Setting up a new business can be a daunting experience but there are many sources of advice and guidance for the budding Entrepreneur.
Generally most start-ups benefit from producing the following documents right at the start so that they can be used to monitor progress and measure success:
- Business plan
commonly a plan is set both for the short term (1 yr) and a longer term (3-5yrs) so that you have an idea of how the business will develop
- Marketing Plan
This document will outline the steps that you intend to take to promote your business, reach your customers and grow your business
- Cashflow forecast
Although it may seem as though you are plucking figures from thin air, it is good practice to make an assumption about initial sales and produce a document that summarises your income against your expenditure (materials, wages, marketing, etc) so that you have a picture of how much cash is in the business 'kitty'. One major reason for new businesses failing is lack of cash-flow. This document should assist you in for-seeing any shortages and making the necessary allowances
If you are trying to raise capital to start your business, a bank or building society will probably want to see the above documents to confirm the feasibility of your venture. They will certainly take you more seriously if you have these documents as it shows that you have considered all aspects of the business which already make you more likely to succeed.
Below are some links that you may find useful for support in starting up.
- Small-business (Lloyds TSB)
- HSBC/SAB (HSBC)
- Barclays' start up support pages