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Business planning overlooked by SMEs

A third of small and medium-sized business owners are operating without a business plan, according to research by Close Brothers Asset Finance.

The survey found that 29% of SMEs do not have a business plan, with 43% of these claiming that they don’t believe they need one.

Furthermore,  a fifth say they prefer to memorise their business plan rather than writing it down, while 15% say that having a plan isn’t a top priority.

Brian Dhenin, managing director of the broker division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, said:

“It is somewhat concerning that so many small and medium-sized firms do not have a business plan as without clear direction, they may be missing out on opportunities for growth and not realising their full potential.”

Business planning basics

Having a solid plan in place for your business is essential, not just in its infancy but throughout its life. Plans not only help you fine-tune your vision but also make your business’s flaws more visible, enabling you to develop your strategy and increase your resilience against potential risks.

A successful business plan must have the following components:

  • an overview of your company, your mission statement and the business’s unique features
  • an analysis of the market, your competitors and your client base
  • a detailed description of your company and the goods/services it offers
  • your business strategy including a SWOT analysis, growth plans and a marketing strategy
  • financial details including a balance sheet, revenue projections and a cashflow statement
  • an outline of the steps you will take to turn your business plan into a reality.

Contact Manchester accountants Jack Ross to discuss your business planning on 0161 832 4451 or email