The benefits of a clear business plan

Cottons Accountants

1st February 2019

Money Matters

CHOOSING to start up a new business is both an exciting and challenging endeavour.

It may come as no surprise that a large number of start-up businesses fail due to poor planning. According to statistics published in 2017 by the Small Business Administration (SBA), about one-fifth of business start-ups fail in the first year.

Cottons Chartered Accountants speak to many individuals looking for guidance on how to best their start their new business and have these tips on the steps entrepreneurs can take to ensure their start-up has the best opportunity to success at every stage.

While the entrepreneur in you is eager to dive right in, you need to take a moment to ensure you have a business plan.

A well-written business plan is used to help focus strategy, manage milestones, manage metrics, assign and track responsibilities and performance, and manage money using projections for sales, costs, expenses, and cash.

A business plan should include whatever information is required to best show how you are planning to make your business sustainable. An example of a basic business plan may look as follows:

* Your business and key objectives

* Your skills and experience.

* Your target customers, market and competition.

* Your sales and marketing plans.

* Your operational plans.

* A well written financial forecast for your business.

Businesses with a clear business plan are able to both measure their progress against set benchmarks while aiming for agreed goals.

Financing and Business Plans

A clear, focused and realistic business plan is the best way to show your bank, partners and investors that your business qualifies for financial support. Understand your thoughts and ambitions and present it to investors and financial institutions.

A financial institution such as a bank will want to see your plan to determine the viability of your business idea. If you're seeking investors as a means of raising capital for your new business, they may ask to see your business plan to determine the level of risk.

When applying for a start-up grant, the awards body for the grant will expect to see a professional business plan which will be a key part of your application.

An experienced accountant, such as Cottons Chartered Accountants, will work with your business to best represent you to any financial institute or investors ensuring that all required data is available and correctly presented.

Cottons' understanding of the market partnered with a strong reputation within a network of banks and investors allows advisers to quickly and smoothly arrange funding for a business.

As experienced accountants, tax and business advisors Cottons are able to help businesses prepare a robust document which can be used to present to any investors or financial institutions.

Aside from initial business plans, Cottons can also carry out regular reviews of a business plan which enable the business to track movements in the market, monitor the competition and fine-tune business processes to meet the changing needs of customers.

For assistance with business plans and financial planning, visit

Cottons Accountants