From CompliNEWS | Financial Service Intelligence Watch

The need for a business plan and how to draft one
By Lee Rossini


In the world of entrepreneurship, a business plan is often considered the blueprint for success. It’s a comprehensive document that outlines goals, strategies and the steps required to achieve them. Whether you’re a start-up looking for funding, an existing business looking to expand, or an entrepreneur trying to navigate the competitive market, a well-crafted business plan is an invaluable tool. First, we consider the importance of a business plan and then look at guidelines on how to draft one that sets your business on a path to success.


The importance of a business plan


  • Clarity and Focus – A business plan forces you to define your business concept clearly. It helps you articulate your mission, vision and core values. This clarity provides a solid foundation upon which you can build your business.
  • Attracting Investors – If you’re seeking external funding from banks, investors, or venture capitalists, a well-prepared business plan is essential. It showcases your business idea, your strategy for growth, and the potential for profitability. Investors use this document to evaluate the risks and rewards of investing in your venture.
  • Strategic Roadmap – A business plan serves as a strategic roadmap, outlining your short-term and long-term goals. It details the steps needed to achieve these objectives, helping you stay on track and measure your progress.
  • Risk Assessment – It allows you to identify potential risks and challenges your business may face. By recognising these issues upfront, you can develop contingency plans to mitigate them.
  • Resource Allocation – With a business plan, you can estimate the resources required for your business, whether it’s funding, personnel or equipment. This helps you allocate resources efficiently, thereby reducing wastage.


Guidelines for drafting a good business plan


  • Executive Summary – Start with a concise executive summary that captures the essence of your business. This section should provide a quick overview of your business concept, market opportunity, and your strategy to capitalise on it.
  • Business Description – Detail the nature of your business, your products and services, and the problems you’re solving for your clients. Explain your unique selling proposition (USP) and the competitive advantage that sets you apart.
  • Market Research – Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, their needs, and the current market conditions. Include data on market size, trends, and demographics. Identify your competitors and highlight your market positioning.
  • Marketing Strategy – Outline your marketing and sales plans. Describe how you will attract and retain clients, including your fees strategy, promotional efforts, and distribution channels.
  • Management and Team – Provide information about your management team’s background, experience and roles within the business. If looking for funding, investors want to know that you have the talent to execute your business plan effectively.
  • Financial Projections – Create detailed financial projections, including income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. These should cover at least the first three to five years of your business. Be realistic in your estimates, and clearly explain your assumptions.
  • Funding Requirements – If you’re seeking external funding, specify how much capital you need, how you’ll use it, and the potential return on investment for investors. Highlight the risks associated with the investment.
  • Operational Plan – Describe your business’s day-to-day operations, including location, equipment, product suppliers, and the necessary licenses.
  • Milestones and Metrics – Set measurable milestones for your business and describe the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to track progress. This shows potential investors that you have a clear path to success.
  • Appendix – Include any supporting documents, such as resumes of key team members, market research data, legal documents and other relevant materials. These can provide additional context for your business plan.


A well-structured business plan is an indispensable tool for entrepreneurs and business owners. It not only serves as a roadmap for success but also as a persuasive document for attracting investors and partners. By following these guidelines and investing time and effort into crafting a compelling business plan, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in your entrepreneurial journey. Remember that a business plan is not a one-time exercise; it should be regularly reviewed and updated as your business evolves.