Client name i.e. Directors, Partners
Insert a Logo or Picture
Name of Business
1. Executive Summary
This is the first part of the plan to be read but the last to be written! When you are happy with your
completed business plan come back to this section and briefly summarise the contents of your plan:
your business idea, who your customers are going to be, the value of the sales you are going to
achieve and the profit that will be generated. Make it clear and exciting!
2. Business Background
a) Please provide a concise description of your Business Idea identifying clearly the product or
service you plan to supply:
b) Explain the background to the business and how you come to be at this point in time about to
launch a new business into the market.
c) What is your mission statement for the business? In one or two sentences describe your business,
setting out what you are seeking to achieve how your business will be different from competitors
d) What are your aims and objectives for the business, what do you hope to achieve? For example,
the number of customers you will have, how frequently will they buy from you and what level of
sales income will be generated in the first year of trading?
e) What personal characteristics and skills do you bring to the business? What experience do you
have of doing something similar or is it based on an interest or a hobby? What other skills do you
need to develop how will you address this? Please attach your CV as an appendix to this plan.
3. Operational Structure
Please outline how you plan to organise your business.
a) What legal structure will your business be and why have you chosen this?
Sole Trader / Partnership / Limited Company / Other:
b) Business Name – What will the business trade as and what have you done to check that this name
is not already being used? For example, have you checked the local directories, visited Companies
House website and looked at whois.net website or startbiz.com.
c) Business premises – where will your business be based? Will you work from home, operate from
business premises, retail shop or commercial offices and will planning permission be required? Will
you be offering a mobile service or exclusively through the internet?
d) Products and Services – describe what you are providing and how it will be delivered or
distributed to your customers.
e) Suppliers – who will be your main suppliers of materials, have payment terms and delivery
schedules been agreed?
f) Quality standards & environmental considerations – describe any quality standards (e.g. ISO,
Hygiene Mark) or environmental considerations (e.g. pollution, noise, waste etc.) you will need to
g) Staffing – will you require to employ any staff during your first year of trading – describe the skills
or training they might require and how you propose to recruit and train them.
4. Market Research
Please describe your understanding of your target market, how you have researched it and with
what results. You should pay particular attention to your target customers, who they are and why
they buy the product or service which you are offering. You should also explain your understanding
of the competition you will face in the market.
a) What customer research have you done and with what results? Have you spoken to potential
customers? What is the size of the market – nationally and locally?
b) Who are your target customers? How would you describe them – young, old, male, female, living
in a particular area etc.? What are their buying habits? Have any potential customers made a
commitment to buy from you?
c) Who are your main competitors? List your main competitors. What are their strengths, what are
they good at? Do they have any weaknesses? What do they charge? How do they promote
d) Why will your customers buy from you? What is special or unique about what you are doing?
What are the strengths of your offer – business and personal?
e) Location – If your business is retail - What passing trade is there, what businesses are adjacent to
yours, is car parking easy, are you on a bus route?
f) Online Website – If your business is web-based - How easy is it to find and navigate your website,
how does it compare with your competitors?
g) Seasonality? Does your product or service have a seasonal demand, e.g. Christmas period,
summer months? How will you operate in the quieter months of the year?
5. SWOT Analysis
Please analyse your own business’s Strengths and Weaknesses and then your Opportunities and
Threats. Doing a good SWOT analysis allows you to maximise your strengths and take available
Opportunities in order to meet the needs of particular customers – compared to your competitors. It
also allows you to develop ways of overcoming any weaknesses and being prepared for any Threats.
What are your STRENGTHS? – Experience, knowledge, location, modern equipment, low costs etc.
What are your WEAKNESSES? – No business experience, low awareness of business, limited finances etc.
What OPPORTUNITIES are open to you? – New market, legislation, new housing in area etc.
What THREATS are you faced with? – Government legislation, new competitors, bad publicity etc.
ANALYSIS: What actions will you take to overcome your Weaknesses and Threats?
6. Marketing, Advertising and Promotion
What are you going to sell? Refer back to 3.b and decide if this is still the product or service you are
planning to supply. Define clearly what you are going to sell.
Who are the people you are going to sell to? Refer back to 4.d and decide if this is still the main
group of people who are going to sell to. Create a detailed description of your target group.
Create your own brand or image. How do you want your customers to see you? Refer back to 4.d
and decide if there is anything unique about you or your service that will help create your ‘identity’.
Create an outline marketing plan - a strategy. What broad steps will you take to help you raise
awareness of your product or service, remembering seasonality.
What actions will you take to raise awareness of your product or service? What methods will you use
to advertise and promote your product or service, how often will you use these and what will it cost
in total for the first year of your business?
Method Timeframe Cost (£)
What specific tasks will you undertake to make your target customers aware of your product or
service in the first three months of trading and what will this cost?
Method Timeframe Cost (£)
7. Pricing Policy
Have you considered what you will charge for your product or service? Have you checked what your
competitors are doing in the market? What are you worth and what do you want to earn from your
activities? Remember that to compete on price and being cheaper than competitors is not a recipe
for long term success – be COMPETITIVE not cheap! Focus on QUALITY and SERVICE.
Explain how you have determined your pricing policy:
8. Sales Projections
Have you considered what level of sales you might achieve in your first year of trading and what
gross sales income these might generate? Remember that your sales will probably start low and
build as you raise awareness amongst your customers. Take into account any seasonal factors that
might impact on your sales.
Month Unit Sales Unit Price Total Sales Value
Explain how you have come to this projection:
9. Start up Costs
a) Business equipment…
Using the table below, list all items of equipment, machinery; vehicles etc. which you will need to
operate your business, plus your assessment of the value of each item. Enter the assessed values in
the “Owned” column if you already have the item but in the “Required” column if you still have to
purchase the item.
Item Of Equipment Owned (£) Required (£)
Total Value c/f £ £
b) Other Start up costs
In the table below list all items on which you must spend money before you can start to trade. If you
have already spent money on some items, enter the amount spent in the “Owned” column. Please
note that your entries for “Equipment” Should match the value totals of the equipment column in
Owned (£) Required (£)
Equipment total b/f
Rent & rates
Marketing & promotional costs
Telephone & post
Stock or materials
Legal & accountancy fees
Total Value £ £
10. Sources of Finance to cover Start up Costs
The total in the “Required” column shows the total funds required to finance the start up of your
business. In the table below show clearly from where you plan to access the required funds.
Source Amount (£)
Own Capital (cash provided by you)
Bank Overdraft Facility
11. Personal Survival Budget
a) Personal Expenditure. List below your monthly personal expenses which you will need to earn
from the business to maintain a reasonable standard of living.
Outgoings Self Partner
Domestic Rent / Mortgage
Utilities: Gas, Electricity, Fuel
Food & clothes
Insurance / pension
Other expenses, e.g. childcare
b) Income Sources. List below the income you receive from other sources other than your projected
Income Self Partner
Working Tax Credits
c) Now subtract your Total Income from your Total Outgoings to work out what you need to earn
from your business each month.
Monthly Income required from the business
12. Business Costs and Overheads
Please list below the estimated costs of running your business and provide a brief explanation as to
how you have arrived at these figures.
Item Monthly £ Annual £ Explanation
Heat, light & power
Stationery & post
Advertising & promotion
Repairs & renewals
Motor & travel
Accounts & legal
Rent & rates
Total Overhead Costs
13. Cash Flow Projection
Using all the financial information you have gathered, complete the attached Cash Flow projection.
Ensure proper consideration is given to start-up and seasonal factor.
14. Legal & Regulatory Requirements
Legal Requirements – What steps have you taken to ensure that the business is legally compliant and
its activities are protected?
Yes No N/A
Sole Trader or Partnership - have you registered with HMRC?
Limited Company – have you registered with Companies House?
Have you obtained Public Liability insurance?
Have you obtained other necessary insurances?
Has your lease agreement been checked by a solicitor?
Have you obtained the necessary local authority approvals?
Have you obtained the necessary licences?
Have you investigated Copyright protection?
Have you produced a Health & Safety policy?
Have you produced an Environmental policy?
15. Action Plan
Use this action plan to list your tasks. You are more likely to get tasks done if you commit to a date
and tick them off once completed.
I need to do this: By Date Done