How to write a business plan

Business planning
Share This Post

In business, plans are essential. They’re more than just a formality, they’re a roadmap for success, and without one you’ll struggle with your business idea before it even gets off the ground.

But what’s included in a business plan? And how can you ensure yours hits the mark?

Why you need a business plan

Without a business plan, you’re flying blind, leaving your success to be completely determined by anyone and anything other than you and your business.

They provide clarity of vision, too, helping you to really understand what you’re trying to do – what your goals are, who your target market is, what your course of action is and so on.

And of course, certain stakeholders will expect to see a business plan, especially lenders and investors. If you can’t provide one – and a good one at that – you might not be able to capture their attention and confidence in the way that you would hope.

What does a business plan include?

So, what exactly goes into a business plan? While formats will vary from business to business, a comprehensive plan will typically comprise several key elements.

  1. Executive summary: A concise overview of your business, its mission, vision and key objectives.
  2. Business description: An in-depth look at your business, with a particular focus on its structure and unique value proposition.
  3. Market analysis: Research on your target market. You should also investigate trends in your industry as well as your main competitors.
  4. Organisation and management: Details on your business’s organisational structure, leadership team and key personnel.
  5. Products or services: A breakdown of your offerings, their features, benefits and how they differ from those of your competitors.
  6. Marketing and sales strategy: Plans for reaching and acquiring new customers, and driving revenue growth.
  7. Funding requests: If you need external funding, you could include an outline of your funding needs and how capital will be used.
  8. Financial projections: Forecasts of revenue, expenses and cashflow to provide a financial roadmap for the future.
  9. Appendices: Additional materials such as CVs, legal documents and market research data.

Tips and best practices

Now you know what to include in your business plan, but how can you ensure that it hits the mark?

  • Keep it concise. While it’s essential to be thorough, you should prioritise conveying your message succinctly.
  • Know your audience. Tailor your plan to its intended audience, whether it’s investors, lenders or internal stakeholders. Speak their language and address their concerns.
  • Be realistic. Always be grounded in reality. Present realistic projections and achievable goals that are backed by thorough research and analysis.
  • Seek feedback. Don’t work in isolation. Ask for feedback from mentors, peers and advisers to gain a fresh perspective.
  • Update regularly. A business plan is never set in stone, so make sure to review and update yours regularly to reflect changes in your business environment, market dynamics and strategic priorities.

Let us help with your plan

Hopefully we’ve given you enough information to get you started with your business plan but if you’re ever feeling stuck or overwhelmed, we’re here to help.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or fine-tuning your plan, we can assist you every step of the way. All you have to do is get in touch.

Use of this information is for reference only. Specialist Accounting Solutions Ltd accepts no liability for any errors therein or any losses or damages arising from it.

If you would like to discuss this matter with an Accountant and Trusted Business Adviser get in touch with us. We are accountants in Reading and offer a range of financial outsourcing services and virtual CFO services. For a free no obligation consultation email  or call 0118 911 3777.

More To Explore

Business planning
Business Tips

How to write a business plan

In business, plans are essential. They’re more than just a formality, they’re a roadmap for success, and without one you’ll struggle with your business idea

Read More »

How can we help?

drop us a line and keep in touch


Book An Appointment


Choose a date
Choose an available day and select your one hour slot


Your Info
Please provide your contact details and some information on your company and requirements


We will be in touch within one working day to confirm your requested appointment or arrange another if the relevant person is unavailable