There is a wealth of information and support out there, and this blog will point you to some current support to help you to get your business plan and general planning, into tip-top shape.
To kick-off with, I’ve included a great site to stimulate your thinking and to view a range of business plans:
There are some free samples available to help you with the preparation of the necessary data to start your plan. Don’t view your plan just as a fund-raising tool as it can help to put your business together, to monitor progress and will act as an action review document, if you include key milestones and activities.
Once you’ve looked through some samples, try out the Welsh government site below, which takes you on a walk-through of your plan, from the idea, to the market data and research, to the financials you’ll need to calculate. Cash flow forecasts, break-even analysis and profit/loss charts will help you to pinpoint weaknesses, understand where you’ll need to dip into savings, or be cautious about expenditure until sales build up.
If you would prefer to attend a workshop to work on your plan and to network with other entrepreneurs, try the two-day workshop offered by Venture Wales, whose advisors will support you through the planning process in an interactive style.
The Centre for Business offers a range of business planning workshops which focus on topics such as tax, sizing up the market, pricing, customer service and finance management, across South Wales. These workshops are essential to improve your knowledge and understanding and to optimise the chances of your business becoming a success. There is even a “Taking the Plunge” workshop designed to check if self-employment is for you. Hopefully, you will have already be clear about this decision, but there is no harm in attending the other workshops available as part of your research-gathering process.
In addition to workshops and on-line advice, there is also the Welsh-government backed, “Business in Focus” group, who can help to offer practical advice on business and financial planning, technology and web development support, help to finding suitable premises, and mentoring. Most of their services are provided free-of-charge and their offices cover Bridgend, Barry, Treforest, Swansea, and Cardiff. More information can be found at their site:
Hopefully, this snapshot of sites will help you to carry out the necessary research to help you with the business planning stage of your business. Joins us next week as we will be exploring funding opportunities in more depth!