How to write a good business plan

Johnson Reed
2m read

A good business plan is a foundation for any successful business; without one, you’re starting a long journey without a roadmap. One of the main reasons businesses fail is a lack of direction and understanding in the core purpose of the business, and a lack of understanding in your target market.

In order to help you write a business plan for your business, we’ve provided some general advice below which should help you get started.

A good business plan should include:

  • An executive summary, explaining the detail of the business proposal
  • An objective overview of the aims of the business
  • The products or services the business will offer
  • Details of the management team
  • Financial forecasts
  • Market research data
  • Technical product information, if applicable

The business plan should cover a lot of detail about the business itself, such as the reason for establishing the business, the goals you have, and any plans for expanding the business. It is always good to establish what makes you different from your competitors, and how you will fit into the marketplace.

You should have also given some thought to your marketing and sales strategy; how will you sell your products / services? What are the markets you will be targeting? What prices will you be offering?

Details of the management and key personnel should also be included, explaining the skills and jobs of each team member, as well as details about the office and location of the business.

If preparing a business plan for a bank or potential investor, it is useful to outline any finance required based on the financial forecast of the business. If you need help securing finance for new businesses, Johnson Reed can help you. You should include the risks to a business and how you plan to avoid them.

Finally, you should include a sales forecast, showing how you expect to make income, and then show a cashflow analysis, and projected profit and loss for the approaching five years of trading. It is always advisable to hire a qualified accountant for this stage of the business plan, as overly optimistic expectations here could lead to bitter disappointment down the line.