Business Plan & Planning FAQs
Questions
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business is going to achieve its goals.
Why do you need a business plan?
Business plans are needed for the following purposes:
  • a formal, explicit document of the planning process;
  • a joint-venture partner;
  • a sale of the business;
  • a request for funding, both equity and debt;
  • a framework for approval;
  • a tool for operational business management.
What should a business plan contain?
Whilst there are some that believe that the business plan should be tailored to the specifics of the business, we believe that it should be tailored to the purpose of the plan (in addition to the specifics of the business), and generally this will be ‘the backer’. The contents of the plan should be as follows:
  1. Executive summary;
  2. The business;
  3. Market demand;
  4. Competition;
  5. Strategy;
  6. Resources;
  7. Financials and forecasts;
  8. Risk, opportunity and sensitivity; and
  9. Conclusion.
What makes a good business plan?
Your business plan should be:
  • clear;
  • crisp;
  • concise;
  • consistent;
  • coherent;
  • credible; and
  • convincing.
What steps are needed to prepare a business plan?
A number of steps are required:
  • understand what you are planning and why;
  • define the activities of your organisation;
  • outline the current position of the business;
  • review and discuss the external market conditions, undertake and understand a competitive analysis, and define your market positioning;
  • define your core objectives;
  • prepare and articulate the strategy to attain and meet the objectives;
  • identify and review risks and opportunities;
  • prepare a strategy to deal with risks and exploit opportunities;
  • refine the strategies into operational plans;
  • prepare financial forecasts, including revenues, costs, cash flow, capital expenditure and assumptions adopted;
  • finalise the plan;
  • get it approved;
  • use it; and
  • review it regularly and update as appropriate.
Why should you employ a business consultant to help you prepare a business plan?
You should employ a consultant to assist to some or full degree in the preparation for your business plan for the following reasons:
  • a consultant brings in external expertise which may not reside in your organisation;
  • being external to your organisation, a consultant can see different things and things differently; and
  • a consultant can take some of the load through conducting research, preparing forecasts, doing the writing, proof reading, etc.
What is business planning?
Business planning, or long-range planning, is an exercise aimed at formulating a long-term plan, to meet future needs. The introduction of scenario planning builds in some flexibility into plans, with the intent of looking at possible outcomes based on unknown/uncertain events. Such scenarios usually include plausible, but unexpectedly important situations.
What is the difference between a business plan and business planning?
A business plan is a specific document, periodically updated, for specific purposes. Business planing is a process looking forward and envisaging different scenarios which are likely to impact on the business. These can be either good or bad, but the importance lies in having strategies in place to deal with them should they occur.
Why do you need to undertake business planning?
Business planning is important to businesses in that it may allow them to react more positively to an unexpected event should it occur. It is also useful in making businesses think about the future and in particular what may or may not occur.
Why should you employ a business consultant to help you undertake your business planning?
You should employ a consultant to assist to some or full degree in your business planning process for the following reasons:
  • a consultant brings in external expertise which may not reside in your organisation;
  • a consultant can help facilitate the process;
  • being external to your organisation, a consultant can see different things and things differently; and
  • a consultant can take some of the load through conducting research, preparing forecasts, doing the writing, proof reading, etc.
Why do clients hire consultants?
There are various reasons for hiring consultants:
  • ‘Buying-in” specialist skills not available in house;
  • Help with the implementation of large scale projects;
  • Help with devising and planning large scale projects;
  • Additional capacity at peak times;
  • Independent input or validation;
  • Responding to regulatory change;
  • External consultants are less susceptible to internal politics and/or sensitive situations;
  • Hiring consultants may prove cheaper than retaining the expertise in-house;
  • Consultants can do the ‘dirty’ work.
Why should you use Innovation for Growth?
Innovation form Growth was founded in 2010, with the aim of helping local businesses grow and prosper. This aim has not changed over the intervening years and we are delighted to continue to achieve this aim.

Unlike a number of other consultancies, when you instruct us, as we are a sole director firm, Chris will do the work.
How do we contact Innovation for Growth?
You can write to us, or telephone us or contact us through this website. Telephone and correspondence address can be accessed here, or you can complete the contact us form here.
What other areas does Innovation for Growth specialise in?
Innovation for Growth specialises in providing business advice in the following areas:
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