8 Steps to your first Business Plan
If you are looking to start a new business in Thailand or already have a business in place it is vital that you have a business plan as the old adage that ‘failing plan is planning to fail’ is certainly true. A business plan will give you a good indication about what is required and may highlight potential problems before they happen in reality.
Below is a guide to your first business plan:
1. Executive Summary
The Executive Summary clear states, in detail the objectives and plans of the business. It will include where the business will be located, the size of the property, where the capital will come from, how it will be made up as well as a basic sales forecast – usually for the next 3 years. Separate paragraphs will detail the objects, what you see as the keys to success and a ‘mission’ as to how you are going to go about achieving your goals.
2. Company Summary
The Company Summary will give more details about the company. For instance it will state if the business is a sole trader, partnership or limited company. There will be a brief mention of the setup costs and the projected initial losses. There will then be details regarding the ownership of the company, who owns what and their roles within the business as well as addressing if there are any sleeping partners? Within the company summary will be a section called ‘Start up Summary’ that will outline the individual costs involved in actually setting up the business.
Again within the Company Summary section there will be details about the facilities that your business will have or need. Perhaps these will already be in place or on the other hand you may need to install them, either way this should be clearly stated in the business plan
As the name suggests this section looks into the products or services that your business will offer. There should be a brief, introductory paragraph explaining why you chose these products or services. There will be a detailed description of the actual products and potential details of any sales literature that you are going to despatch relating to the products.
4. Market Analysis Summary
The Market Analysis Summary is arguably one of the most important sections of the whole business plan. The section will support the evidence that you have collated relating to the market in which your business will be operating. It will give details about the market at present and looking into the future. Graphs can be included that show the make up of your target market for example is it made up of largely students or office workers. This will give you more of an idea how you are going to target these groups in order to increase the chances of success.
The Market Analysis Summary should also include details on the industry in which your business will operate along with any gaps in the market that you are looking to capitalise on. At this point you should also highlight who are your major competitors, their strengths and their weaknesses. It is also a good idea to develop a picture of clients or potential clients buying patterns in order that this can be targeted more effectively.
5. Strategy and Implementation Summary
Obviously once you have established your target market and who the competition is you need to develop a strategy of your own. This needs to be detailed and give a step by step guide about what your strategy will be how exactly you are going to implement it. It is likely at this stage that some problems maybe highlighted. This is a good thing and at this stage is the best time to correct them. Again at this stage a sales forecast should be given and a breakdown of how this is made up. Everything in this section should be realistic and supported by evidence, if this is not done correctly with thorough planning the whole basis of your plan will be flawed.
6. Management Team
The management team will be key to any business’ success. The major members of the team should be included in the business plan explaining their roles and the strengths that they will individually bring to the business. It is common that salaries are mentioned at this stage although this can be omitted if this information regarded as confidential.
7. Financial Plan
As with all businesses the financial aspect of the business is crucial. This part of the Business Plan will include cash flows, breakeven analysis, projected Profit and Loss Accounts and also projected balance sheets. Again this should be realistic, with evidence and perhaps even supported by graphical illustrations. At least 3 years illustrations should be included in the Business Plan as after all this is a long term strategy. It is also advisable to calculate relevant ratios as at this stage you will be able to establish if your business has a realistic chance of being profitable. Again at this stage it is likely that some issues will come to light and these should be addressed accordingly. It is far better to realise now that prices need tweaking rather than further down the line.
The Financial Plan will incorporate many other elements that will have already been covered in other sections of the Business Plan and you may feel like there is an element of repetition but this is natural and will ensure that everything is pieced together correctly, hopefully resulting in a successful business plan and business model that you will be able to work to.
The appendix will include supporting documentation connected to what is included in the business plan and will be referenced to in different sections. This is an important part of the plan and should be well structured.
At Sutlet Group we have experience in creating Business Plans that will be tailor made to reflect your business. Although we naturally work to a standard format the information that we include will be relating to your business. We can help you do all aspects of a business plan.
Contact us today for more information and to discuss your needs.