“If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” Those are the words of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, and they still ring true today.
Every single business in the UK has been shaken to its core following the COVID-19 pandemic, with two national lockdowns (to date) and a raft of local restrictions seriously impacting on cashflow.
Those firms with versatile business plans, including robust worst-case scenarios, and cash reserves to fall back on, stand a much better chance of long-term survival should life return to anywhere near normal in 2021.
Every business that survives 2020 – the most challenging of years – should aspire to be in that position should another worst-case scenario play out and especially with Brexit around the corner.
With mass vaccinations starting to be distributed and an end in sight for restrictions and government support measures, many businesses might be looking to raise finance in 2021.
In order to support those funding applications, having a solid business plan will be more important than ever to show investors your firm’s strengths and potential. But what should you include?
Profile your business
Your business plan should include a summary of how you started your business and how you developed any products or services for the market. Also mention any successful strategies you put in place to negate the effects of the coronavirus.
What general or specific aims do you have for your business? Can you link any future plans to your business’s investment needs to make a clear case for funding in 2021 and beyond?
Include details of how your business’s goals have changed after COVID-19. Did it highlight a need for a digital presence to facilitate online trading or perhaps you pivoted to sell another product?
Don’t be afraid to try and sell your role in the business – your background, your skills, your vision, how you are driving the business. In our experience, this is often one of the most important things investors look for.
Define the market
You should define the sector and how your business operates within it, especially if you have a niche. Benchmarking is another aspect to consider as it should enable you to identify any market competitors. Is there a specific reason your customers buy from your business rather than a rival?
Outline how your business sells its products or services and how your customers purchase them, and demonstrate how the market has changed this year due to the virus. Are there any barriers obstructing future plans?
Use a SWOT analysis to assess your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This can be quite a tough task to do on your own but we can offer the impartial insights your business requires.
Explain the figures
If you have any financial figures from before the virus, use them to help show investors your business’s potential and demonstrate its fundamental profitability. This will help provide a financial summary of your business.
At Dunkley’s, we can produce future forecasts in an easily digestible format to predict future sales and projected income for every eventuality, particularly after experiencing the recent worst-case scenario. This helps us identify the level of funding your firm needs to achieve its future goals.