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business plans

business plans

One of our favourite phrases is ‘aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time’.

As a business owner, you’re likely to have taken some risks – maybe you’ve given up a financially secure job, or perhaps you have borrowed money. If so, you need a well thought out business plan to minimise those risks and to improve your chances of success.

how do business plans improve performance?

Businesses with a good business plan are more successful that those that don’t have one. This is because:

  • you’ve identified what you want to achieve
  • you’ve got a method of achieving it
  • you’ve identified how much money you need
  • when you go off track, you’ll be able to identify the problem early
  • your plan keeps you accountable and everyone knows what’s expected
  • it gives you something to measure your success by
  • you’ll waste less time and energy going off track
  • it stops you making emotive business decisions.

So, we firmly believe that every business needs some sort of plan.

what does a business plan look like?

The format of your business plan will vary, depending on the purpose of it. What it shouldn’t be is a 100 page document produced for a bank which gathers dust!

If you’re setting yourself goals and you need a business plan to keep you on track, then we believe that nothing works better than a simple one page plan. Here we track your key drivers – whether its sales or profit growth, cash flow improvement, or simply more quality time out of the business. This is a one

page document which is updated regularly throughout the year.

On the other hand, if you need to raise substantial investment, then a more detailed business plan is vital to lenders – they’re unlikely to provide financial support without one. Here the plan needs to include:

  • the objectives and aims of your business
  • explanation of why you need finance
  • the business ownership and history
  • management and responsibilities
  • products and market share
  • sales plan and strategy
  • operations
  • cash flow forecasts and past accounts
  • appendices.

In all cases, you’ll have a clear action plan, which will be broken down into key areas.

how can Mitten Clarke help you?

Our directors have strong commercial backgrounds, having spent many years in industry themselves before Mitten Clarke.  We also have two of only a handful of qualified Growth Accelerator business coaches in the Staffordshire and West Midlands area. This experience, together with years in practice looking after businesses like yours, means that we have an excellent track record when raising finance.

By asking the right questions and challenging your assumptions, we’ll produce a well thought out business plan specifically for you. If you’d like us to, we can also:

  • introduce some key performance indicators each month to help you measure performance against your plan
  • meet you periodically to discuss your performance and to highlight areas which need your attention.

If you need help or advice with your business plan, please get in touch via our contact form or email us on info@mittenclarke.co.uk today!