Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 24
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
THINGS YOU SHOULD THINK
ABOUT WHEN STARTING A NEW
BUSINESS IS AN AREA THAT IS
EQUALLY CRUCIAL AT THE START
OF YOUR BUSINESS JOURNEY
AND AT EVERY POINT DURING IT:
YOUR BUSINESS PLAN.
A business plan's value is twofold. It has
value for you, as the company's founder
and owner. You can use it to iron out
every facet of your company. You should
also use your business plan to keep you
in check - ensuring you're achieving
what you set out to do. A long-term goal
could be getting support from third
parties for your business, for example,
whether that's through investment,
funding or gaining new customers.
So what does a business plan look
like? During my years in business, I've
written many and seen many more. The
n Do you or your team have a track
record in the sector or in business?
n What are the costs of the venture and
you know what your competitors do
- both the good and the bad.
what funding is needed?
one thing I can say with certainty is that
there isn't a golden formula to writing a
The next section is, in my view, one of the
business plan. It is personal to you, but
Next you need to explain the background
most important areas for any business:
there are certain things you should keep
to your business in depth: what it is, what
sales. How will you market, how will you
in mind when writing one.
it does, what its advantage is, how it will
sell, how will you build sales volume and
stand out, what will make people buy your
what will your profit margins be?
Here are the key points I'd expect and
want to see in any business plan.
product and where you already are with
Look towards your current or future
You need to answer all of these points.
If you've already got customers or have
customers lined up, mention them here.
Remember, your business plan will be
market. Speak to potential customers
written by and for you but it will be read
about their wants and needs, whether
THE SKILL SET
by others, so keep your audience in
they are being met and if not, why not.
Cover skills, specifically your key skills and
mind when putting one together. A
Clearly define the market analysis and
those of others in your team. If someone
simple test is to try it out on friends who
research you have conducted.
is investing in your business, they're
don't know anything about your
Knowing your market and having
investing in you, and you need to be able
venture. Does it make sense to them or
a strong understanding of the latest
to show you have the right people around
did you have to clarify areas?
trends will not only help save time later
you that will reduce the risk and increase
on, but it will also help to keep your
the chance of success.
Keep the structure simple. I would
suggest starting with an executive
summary. Your executive summary
is the first impression you will make
Last but not least: the financials. You need
on a lot of potential supporters and
Now you need to look towards your
to include realistic forecasts regarding
investors, and needs to broadly
competitors. What do they do well and
sales for your business. You also need to
cover the following areas:
what do they not do so well? To get your
include cashflow forecasts, profit-and-loss
n What does your business do and
business to succeed you are going to
forecasts and if possible, projected
need to take customers away from them
what are the advantages?
n Where are your businesses
n What are your financial projections?
any number of things. But make sure
and offer something your competitors
The more you can include, and the more
don't. This could be about cost, customer
well thought-out your projections are, the
service, advancement in the sector...
less financial risk you might face later.