Business Plan explained

When you approach any funder for any reason, there is a very high chance that you will have to provide them with a business plan.

What we have listed below are 10 items that we look for when assessing applications.

Our online application will ask you similar questions with the view that when you submit, you are giving us your business plan!

Click on each heading to expand the section

1) Your Business idea and legal structure.

There are various legal structures your business can form, we have discussed a few options below, if it’s advice you are looking for, it may be best for you to contact one of our partners or an accountant or business adviser for further information. Whoever you choose will be able to discuss options with you specifically suited to your circumstances.

Sole trader

Becoming a sole trader means that there is no legal distinction between you and your business making you 100% liable for your personal and business debts.


Takes on similar form to a sole trader but the finance obligations are joint and several, which means if one partner cannot pay, then the other is responsible for the full debt, not just their half.

Private Limited Company

A Private limited company must have at least one director and be registered at Companies House.There are filing and notification requirements set by the Companies Act 2006, it is the director’s responsibility to complete these or a fine may be applicable. Before you set up a limited company or become a director of one, DSL recommends that you research the administration tasks involved beforehand.

Social Enterprise

You may want to choose to set up a Social Enterprise, or even a CIC (Community Investment Company).Both these structures are for organisations that have social aims or missions for example, they may offer any profit they make to local community groups.

2) Detail what experience you have to run the business and why you want to do it.

As a lender, it’s great to get information on the people actually running the company, gain insight to their background and knowledge, details of past employment etc. Help us understand why are you setting up your business… why now?

Having this information will allow us to recognise your idea, it should demonstrate to us why you think it will work.

3) How much money will you need to start up and what will this be spent on?

There could many costs involved when starting up your business. It really depends on what you are doing and where.

We have

listed a few below for you to consider:-

Technology costs- Computer hardware, software, printers, telephones, website, internet and line rental to name a few.

Administrative costs- Insurances, office supplies and licences to name a few examples.

Cost of sales: Depending on what your business is offering, this may include manufacturing, shipping, stock, equipment etc.

4) What are you charging for your product/service and how did you reach this figure?

Tell us what you charge for your product or service, explain why you have set this amount and justify your reasons e.g. via research.

5) Who is your competition and what do they offer/charge, how do you compare?

Tell us who your direct competitors are, what do you do differently?. Why would customers be deflected from them to you?

6) Who are your customers, how will you attract them and why do you think there is a demand for your product/service?

  • Where are your customers coming from?
  • Will they buy from your store, website or other means?
  • How will you attract them?
  • Why do you think people will want to buy your product or service? have you got any research?

7) Have you considered advertising or marketing?

  • Have you discussed advertising or marketing in any of the above sections? if so tell us w wee bit more about this here.
  • Why do you think this will work and how much will it cost etc.

8) Will you be offering credit terms to your customers?

You will have to consider payment term scenarios, when drafting your cash-flow projections (next point)

For example, will you offer your customers credit terms? will you require the same from your suppliers?

You may simply charge your customers up front and pay your suppliers immediately, however you choose to handle payment terms, please tell us here.

9) Statement of Cash flow projections

This is possibly one of the most important parts of your business plan, this can be referred to throughout your plan and added on as an appendix at the back.We ask applicants to provide us with one year projections on your businesses income and expenditure.

Below is an example (limited to 3 months)

10) Commitment, enthusiasm honesty and knowledge

You will have to prove to any lender that you are committed to your business, you have to provide them with confidence that you are willing to make your business succeed. Show enthusiasm and energy throughout your plan and of course be knowledgeable on the contents.

Category: Business plan

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