Anybody that has started their own business will understand the importance of forming a strong business plan.
It’s more than a document; it’s a guide that can help you keep on track when the unexpected happens and one that can be altered at different stages, to ensure you take the unexpected into account moving forward.
That’s why producing – or developing – a business plan is a key part of the application process for anybody wishing to take out an interest-free business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity.
With the loans we provide being so unique – we want to ensure that the investment provided is to a start-up or young business that has a clear direction, or to a prospective business owner that has done the research and planning to back up their concept. But it goes way beyond us.
A business plan enables YOU to evaluate where you are in terms of starting a business. It allows YOU to be able to see where your strengths and weaknesses are. It enables YOU to be able to set realistic goals.
“Do the plan – do the business plan,” insists Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower Fay Hooper, who with her business partner Becky Owen runs the multi-award winning The Sewing Cafe in Hinckley.
“Work through the stages, because it really does help to focus your ideas. If, come the end of it, you feel really enthusiastic and you want to start the business tomorrow, then just go for it.”
However, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is also aware that putting together a business plan – particularly with regards to financial forecasts and figures – can be incredibly daunting for those that are taking their first steps in running their own business.
That’s why the charity has partnered with accountants, and other organisations across Leicestershire, to provide anybody that is applying for a business loan with a support session to go through all elements of a business plan FREE OF CHARGE.
A full list of those accountants and providers can be found by clicking here
“I made sure I utilised the free support available from accountants, which the charity promotes,” explains business borrower and Sir Thomas White Loan Charity Ambassador, Steff Lee (pictured), who owns illustration and animation studio, Kino Bino. “My advisor was very reassuring with regards to the figures, because I had it in my mind that they had to be precise and spot-on – and he informed me that they didn’t. They simply needed to be realistic.
“Of the whole application form, it was the accountancy sheet that I was most worried about,” admits Steff.
“I went to Sharman Fielding and they were really nice. I was shown how to best compose a forecast, factoring in quiet periods where I may not be able to bring in as much. He put the figures we worked on together into his spread sheet and was very thorough. Then he emailed that through to me so I could transfer the figures into my application form. Because there was a cash flow forecast and a separate sales forecast, that really confused me.
“The professional help was great.”
For more information on The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s interest-free business loans, which are available to people aged over 18 and under 35 wishing to set up or develop a business in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland, please click here
Alternatively, please feel free to give Sarah a call on 0116 204 6620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org