How to get help with writing a business plan
Preparing a business plan can seem like a solitary job, but there are plenty of resources out there to help you:
Although you will be approaching the bank manager with your business plan, often the banks have template plans to give you some guidance as to how they should be prepared. Make sure that you speak to your manager during the process of applying for funding. They have a vested interest in providing funding, as it will be likely to make up part of their targets, but also need to ensure that the banks money is used responsibly.
A qualified accountant will be able to help you create and validate your financial projections, and can provide input into the best ways to fund your business. You should therefore hire an accountant to at least review the projections that you have made. If an accountant has been used during the preparation of the plan, it would be worth making note of this in the plan so that the banks can have comfort that professional advice has been sought.
Any friends or colleagues that you may have who are currently in business can often provide you with a useful sounding board for the ideas in your business plan, and can help you by casting a critical eye over the draft document before you finalise it.
If they are commercially minded, their help would be especially valuable in reviewing the competitor analysis and your unique selling points. Ideally, you’d ask them to take the role of a bank manager, to see if they would lend you money based on the strength of your plan.
There is also a plethora of online guides out there to help you build a business plan. A great resource iswww.bplans.co.uk, which provides a range of business plan templates to help you get started. You will also find a fantastic resource on http://www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/the-how-to-write-a-business-plan-guide/ , which consolidates the various sources of business plan templates, and articles / checklists from the banks and other useful organisations