‘John, we need a business plan. Can I leave it with you?’ asks the boss, contemplating only one possible answer.

You’re pretty good at your job in sales or marketing or finance. But you’ve never written a business plan. Where do you start?

Try this. Ask your boss what the plan is for. The chances are that the firm needs it to obtain some sort of backing – from the board, from the bank, from an investor.

Or you may run your own company. You need to expand. You could just about finance it yourself or through your existing bank facilities, but you could do with some extra cushion. Your need a plan for your backer, in this case your bank.

Or you may be planning serious expansion, possibly acquisition. You need a plan for your equity ...

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