Your business plan should provide details of how you are going to develop your business, when you are going to do it, who's going to play a part and how you will manage the finances.
Clarity on these issues is particularly important if you're looking for finance or investment. The process of building your plan will also focus your mind on how your new business will need to operate to give it the best chance of success.
Your plan should include:
An executive summary - this is an overview of the business you want to start. It's vital. Many lenders and investors make judgments about your business based on this section of the plan alone.
A short description of the business opportunity - who you are, what you plan to sell or offer, why and to whom.
Your marketing and sales strategy - why you think people will buy what you want to sell and how you plan to sell to them.
Your management team and personnel - your credentials and the people you plan to recruit to work with you.
Your operations - your premises, production facilities, your management information systems and IT.
Financial forecasts - this section translates everything you have said in the previous sections into numbers.
A free business plan template is available from GOV.UK: Write a business plan
The executive summary