Tailor your business plan to secure funding
Presenting your business plan - key considerations
Your business plan is a tool you can use to attract new funds or as a strategy document. Following the suggestions below will help you to succeed.
Doing your research
Before writing your business plan ensure that you:
- check that the help you are applying for is still available - you may no longer qualify
- back up any assumptions you have made with thorough research
- find out your own credit rating by applying to a credit reference agency such as Experian or Equifax for your credit file - a small charge is payable
Writing your business plan
Write your plan in a way that demonstrates your commitment to the business. Give it a professional feel by using graphs, pie charts, photos etc, but use only one font type and colour.
Your plan should:
- Be realistic - make sure you can justify any assumptions or projections and avoid being overly ambitious.
- Highlight any potential financial difficulties - warn your bank or lender if you anticipate that you may not be able to meet a repayment. There is every chance you may be able to come to some arrangement.
- Show how you intend to devise and implement effective cashflow arrangements, eg have clear procedures for chasing up any accounts receivable.
Once finished, ask someone to proofread your completed business plan for spelling and grammatical errors.
For further guidance see write a business plan: step-by-step.
Getting professional help
Seek the help of your business adviser or accountant in compiling your business plan or loan application form. They will ensure that the financial information is compiled and presented correctly and that key areas stand out.
You may also wish to contact a specialist broker who can help to find potential investors, usually for a fee and a percentage of funds raised.
Revising your business plan
Once you have presented the plan, ensure you review and revise it as your business grows.
If you are refused investment or a loan, take the criticism on board and consider how you might improve the plan for presenting in the future.