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Information Sheet: Information sheet 04

Creating a business plan


Business plans should be used to manage your enterprise and help track your goals & objectives or may help to attract investment. A business plan should provide the basis for a successful enterprise. The critical elements are determined at the outset and can be reviewed as the business evolves. This Information Sheet provides guidance on the preparation of a business plan and offers sources of additional information.

Key issues

  • The primary objective of your business plan should be to identify investment, income, cash flow, profit or pay back options
  • Your bank can help you to create your business plan
  • Computer packages are available to help you to write a business plan, some banks offer software free of charge (e.g. Lloyds Bank)
  • Courses in business management are available and your bank can recommend one
  • You can use your business plan to monitor your progress and identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Your plan should be “SMART” – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic &time bound.
  • Franchising activities can enhance affordability
  • Partnership working and third party funding can also enhance affordability


The contents of your business plan will depend on your objectives. The following provides a basic summary of the elements that should be included:

Executive summary

  • Description of the business
  • Explanation of the concept
  • Vision and objectives
  • Overview of the current situation
  • Market assessment and strategy
  • Customer analysis
  • Analysis of competition
  • Operational requirements, including staff
  • Payback and exit plan
  • Financial Assessment, including funding and cash flow forecasts
  • Personal Skills, It is important that people know and understand their own talents and limitations.

Key legislation affecting any business includes

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1987,
  • The Trade Descriptions Act 1968,
  • The Sale of Goods Act, 1979,
  • The Health andSafety at Work Act, etc 1974 
  • The Unfair Contract Terms Act, 1977.
  • Public Liability legislation includes the Public Trustee (Liability and Fees) Act 2002
  • Entertainment legislation includes the Entertainments (Increased Penalties) Act 1990
  • Licensing Act 2003
  • Data protection act 2005


contact information

Business Link:

Lloyds TSB (other banks will also hold information on business planning):

For the relevant legislation see: