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Start Your Own Business – The purpose of a business plan

A continuation of our ‘Start your Own Business‘ series,   In an extract from his book in Sunday Business Post 25/4/2010, Starting a Business in Ireland, Brian O’Kane continues to discuss the concept of planning for the future and the importance a business plan has in any business future plans.

Moving on from that we now move on to the purpose of your newly written business plan.

The purpose of a business plan

A business plan can have several purposes. The main ones usually are:

  • To establish the fundamental viability of your project
  • To document your plan for the business
  • To act as a yardstick for measuring progress against plans
  • To communicate your plans for your business to outsiders, particularly those you want to invest in your business.

Although the business plan is most often used as a marketing document for raising finance, even if you do not need to raise finance, you should still prepare one since it will:

  • Focus your thoughts
  • Check your numbers
  • Provide a basis for monitoring results
  • Enable communication of your ideas.

Each of these purposes places its own demands on the format and contents of the business plan.

The focus of your plan will vary, depending on the relative priorities that you assign to these purposes.

We will be looking at these in more detail in future posts.

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