2.1 Business overview. A brief description of what your business is all about; what product or service will be sold, and what is the vision for its future. 300 words max.
2.2 Borrowing required. If you are applying for a loan, how much money do you want to borrow? What for? Over what term?
Have you obtained a copy of your credit report? If so please detail if it is either: Very poor Poor Fair Satisfactory Good Excellent
3. About You
3.1 Why do you want to run your own business?Why this particular business idea?
3.2 Previous work experience and relevant qualifications
3.3 Describe your knowledge and experience within this business’ industry.
3.4 Is there any other personal information relevant to this business? For example having family in the industry or an industry specific mentor, have you sourced suppliers or set up trade accounts, or have any contacts with potential customers.
3.5 What are your strengths and weaknesses relative to this business idea? How will you address any weaknesses?
3.6 Why do you think you can make a success of this particular idea?
4. The Product / Service
4.1 Describe the product or service you will be selling. Explain the basic product or service you plan to offer. If there is more than one product or service, explain the different types.
4.2 How will the product be produced or how will the service be carried out? Describe the flow of a typical job, with a walk through, talk through of all the steps involved in the customer journey from a business perspective.
4.3 Licences to operate. Do you need a specific qualification or licence to legally carry out this business?
4.4 Applicable legal issues to this product or service
Applicable – yes or no?
Health and Safety
Food Hygiene and Safety
Intellectual Property – e.g copyright, trademarks
Business name – check does not infringe on trademarks of other businesses
4.5 Describe your pricing strategy. How have you come up with your prices? How will you position your business in the market as compared to your competitors? (e.g. budget, mid-range or premium?) .
4.6 How much profit will you make on a typical ‘unit’ of product or service? Give a worked example showing how much gross profit you will make on a typical product or unit of service. Explain how much you can sell it for, and what are the direct costs of producing it. How much gross profit do you make per unit?
5. The Market
5.1 Describe your typical customers. Will customers be private individuals or trade customers? Profile them. If you have different customer types for different products/services, profile a typical customer for each product/service.
5.2 Desk research. What have you learned from reading up about your industry area? Are there any seasonal trends? Is overall market for your industry increasing, static or declining?
5.3 Other market research. How do you know that you will have enough customers to support the business? Explain what research you have done.
5.4 Evidence of demand for your product or service. If you have sold any products or services already, or if customers have expressed a firm interest in buying your products or services, please give details.
5.5 Provide information on your principal Competition. Describe your closest competitors. Who are they and what do they offer? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What can you learn from them?
5.6. Why will customers buy from you rather than your key competition? Explain the key customer benefits that will make your business stand out.
6. Marketing Plan
How will you promote your business?
6.2 What promotional material will you use? (e.g. brochures, leaflets, fliers, etc) 6.3 How much will it cost to market your business?
7. Household Budget
A separate template is provided for this in Excel; please append.
8. Start Up Costs
8.1 Start up costs to date. What have bought for the business already. What has your total spend been to date, and where did the funds come from?
8.2 Start up costs yet to purchase. What do you still need to buy in order to launch and what will each item cost? What is the total of all these expenses? How will you fund these costs?
9. Running Costs
What ongoing business costs do you need to budget for once the business starts? Exclude any costs that vary directly with sales.
How often do you need to buy or pay for this item?
What is the cost each time you have to pay for it?
10. Sales Assumptions
Explain what you will be selling to achieve your projected turnover for the first 12 months. If producing the product or service has any direct costs that vary according to how much you sell, then detail these in the Direct costs forecast column for each month. It is sensible to start out cautious, and be sure to factor in seasonal trends. These figures should match what is recorded in your cashflow.
10. Year 1 Sales assumptions
11.1 Timings of customer payments. Explain when your customers pay. If you give your customers ‘credit’ (time to pay) explain how much. Will the payments in the sales assumptions in the previous section arrive in the month you do the work. If not, when do you think you will get paid?
11.2 What are your payment terms for your suppliers?
11.3 Will the timing of payments between your suppliers and customers cause you cashflow difficulties?
11.4 Cashflow forecast statement. Please construct and append a 12 month cashflow forecast
(there is a separate template for this).
12. Risks And Backup Plan
12.1 What are the key risks affecting your business? Is there anything you can do to reduce the impact of each risk?
12.2 What will you do if your business doesn’t go as well as you have forecast?
12.3 If you are applying for a Start Up Loan, this is a personal loan that must be paid back even if the business doesn’t work out. What can you do to afford your loan repayments if this should happen?
End of Document. N.B. This template is based on one currently used for the New Enterprise Allowance scheme. If you are applying for a different funding program, you are advised to check whether the funder has their own preferred template for you to use.