Developing a business plan is imperative, regardless of the scale of your business or years of experience under your belt.

Done right, a business plan can be a great tool to hold you accountable for working towards your objectives, to help you anticipate and prepare for challenges, to highlight potential opportunities, and to benchmark your own performance against that of your closest competitors.

The idea of needing to create this overarching document that covers every minutiae of your organisation can be overwhelming, and so we often advise business owners to break it down into core elements.

Ideally, a business plan should include a concept, strategy, executive summary, market and competitor analysis, financials and a clear action plan.

In this article, we take each of these elements in turn, and address what each should bring to your plan.


This part of your business plan can be broken down into three key parts:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Products/services

The executive summary should highlight what your mission is, and how your products and services deliver on this. In this section, businesses will also often briefly explain why they are starting the business, including details about experience in their chosen industry.

A successful concept will give others a clear understanding of your ‘why’, what your business offers and how it came to be.


Putting your strategy down in words can help you to truly understand the scope of your business, and the time, money and resources you’ll need to make it a success.

Your strategy can cover the next 12 months or, perhaps, the next five years, but it should always indicate where the company is headed, the challenges you anticipate, and how you intend to achieve your goals.

Take time to think about the support you might need from a wider professional network, such as accountants and business advisers. Enlisting the right help can save you money and set you up for future growth.

Market and competitor analysis

To be successful, you must understand your target customers’ needs, desires, and pain points, as well as how you are placed to meet them.

It’s also essential that you are aware of what else is available on the market and identify your USP – i.e., how your offering differs from the next person.

This is where an understanding of your competitors comes in to play; assess their successes and identify points of weakness to spot gaps that you can fill. Always be looking to outthink your competition.


A crucial element of any business plan, your financials should cover projections for short-term growth, and long-term profitability. You should include projections of your profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the next three years.

Action plan

Each of the elements we’ve covered so far should help you to create a clear set of definable actions that, if followed through, will help you flourish.

Preparation is key to success

Having a detailed, well-prepared business plan can increase your chances of survival against the odds, and of succeeding as you set out to.

To talk to us about creating a business plan, or if you need support to review and update an existing plan, get in touch.

Share to