What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a roadmap of where your business is going. It should comprise business goals, the reasons why they are attainable and the plan for reaching those goals.
Why should I do one?
A Business Plan is important for two main reasons:
1. You as the owner of the business and your staff need the confidence to drive your business forward. A business plan helps you to gain a better understanding of the various roles and responsibilities within the business and to make decisions regarding the allocation of resources within the business. Your business plan should be a live document, which you use to review progress against goals on a monthly basis.
2. You need to convince others that your business is commercially feasible and worth investing in. These include:
• State Agencies
• County Enterprise Boards (CEBs)
• Enterprise Ireland
• Private Investors
“A staggering 80% of small businesses without a business plan will fail in their first 5 years,” Paul Fagan, Action Coach. He attributes this mainly to the lack of planning on behalf of business owners. According to statistics from the Bank of Ireland, 66% of all business start-ups will fail in their first five years. Having a well structured business plan gives you more success of survival.
Typical Contents of a Business Plan
A business plan should be clear and concise. If you have information which is necessary background reading, attach this information as an appendix.
The sections of a business plan should be broken down as follows (please insert a hyperlink to each of these sections so that users can scroll down to those sections of most interest):
• Business details
• Mission statement
• Executive Summary
• Business profile description
• Consumer and Market Analysis
• Sales and Market Strategy
• Product Technology
• Financial projections and funding requirements
• Company Structure and Operations
Each of the above headings are explained in more detail along with a business plan template below.