Business planning

Your business plan is a mission statement that sets out your vision, structure, methods, and helps you to plan for the future. Your business plan is a ‘living document’, meaning that it should be periodically revised and updated as your company grows and changes.

Your plan will also double as a sales document that helps you access funding or investment. It’s also a vital internal document that can help you to develop a course of action to achieve your objectives, establish benchmarks to measure your progress and much more.

Our advisers have helped hundreds of people to shape their business plans to begin or revise their journey – talk to us about how we can help you to plan your business.

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What you need to think about…


Before you start to plan, it’s important to research answers to the following questions about your business:

  • Is there a genuine market for your idea?
  • How much demand will there be for your product or service?
  • What trends currently affect the sector?
  • Who will buy your product or service?
  • Who will be your competitors and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are there any potential business partners with whom you could collaborate?

These questions will help you to focus your ideas to ensure that it’s a robust business – but they’re just the start.

Our skilled team will use their extensive knowledge of multiple sectors to advise on developing trends, and also help you to plan wider research into areas such as your target audience, spending habits and gaps in the market.


Your research will directly influence your planning, and will help you to assess:

  • your operating location(s);
  • what, if any, premises you need;
  • how many staff you require;
  • how you’ll market your enterprise;
  • how will you raise finance (sales, grants, loans, contracts and/or trade);
  • your pricing structure; and
  • how will you manage demand?

Our advisers can give you guidance and advice throughout the planning process. We can also provide a business plan template specifically for social enterprises and a 12 month or 3 year cash flow forecasting model.

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From your research and planning you’ll be able to determine how much initial start-up funding you’ll need and how long this will need to last until you receive any income.

Your research will have given an indication of how many people intend to use the service/product and how often. From this you can make some realistic financial assumptions.

There are a number of ways to potentially raise finance – our advisers will be able to explain all the options available to you, while they can also guide you through financial forecasting and how your legal structure can affect your grant eligibility.

Got a question about finance? Talk to us.

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