A business plan is vital to the success of your business. However, this alone is no guarantee of your success. The process of preparing a plan will provoke you to consider many aspects essential to your success that you may otherwise not have given proper consideration.
A business plan goes a long way to ensuring you are much better informed than would otherwise be the case. Failing to plan will ensure your business will ultimately fail.
Business Plan Templates
There are many templates readily available from the internet. Make your choice carefully. Many templates are free which is close to what they are worth!
Many are provided by banks and other organisations as purely as marketing tools. They are not what they use to write a business plan for their own business.
The best financial plan templates are dynamic. That is each of the tables of financial information link to the other tables. Change any number and it follows it will change other numbers in the modeling tool, which is as it should be.
We use premium business planning tools to produce a substantially better outcome and present your business in a more professional manner. These tools have the ability to model business performance on multiple levels and variables that ensure the plan is a far greater value to you.
Much of what we see presented as a business plan using free resources is not adequate and far removed from what a professional accountant or business advisor would prepare.
This then raises an important question “who is best placed to prepare a proper business plan’?
Who is best placed to write a business plan?
There are two clear options:
You, the business owner or intending owner; low-cost with low or no professional expertise but often hands-on and industry experience. And the learning experience will be invaluable for you.
Business Advisor and Accountant; more expensive with a high level of expertise and held in high regard by banks and lenders.
Our preferred options are to use a joint effort of professional advisor and the owner. The input of both is invaluable. One without the other is a compromise
The best person to write your plan is you, with expert advice from one of our Business Advisors. The process should challenge your thinking and your strategy to ensure that your business is robust enough to stand up to the rough and tumble of doing business in the real world.
A business plan can be written to serve a number of purposes. These may include applying for finance or seeking investors, seeking appointment as an agent or alliance partner or joint venturing or most importantly as a business management tool guide your business to a successful outcome.
Your plan should be written specifically to suit the target audience.
In the first instance, the business plan should be written to demonstrate to the reader that you have a genuine business opportunity. Next, the strategy, the expertise, experience and financial resources to produce a profitable financial outcome within a defined timeline. The plan will clearly demonstrate the financial performance and financial position of the business as it progresses and develops as you plan it might. And the reality is that the results achieved will be somewhat different, for better or worse. The plan will show if there are sufficient capacity and reserves to be able to ride out most eventualities.
Recommended course of action
We see many plans written with no regard to the result required; that is the target outcome. To blindly follow a template without proper thought and consideration will always be reflected in the outcome.
Often there is a complete disconnection between the business plan and the financial plan. The financial plan is an afterthought to the business plan that should never be the case. Create the financial plan first and then write the business plan to demonstrate how you will produce the result – this approach will save a great deal of time and angst.
If you follow this advice, the process of preparing your business plan will be a great deal more enjoyable and rewarding.