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Business Plan Structure

This business plan structure can be used as the foundation for a simple business plan for any business starting up or expanding their business.

There is a basic structure for most types of business plans.

The structure below is what your bank will be looking for. There is no point in developing your own structure because readers of business plans expect certain elements in certain places.

Business plans for small businesses should be around 16 pages in length. The main pages readers of your plan will look at are the executive summary and the financial plans. Other aspects of your plan will be discussed with you.

 

Basic Structure of a Business Plan

Below is the structure of a business plan that we recommend:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This is a summary of the rest of your plan and should be done last.
 

BUSINESS VISION

This is a summary of your overall vision of what you want your business to become at the end of the plan - usually in 3 years time
 

ANALYSIS

Before you can think about where you want to take your business and the plans you want to develop you must analyse your own situation and external environment first. No business can develop a way forward until they know exactly where they are going to take their business from - ie: the starting point.

a) EXTERNAL ANALYSIS – current situation only

  • The economy & business environment
  • The Market Place
  • Competition - who are they, what do they offer
  • Market share - in each key market
  • E-commerce/ technology

b) INTERNAL ANALYSIS – current situation only

  • Your business - products and services - trends and description
  • Customers and Marketing
  • Sales
  • Group structure
  • Management Team/ HR

c) SWOT analysis (from your analysis above)

  • Relative strengths
  • Relative weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

WHERE ARE YOU GOING & HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET THERE ?

Company Strategies – your plan

  • Marketing and sales (4 ps - product, place, pricing, promotion) - Sell the benefits of your products
  • Your team
  • Customers
    • Diversification (new products to new customers),
    • Grow and maintain (existing products to existing customers)
    • Product development (new products to existing customers)
    • Acquisition (existing products to new customers)
  • Operations
  • Technology

CAN YOU FINANCE IT ?

  • The finance plan for your business plan
  • Profit and loss account, balance sheet, cashflow
  • Investment from you or third parties

More business plan downloads are available at Teneric business planning site

Your business plan structure is vital - don't leave business planning to chance.