In an extract from his book in Sunday Business Post 25/4/2010, Starting a Business in Ireland, Brian O’Kane explains why you need a business plan and how essential is when starting a new business, whether to attract investors just so you can see how a business plan will work. It can be quite challenging to achieve your goals and know the right direction of your business strategy without a business plan.

Once you have done the necessary market research for your new business and decided to go ahead and start your own new business, your next step is to write a business plan that summarises the following points about your business:

  1. Where it has come from?
  2. Where it is now?
  3. Where it is going in the future?
  4. How it intends to get there?
  5. How much money does it need to fulfil its plans?
  6. What makes it likely to succeed?
  7. What threats or disadvantages must be overcome on the way?

Business plan format can range in length from a few sheets of paper to several hundred pages. Basically, it doesn’t matter how long your business plan is but it depends on covering your business idea.

However, since professional readers of business plans – bankers, venture capitalists and enterprise officers – are offered more business plans than they can properly digest, the more concise your business plan, the more likely it is to be read.