If you're about to start a new business or make major changes to an existing business, you need a business plan.
Why? Well, in the first place because most banks, lenders and grant-givers require projects to have one. Even if you're not looking for financial support, a well-researched business plan will put you on a realistic path toward success. If you're planning to run a childcare business – whether private, voluntary or statutory – you’ll need to develop a business plan.
Writing one is nothing to be scared of – a business plan is a simply a set of information that says:
- What you want to do
- Why you want to do it
- How and when you intend to do it
- Who will be involved?
Even the process of creating a business plan is useful. It will help you to think your ideas through and, once you've written the business plan, it will act as a road map that shows you the way forward and the obstacles – such as a lack of money or the need for new staff or premises – you might meet on the way.
That said, all business plans are slightly different. Some lenders might ask you to provide a plan following their own format, while others will be happy with any format, so long as all the information is presented clearly.