How to structure a successful business plan

If you are wondering if a business plan would be influential on your business or what you should include… you’re in the right place! Throughout this blog, we’re going to discuss the purpose of a business plan, what you should include and any tips / tricks to make it successful.

So, let’s start from the beginning…

  1. What is a business plan?

    A business plan is a blueprint of what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. For example, if you’re starting out as a Mortgage Adviser, your business plan would outline the specific number of clients you’d like to obtain within a set time frame, and the methods you will use to achieve your objective.

  2. What should a business plan include?

    There’s no right or wrong when it comes to writing a business plan… however, there are points you can include to make it stronger / easier to adhere to, including: executive summary, opportunity, execution, company summary, financial plan and any other relevant items

Executive Summary

I know what you’re thinking… this phrase sounds intimidating! But let me break it down for you…

The summary of your business plan should include what you aim to achieve (your goals and aspirations), details about your business (who founded it and when it was founded), where you are right now and how you plan to grow your business.

Opportunity

Within this section, you should include information regarding what you’re planning to sell, how you are utilising a gap within the current market and your target audience.

Execution

Now that you have a clear idea of what your opportunities are… it’s time to get specific and understand how you are going to make your ideas a reality!

You should include details of your marketing and sales plan and how you will measure your efforts.

Company summary

This is your chance to give as much detail as possible on your company and where you are currently!

The purpose of this section is to answer the following questions:

  • How many people are in your team?
  • Do you have any plans for recruitment in the foreseeable future? If so, what are they?
  • Do you have a legal structure in place?
  • Where is your company based?
  • Where is your service provided (over the phone, via video calls, on client visits, in your office)?

Financial plan

To give your business the highest chance of success, you will need a financial plan in place (quite relevant if you’re a Financial Adviser!)

Now, some of the below terms may throw you off, but they are key to ensuring your business is a success! You should include the following:

Sales forecast

A sales forecast is where you analyse data to predict future sales within your business. Most companies will use a sales forecast to predict both short-term and long-term sales performance.

Adding a sales forecast into your business plan will help you to manage your workforce, cash flow, expenditures and resources.

Cash flow statement

This is a financial statement that provides data on how your company receives and spends money.

Income statement (commonly known as profit and loss)

This one is fairly self-explanatory… it’s a statement that reports your company’s financial performance over a specific time period.

Balance sheet

A balance sheet is an assessment of the following areas in your business:

  • Assets – what your company owns
  • Liabilities – what your company is legally responsible for
  • Capital – your company’s wealth in terms of money or other assets

Appendix

This is your opportunity to include any further information you feel is necessary or any product images / ideas!

To conclude…

Hopefully this blog has given you a good insight into what you should include in your business plan. If you’re a Mortgage Adviser, Financial Adviser or Protection Adviser and you’d like some further tips on creating a business plan, contact our head office on 0208 0044 154