engage magazine issue 002 \\\\\\\'06 - Page 36

36 ASK ENGAGE Quick Guide HOW TO PART 2 So, you’ve done your research, you’ve handed in your notice at work (or are planning to do so shortly), and you’ve been having sleepless nights thinking and developing your business idea. Now, you’re at the stage where you are ready to write that all–important business plan. Engage Magazine’s Business Editor Colette Machado outlines what you should include in your plan as well as giving you a brief insight into registering your business Writing a business plan If you are planning to go into business you will almost definitely need to write a business plan. Why? Well, would you take a train or Tube journey without having any idea about where you may need to change or how long it may take to get there? Without proper planning you would get there eventually but it would be much more stressful, I can tell you. Running or starting a business is the same. A business plan can be described as a ‘statement of intent’. Its main purpose is to outline to you (and potential funders) how you are going to run and develop your business, when you are going to do it, who is involved or going to be involved in your business, how you will manage the money and much more. There is currently no shortage of books, internet websites and articles, information from banks, business plan software and business advisers that will tell you how to write a business plan or even do it for you. However, remember it’s your business so you stll need to be very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the business and how it will run. Information will vary from source to source, however there are some key things that most business plans should cover. These are: • Executive summary – an overview of your business idea • Brief description of the business opportunity – who you are, what you will be selling or offering, your potential clients • Marketing and sales strategy – why you think your clients will buy your goods or services and how you plan to sell or offer it to them • Staff – your work history-in particular your skills and experiences and that of the people who will be working with you (if any) • Operations – your premises, production facilities, IT systems, and how you will generally be operating the business • Financial forecasts – a set of financial projections for the business. You will need to consider how much capital you need, sources of revenue and income and other financial aspects of the business. Business plans are important for helping you think holistically about your business. Although many people think they are only for start–ups, they are also important for existing businesses who should, in fact, be constantly reviewing and revising their business plan as developments within the business occurs. When it comes Fǖrf"'W6W722B&6rFVFgVFW'27F'B'W6W70bRfR'W6W72( 2&V6R&Rf6&R( 2&Vv7FW"Bg&VRwwrVvvVvR6V&vW"&v6F2vBFv&vFFfW'6R7WƖW'2ࠦVvvR55TREt#`