How To Create A Business Plan

Dec 10, 2015


Most people don’t think well. I mean, they don’t reason well. Ideas occur to them the way fleas occur to a half-asleep dog. They bite on some, and not others.

Your average human bod walks around in a stupor. He spends a third of his life asleep and the other 2/3rd’s watching drivel on a screen. This doesn’t leave much time for exercising the ol’ brain cells.

And you know, most of the time, that’s not a problem.

One can happily sleepwalk through life. Do what you’re told and do what other people are doing. When the herd panics, you run away with it. When the clan sights gold in the next valley, you run towards it too.

You eat and you get a roof over your head. Life ain’t great but it’s not bad, either.

This attitude is a problem when you want to start a business. Specifically, when you want to get money from others; your bank, loan companies or investors.

They want to see what you’re doing and where you’re going and that you’re sure of getting there. You’re after their money and they’re nervous.

They want to see your business plan.

So, you have to sit down and think. Or maybe not. In the internet age, other’s thinking can be downloaded for free. You don’t have to re-invent the button-hook.

Still, it’s good to take pen and paper and make notes:

Should you sell X?
– How will you sell X?
Where will you sell X?
– Can you afford to sell X?
– What price will you sell X at?
– Can you afford to sell X and make a fat net profit?
– What staff, buildings and equipment do you need to sell X?
– Where do you plan to be in the X market in 1, 2, 5 and 10 years time?
– Have you actually been selling X for 3 years now, built up a customer base, made a profit and just need a loan to take it to the next level?

Then crib off other people’s templates and away you go:

Her Majesty’s Gov: https://www.gov.uk/write-business-plan
Barclays: http://www.barclays.co.uk/Startupsupport/Writingasmallbusinessplan/P1242559649359
Lloyd’shttp://resources.lloydsbank.com/business-guides/starting-a-business/starting-your-own-business/writing-a-business-plan/#The-essentials-of-your-plan
HSBC: https://www.knowledge.hsbc.co.uk/tools-and-resources/article/writing-a-business-plan
Santander: http://www.santanderbusinessguides.co.uk/bizguides/full/index.asp

That should impress the heck out of the gnomes behind the till. They’ll throw credit at you and only want your house for security. And your first-born child.

One caveat: the days of the friendly local bank manager are long gone. He’s been replaced by a half-educated salesman who’s representing sharks who could foreclose just to realise the value of your assets: http://www.businesszone.co.uk/do/money/banks-branded-as-parasites-for-bullying-small-firms

Business is a battle. You need to work out the worst possible scenario in advance and have a plan to deal with it.

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