Starting a business - The Business Plan

Over the coming months, I'm going to be writing about the importance of business plans, how to go about creating business plans and finally how to take that step from business plan to running the business.

General overview

A Business plan is arguably the most important part of any new start up business, or for that matter any business at all. Why? I hear you ask! It gives your ideas substance and a logical framework with which to build your dream into a reality. Not only this but anyone wanting to invest will want to see it. It is the guide to your business.

There is a very famous saying:
Failing to Plan, is planning to Fail
This was said by Ben Franklin, Churchill and many others in some form or another. It really does apply to business plans. Did you know that 95% of businesses without a business plan fail... yes I know 87.567% of statistics are made up but feel free to go and verify this one. Without direction a new venture is likely to not succeed. Why start if you don't plan to succeed so get planning.

 Now you know why you need one, what exactly is it? A business plan is a working document (by that I mean you don't just write it once put it in that file and dust it off once every three years to show the bank when you want an overdraft or loan) It should be flexible, it should grow and change with the ever changing face of your business, it should reflect your business goals and finally but most importantly it should be current and up to date.

I won't go into detail over how to write one here as that is for future posts. I'll just leave you with this If you want your business to succeed you have to plan for success, you need targets and plans these can't be in your head they need to be recorded, so please start by just jotting down your business ideas, what is the general concept, who are your potential customers, what are your short, medium and long term goals.
I want to start a touring theatre company, which will supply theatre workshops to support the national curriculum. I want to deal with schools, local councils and government and social groups. I want to start in my local area probably with one troupe and once this is financially successful I'd like to branch out to other areas in the UK and eventually be the leading provider of TIE (Theatre in Education) for the UK. 
This is all your start needs to be it states what you want to be, it's main market and niche and some short and longer term goals. It is very basic and a top level overview of what you want to achieve, but it is a great starting point.

In the next blog we will build on the above and start talking about how we turn our vision into a business plan with substance.

Please feel free to ask me any questions you like by leaving a comment.

and check out which is a very useful site with lot's of information about starting a business including writing your business plans.