Business Plans

Business Plans

A professional business plan, is not an automated procedure. It requires deep understanding of what the banks are needing from loan applications, a full understanding of accounting principles and cash flows. It includes consultation from an accountant on what will work for your future ideas. Subsequently it is not cheap as its uniquely customised to your type of business.

To offer this service Swiftreg has partnered with Colbee Accountants. Colbee will assess your business either through meeting with you (if you are in Cape Town) or through telephonic interviews and prepare a your business plan with you and for you.

Although the price is R4375, a powerful 20% discount for SwiftReg clients, means that you receive your business plan for R3500.

How do I write a business plan?

There are certain steps to take when starting your own business plan.  Firstly, you need to do an extreme amount of research in the specific field you want to cover.  The next step would be to figure out the exact purpose for your plan.  Once you have the purpose of the business plan, you can create your own company profile.  For the profile you will need to note all the different particulars of your business. 

Once you have the above, you will need to design your own marketing strategy.  It will need to suit the specific entity you will be approaching or selling your products and/or services to.  The final note would be to explain why you care about your product and/or service.  The best advice would be to give as much detail as possible on each of the above steps.  It all needs to be backed up with proven research, it cannot just be a thumb suck idea and guesses, these need to be factually based.

What is a business plan?

Once you have created or designed your idea, you will need to design a business plan.  The basic definition of a business plan would be your business goals and attributes.  You will describe how you will meet these goals; this will need to be backed by extensive research.  You will also need to include how long it will take for the certain goals to be met.  For example, each year you must have a projected turnover amount for the business and or product. 

If the turnover drops each year this business product will fail.  You need to prove the company will meet said goals in order for it to be a successful business plan.  This is always, in every case backed up with research in the specific market you will be selling to.

What is included in a business plan?

There are various different aspects that need to be included in a business plan.  They are usually set out in a specific order and have a summary of the information at the end.  The business plan needs to set out the detailed description of the business which describes the type of company you have and what to start. 

The next topic will be where you will be taking the business and in the respective field, describing exactly what it is you are selling or the service you will be offering.  It needs to include the exact market you are targeting and want to sell to.  These will all need to be backed up by research and targets or financial goals yearly.

How do you write a business plan for a small business?

There are different components for a business plan; there are also main headings or steps to focus on.  The first one is that you will need to choose the type of business plan you would like to create.  This can be a mini plan, a working plan or a presentation plan. 

Once you have decided on this, you need to understand the basic guide to a business plan.  This includes the business concept or idea, market analysis which is extensive research and the financial analysis; this also needs to be researched first such as cash flows and a balance sheet.  This can be quite a task if you are not financially driven, we suggest getting some help from an accountant this way it will have a stronger standing when taken to a bank to be used for a loan etc.

The document needs to be formatted correctly, the company description needs to be in the first section of the business plan.  Then, you can include the market analysis.  This will include research done in the market you will be targeting, you need to be fully informed on your target market this can be age, gender, needs or wants etc.  You also need to include the full list of competitors in your respective market. 

You will need to provide information on the management and running of the company which includes the staff and how each member works together or has experience in their field.  Then you will need to give a detailed description of your service or product.  Once this is done, you will need describe how you will be marketing and selling your product or service.

You must include the funding request for the loan you will need to start trading; this must include how much money you need to start trading and how that money will be utilized within the business.  You need to include the mission statement for the company, which is a description of your products or services, target market, goals you would like to reach as well as the objectives.  At the end of the business plan, add in the financial statements, goals, contracts etc and risks that can be attained. Finally, always remember to go back and read the entire business plan checking for any errors before finalizing the application.

What are the key components for a business plan?

The key components to focus on in a successful business plan are a summary of the business, description for the business, market analysis based on your field, management within the company, sales strategies and marketing, funding amounts and requirements, financial projections either monthly or yearly.  A business plan which is missing these fundamental components will probably fail and not receive a loan if this is what it will be used for.  You also need it for investments from individuals or companies, you need to make sure these are all included to gain that funding so you can start trading.

How do you start a business plan?

The best way to start a business plan would be to consider the steps that need to be taken and included.  You can consider the seven steps to focus on which are lots of research, the purpose, you need a company profile and description, note all the different aspects to your business, it needs to be documented, your marketing plan, sell your service in detail.  You will need to give a detailed explanation of what you are selling, to who and why and projected financials.

How should a business plan look?

The basic direction of how a business plan should look simply is to include a summary at the end, opportunities that the product or service supply, describe the need for the service or product, and how you will solve this by supplying the product or catering to the need of the consumer.  You will also need extensive market analysis and summary of this as well as how it will be executed.  Every business plan needs to also summarize the staff and management of the company and how each person has a role and responsibility within the company.  Lastly, it must always include a financial plan and projections.

What are the ten components of a business plan?

There are ten components to a successful business plan.  It should start with a summary; this must include all the aspects of the business including the company’s mission statement.  It must also describe the products and services the company will be selling.  This will be a summary and goals of the entire business proposal.  You need to include the description of the company in detail.  You will need to do market analysis which includes the competitors in the industry as well as the want and need for your product or service. 

There is also the competitive analysis, you will need to be honest and provide the research to include all of the competitors in your industry.  Then you must include the breakdown and description of your products and or services.  It must include the marketing plan and sales strategy.  The financial projections need to be included along with the request for funding.  The financial projections will work along with the request for funding as you cannot request a huge amount of money if the business is not going to make anywhere near that.

What is a good business plan?

A good business plan would be one that includes all of the necessary components needed to back up a business plan.  No investor or bank will give you money or a loan if your business plan is not researched.  The components and extensive research including the competitors in the industry need to be included.  The business plan needs to include the detailed description, finances, competitors and marketing before any other party will be interested in contributing financially in the business.  They need to know they will receive their investment back plus interest, this is where a business plan comes into play.

How can I start my own business with no money?

A business plan needs financial projections to gain awareness.  You can start the business plan by adding the description of the business, competitors etc.  All of the research that needs to be done as a business plan is a plan for the future with future projections and research on the current market.  Investors will want to know how much profit has been made in the company, but this will not hinder you from designing the business plan.

Why is a business plan important?

Without a business plan you will have no documented goals to follow or projections.  You won’t know who your competition is or who your target audience is.  You need to know if your product is a want or a need and you need cash flow projections.  You also won’t receive funding from an investor nor a loan from the bank should you need one.  Every successful companies needs or has a business plan as all of the aspects, research and guidelines are included in the business plan.

What are the three main purposes of a business plan?

The three main purposes of the business plan would be for funding, or investment, a loan from the bank and it will help run your company.  If you approach investors and do not have a business plan they will not know anything about the business this will include projected cash flow, staff and management, what the business is about etc.  The bank will not give you a loan as you will not be able to provide the financial statements and forecasts for them.  You also need to the business plan to be a guideline for your business in the upcoming days, months and years.

Who prepares a business plan?

You can prepare your own business plan, but most people would like to go through an accounting firm.  SwiftReg does assist with business plans at an extremely competitive price.  Most people like to use an accounting firm as the business plan includes financial projections that need to be accurate along with market research.  The information given needs to be backed by research and proof, you cannot make up the research as this would negatively impact the business. The information also needs to be accurate.

Why do you need a business plan?

Having a business plan is not compulsory but it is advised.  Without the business plan you will have no guidance for the company financially and for the general running for the business.  You also need to be fully informed of all of the competitors in your industry.  You will also need the business plan if you want a loan from the bank or an investment from investors to make your company grow.  The business plan is used to prove your vision and show its profitability.  Without this, no one will know what your business is about.

What is the difference between a business proposal and business plan?

A business plan is the detailed description of the business.  It includes all cash flow or financial projections, mission statement, management and directorship, competitors, the want and need of the service or product being sold or offered and it’s an overall description of the company.  A business proposal is directed at the client, it is a detailed description on the cost or the value of the product or service they will be offering and how they will manage the project.  The purpose would be for the client to accept the proposal thus creating business for the person who offered the proposal.

Will the banks accept a business plan if I draw it up myself?

You can write up your own business plan, however, a professional business plan that is designed by an accounting firm will give it more standing with the banks.  If a professional accounting firm draws up the cash flow projections they are the qualified entity to do so and are backed up with research.  If you are not an accounting you do not have that qualification and standing, even if you do your own research to back it you.

How much does it cost to get a business plan?

Business plans can range anything from one thousand rand to seven thousand rand.  It depends on who you request to assist you.  SwiftReg has an agreement with an accounting firm for lower rates and you will receive the professional business plan.  If you do your own business plan it will be free, we don’t suggest that this is the best route as it does not have the financial standing that a professionally drawn up business plan by an accountant has.

How long does it usually take to get a business plan?

A business plan can take various amounts of time, depending on the research that has gone into it.  If you are working in partnership with an accountant or bookkeeper they will not finalize the business plan until you are happy with it.  The time taken will depend on how much work and research goes into it.  You need accurate financial projections for your business plan, rather take the time developing it and you will be happy with the end product.