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Business Plans

Business Plans

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What are the features on a business plan? Is there a link where I can download samples of business plans? I want to know the correct format.

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By murphy1
20th Feb 2013 08:17

Paolo Alto software do 'Business Plan Pro' - think I paid about £70 of the software and was worth every penny!

It provides numerous examples of plans, but also guides you through the input section by section. It allows for you to remove/change or add sections where necessary to

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By hkfinancials
20th Feb 2013 10:31

Agree with murphy1

Great piece of software and it also has templates for specific industry sectors.

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By Ian_mcdonald
22nd Feb 2013 11:34

Who is it for ?

You might be overwhelmed by the number of templates.

Who is the audience for your business plan ?  If the plan is not for your own benefit then speak to the intended recipient(s) and ascertain if there is anything specific you should be focusing on.  Then take the simplest template and modify it to suit.

In addition to above - keep it focused and concise, illustrate you have adequately taken account of the risks to the business, include a contingency and don't forget to attach a cash flow.

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By kj
22nd Feb 2013 11:40

I'd simply use Excel...you need to create a P&L and a cashflow.

And make sure all your assunmptions are clear and can be easily adjusted to carry out scenario and sensitivity analysis if required.

My bread and butter, so if you need help, drop me a message.

 

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By david13
22nd Feb 2013 12:00

Business "plans" are just

Business "plans" are just guesswork, so it really doesn't matter what you put in them - as long as it looks OK to the bank or whoever you are trying to get funds from. If you can con them out of the money you want - good luck to you and more fool them!

Cynic - moi?

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By The Black Knight
22nd Feb 2013 12:01

Business plan pro - palo alto as mentioned above.

 

You are reinventing the wheel with Excel

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By kj
22nd Feb 2013 12:36

But saving £130!

But saving £130!

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By The Black Knight
25th Feb 2013 10:28

I obviously missed the most important point

kj wrote:

But saving £130!

I obviously missed the most important point....you can save £130

The reasons people fail to get finance and also fail in their business.

1, They fail to plan

2, Their Plan is complete rubbish prepared by an innumerate on an excel spreadsheet (most home jobs I have seen do not add up and forget the effect of VAT)

3, The bank manager cannot understand the plan, can see the effort put in and knows from experience that it will fail.

4, They fail to revisit the plan.

The reasons people think they fail.

1, Greedy banks

 

 

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By Admor
22nd Feb 2013 13:33

Business Plan template v Excel
Banks and other funders want more than Excel, although latter ok if just internally needed. Plenty of templates out there. All major banks have them on their websites. I also use Business Plan Pro for clients. One tip - write it with the reader in mind. Good luck.

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By Glenn Martin
22nd Feb 2013 14:44

Paulo Alto

That Business Plan Pro is a great shout and I had not heard from it previously. I use SAGE Winforecast which does a job but a bit dated and also quite expensive.

I will be purchasing Business Plan Pro for future work. I would not use excel as whilst it is very flexible and can be made to look however you like, it is too fiddly to use as along with P & L cashflow you also need to include a balance sheer which can be difficult to balance correctly

if you have VAT controls etc and problems with roundings. Business Plan Pro also seems to include a lot of graphs & pie charts which Bank lads love and pad your report out making it look more professinal and of higher value to your client.

Have you also agreed a fee in advance for the work as if your client does not get the money they also think they should not pay for a business plan.

 

 

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By rawa363
22nd Feb 2013 17:03

Sage Financial Forecasting

I use Sage FF for the financials, it is very good and easy to use. Produces P&L, BS and Cash Flows for whatever the period of the plan. Handles multiple products/services, allows you to set mcos as % of sales and various other time savers. I have had numerous comments from bank managers about the professional quality, presentation of the figures and comprehensiveness. Far superior to anything you can produce on excel. It also allows sensitivity analysis so you can produce worst case to best case scenarios, product mix variences as funders like to see you have considered a worst case and how resilient the plan is. It also has an actuals mode so you can enter your momthly actuals and get variance anlyses etc.. 

For the narrative I have a word based template we have developed over the years which covers everything a funder or investor would want to see. In each section it lists a series of probing questions you need to ask and get the answers to, as a savvy funder will be asking them.

I ecalusted a numer of Bplan packages in the past but found them rather restrictive and the Sage package is so flexible in my view it beats them all hands down.

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By Old Greying Accountant
22nd Feb 2013 17:26

Surely ...

... a business plan is much more than forecast cashflow and profits, they are just components of a business plan?

 

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Replying to Paddy_H:
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By The Black Knight
25th Feb 2013 10:38

hear hear

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... a business plan is much more than forecast cashflow and profits, they are just components of a business plan?

 

Very much agree.

I would even go further and say the process is more important than the report.

The mathematical modeling is just checking it works?

But I guess its like everything else.....those that don't have a clue thinks it's easy and can be done in five minutes for the lowest fee?

You pay your money and take your choice.

 

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Replying to Paddy_H:
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By lynnecart
28th Sep 2013 15:03

Ditto!

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By tony_jag
23rd Feb 2013 04:14

A good site to have a look at is

 

www.bplans.com/sample_business_plans.php They have a number of sample plans to have a look at and you can purchase templatesreasonably cheaply. Hope this assists..

 

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By Old Greying Accountant
25th Feb 2013 10:46

Who mentioned ...

... the elephant!

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