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Your Business Plan

Calculating your costs and writing a business plan are the most important places to start when setting up your new business. A good plan will clarify your goals, keep you focused, help you spot potential problems and set targets to work towards. Your plan may be a working document used internally or could be shared with people outside your business, especially if you are hoping to secure investment or a loan. Keep it professional and succinct. When creating your business plan you should include information on the following:

1. The Industry and How Your Business Fits Into It

  • Provide information on the type of business you will be running as well as its defining features and main objectives

  • Provide information on the market you are entering, its key characteristics and details of your main competitors. Include where your agency will be positioned in the market and what advantages it has over competitors

  • Explain how your business will fill an existing gap in the market

  • Include details of the service you are providing, information on your target customers and your strategy for reaching those customers

2. Marketing and Social Media

  • Provide information on your marketing strategy and details of how it will be implemented

3. Finances and Sales

  • Offer financial forecasts, sales targets and a plan for generating sales revenue for at least the first 6-12 months. If necessary, small business advisors at banks and business support organisations can help with financial forecasting. If you are using the services of a chartered accountant, they will also be able to help

4. Business Structure and Staffing

  • Provide information on the ownership structure of the business and details on staffing and who is fulfilling each role

  • Include details of your team’s skills and flag any areas of deficiency. Address how you will manage these deficiencies through further recruitment or staff training

5. Day to Day Operations

  • Include information on where and how you will work and the facilities you have for you and your staff

6. Technology and Software

  • Include details on the information systems you have in place to manage the day to day running of your business. At the minimum, this should address generating candidates’ books, time sheets, invoices and contracts
  • Include information on the management software you will be using and who in your team has access

7. Compliancy

  • Outline how your business will operate within the law and stay compliant. You are entering a heavily regulated industry and must understand the law and its implications. If you are appealing to investors with your business plan, you must demonstrate your knowledge of the industries’ laws and regulations and the ways in which you will stay compliant

Final Thoughts

Even if your business plan is for your own reference, keep it professional and succinct so it functions as a workable document rather than something to be filed and forgotten. Use it as a key component of your business set up and continue to reference it as you develop and grow. Your plan should cover at least the first year of business and may extend up to three to five years. If you are still unsure of where to start, you may wish to use a template to write your business plan. There are many online options available with examples and templates.

 

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