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How to Apply - guidance & help

 

 
 

Business Plan - Guidance Notes

To qualify for a unit at the Farthing Enterprise Centre you must support your application with a business plan. The plan should be simple and concise, demonstrating an enterprise that has been well considered from a business perspective and has a realistic path towards viability. The following notes are to assist you to put together your plan. The notes give guidance for details you should supply - these details are down to you. Your business is unique! This is not a questionnaire – it is a guide.

To help you further The Netherfield Partnership recommends you contact:-

You can obtain assistance from a number of specialist web-based sources, including Get Started, the Business Support Helpline and www.business-events.org.uk/events/kick-off-in-business
 

Alternatively
Any other appropriately experience and qualified business advice service.

 

Your plan may contain the following headings (explanatory notes are provided under each heading):

  • Introduction
    Your project's name and address.

  • Type of organisation
    How would you best describe your project/business, eg sole trader, partnership, limited company, community based business, etc.

  • Aims
    Why are you doing this. There is no need to be specific. An example could simply be to generate income to cover salaries and costs or to create new jobs locally.

  • Objectives
    Now you can be specific. List what you think you will achieve and when. e.g. 24 items sold in a month by March; or 2 part time workers employed; or a turnover of £........; or 300 customers.

  • Market size and Future growth
    The market size could be the local population or the number of local businesses you could sell to. The future growth may be a new business moving into the area (possibly at the Farthing Centre) or the local population growing due to new housing etc.

  • Competitors
    List these by name if you can, If you cannot, list who will be offering a service that may mean customers do not use your business. It could be another business in your field or a company that deals in alternative e.g. a video store may compete directly with other video stores or indirectly with a local pub or cinema.

  • Your Strengths and Weaknesses
    Be honest, what are your best features and what features do you consider weaknesses. If you know your strengths you can use these to sell yourself and you can work towards improving any weaknesses you may have. Your strengths are the major reasons why you think people would use your business. e.g efficient, local, friendly, unique.

  • Competitors Strengths and Weaknesses
    List these as fully as you can. If you recognise a strength you may be able to match it and make your business more successful. e.g they may make deliveries.

  • Competitive advantage
    From the two previous headings what strengths do you have that your competitors do not and how will you use these to your advantage. In other words, why should someone buy from you?

  • Pricing Strategy
    How are you going to charge for what you provide? Will there be special rates or incentives? Put in the figures.

  • Funding
    If you do not cover all your costs from charges you should describe how you will fund the difference - it may be from grants (be specific if you have leads or commitments of funding) or from loans, or non core business, eg merchandising. Where wil lthe money come from to start your business, and keep it going in the short term.

  • Costs
    Please list what your major costs will be with figures if possible. e.g. how much per month for marketing; subscriptions; accountancy etc.

  • Marketing
    How will you attract people to your business? List the forms of advertising you will use and also mention any research you have undertaken into what your customers want. How do you know they want what you are offering? You should back this up with evidence e.g. copies of market research reports etc.

  • Income and Expenditure Account
    You may need to take advice on how to create an income and expenditure account, but basically it lists how much comes in to you business and from where and what do you spend money on. Put together, this should show how much money will be left after all the bills are paid. Will this be sufficient for you to live on?

  • Cash flow forecast
    Again it may be useful to take advice when putting this together. It should show how much comes in and how much goes out of your business each month – with the balance moved forward to the start of the next month.

  • Others
    You may wish to include details of premises you require, members of staff, management and your background in business (this can be particularly important when applying for premises or funding).

PLEASE NOTE
Although it is a requirement of the Farthing Enterprise Centre to submit a business plan in support of an application for a Licence it is hoped that this will be a very useful document that you can refer to regularly to help you develop your business in the way you intend. ie. as laid out in the business plan. It should also be noted that the business plan could be useful tool in securing funding from other sources.

The above is only a very simple guideline to the contents of a business plan, and through the advice sources indicated or from a wide variety of other sources more detailed business planning templates are available.