set aside for example to be spent on marketing, which has been decided a bit arbitrarily. I mean with no real research, no understanding of what that amount needs to be spent on, and what that budget will truly achieve. It seems to have been put there to fill the need to attribute a certain sum to marketing. Make sure you are researching each point of your budget, make sure that you are giving it context and it makes proper sense within your overall plan.