Practical, simple and effective solutions to help you
- Prepare business plans that bank managers and investors like;
- Prepare marketing plans that help you achieve your goals;
- Raise money – even that elusive seed capital – from the best mix of business angels, venture capitalists, banks and government grants;
- Create the business structure that gives you the control you want whilst minimising tax;
- Control your finances from day one;
- Set up and run systems that make it easy to manage your business, staff and finances.
Our “introduction to business plans” below, should give you some food for thought, but feel free to book a (free) consultation with us to test out your ideas on the experts. We also have a free “Business Start-up Pack” which we would be happy to post to you.
Business plans – an introduction:
Most business plans are prepared to show the viability of an enterprise to a potential lender so that funds can be advanced. However, all small businesses should have annual plans or objectives to keep themselves on track and to plan for long term viability. A professional business plan is not cheap.
Major causes of business failure include:
- lack of finance to ensure the long term success of the business,
- insufficient all-round business skills,
- lack of a broad customer base to ensure sales,
- product / service prices set too low to ensure business profitability.
So before you start your venture you owe it to yourself to spend a fair amount of time and some money both on research and a business plan to ensure that the business opportunity is viable. Lack of preparation and unwillingness to spend money up front could have severe negative consequences later on. The time spent on a first proposal which is aborted is not wasted; the experience will be invaluable when the next opportunity arises.
Anyone can throw some figures together to show good turnover and profits, which may possibly satisfy a secured lender, but if the figures bear no relation to how the business will actually develop then this is a recipe for disaster. The real skill in preparing a business plan is the critical approach which reviews all the assumptions to the plan and their practicality. To have one’s assumptions and ideas challenged may be painful initially but is certainly preferable to losing one’s home after one or two years, due to the business plan not being based on firm foundations. It is therefore the written part of the business plan, which is critical and not necessarily the projected profit and loss figures.
All business ventures involve risk and there is no guarantee that any particular venture will be a success. What is important is to reduce the areas of risk as much as possible. Therefore, a good business plan will help you keep track of actual performance against plan, and timely corrective action can be undertaken to bring the business back on track. The name of the game for a small business is liquidity – cash is the key to survival in the early years of existence. There is no room for wishful thinking in either preparing a business plan or in comparing actual results against plan.
You should also remember that setting up a business also entails complying with substantial government legislation, which will take up considerable amounts of your time and money. Failure to comply can result in result in heavy fines or even legal proceedings. Many of these responsibilities can be handled by your accountant. Here at Alan Patient & Co we have the skills and experience to help you not only with the business plan for new and existing businesses, but also in all the administration for a business start up.