Drawing Up a Business Plan for your SME
A business plan is vital for SMEs. Plans not only provide some focus to individual projects but also give you a good idea of how your company is performing and how it could improve in the future.
As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of serviced office space, Basepoint takes a keen interest in helping small businesses grow and succeed. Here is our guide to drawing up a business plan which will work for you.
Why Do I Need a Business Plan?
Business plans are not just for companies who are just starting up. Existing SMEs often draw them up if they are thinking of introducing a new product or service, or selling into a different market, maybe overseas. However, it is also a good idea to make a plan even if you aren’t intending to make major changes, to focus attention on how your company can build for the future.
Business plans are often aimed at third parties such as potential company investors like banks, but a well-prepared one can also benefit your company by providing a valuable snapshot of its overall performance.
What to Put In
The content of business plans will not only vary from company to company, but also depend on the kind of objectives you want to set. There will usually be a summary, which is important as many decisions by potential investors are based on this alone. It can include a mission statement, or an overview of the business you are looking to start up. There should also be a company description and a look at the products or services you offer.
If you are going to encourage people to invest, the plan should include analysis, demonstrating you know about your marketplace and competitors. It also needs to cover strategy and implementation. This means having an action plan detailing how you propose to meet your objective, whether it be to sell a specific number of products, increase profits, or just establish yourself in the marketplace.
Staffing is a key factor here as well; for example, are you going to take on anyone else, or give a member of your existing workforce special responsibilities, to meet your targets? This area of the business plan also typically incorporates cash flow, which is one of its most important features.
Get Some Expert Help
If you are unsure what to include and what to leave out, or how to get hold of the relevant information to make sure your plan is detailed and accurate, then it is a good idea to ask for some expert advice. A meeting with an accountant or experienced business adviser can help you draw up key performance indicators for your SME and yardsticks to measure how it is performing.
An expert can also help spotlight information on cash flow, staff productivity, and areas of the business which are performing well or badly. This type of accurate financial information is one of the cornerstones of a successful business plan.
Come Back To It
It’s important not just to draw up your business plan and forget about it after an initial meeting. For a plan to be truly effective, you should be able to establish whether it has worked not just in the short term but the medium and long term too. This will mean going back to it, year after year, and checking on your company’s performance in relation to the plan’s objectives, and adapting it as your priorities change.
If you are looking for a serviced office in the UK, Basepoint Business Centres has managed offices to rent in more than 30 locations across southern England and the Midlands. Our centres organise a range of networking events where you can exchange tips with other business people. Contact you local centre in Crawley today on 01293 817717 and find out more about the services we offer.