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How to write a successful business plan

Writing a business plan

A good business plan defines exactly what you want to achieve and how you intend to achieve it. Here are some tips to help you create a successful plan.

Define your business

It’s important that you define what type of small business you are. Your plan should include:
  • What your business will do  
  • The products or services it will provide  
  • How customers will access your products or services (eg in a shop, online or by phone)  
  • Your approach to pricing

Know your customers

Make sure you know as much as possible about who will be buying from you. For example, if you’re marketing to consumers, here are some questions you might want to ask. Knowing the answers will help you promote your business much more effectively:
  • Are they young or old?  
  • What do they do for a living?  
  • What are their lifestyles like?  
  • Do they already buy the product or service?  
  • Why will they buy from you and no one else?  
  • How will you tell them about our business?

Naming your business

The name you choose for your business should reflect the image you want to project to your market. Pick one that’s easy to pronounce and remember, but do some research first. Make sure your chosen name is not already in use, it’s available as a web address and, will work on your business stationery. 

Taking on staff

If you take on employees – even part-time – you’ll need to familiarise yourself with employment law and know how to get the best out of your staff.

Writing it all down

When you write your business plan, remember to be clear, realistic and concise. Use research to support your conclusions and include an action plan. Business plans are dynamic documents – meaning that you should adjust your plan as your business develops.