Putting together a business plan

Our last blog focused on getting your idea down on paper with our free business model canvas template, so now it is about time you began to expand your business idea further with some realistic expectations and proper planning. Unfortunately, a business model canvas on its own just won’t cut it for business planning, especially if you are planning on speaking to a bank or investor about funding. These people and organisations need to believe in your business as much as yourself. They are investing money into your idea, and they want to be sure they will get a return.

So to assist you, we have created a full business plan template for you with guidance on each section so you can not only feel confident in filling each section out, but you feel confident discussing each section when pitching to investors. We also offer business mentoring in Plymouth, Exeter and worldwide, for start-ups and businesses of all sizes. If you need further assistance filling in your business plan, have any questions or require an editable version, please send an email to hello@bluesapphiremedia.com

(Download your Business Plan Template)

This business plan covers the following sections of business preparations, that will help you layout precisely what you would like your business to be, achieve and give back to you, the owner.

  1. Owners Background
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Business Details
  4. Products and Services
  5. Your Market
  6. Market Research
  7. Marketing Strategy
  8. Competitors
  9. Operations and Logistics
  10. Pricing and Costing
  11. Financial Forecasts
  12. Success and Failure Planning

We have also included a ‘Thoughts’ section on our business plan, but in case you wanted to look over a few tips simply, we have added a few below.

The legal side of things

You’ll need to register your business. Will you be registering as a Sole Trader (Self-Employed), a Partnership, a Social Enterprise, a Limited company or other?

Ensure you are up to date on your knowledge around GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and have a policy in place to abide by this law. You will likely find that you can easily carry out most of the requirements naturally under good business practice.

You might need an accountant, but if you are a sole trader or small business, you may be able to use systems such as quick books, for quick and straightforward accounting.

Look into business insurance. What kind of prices might you need to budget in? What types of insurance might your business specifically require?

Additional considerations

An exciting part of starting a business is creating a name and logo, so will you be trademarking it? This is not a legal requirement, and many businesses go years and years without trademarking their business name or logo. If you need help creating your logo, our graphic designers will create bespoke concepts specifically for your business adventure.

How will you take payments? Will it be through your website, or will you purchase a card machine? If you are considering a card machine that is mobile, we can highly recommend the system we use, SumUp, and can even send you a referral link to save some money, which is an excellent opportunity if you are just starting out!

What will your digital presence be? We have a team of digital creators and digital marketers who can assist in all things online. Our website designers and website developers offer years of experience in the field while our social media projects have an organic reach of over 21,000 locals in Plymouth, Exeter, Devon and Cornwall. We have assisted many businesses in the movement of their google ranking through SEO, from the invisible depths of Google to the top-ranking search results, so get in touch to speak to one of our experts in website design, SEO or social media.

What will your growth strategy be? Whether you use networking opportunities in Plymouth, physical adverting through leaflets and business cards, SEO or social media marketing, you will likely want to grow your business beyond a side hustle, so planning a growth strategy will enable you to get your business to where you want it to be. If you are servicing areas in Plymouth, Exeter, Devon and Cornwall, get in touch to see about advertising on our platform with over 21,000 local followers.

At Blue Sapphire Media we can provide many types of support, resources and guidance for start-up businesses as well as the digital resources you may need such as website design in Plymouth, Social Media management in Plymouth and SEO in Plymouth so feel free to get in touch and speak to one of our team about your requirements. You can use our handy chat on our website, email, call or contact us via our social media pages.