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Creating a business plan

To succeed all businesses should have a well developed business plan. A good plan gives your business the focus it requires to give you the best chance of success. 

What is a business plan and why is it important?

A business plan is simply a plan for your business and whilst it sounds daunting, it is very similar to planning a journey as it helps you to foresee shortcomings in the business you are to operate and find a way to work around them.

In it you should explain what the business will do, who its customers will be, who its competitors are and why the business will work.  It will also explain in detail the financial requirements of the business.

The plan will help you communicate your idea clearly to potential investors who you might be asking to lend you some money.  It lets them know that you are in control and thoroughly understand how your business will make money

It is important to plan your business in order to minimise the risks of failure.  If you plan well then there should be few surprises when you do start the business, which will allow you to focus on developing it.

Can I get help creating a business plan?

Yes. You can download a copy of a typical business plan template below which gives you headings and areas to focus on for developing your plan:

East Riding business plan template (pdf 585kb opens in new window)

The headings to consider that are included in the business plan template are:

  • Business goals
  • Products and services
  • Who are your customers
  • Market research
  • Competitors
  • Promotion and advertising
  • Key staff
  • Skills gaps
  • Suppliers
  • Premises and licensing
  • Equipment
  • Start up costs
  • Finance
  • Swot analysis
  • Contingency plans (e.g. emergency planning such as flooding)

After looking at the business plan headings, you may benefit by talking to a business adviser about how to develop the plan for your business, the kind of things to include and how it links to the financial and marketing plans. 

You can contact a business adviser with an enquiry or arrange a confidential one to one appointment using the online form (please note: you will need to supply an email address):

Contact a business adviser online

Our business advisers can give you continuous advice and support through the development of the business plan (and when your business starts trading). This can be done by email, telephone or face to face. 

Last Updated: Wednesday, 04 January 2017