Guide

Step-by-step guide to starting a business

Business plans for start-ups

It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan when you're starting up a business. A business plan is a written document that describes a business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business.

Your plan should include:

  • An executive summary - this is an overview of the business you want to start. It's vital. Many lenders and investors make judgments about your business based on this section of the plan alone.
  • A short description of the business opportunity - who you are, what you plan to sell or offer, why and to whom.
  • Your marketing and sales strategy - why you think people will buy what you want to sell and how you plan to sell to them.
  • Your management team and personnel - your credentials and the people you plan to recruit to work with you.
  • Your operations - your premises, production facilities, your management information systems and IT.
  • Financial forecasts - this section translates everything you have said in the previous sections into numbers.

For further information see:

The video below highlights what you should include in a business plan.