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5 questions to ask yourself before writing your business plan

One of the most challenging tasks when you set up your own business is writing a business plan. If done right, the end result will be a huge help in planning your next steps and raising finance. Before you start, here are five key questions to get you thinking along the right lines.

#1 What are my basic goals?

A good business plan must be clear and to-the-point if you hope to convince your readers. Think you have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve? Put that theory to the test: write down three things you want, in as many sentences. Having specific goals will make the process of writing your business plan much more efficient.

#2 What are my strengths?

You’re starting your own business; it follows that you’re passionate about your craft, skilled at your speciality, and full of enthusiasm to succeed. Your business plan is no place for modesty; spell out your strengths with confidence. Also make sure to list your achievements and the resources you’ll be able to draw on.

Let's get to business.
Let's get to business.

#3 Am I clear on my business premises and transport requirements?

Chances are, your answers to question #2 will shine a light on how to reach the goals laid out in #1. Now, we expand a bit beyond what’s immediately on hand. Think generally about major issues like premises and transport

If you’ll be partly working from home, will you need to separate working and living space? For transport, consider size, capacity and versatility before deciding on the best van for your small business.

#4 Can I afford the business assets I need?

Start the process of budgeting for your business with big-picture numbers; details come later. The big items, on both income and expenditure, are where the risks and sensitivities lie, and a company van is probably one of them. Make conservative estimates of your resources as you consider the best way to finance your van.

#5 What are the weaknesses in my business project?

It’s a rare enterprise that has no vulnerabilities. Be honest with yourself, and don’t be shy about asking people for feedback. Get as much professional advice as possible and canvass the opinion of friends and colleagues. This will help you identify blind spots and give you an ego boost if and when doubt settles in. Identify weaknesses, and make the strongest part of your business plan overcoming them!