The Business Plan: Why do it?

Lisa Moore
Start-up Loan Fund Manager | SWIG
10th October 2013

Why write a business plan?  It’s all in your head isn’t it and you are going to be running the business, aren’t you? So why do it. Writing a business plan gives you, the entrepreneur, a chance to really think about all aspects of your business, such as legal structure, finance, and marketing. 

Writing a business plan makes you think about how you would actually do it and enables you to imagine who, how and what you need to do to turn this great idea into a reality.  So, it is a vital thing to do even if you don’t need finance to get you started and most definitely should be reviewed every once in a while when you are running your business. You wouldn’t build a house without a plan so why would you try to build a business without one?

Who is a Fund Manager?

A Fund Manager is the person who will be reading your business plan and very often, has not met you and has no idea about you, your business idea or the area that you live in.

When writing a business plan always remember that the Fund Manager will only be able to learn about your business and appraise whether it  is a good enough idea to help you, the applicant, to make a difference to your life and that you are equipped to manage that business successfully, by what you write down in your plan.

This is your chance to shine and really get your idea across.  Never assume that the person reading your plan will know what you are talking about – keep it simple and speak plainly!

Please don’t try to cheat and use an app or programme from the internet.  They look really great when they are finished however they mean very little when being read by a Fund Manager – the wonderful graphs are just `pretty` useless!

A good business plan doesn’t need to read like Shakespeare or `War and Peace` – it just needs to reflect your ideas, your experience and passion for your business and how you are going to do it.

A Fund Manager will ask questions about your business idea and call or email you to chat about various aspects.  These are often simple questions and are not meant to worry you; they are just to ensure that you have the right knowledge and financial information before you start the business to make a great start.

Starting a business and want to improve your chance of success?

If you're thinking of starting a business, Business West, has a unique business start-up programme that helps potential entrepreneurs improve their chances of success, and help you develop your idea, create a clear business plan, and provide expert support, up to and beyond, the launch of your business.

Expert advisors will guide you through key stages to ensure a clear and robust business plan which will tick the lending criteria boxes used by high street banks, thereby improving your chances of securing external funding.

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