Build a better business – Have a plan

Fail to plan, plan to fail. All new business require a well thought out business plan and goals backed up by budgets, forecasts, projections, and a road map of how they are going to get there. Invariably these plans will have market research, competitor analysis, profit forecasts, and cash flow projections.

If you don’t know what your goal is then you have no target to focus on. Your decision making becomes reactive since there is no forward looking element to it

The very process of preparing a business plan will crystallise your thoughts about your business
and what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. It gives you FOCUS and PURPOSE

The business plan will clarify your business idea and define your long-term objectives. It provides a blueprint for running the business and a series of benchmarks to check your progress against. It is also vital for convincing your bank or investors — and possibly key customers and suppliers.

It has to be remembered that preparing a business plan is not a five minute exercise but is certainly is a worthwhile and necessary exercise.

FIRST – Set your goals

What is it that you want to achieve. Examples may include
Build a business and sell it in 5 years?
• Have sufficient income to sustain yourself and family – it may be that you have to work part time initially
• Be the preferred provider of your product or services in your area.
• Get X% market share in 5 years
• Reach £X turnover in 5 years
• Doing 30% of your business overseas

Of course the goals have to be reasonable but there is no point in limiting yourself either. There are many examples of multi-million pound businesses that started in someone’s bedroom

SECONDLY – How are you going to get there

Any journey requires a roadmap of how to reach your destination. So a lot of thought needs to be paid to how will achieve your goals. You must research your business proposition and your target market.
• How big is your market?
• Market research?
• What differentiates your product or service?
• Who are you competitors and what do they do?
• Maybe you will buy a business to achieve your goals
• How will I market my business

FINALLY – Prepare the plan

Most business plans comprise of the following sections
• Executive Summary
• The Business
• Markets & Competitors
• Sales & marketing
• Management
• Operations
• Financial Forecasts
• Funding Requirements
• Risks To Your Business
• Appendices


Paul Stankiewicz is the owner and principal at Paul Marks & Co Chartered Accountants which is the trading name of Paul Marks Ltd a Limited Company registered in England and Wales (registered number 4487645).This article is designed for the information of readers only and is the opinion of the author only. Readers should not act on any of the information contained in this article without seeking professional advice. Nothing in this article constitutes advice, nor does the transmission, downloading or sending of any information or the Material create any contractual relationship. Links to third party websites are provided as a convenience to the reader, Paul Marks Ltd does not control and is not responsible for any of those websites or their content. Paul Stankiewicz and Paul Marks Ltd accepts no liability or responsibility whatsoever for any loss or damage suffered by any user of the information contained on or accessed through this article or the Material downloaded.