A business plan is a promissory document for business visa purposes. You should write a realistic business plan that can serve an anchor for your business plan for next three to five years. A business plan is a blue print that gives vision and direction to relevant personnel and guide them to achieve focus in certain direction making the business more likely to succeed. Both start up and established businesses must have their business plan with them. A business plan carries a sunk cost because after going through research candidate may find it unattractive to pursue the business plan. However, the research led to creation of the business plan may yield other ideas worth considering.

What is included in a business plan?

A typical business plan for UK business immigration should be innovative, scalable and viable. It should be realistic and may include an executive summary, brief company info, products or service description, target market, industry or market analysis, competitor analysis, pricing strategy, promotional or marketing plan, SWOT analysis, licensing requirements, personnel plan, financial plan and operational plan etc.

What is an executive summary in a business plan?

Executive summary in a business plan tells the reader about all important components of a business plan in a succinct way. The read time of an executive summary may not exceed two minutes and it should discuss the candidate or company profile, product or service description, target market, industry or market analysis, personnel plan, economic assumptions and targets. Executive summary must attract the reader attention so that the reader is more likely to read further or start negotiation with the business proposal sender. The executive summary should be focused, narrowly pitched and written in simple and clear thoughts.

Candidate Profile/ Company Profile for a business plan

Candidate must demonstrate skills, knowledge, relevant experience, exposure and willingness to pursue the business plan. Often the skills and knowledge may not be relevant for the business plan, however, candidate should focus on their portable skills such as general management skills, business skills or research skills which makes it relevant to pursue the intended business plan.  Company profile should focus on those aspect of business which is directly relevant to the line of business the company is pursuing. Overseas business representative visa category requires a business plan as part of the application process. The parent company profile should include the products or services description of the company, its client network, awards won, financial strengths including its revenue and profitability consistency, organizational strength.

Products or Services

A business plan must describe its products and services. In the products category, describe products category and what is the role of the products in solving human needs. The type of market that the products create. Most of the time the products create a competitive market which means a large number of buyers and large number of sellers. What product line the products belong to? What product differentiation you will introduce to make your business plan innovative? In services business, describe how the service will be delivered, what is involved in delivering the services. What special attributes and skills are required to deliver the services?

Target Market

In writing target market of your business plan, you should determine the geographic of your target market, target market segment description, demographics of the target market etc.

Preferably you should locate your business where competition is low. However, innovation is more important in combatting the competition. Identify your potential customers or clients and describe how you meet their expectations.

Industry and Market Analysis

This is the key element in your business plan. The industry or market analysis will give you idea about the trends, saturation or competition level, economic contribution of the industry, number of economic participants, different roles to choose from within the industry, the business cycle of the industry, the economic cycle of the industry etc. You should also research about the trade bodies, associations and professional bodies, and governing or regulation process of the industry.

Competitor Analysis

In competitor analysis, you discuss you competitor around your proposed business location or target market. Go through their websites, marketing materials such as their company profile, prospectus or public documents. Find out what products or services they are offering, their marketing methods and slogans, their organizational strength, their pricing strategy, their response to the market structure, their unique selling proposition. You should come up with your own comparative or competitive advantage or unique selling proposition. Also discuss the market gap in your relevant market.

Pricing strategy

Pricing strategy should respond to the market structure of the relevant product or services. Most of the markets are competitive markets and therefore competitive pricing should be discussed such as average price charged in the industry. at the start of the business, often the entrepreneur offers discount to the industry average to attract customers and once the business achieves saturation or break-even point, the entrepreneur starts to charge competitive pricing. Pricing strategy should also be aligned with sales strategy. End of season sales strategy, early bird discounts, group discounts, portfolio discounts, referral discounts are often given to increase the sales.

Promotional and Marketing Plan

The business plan must discuss the promotional and marketing plan given the target market. Marketing plan must look into competitors marketing strategies such as traditional marketing, multichannel marketing, omnichannel marketing, programmatic advertising, online marketing using Search Engine Optimization, Search engine advertising, GPS based adverting, voice or video-based marketing etc. The business plan should discuss the website and how the content in it will be produced to address unique experience to the client or customers.

Personnel Plan

The business plan should discuss the personnel plan. How many personnel will be required to carry out the business activities? What roles and responsibilities should be assigned to the personnel? What type of qualifications, skills, and exposure will be required to perform the relevant roles and responsibilities? Every team should be complementing each other and their economic functions produce synergy that create economic efficiency and competitive advantage. There should not be any redundant personnel in the team.

Financial Plan

A good business plan should include a financial plan which could include startup expenses, running expenses, revenue target, profit expectations, payroll expectations, marketing expenses, utilities, tax liabilities, employer liabilities, insurance expenses, rent expenses, etc. A financial plan can extend its analysis to include risk analysis and planning. Risk analysis could include scenario analysis with different revenue expectations, break-even analysis, worst case scenario, favorable scenario, stress testing, exit strategy and end period valuation.

A convincing plan should also address the unique circumstances that the entrepreneur could face in particular business and economic environment. The business plan should also fulfill the expectation of its intended recipient.