How to prepare a Business Plan

Prepare A business Plan

Management Information

Will you need periodic accounts or other information i.e.weekly/monthly/quarterly?

To what extent will you computerise the operation?

What personnel will be responsible for providing information?

How reliable will the figures be?

What have the results been to date?

Have you carried out sensitivity analysis?

Product Details

Describe your product or service?

What is the required quality of your product?

Is there a range of products you wish to provide?

What differentiates your products from your competitors?

What is the pricing structure of the product(s)?

How is this different from your competitors?

Production Process

Does your product follow a production process?

What are the worker & machinery requirements?

Have you considered the use of brands, patents, copyrights?

What sort of image do you wish to project for your product? i.e. quality

What image does your competition have?

Do you have a logo for your product(s)?

Do you know what business stationery you require and have you arranged to print this?

Have you arranged for signs to be made for your business premises?

Business Name

Have you decided on a name for your business?

Does this name conflict with another on the business names register?

If you are trading as a limited company has this been formed?

Is your chosen company name on the company registration office register already?

Market Trends & Promotion

Have you done any market research for your business?

What are your target markets?

Are there any new products coming onto your target market?

What range of products are currently being provided on your target market?

Have you considered the use of a marketing consultant?

How will you present & promote your product on the market?


Who will be your main customers?

What value of business would you anticipate from each of your main customers?

Who are your contacts for each main customer?

Who are your potential customers?

How do you wish to attract new customers?

Have you considered the use of internet business?


What are your main strengths in the market?

What do you feel gives you a competitive edge?

Terms of Trade

Do you offer credit and what are your credit limits for your customers?

What are your credit terms and how many days do customers have to settle your account?

Do you have a debt collection policy to control your credit terms?

Can you accept cash, cheque or credit card payments?

What payment terms do you have with your suppliers?

Do you offer discounts?


What is the quality required of the product supply?

How reliable are your suppliers?

How available are your supplies?

What is the product you need supply of?

How will you distribute your product?

Advisors, Finance & Grants

Who are your advisors i.e. financial, legal, technical & marketing?

What is your capacity to raise finance?

Who are the potential investors in your business i.e. banks/credit unions/government agencies etc?

Have you appointed an accountant/tax advisor?

What assets/activities will the finance be used for?

Have you opened a business bank account and arranged for authorised cheque signatories?

What are going to be your main costs?

What turnover do you require to break even?

What grant aid is available for your business? i.e. for capital expenditure, labour costs, business development, etc.


Have you considered the taxation framework for your business?

Have you registered your business for VAT/PAYE/Business Tax?

Have you considered the legal structure of your business i.e. sole trader/partnership or limited company?

Have you considered the accounting system requirements for your business?

Health & Safety, Professional and Industry Standards

Have you considered the requirements of the health & safety at work legislation?

Is your business aware of professional or industry standards and is it regulated in any way?

Introduction to Your Business Plan

Who are the promoters and what is their previous experience?

Executive Summary

What is the proposal?

Who are the personnel?

When is the proposal launch timed for?

What finance does the proposal require?

Management of the Business

Who will be the directors/principal of the business?

Who are the senior management?

What other staff are required?

Have you considered staff contracts of employment?

How will the directors/senior management/staff be paid? i.e. salary, bonuses,commissions, etc.

What skills and experience will your staff require?

Will you need to provide ongoing training for your staff?

Have you considered government incentive schemes for employers?


What square footage is required?

Where do you wish to locate your business?

What safety standards apply to your business?

Have you considered government tax incentive schemes that may be available in certain geographical areas?

Are you going to buy or lease the property?

Have you appointed solicitors?

Have you arranged for utilities to be connected?

Have you considered whether to lease or buy your equipment?

Insurance Requirements

Have you considered the insurance cover for your business i.e. equipment, stock, premises, employers liability, public liability, loss of profits, etc?


What are your personal strengths and weaknesses?

What opportunities are available should you take a certain course of action?

What are the main threats to your business if you do not take the opportunities available?

What contingencies have been provided for?

On balance what is the case for investment?


List of main assumptions

Financial accounts (both historic and projected)

Cashflow projections

Sensitivity analysis

Detail of premises

Capital expenditure projections

Staffing projections

Management structure

C.V.’s of key staff

Schedule of grants