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Top Tips for Developing a Successful Business Plan
Developing a business plan is an essential task for all entrepreneurs seeking to grow their organisation and plan for the future.

They can be created for a range of needs and audiences including investor pitching, to support bank loan applications or just to help internal business operations plan and improve their growth.
Irrespective of the primary aim, we have seven top tips to help you succeed:
  1. Survey the market
  2. Understand the competition
  3. Convey the details
  4. Consistency is key
  5. Explore the Assumptions
  6. Explain the rewards
  7. Don’t forget to implement the plan


 Top Tips for Successful Business Development Plans
  1. Survey the market
Do you know who your customers are and the benefits they require from your product/service? Do you know how you will access them? Details are important in this section. Use market statistics and your own market research to truly understand their needs. Also consider any evolution of the offer and business models. Will your proposition be different when you have 100,000 customers compared to the first 1,000? How does that impact your business?
  1. Understand the competition
Consider both the current competition and others who may join the market. Are there barriers to entry that anyone would need to overcome? Do you understand what makes you/your offering unique? If there is no competition, have you considered why this is?
  1. Convey the details
Clarity is important throughout the plan. While selling a vision for the company is important, it must be underpinned by sufficient depth of detail so that any reader can determine the real opportunity. All figures must look realistic for credibility to be achieved. It is better to provide less ambitious estimates which are accurate rather than headline grabbing estimates which cannot be substantiated.
  1. Consistency is key
It is essential that a consistent story is told throughout the document. This is particularly the case between the financials and the rest of the document. Everything that is documented in words as planned activity must feature in the financials as a relevant line item.
  1. Explore the assumptions
Some assumptions are likely to be included within the business plan, especially when planning over longer time periods. Ensure assumptions are recorded to show how decisions have been reached and test them with other data where possible to be confident of the accuracy.
  1. Explain the rewards
For business plans to support investment requests, ensure there is a clear message on the expected performance of the company and how the return on investment will be realised. For wider rewards, where appropriate ensure the non-financial benefits are also communicated. This is particularly important for social enterprises.
  1. Don’t forget to implement the plan
Far too many people spend time creating the business plan and then put it in a drawer and forget about it. To be successful and valuable, the plan needs to be implemented and central to the company decision making. It should be reviewed and adjusted throughout the year as market conditions change. 
Contact us to discuss how we can help you succeed with your business plans.