The Beginners Guide to Business Plans

Here's a guide to how business plans work, and how to create one for your business.

You might think that the only reason people write a business plan is to start a company. This isn't true—businesses at all levels can benefit from a good business plan. These incredible resources can help you plan, spot problems ahead of time, and commit ideas to paper. The business plan is something that many businesses can benefit from revisiting over the life of the business.

With that being said, they're just as helpful if you're a brand new business. If you want to start a company, creating a business plan is a solid first step—and useful as a resource as you go along. After all, if you want a successful company, you need to have a plan!

How to Write a Business Plan UK?

Your business plan should have a structured outline and clearly show what you want to accomplish. Any good business plan is grounded in fact and has precise data and information. Getting to this stage is, of course, a challenge, but there's a step-by-step process you can follow. These guidelines will help you to create the perfect business plan.

The first part of the plan should have an executive summary - what is the goal? The second part of a business plan is a company description, followed by a market analysis. From there, you'll move on to management and organisation, products and services, customer segmentation, marketing plans, logistical plans, and financial plans. It's a pretty straightforward step-by-step process, which is helpful for new business owners.

It's essential to make sure that you get this part right because your business plan hinges on it. Everybody wants to write a well-written project that covers all the bases. But if you don't know how to do this, you will struggle. It's essential to look at what's on offer because this will give you the information you need.

What to Include in a Business Plan?

Your typical business plan should include everything we listed in the above section. This list is designed to be comprehensive to make sure that you write a good business plan that will accomplish what you need it to. Obviously, this type of plan requires you to be coherent and articulate. If you're going to publish a business plan, you have to be prepared to explain your points.

As a general guideline, the basics discussed here would be an excellent pick to include. Other vital details will depend upon your specific situation. If you think that the information is relevant and should be included, you need to include it. It's pretty much up to you to figure out precisely what will happen because there is a lot to consider with business plans.

What's the Purpose of a Business Plan?

Understanding the purpose of a business plan is essential for making sure that you implement it. Think of the business plan as a framework for what you need to do to succeed. It's easy for a business not to have a plan, especially one that isn't put together with a specific goal in mind. It's not just about getting rich. You have to know what you're doing.

The business plan helps to take all of the different concepts of a business and unify them. It means that everybody knows what's supposed to happen, what the end goal is, and how to reach it. It provides clarity when you may have a disparity between yourself and your colleagues. Even if it's just you, a business plan is still a beneficial tool for getting things sorted.

Why is a Business Plan Important?

A business plan is an essential tool for providing clarity when it comes to conducting your day-to-day running. Every business needs a goal, a tangible objective to reach. When you don't have a goal, your efforts and resources can become inefficiently utilised, hence the business plan. It helps to provide clarity and makes sure that you know what steps have to be taken.

In the business world, a business plan helps to guarantee that all of your colleagues know what's going on. Sometimes, everybody has a different creative vision for the future. Everybody wants something different from their exercise, something different from the business. When this happens, it becomes commonplace for everyone to work towards a different goal.

Obviously, if you're trying to present a unified front for the sake of getting things done, this isn't good. It's going to be harder to create that sense of cohesion. Ultimately, what you want to make sure that you do is have a business plan. It will give you the resources that you need to make the proper steps for the future.

How to Write a Business Plan Step-by-Step

Creating your ideal business plan can be a challenge if you don't know how to do so. It's essential to take a look at what's available with regards to the different resources. Having a frame to work from is always helpful because it provides clarity. We have briefly touched upon the idea of a frame above, and now we will expand on that.

Executive Summary

So, the first thing that your business plan needs is an executive summary. In short, this is a summary of the things that you intend to achieve, condensed for high ranking individuals to read. Think of it as a quick way to get everybody up to speed on their primary goals. The executive summary is the first part of a good business plan.

Company Description

The next part of the business plan is the company description. This part of the plan is intended for you to talk about the business in general and the more important aspects. You might discuss your mission statement, your goals, or your value system. In any case, it provides anybody reading it with a clear understanding of what you're about.

Market Analysis

Market analysis is up next. The market analysis examines the industry you're in to determine the effectiveness of the business plan. Your market analysis may include vital statistics, comparisons, and empirical data. These are the cold hard facts behind what you're doing, making it essential for successful business plans.

Products and Services

Your products and services will be next in the business plan. This is the section where you talk about what goods and options you provide. This can be an excellent way to commit all of the services on offer to paper. It also gives you the visualisation required to potentially make some changes and switch around some of your offerings.


The next part of the business plan is the marketing segment. If you have any plans to market the business or the service that is included, this is where you do it. Your marketing segment will consist of your strategies for marketing, potential costs, challenges and risk assessments. Everything to do with marketing will go right here.


Logistics deals with the practical implementation of the business plan. So, you have the plan in theory, but how will you implement it in practice? Having access to a logistics area of a business plan will give you the confidence that you need to move forward.

Risk Assessment

The penultimate part of a basic business plan is a thorough and honest assessment of the many risks that could impact a new business. Many risks will be unique to each business (e.g. is there risk of a large competitor undercutting you on price to steal customers and knock you out of the market?) and some risks will be quite broad. Risk mitigation can be addressed here, which can include mention of the different types of small business insurance you'll purchase to protect against liability claims, loss of assets, and more.

Financial Plan

Finally, the basic business plan will include a financial plan. This is the part of the plan where you talk about how you will finance all of the different ventures. This will include things like any assets you have loans, interest rates, and avenues of profit. It's important to know exactly what finances are in play to grasp the situation better.

How to Make a Business Plan Look Professional

You will have an instinct to want to make a business plan look professional. That is a normal reaction when it comes to presenting your plan to investors or shareholders. Your plan must represent the level of professionalism that your company operates with. That means that it's essential to try and make the plan look as professional as you can.

There are a lot of things that you can do to make a business plan look more professional. We, for example, recommend that you spell check and proofread your plan. Use a professional tool to help because it's essential to make sure there are no mistakes. It would help if you got someone to read it through before presenting it to an important figure.

These extra touches before you put the plan into general circulation will give you more confidence. Your business plan must look and read professionally. It will provide you with confidence as a business person, and at the same time, promote confidence in investors. It can be tricky to get right, but a good proofread always helpful.

How Does a Business Plan Help an Entrepreneur?

The business plan provides an entrepreneur with clarity. Clarity is one of the most important things for any business plan because it gives you the resources to tackle your issues. Any entrepreneur will want to make sure that they're doing the right thing, which is problematic. There is no guideline for starting a business. It's a unique process for everybody.

Getting clarity is a vital thing for any entrepreneur. You don't have all of the backing and benefits of a big corporation. You have to work out a lot of things as you go, and that's hard. Having access to a business plan will give you the confidence that you need to succeed.

A Powerful and Valuable Resource

So, ultimately, your typical business plan is a valuable resource. Having access to a good business plan will see you through a lot of hardships. Those businesses that do take the time to make a plan are often the ones that succeed. Time and time again, companies fail because they haven't put the effort in to get started.

Your business plan will be unique to you. It can be challenging to get a business plan written if you're not very articulate. However, the best thing you can do is take it slow and communicate your point in few words. Not every investor or professional will be impressed by big words. Sometimes smaller ones do the trick.

Getting the best business plan will be trial and error. You will make a draft version. That draft will be checked and edited, and then the revised version will be proofread and modified again. It's an ongoing process, but it's worth it to get that winning business plan.

Don't hesitate to reach out for support when creating a business plan. If you are working with colleagues, then use them to get the best results. It is their business, so they need to make sure that the intent is communicated correctly. Having the right business plan will get all of the investors on your side.

Your Roadmap to Success

When all is said and done at the end of the day, your business plan is for you. It is your roadmap to success, so it has to make sense to you before it makes sense to anybody else. This may take some time to get right, simply because it's never easy to make the best business plan. However, you have to make sure that you keep trying and put effort into forging the ideal business plan for you.


Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.