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How to make a Business plan

Use this business plan to outline and plan your business’ goals and how you intend to achieve them. Use this document to help you secure the funding you need to help grow your business.

Recently reviewed by Adnan Mahmood, Solicitor and Head of Legal, UK. 

This business plan was last reviewed on 1 December 2021.

A business plan is a written document that outlines business goals and sets out the financial, marketing and operational strategies to achieve them. It documents what your business is and how you are going to make it grow. It is a fundamental prerequisite when starting a business, especially if you are launching a startup with high growth expectations.

Secure the funding you need to help grow your business with this step-by-step business plan. Show potential investors why your product and/or service will be successful with a business plan that sets clear objectives and a strategy for growth. Writing a business plan will help you set a realistic timeline for repaying the investment while conveying confidence to potential investors. It covers the executive summary, business summary, marketing strategy and your financial plan.

As business plans are essential when you are seeking investment, draw people’s attention by including visuals (eg graphs, logos, photos of the design process) in your plan.

Use this business plan:

  • to secure funding from investors for your business
  • to set out in detail how you will use the investment to grow your business
  • to set clear goals and a strategy to grow your business
  • to create a roadmap for your business
  • for businesses located in England, Wales or Scotland

This business plan covers:

  • an executive summary
  • a business overview
  • a marketing plan and strategy
  • the management team
  • financial information and funding requirements
  • an optional SWOT analysis

You should know:

  • owners and ownership structure (eg the share percentage a named owner has in the business)
  • the funding amount
  • what your business will sell and for how much
  • the marketing strategy (eg online advertising) and market analysis (eg competitors)
  • who the management team is and how you will run your business as an operation (read Writing a business plan - management team operations and logistics for more information)
  • the projected business revenue for at least the first year of business

Creating a business plan helps you define your long-term goals and how you intend to achieve them, conveying confidence to potential investors.

A business plan is particularly useful for any business seeking investment. It shows potential investors why your product or service will be successful by setting out clear objectives and a strategy for growing your business.

Remember that business plans will depend on the specifics of your business. Do not hesitate to Ask a lawyer for assistance drafting your document or if you would like a bespoke business plan drafted.

An executive summary, or statement of purpose, is a short and precise description of your business, that is meant to grab your potential investors attention when they first look at your business plan. It details the business purpose and operations, identifies the management team, and outlines the financial projections. Read Writing a business plan - executive summary and business outline for information on how to draft an executive summary.

Your business plan should include detailed financial information to prove that you have a clear understanding of the all-important monetary aspects of running a business. Financial information covers

  • the amount of investment you are seeking
  • the expected profit and loss statement (ie expected revenues and expenses)

To elaborate your financial plan, read Writing a business plan - financial information and requirements.

A marketing strategy details the long term plan of how you are going to grow your business. It starts with market research and analysis, which identifies your target customers and your competitors. Your marketing strategy should include:

  • pricing strategy
  • promotion techniques (eg online advertising)
  • sales methods

A SWOT analysis (or ‘matrix’) can increase your business awareness and provide a valuable addition to your business plan. It’s split into four sections:

  • strengths - detailing the strengths of your particular business, whether it’s the skill set, industry knowledge or a specialist resource
  • weaknesses - detailing any weaknesses of your business (especially compared to competitors) and how you plan to overcome them
  • opportunities - detailing why your business will succeed
  • threats - detailing any threats to your business (ie why your business may not succeed) and any contingency plans to deal with such threats

Examining your business and the sector in which it operates is intrinsically valuable, as it helps you to make strategic decisions and prevent disasters by planning ahead.

Read Writing a business plan - SWOT analysis for more information.

Ask a lawyer

  • if this document does not meet your business needs
  • for further advice on business plans

Other names for Business plan

Business proposal, Business development plan.