If your business survived the pandemic over the last 18 months, now is the time to start planning and setting budgets for 2022 and beyond.
There’s no time like the present for that, either, as the calendar year draws to a close and we slide into Q4 of the 2021/22 tax year.
Future success should look like a combination of reducing your carbon footprint, while increasing your bottom line over the medium term.
Whether you’re self-employed or an incorporation, technology should also be at the forefront of your business going forward.
From April 2024, all sole traders and most partnerships will have to file digital tax returns every quarter. Companies face the same from April 2026.
So in just over two years, more than 60% of the UK’s business population will be filing digital tax returns, rather than via self-assessment.
At Dunkley’s, we can introduce you to cloud accounting software and implement it in your business to ensure a smooth transition.
But for now, we’re going to focus on creating a solid business plan (or revising an existing one).
Why you need a business plan
A business plan should summarise your business’s objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts over a period of time.
This helps you to clarify your business idea, spot potential problems before they arise, set out your goals, and measure your progress.
They’re essential if you want to secure finance or a loan from a bank, while they can help convince customers and suppliers to use your business.
Writing a business plan
The first rule of writing a business plan is to be realistic, because overly optimistic forecasts can cause a spike in overheads and a cashflow crisis.
Include a summary of how you started your business and how you developed any products or services for the market.
If you require investment in your business, what are your general or specific aims and how will funding help you realise them?
Don’t be afraid to try and sell your role in the business – your background, skills, vision, how you are driving the business. Most investors value this.
Know your market
Any business plan worth its salt should contain a definition of your sector and how your business operates within it.
Ask yourself how do your customers purchase goods and services from you? Has your market changed due to the pandemic? Who are your competitors?
If you don’t know your competitors, we can undertake an objective SWOT analysis of your business to assess its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Armed with these metrics, we can compare your business’s processes and performance to industry standards and best practices from other companies through the process of benchmarking.
Understanding the figures
Use your financial figures to help show investors your business’s potential and demonstrate its profitability. This will help provide a financial summary of your business.
At Dunkley’s, we can produce easily digestible forecasts to predict future sales and projected income for every scenario. If there’s a funding gap, we offer specialist advice to attract external investment for the EIS or SEIS.
To start your business plan for 2022 and beyond or for, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01454 619900.