Writing a Business Plan
Town End Farm Shop: Chris Wildman
Chris explains how his business plan helped to develop some rough ideas into a clear plan. The idea for the Town End Farm Shop and the concept of an online farmers’ market came from a chat with a neighbour over a beer. The next step was to put this into a business plan.
"Having to put together a start-up business plan means you have to consider many different issues, and this can help focus your thinking. The first business plan we put together proved very useful. In fact, it enabled us to get a loan from Yorkshire Fund Managers.” Chris added that attending a local training course which provided a business plan template was also really helpful.
In terms of content, Chris said: “The finance must be realistic and your figures must add up. I also had to explain such things as how the business would survive if income failed to live up to expectations. You have to consider all cash flow eventualities."
Chris also adds that a business plan needs to be adapted and evolve as you go along. “Originally, we wrote ours [business plan] entirely for ourselves, to test whether we had a viable idea for a business," explained Chris. "Some things were just notes to myself before we could approach the bank, and we created a tailored version when we went for funding. Importantly, the plan had to show we could pay back the money we wanted to borrow.”
Chris concluded that you must use your business plan as the business progresses: “You shouldn't just keep your business plan locked away. You need to work with it and update it with actual facts and figures as the business progresses. We've rewritten our plan several times and we make minor revisions in between to update figures as we go."