Business Plan Guide

Business Plan Guide

Structuring your business plan. Here is what you need to consider.


Section What to include or consider
Cover or title page ·         Name of business

·         Business registration number (if available)

·         Contact details (telephone, email and website address

·         Date of preparation

Contents page ·         Table of contents

·         Number your pages

·         Consider adding a version control. This will help you identify the latest version of your business plan

Executive summary ·         Purpose of the business plan

·         Brief highlights of the plan

·         Brief description of your business (product or service)

·         Summary of your key management team

·         Summary of the marketing strategy

·         Summary of the funding requirements:

·         The amount of funds required

·         The source of the funds (debt, equity, grants)

·         How will the funds will be used?

·         How will the fund be repaid?

·         Key projected operating results


Industry analysis ·         A description of the industry in which your business will operate

·         Where has the industry come from?

·         Where is the industry now?

·         Where is the industry going? What are the trends and future prospects?


SWOT analysis ·         What are the strengths?

·         What are the weaknesses?

·         What are the opportunities?

·         What are the threats?

Your business ·         What business are you in?

·         What products and/ or services will you sell?

·         General description of your business

·         What is your competitive advantage?

·         Where will your business be located and why?

·         What is the performance and financial position of your business to date?

The stated aims of your business ·         Your business vision

·         Your business mission

·         The need that your business will seek to satisfy

Your management team ·         Key people involved

·         Roles, responsibilities and background

·         Skills

·         Formal qualifications required

·         Key advisors to your business

·         Strategic alliances

Market analysis ·         Description of marketplace

·         Past, present and future trends

·         Size of the market

·         Demographics

·         Analysis of customer groups and their needs, wants, preferences, characteristics and buying habits

·         Assessment of the direct and indirect competition. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competition?

·         A forecast of your sales and estimated market share


Marketing Plan ·         What is your target market?

·         What will be your marketing strategy?

·         How are you going to position your products?

·         How will your products be distributed? What distribution channels are you going to use?

·         How will you set the pricing for your products? What pricing strategy are you going to use

Organisational plan ·         Provide an organogram for your business

·         Provide a manpower plan or forecast

·         What are the staffing needs?

·         What training is required?

Operating plan ·         How will the day to day operations of your business be carried out?

·         Requirements for property, plant and equipment

·         Scheduling of workflow

·         Quality control systems

·         Management Information System

·         Enterprise resource planning

Financial plan ·         Historical financial information, where available, for the past 3 years

·         Business viability and timeline for profitability

·         Business capital needs

·         Property, plant and equipment/ CAPEX/ Fixed Assets

·         Working capital

·         Start – up capital

·         Break-even analysis

·         Funding mix

·         Debt funding

·         Equity funding

·         Grant funding

·         Budgets taking into consideration the planned sales, expenses

·         Taxation assumptions

·         Debt reduction and repayment plan

·         Financial projections

·         Assumptions for the underlying projections

·         Statement of financial performance projections

·         Statement of financial position projections

·         Cash flow projections

·         Key financial ratios

·         Profitability ratios

·         Liquidity ratios

·         Efficiency ratios

·         Solvency ratios

Action plan ·         Timelines for implementing the key elements of the plan
 Appendices ·         Documents to support the business plan

·         Appendices can include:

·         Certificate of incorporation

·         Brochures

·         Market research results

·         Resumes of key personnel

·         Technical drawings

·         Patents