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Gloucestershire Business News

A new year, a new business plan - Ryan Hancock and Adam Shearing of Hazlewoods

By Ryan Hancock and Adam Shearing of Hazlewoods 

Whether you are just starting to build your own business or are looking to gain access to funding to develop your existing business, a vital first step is the formulation of a comprehensive business plan.

For many businesses, raising finance has never been more important in order to keep trading, and so, understanding the structure of and requirement for a business plan is critical.

A business plan is written document that outlines your objectives and how these will be achieved, usually with the aim of raising finance. It provides a form and structure to your ideas and a road map for the future success of your business.

The plan covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing, and financial forecasts, and helps you to clarify your business idea, spot potential problems, work out what financing is needed, set out your goals and measure your progress. More importantly, it should present these elements in such a way that it is clear to an external investor how your goals will be achieved.

If you are self-funding and very familiar with the market in which you are operating, a simple outline may suffice; however, if you plan to seek funding or investment in your business, you will likely need to prepare a more formal plan.

There is no universal approach, but a plan should provide key management with a comprehensive, yet concise description of the business goals and strategies for achieving them. Potential investors and financers will also need to be convinced of the commercial merit of the business, the existence of a viable market and that the potential for return is worth the risk.

The success in having a plan is not down to the creator's ability to accurately predict the future, but rather about the discipline of setting regular goals, reviewing and evaluating progress, and making changes when required.

In the existing marketplace, change is unavoidable, and plans have had to become more agile and frequently updated than ever before.

Writing a business plan and keeping it updated may be time-consuming, but it is essential if you want to have a successful business that is going to thrive rather than just survive. If your business does not have one, maybe it is time to start writing it.

Hazlewoods, business advisers and chartered accountants, has prepared a template to help you get started with the process. If you would like a free, no obligation copy please e-mail marketing@hazlewoods.co.uk.

Alternatively, if you would like some assistance putting one together please get in touch with either Ryan Hancock at ryan.hancock@hazlewoods.co.uk or Adam Shearing at adam.shearing@hazlewoods.co.uk or call 01242 680000.

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