Business Plan, I remember having one of those when I first started…
I cannot remember how many times we hear a quote like that. The real conundrum here is the question of what is a business plan? Not what it tangibly is, but what the point and benefit of it are to the business.
Airfix or Ikea
Many of us, especially boys, will remember having a model aircraft to make, following the instructions and gluing the pieces together. These days it is akin to buying a piece of furniture from Ikea and working out which bit goes where in the hope that you will have something resembling what you saw in the store once you have finished.
A business plan is pretty similar.
In other words you don’t really look at the instructions in detail until you cannot find where that last piece goes, or you appear to be missing a few screws. After all, you can work out where most of it fits because you have done it all so many times before.
The usefulness of instructions is when it is not quite going to plan, that is when the real benefit occurs.
Banks Are Like Flat Packed Furniture
They see your business like that. As pieces of a pack, what they want to know is how it all fits together, how much glue you need, do you have all the right pieces, can you source replacements if you break something. Makes sense really. They want to know how you get to the finished article and how long it will take.
As a business owner, you know all this. The risk is in taking for granted you will not need to refer to the instructions ever again, which however you feel, is unlikely. At some point you will need to refer to the guidebook, so make sure you do have one.
Level of Detail, Too Much or Too Little
If you are the business owner then the business plan could well fit onto one side of A4, it is the vital statistics, the reminders, the emergency contacts, the prompts about what made you good in the first place.
The complete works of Shakespeare, or Ikea for that matter, are not necessary. Just make sure the basics are somewhere to remind you and keep you on track.
If a lender wants a plan, then take them from unpacking the box, to checking the pieces, to putting it together. But for you the plan is far simpler.
So as a word of warning, if you find yourself paying an ‘expert’ a significant sum to write a full and detailed plan please ask yourself if it is necessary, if you want a fair and free opinion then get in touch.
If you want any input to your business plan then add your comments below, contact us via the website, or call us on 0844 682 1462 and we will gladly help.
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask