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Business Planning

The current state of financial markets and lack of liquidity is forcing banks to review their financial support for businesses and it is becoming increasingly common for banks to withdraw overdraft facilities and to convert them into more expensive loans, even for profitable businesses.

Banks require a business plan and a corporate strategy in order to assess how the business plans to cope with the economic downturn.

It is surprising how many businesses do not possess a business plan. Many have never developed one and often management is simply too busy running the business to take the time to write one. Writing one is a surprisingly time consuming activity.


What Comprises a Business Plan?
A business plan describes the businesses current status and plans for several years into the future.
It identifies future opportunities and sets out the financial, marketing and operational strategies that will enable the organisation to achieve its goals.

There is no fixed content for a business plan, rather the content & format is determined by the objectives and audience it is aimed at and it can be an externally or internally focused.

The Plan should include:

  • An Executive Summary – the most important part of the document It is a synopsis of the key points of the entire plan. It should not be longer than two pages and is always written at the end.
  • Your Business, its Products and Services – who you are, what you do, what you have to offer
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy – the market you are in, competition, target market, why you think people will buy what you want to sell and how you plan to sell.
  • Management Team & Key Personnel – credentials
  • Operations – premises, systems etc
  • Financials – cashflow, profit & loss forecast, sales forecasts, risk assessment and financial requirements

Do I Need a Business Plan?
A Business Plan should form the cornerstone of every business as it is essentially a decision making tool to help the management of a company.

A business plan is important for two main reasons:

  • It gives stakeholders an assessment of the business and its composite elements as well as setting out a road map for the future.
  • It helps businesses grow internally and is essential in securing external funding be it a bank overdraft or loan, venture capital or any other form.
The business plan is a continually changing document that evolves in light of changing business performance and market conditions. For it to be effective the internal management/stakeholders should be central to its development and implementation.

Acumen Consulting has considerable experience in this field and can help by act as a facilitator and can also add value by bringing an external objective and independent view.

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