Business Plan - Guidance
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
Any other appropriately experience and qualified business
Your plan may contain the
following headings (explanatory notes are provided under each
Your project's name and
Type of organisation
How would you best describe
your project/business, eg sole trader, partnership, limited
company, community based business, etc.
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.
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
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.
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
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,
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.
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?
How are you going to charge
for what you provide? Will there be special rates or incentives?
Put in the figures.
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.
Please list what your major
costs will be with figures if possible. e.g. how much
per month for marketing; subscriptions; accountancy etc.
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
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
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.
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).
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.