What is a business plan?

Definition of business plan

A business plan is a document that describes a business in terms of its strategy, objectives, marketing, financial forecasts and other information. It details what the business aims to achieve, how and when it will achieve this and what resources it requires to succeed.

What is a business plan used for?

If you’re starting a business, you can use a business plan to:

  • explain your business proposition and strategy
  • set goals for your business
  • measure the progress of your business
  • identify any potential problems with your business

Many business owners (particularly those in the first year of trading) use their plan to check progress against targets and to prioritise resources. From outlining an organisational structure to explaining a marketing strategy, the business plan should keep the business on track and help avoid any potential pitfalls.

A business plan is also essential for businesses hoping to secure startup funding such as a Start Up Loan from the British Business Bank or other lenders.

How to write a business plan

Our small business hub contains a dedicated guide that explains how to write a business plan in 10 easy steps. You can also download a business plan template from the Prince’s Trust website.

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