A Business Plan Template

I.      BUSINESS BACKGROUND

is a [type of business] trading as [trading name].  The company’s registered office is [registered office] and the company registration number is [registration number].

was founded in [year] by [Founder’s Name].

[Founder’s Name] identified an opportunity in the [type of market] market for [nature of product/service] and subsequently formed .  In the last [no. of years] the business has [grown by x%].  We have achieved [detail principal achievements/position in the market].

is located [in/at] [location] and currently employs [number of employees].  Our [range of products/services] are [describe current products/services] and we have an annual turnover of [annual turnover].

‘s financial background is as follows:

Year Turnover Profit [year] [turnover] £[profit] [year] [turnover] £[profit] [year] [turnover] £[profit]

Our gross margin should be maintained at the average level of [gross margin]%.  The projected turnover for [year] is £[projected turnover] and we expect our profits to increase in line with turnover to £[profit].

‘s main financial commitments are [detail financial commitments & amounts]

The share distribution in is as follows:

Share Type/Quantity Price per Share Owner [Ordinary, Pref] [No. of Shares] £[***] [Name] [Ordinary, Pref] [No. of Shares] £[***] [Name] [Ordinary, Pref] [No. of Shares] £[***] [Name]

TOTAL [******] £[*****]

[Founder’s Name] has [list qualifications] and has [no. of years] experience in [Industry]. [His/Her] key skills are [list skills] and [he/she] is responsible for [areas of responsibility].

[Senior Manager’s Name] is our [Job title] and is responsible for [detail responsibilities]. [He/she] has been with the company for [no of years] and has brought to , [detail skills and experience].  Since joining , [Manager’s Name] has achieved [list achievements].

Repeat for all senior management

has [number of other employees] other members of staff. They are as follows:

[Employee’s Name] has been with the company for [time with company] and is the [job title/function]. [His/her] responsibilities include [list responsibilities].

[Employee’s Name] joined the company [when joined] and is the [job title/function]. [His/her] responsibilities include [list responsibilities].

Detail numbers of other staff and their departments

In addition to our management team, employs the services of [give details of individuals / companies employed and services provided].

will need to employ [number of staff] additional staff members over the next [period of time]. These staff will be employed to [reason for requirement].  The cost of this recruitment will be £[cost]. Staff are recruited through [recruitment channels] and receive full training in [detail training practices].

II.    AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

We are in the business of [nature of business].   It is our mission to [outline hopes].   We aim to [outline aims].

Our objective for is to increase in [profitability/size] by [Increase percentage]%.   This will be achieved by [method to be applied] and within the next [time frame].

III.   PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

‘s [product/service] line consists of [detail service/product]. Our [product/service] is [detail features of product].  Our [product/service] offers the customer [benefits of product/service] and is used for [list applications].  [Product/Service] is currently available at a cost of £[price].

[Product/Service] stands out from the competition because [detail competitive advantage]. Our nearest competition offers [detail how the competition differs].

Our [product/service] currently utilises the following technology; [detail the current technology of the product/service]. By using this technology we are able to offer [detail benefits/implications of using this technology].

Our main production plant is located at [location]. We currently subcontract [production process] to [subcontractors]. We selected (subcontractors) because of [selection procedure]. We currently produce [no. of units] units per [time period].

The materials we use are [detail materials] and we source them from [detail suppliers and locations].

The production process involves [detail production process].

Our current costs are [detail current production costs/cost per unit].   We anticipate that if we meet our targets our costs will [increase/decrease] by [%cost]%.

offers top quality customer support in the form of [detail support policy].

Our research has shown [detail where and how competition is likely to emerge].   We therefore plan to [outline product development plans].   Our timescales for development are as follows: [outline planned timescales].   We anticipate the costs of development will be £[development cost].   This will be financed by .

IV.  THE MARKET

The [industry in-which you operate] industry is worth approximately £[industry value] per year.  The [sector in-which you operate] sector represents [share]% of the entire market. The industry is projected to grow by [%growth]% over the next [timescale].  This expected growth is due to [reasons for growth].

We have sourced this information from .  We selected because [detail reason for selection].  They conducted their research by [detail how research was conducted].

‘s typical customer is [describe typical customer].  Customers purchase on average [number of products] products per [period of time] spending £[amount].  In future we hope to attract [potential customer profile] through [adjustments to our marketing strategy / diversification / relocation / expansion].

Presently has [number] competitors. The most significant being [Competitor], who has a market share of [%share]%. The market share of our competitors is [decreasing/increasing/unlikely to change].

also faces indirect competition from [Competitor], who has affected sales by [launching/changing perceptions/innovation in technology] which is encouraging our traditional customer to [re-direct spending].

We will minimise the threats to our market share by [increasing quality/decreasing marginal costs/increasing service/value].

Our customer profile was compiled by [agency/our own staff – detail reasons for using either]. Our research consisted of [detail methods].

The research showed [detail findings – market needs, perceptions]. A detailed summary of the research, including questionnaires, is attached as Appendix [appendix].

There are certain external influences that may have an effect on our business, namely [outline external factors].  Therefore we intend to [outline plans to minimise threats/take advantage of opportunities].

V.   MARKETING

‘s marketing message for [product/service] is to promote it as [outline marketing message].

’s products are positioned as follows:

Product How positioned [product] [positioning] [product] [positioning] [product] [positioning] [product] [positioning]

We decided to brand [product/service] as [describe branding].  This strategy was selected because [outline reasons]. [Product/Service] has achieved brand recognition by [outline stages you have gone through to establish brand recognition].  The branding of [product/service] differentiates it from the competition because [outline how branding differentiates product/service].

Our pricing objective for [product/service] is [objective].

We determine our pricing based on [detail price determination].

We plan to adjust our prices by [outline methods] during [time period/dates].  We envisage that while this promotion will reduce margins by [%reduction]%, sales should increase by [%sales increase], thereby increasing profit by £[profit increase].

plans to utilise a number of marketing methods over the next [timescale].  We plan to [outline methods].

[Medium Title (e.g. Press Advertising)] We plan to advertise in [section] of [magazine/newspaper/periodical name].  The advertisements will be [size and colour of advertisements], [please see advertisement attached as Appendix [appendix].   We chose [magazine/newspaper/periodical name] because it has a circulation of [circulation figure] and its audience profile is [readership figure/profile].  The advertisement will appear on [dates] for the next [duration of campaign] and will be placed in [special position].  This will cost us £[cost] per advertisement.

Repeat for all advertising

[Title (Type of Mailing)]

We plan to mail the [list source] list with an offer of [outline offer].  We will mail the list on [date of mailing].  The list reaches [number of people] people and is targeted at [target audience].  We will mail [describe mail piece] (see Appendix [appendix]) and the cost of mailing each piece will be approximately [unit total cost of mail piece].  The list cost will be [list hire/purchase charge].  Therefore the total cost of the mailing will be [total mailing cost].  If [%anticipated response rate]% of the recipients purchase one of our products we will realise profits of £[profit] on this mail piece.

[Show/Exhibition/Seminar name] We will be renting a [size] stand at the [show/exhibition/seminar] which will be held at [Venue] during [time period].  We selected this [show/exhibition/seminar] because [reasons for selection].  The attendance last year was [previous attendance figures] and the event organisers are expecting attendance this year to be circa [predicted attendance].  The attendees are [profile of attendees].  We will be [describe how you plan to exhibit product or service].  This will cost us £[cost] and in return we hope to [what you hope to achieve].

In [month/date] we will be running a [type of promotion] promotion that will last until [month/date].  The incentive will be [detail nature of promotion].  The promotion is aimed at [detail target audience] and is intended to [detail aims of promotion].  The promotion will cost us £[cost] and we expect to generate additional revenue of £[projected revenue].

Repeat for all promotions

handles all PR internally. or We employ the service of a specialist PR agency [Agency name].  [Agency name] has represented companies within the [industry] industry for over [number] years and was selected because [detail reasons for selection].

Our PR objective is [outline objective(s)].  We issue press releases to [outline target media]. We aim to achieve the maximum [news/review/comment] coverage.  We do this by [detail methods].  It is our aim to concentrate on [new target media] to [reason for targeting new media i.e. increase coverage] within this sector.

will also concentrate on securing sponsorship opportunities such as [give example].  We will also increase our visibility at events and seminars by securing more public appearances for [senior personnel].

VI.  SALES

sells through indirect channels. Our main channel is [channel].  This is comprised of [detail components of channel]. or sells directly to the customer. Our leads are generated by [method] and the customer contacts us by [method].  The customer purchases our products by [purchase method]. or uses a combination of both direct and indirect channels.  Our indirect channel comprises of [detail indirect channel].  We also sell directly to the end user by [detail direct selling methods].

‘s overall sales revenues are targeted to increase by [percentage increase]% over the next [timescale]. To achieve this target, we will concentrate on the following areas: [sales focus].

With these areas in mind, our channel objective is to [widen distribution / diversify distribution etc.] over [timescale]. We plan to achieve this by [method].

has a number of systems in place that enable us to service and manage our channel partners effectively.

We control any channel marketing activities by [detail method]. We monitor their selling practice of our channel by [detail method] thereby ensuring that our [products/services] are promoted correctly.

Channel stock is monitored at all times, thus ensuring that we are able to meet demand in a satisfactory time period. All our channel partners are offered [services offered to channel].

has a sales force of [number of salespeople] comprised of [structure].  The sales force sell to our prospects by [detail methods i.e. telephone, site visits etc.].

Our sales leads come in by [method], which are then handled by [personnel].  As soon as a lead comes in it is logged by [detail logging method].  The customer is then sent [information sent] and the lead is followed up by [follow-up method].  We have calculated the average cost to process each lead to be £[cost].

When an order comes in it is handled by [personnel]. They process the order using [system] and run the necessary checks.  The average order is for £[amount].  The order is then processed using [detail order processing systems]. Goods are sent out by [method].

Our stock is controlled by [system].

‘s terms and conditions state that customers with a credit account must pay within [number of days] days upon receipt of invoice. Our average debtor days are [number] days.  We have [number of accounts] credit accounts.  To qualify for a credit account the customer must [qualification terms].

If the customer has not paid within [number of days] days, our accounts department calls them and chases them for the amount outstanding. Statements are also sent out [frequency].  The account immediately goes on ‘stop credit’ if there is an outstanding invoice.  If there is a dispute, the account is [account status] until the situation is resolved. The dispute is dealt with by [person responsible].  If the debt in dispute exceeds [number] days the customer is sent an LBA (letter before action).  If still unresolved after [number] days we then commence proceedings.

All customer service issues are handled by [person/people responsible]. The sales team can handle the bulk of customer’s queries.  The majority of customer service calls relate to [detail nature of calls].  If a customer wishes to return a product they can do so by [describe procedure].

Complaints are dealt with by [person/people responsible]. If the customer wishes to speak to a higher authority, [person] will deal with the complaint.  All complaints are dealt with as quickly and politely as possible.

‘s sales team is managed and developed on a number of different levels. Our interview procedure consists of [describe interview procedure].  Our interviews are designed to recruit [describe perfect candidate].  Our sales people are trained by [describe methods].

The sales people have sales meetings every [frequency] and are appraised every [frequency] by [Manager]. Pay is reviewed [frequency] and the bonus/commission structure is broken down as follows: [commission breakdown].

It is important that our sales team is highly motivated and we therefore incentivise them by [describe how you motivate your team].

uses [method of transportation] to transport our product(s) to our customers.  This costs us £[cost] per unit and we charge the customer £[charge].  We use this method because [explain reasons].

VII. FINANCIAL PLAN

As there is a long term growth strategy for the business, combined with initial limited profitability, the most suitable form of investment is via equity. Short term interest payments on a loan would damage the cash position of the business. requires an equity investment of £[amount]. or As this business plan shows, the long term success of the business is based upon short term investment in order to achieve [state objectives].  Therefore requires a loan of £[amount] to be repaid over a period of [time period].

The bulk of the required funds £[amount] will be immediately allocated to [outline spending plans].  The [item] will be operational by [date] and will be generating revenue for the business by [date]. The effects of the increasing revenues are shown in the profit and loss assumptions below.  The bulk of the required funds £[amount] will be immediately allocated to [outline spending plans].  The [item] will be operational by [date] and will be generating revenue for the business by [date].  The effects of the increasing revenues are shown in the profit and loss assumptions below.

The financial section of this business plan shows how will grow in a consistent and sustainable manner over the next [number] years.  This growth is attributed to careful financial management combined with steady sales increases and effective cost control.

The sales figures provided allow for modest increases throughout the life of the plan. They have been calculated conservatively based upon significant research and past experience. The main costs i.e. [list costs] are easily identified and as such can be accurately determined and controlled.

The growth of the shareholders’ funds from [starting figure] to [closing figure] shows how the business retains earnings while funding its own growth.

Extensive research has shown that the cashflow assumptions are highly accurate. Studies of similar businesses have indicated that the remittance patterns from clients and the expectations of payment from suppliers are in order.

As can be seen in the financial plan, continues to earn healthy profits throughout the life of the loan. The additional interest and principal payments will be met from operating profits.  The costs of the loan are more than offset by the additional profits which the investment brings. or It is the intention of the present directors to seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange within the next [timescale]. or It is the intention of the directors to achieve annual pre-tax profits in excess of £[pre-tax profits] and then to [sell the company/expand further etc.].

 

VIII.    OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS

As identified earlier in the document the main area of risk is [summarise risk]. To minimise this risk we must [summarise plans]. We plan to do this by [timescale].  The [type of funding] will enable us to [show how funding will help counter the threats].

As stated earlier we have a significant opportunity to [detail opportunity]. [Source of funding] investment will enable us to [detail how investment will be used].  In return for funding we will [reward to investor].

IX.  TIMETABLES AND DEADLINES

The key deadlines that we have set are as follows:

Date Deadline [Date] [Deadline] [Date] [Deadline] [Date] [Deadline] [Date] [Deadline] [Date] [Deadline]

 

X.   APPENDICES

Section Appendices

Management & Staff Management CVs Organisational Chart

Overview of Product/Service Offering Brochure

Manufacturing/Production Process Process Diagrams

Market Research Statistical data/ Market analysis

Pricing Current price list

Marketing Methods Media Schedule Advertising Schedule Sample advertisements Mailing Schedule Sample mail piece PR Brief

Sales Channels Distribution Diagram

Financial Plan 1-3 Year Projected Balance Sheets 1-3 Year Profit and Loss accounts 1-3 Year Cashflow Statements Audited accounts for last 3 years

Timetable and Deadlines Schedule Action plan

 

 

 

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