Writing a business plan


How to write an effective business plan.

At AVASK we can provide objective assistance with writing a business plan, based on our experience in helping start-up buisnesses across the world. Here are some of the key aspects to consider...

Creating a business plan is one of the most important things you will do when starting up. It will help determine whether you gain funding from potential investors, and it will help you to clarify your business objectives and direction.

In this section we look at how to write an effective plan, the ingredients it should contain, and some of the common pitfalls to avoid.

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Before you begin writing

Before you start writing a plan, you will need to consider what information you need to assemble, the initial decisions to be made, and the sales and marketing options open to you.

Assess the expertise and assistance you already have, and decide what additional help you will need to prepare your plan and harness your resources effectively. For example, you might need accountancy or marketing assistance.

Examine your business ideas critically and check these against your initial perception of the marketplace. Perform a 'SWOT' analysis on your business: look at its Strengths and Weaknesses, and consider the Opportunities open to you, and the Threats you face.

The marketplace is the key to the success of your business. You should review the market for your goods or services, and the competition you face. Use market segmentation to identify potential customers, and market survey methods to characterise your customers and their needs.

Presentation

The length of the business plan will depend on individual circumstances, but it should be short enough to maintain the interest of any potential investor.

The presentation should be professional and clear, with graphics and charts where appropriate.

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Essential ingredients

Your business plan should include:


Avoid some common pitfalls

Here are some business plan traps which you should be careful to avoid.



An ongoing process

Like keeping a 'To Do' list, writing a business plan is an ongoing process. Don't make the mistake of abandoning or forgetting about your business plan after you've presented it to investors. The plan should adapt to changes in your company, its market and the economy - and that means regular reviewing and updating.

Creating your plan will open your eyes to the realities of your business. Keeping it updated will help you stay on the right track.

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