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Business Planning



Overview
 

It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan when you’re starting a new enterprise or developing an existing business. A business plan is a written document that describes your businesses objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business.

The audience for your business plan
 

There are many benefits to creating and managing a realistic business plan.

Even if you just use it in-house, it can:

• help you spot potential pitfalls before they happen
• structure the financial side of your business efficiently
• focus your efforts on developing your business
• work as a measure of your success

You should also bear in mind that a business plan is a living document that will help you monitor your performance and stay on track and will therefore need updating and changing as your business grows. Regardless of whether you intend to use your plan internally, or as a document for external people, it should still take an objective and honest look at your business. Failing to do this could mean that you and others have unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved and when.

What a business plan should include
 

• An executive summary - this is an overview of the business you want to start. It is vital.
• A short description of the business opportunity - who you are, what you plan to sell and to whom.
• Your marketing and sales strategy - why you think people will buy from you, what you want to sell and how you plan to sell to them.
• You and your team - your credentials and the people you plan to recruit to work with you.
• Your operations - your premises, production facilities, your management information systems and IT.
• Financial forecasts - this section translates everything you have said in the previous sections into numbers.

Presenting your business plan
 

To make sure your business plan has maximum impact, there are a number of points to observe.

Keep the plan short - it’s more likely to be read if it’s a manageable length. Think about the presentation and keep it professional.

Tips for presenting your plan

• Use plain language so anyone can understand it – avoid jargon!
• Edit the plan carefully - get at least two people to read it and check that it makes sense.
• Ensure you use email-friendly formatting – word or pdf
• Include a cover and a contents page

Business plan template
 

The time spent is an investment which will pay dividends in the long term. Use the template below to get started.

Business Plan Template

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News

61 results found, page 1 of 7.  
Access North Structures relocates as turnover hits new heights

Monday 11 June 2018

Following a 35% uplift in turnover, rope access specialist Access North Structures has relocated to a new office in Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield as it prepares for further expansion. Newly released figures for 2017-18 demonstrate significant growth for the work at height experts, with client numbers reaching 54 – a 38% increase on the previous year. To facilitate a marked upturn in service demand over the last 12 months, the firm has also welcomed three new recruits on board, bringing the in-office headcount up to eight. With technical project manager Richard Knight having been appointed last spring, the latest additions to the growing team of specialists are Diane Basnett and Tara Calvin. Joining as a project manager, Diane will be a single point of contact for clients and work closely with Richard to plan and manage assignments. Meanwhile, office administrator Tara will be responsible for providing essential support to the whole team. Requiring additional space to accommodate its internal expansion, the firm has relocated to a larger unit at Brooke’s Mill in Armitage Bridge, where it has been based since 2013. The new office is twice the size of the previous base and will provide scope for further recruitment – a key focus for the company in the year ahead. Managing director Berenice Northcott commented on this continuing growth: “2017-18 was a brilliant year for us and with client numbers rising, we’re expecting our turnover to increase even more over the next 12 months. “Further recruitment is on the cards for 2018 – especially for our on-site team – so our relocation to a new, larger office will provide us with ample space to expand our core workforce. We’re also looking to increase the number of vehicles we have, in order to fulfil nationwide demand for our services.” Notable names to have joined the firm’s growing client roster in the past 12 months are the British Racing Drivers Club – which is headquartered at the world-renowned Silverstone Circuit – along with the University of Huddersfield, Denbighshire County Council and The Bulwell Academy, Nottingham. Berenice elaborated: “We’re already working and winning contracts with small, local companies and blue-chip clients throughout the UK – spanning an array of different sectors – and we have the expertise to provide fully tailored assignments to them all. “Having such a varied customer base requires us to be versatile, so we’re constantly balancing our professionalism with our trademark down-to-earth approach, in order to deliver our work at height services safely and efficiently.” Established in 2011, Access North Structures specialises in the installation, inspection and maintenance of complex structures, ETFE facilities and tensile fabric canopies via rope access techniques. The company additionally deploys fall protection solutions and is an approved partner of SFS intec – provider of the industry-renowned SOTER safety systems.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Market-leading customer engagement platform appoints Scriba PR

Friday 08 June 2018

Visitor behaviour tracking specialist Boostify has appointed technical public relations specialist Scriba PR to help boost brand exposure. Conversion rate optimisation expert – and managing director – Jonathan Thirkill first entered the sector in 2013 with a live chat service. The last five years has seen him invest considerably in the development of the platform, which has resulted in the tech start-up transforming into a fully-fledged conversion rate optimisation platform. Now providing a completely integrated service to customers, the next generation technology firm is looking to further raise its industry profile through a strategic communications collaboration with the B2B agency. Jonathan commented on the reasons for appointing Scriba: “I knew that the team specialised in technical PR, which is why I specifically approached them. Our product isn’t easy to explain, and after seeing the other clients Scriba work with, it was clear that they have extensive experience in complex fields. This gave me the confidence that they could convert my product into something everyone can understand. “I have some big goals and objectives for 2018, and I believe Scriba will play a key part in helping me to achieve them.” Boostify’s cutting-edge technological development is the only ‘all-in-one’ hub on the market, which empowers organisations to track, engage and convert website visitors into revenue. This is achieved through its powerful suite of customisable widgets, granular targeting and segmentation functionality. Elaborating on the new partnership, Scriba’s founder Katie Mallinson added: “There are tech companies of all sizes within our client base, so I'm pleased that Jonathan thought of us when it came to supporting the successful launch and onward growth of his exciting start-up firm. PR is a valuable tool, especially in the early stages of a company's communications journey, and we look forward to seeing how Boostify's story unfolds. “Boostify is a shining example of the level of tech innovation taking place in the North, and I'm sure the interest in his business is going to be huge.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
New look website for Little Tikes

Thursday 07 June 2018

One of the UK’s most renowned and trusted toy manufacturers – Little Tikes – has undergone a complete website overhaul, to propel the company forwards in line with the current digital climate and reflect its updated direction and brand values. Designed and developed by Yorkshire-based creative agency The Bigger Boat, the online platform reflects the best practices of design and digital, and amalgamates a range of existing information from various partner sites into one ‘brand hub’. This both supports retailers and enables visitors to easily access full, detailed product advice for the entire Little Tikes range of merchandise in one central location. To further revamp the site, a range of unique typography has been introduced throughout – alongside custom drawings – to give the platform a fresh and modern feel. The homepage has also seen the integration of user-generated content, with social media now feeding into it via Facebook and Instagram, to provide the target audience – millennial parents – with a more engaging experience. Reflecting on the design, creative director Doug Main said: “In addition to the new website we also helped to reposition the Little Tikes brand online. We updated the logo to make it simple and flat – as opposed to skeuomorphic – and refreshed the colour palette. The creation of bespoke hand-drawn doodles helped inject personality and fun to imagery throughout the site.” The six-month project – which involved over 500 hours of manpower from the multi-disciplined Bigger Boat crew and was strategically timed to launch at one of the quietest times of the year for the toy arena – was designed via a mobile-first approach. The call to action buttons on each page are even positioned in a more accessible place for a phone user’s thumb. Andy McCaul, managing director at the agency said: “The fact that 80% of people use mobile technology when visiting e-commerce websites meant that we had to cater for this audience first and foremost when planning the site – whilst still delivering a rich desktop experience. We tackled the brief from a data-driven perspective to ensure that we delivered the best possible UX.” He continues: “This was a huge project for our 12-strong team, and we are extremely proud of the finished article. The move away from stock shots and a custom style of text has made the site more eye-catching and vibrant, and given the Little Tikes team a solid platform for growth.” Developed using Wordpress and WooCommerce to better support future development and provide enhanced reporting functionality, early statistics are already showing an improvement on the previous offering, with the average order value up by 30%, the goal conversion rate up by 130% and a 35% increase in engagement. Michelle Lilley, head of marketing at Little Tikes said: “We’re really pleased with our new direction and website, which helps to bring our exciting range of toys to life online. Importantly, it delivers on our key objectives – to engage millennial parents, become a brand hub and support our retail partners. We’ve had some fabulous feedback globally and our new brand style is now being rolled out internationally.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Kirklees TV Interview

Saturday 02 June 2018

We recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Liz Hey from Kirklees TV as part of their series of business programmes. We were delighted to be able to discuss how important using the Objective Management Group sales evaluation and sales candidate assessment tools can help improve sales performance in companies with sales teams. We also had the opportunity to discuss how we use the tools of one of other partners Sales STAR to help develop sales managers into super coaches. Enjoy watching the interview. http://bit.ly/2JlyThB
Posted by Ventas Sales Ltd
Branding specialist launches customer experience workshop for local businesses

Tuesday 08 May 2018

Huddersfield branding consultancy The Engine Room is kickstarting a series of workshops for local businesses, focusing on how to enhance the customer experience. Aimed primarily at established companies looking to find a competitive advantage, the first event will explore how teams can better engage with existing and prospective clients by boosting brand performance. The 3-hour session – ‘Designing the customer experience’ – will be hosted on Thursday 24 May at Bates Mill, Colne Road in conjunction with Design Network North. Practical and activity-based, the workshop will immerse attendees into a ‘design thinking’ mindset – equipping them with the tools to better understand their customers, map out their consumer journey and balance brand promises with deliverables. With more than 17 years’ experience in strategic design consultancy, The Engine Room advocates the importance of conveying purpose and values within brand identity – as well as matching customer expectations with the experienced reality. Commenting on what attendees can expect from the workshop, founder and design director Darren Evans said: “The session is sure to be fast-paced, as we want people to leave with a real understanding of the importance of crafting a great customer experience – as well as the steps they can take to do this. “We’ll be talking and walking attendees through a series of practical tools, which they’ll be able to put to good use in their own businesses. It will benefit anyone who is serious about making their organisation stand out from the crowd and gain a competitive advantage – whether within the private or public sector.” Having previously delivered numerous workshops on strategic branding and design, the consultancy is planning to run further brand experience training sessions for start-ups in the coming months, as well as sector-specific workshops homing in on key industry issues and opportunities. Elaborating on the importance of brand experience, Darren continued: “Businesses that invest in understanding who they are and what value they deliver are the ones that survive. How you design your organisation around these purposes is key, and many of the clients we work with place a huge emphasis on this. “So many companies want to portray their passion for delivering an exceptional service. But we’ve found that it’s only when this care is incorporated throughout the entire brand experience, that the business is able to deliver on its promises.” Tickets for The Engine Room’s ‘Designing the customer experience’ workshop can be purchased now through Eventbrite, at £40 for Design Network North members or £80 for non-members.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Everything you need to know about Access Control

Friday 04 May 2018

Access control, or access management, is common place in most businesses these days, and you have probably seen it in action in some form or other. However, access control is often misunderstood and implemented, with bad access control being a major factor in businesses falling victim to criminal activity, particularly the ‘insider threat’. In this blog we will be looking at what access control is, what you should be striving for when installing it and lastly, a few tips on getting it right. In our earlier blog we highlighted the 10 Top Tips for Successful Access Management. If you missed it, you can read it here. What is Access Control? Traditional access control, or access management, is a security management process that controls who (people, property or vehicles) can go where and when. It is often regarded as the most important part of any effective physical security programme. However, it is only one part of the overall security arrangements and should be designed to complement the other security measure that are in place. At its most basic, access management could be a single locked door which needs you to unlock it prior to allowing a person in. Or, at the other end of the scale, it could be a series of doors or gates with access codes, FOBs or even security guards. Access control also refers to controlling who can access you company computers, or IT network. Although traditional a separate form of access control, there are great benefits from combining the two. But we will cover that a little later. What is the aim of good access management? As we have touched on, the aim of good access control is more than just allowing authorised people into your business. It is about controlling who goes where and when. There are three main aims of access control: First and foremost, access control should be used to prevent unauthorised persons accessing your business, or areas of your business. Conversely, it should also allow access to those persons that are authorised. It is no good if your staff can’t go where they need to go to carry out their duties. Secondly, your access control should prevent unauthorised items from entering your business as well as restricting prohibited items being removed without authorisation. And lastly, your access control should check and control egress and provide an account of who is onsite at any given time. For example, during a fire alarm, a list of all those members of staff in the building should be produced as a matter of course. So, you now know what access control is and what it should do. You’re all set. But things aren’t quite that simple. At this point it is worth mentioning a couple of principles: 1. The easier it is to access your business, the easier it is to allow unauthorised access. 2. Complexity is the enemy of good security. At first glance these two principles seem to contradict each other. In the first principle, the more difficult you make it to access your business the more secure your business is. And in the other, the more difficult it is to access your business the more likely it is not to work. Getting the access control of your business right is not as simple as you might think. It is a fine balance between security (keeping your business safe) and allowing your staff to do their job. In other words, if you make it too difficult for your staff to do their job, they will find an easier way, even at the expense of your business. So, what’s the answer? To help you tackle this issue, we have put together a few tips to help you get it right: 1. Involve your staff as early as possible in any decision about security in your business. At the end of the day, your staff are your first line of defence against ‘the baddies’. Your staff are just as responsible for your business security as you are, so involve them. If they feel involved in the decision process they are more likely to go along with any changes that you have to make. 2. It may go without saying but, for access control to be effective, it is necessary that the boundary around the space is well protected and that every access/ egress point is controlled. It is no good having an ultramodern access control system on your main door if a potential intruder can easily open the back door or fire escape. 3. As I said at the beginning of this blog, good access control should be an integral part of the overall security program and should complement your other security measures in a layered security approach. This approach should mean that access should become more difficult the further into your business a person progresses. The core of your business where your high value items, or business critical items are kept should be harder to access than initially entering your business. This is often over looked by businesses, and the main reason why so many fall victim to the ‘insider threat’. 4. Integrating your physical access and logical (IT) access will increase the effectiveness of your business access control. A perfect form of two factor authentication (2FA), unless a member of staff has accessed the building using their FOB or RFID tag, they will not be allowed to log on to their company workstation. To summarise, controlling who can access your business is paramount in protecting your business, but is not a simple as first thought. Good access control must be used as part of an overall security program that gets progressively harder as you move deeper into your business. Think about integrating your access management with your other security controls to increase the effectiveness. And lastly, include your staff in the decision making process as early as possible. I hope you have found this blog interesting, and the tips useful. If you would like any further information about access control, or securing your business, then please get in touch.
Posted by Equilibrium Risk
Waste-to-Energy firm appoints Scriba PR

Friday 04 May 2018

Food waste and Energy-from-Waste (EfW) expert Tidy Planet has appointed technical public relations specialist Scriba PR to help fuel its 2018 growth strategy. Specialising in organic waste management solutions, the company has become internationally renowned for supplying innovative, waste-recycling products. This has seen the firm develop bespoke solutions for household names such as Gatwick Airport, DHL, BP and Liz Earle Beauty Co., to name just a few. With 17 years’ experience in the organic waste recycling and EfW sector and an expanding portfolio of international clients, Tidy Planet is now looking to further raise its industry profile through a strategic communications collaboration with the B2B agency. Commenting on the reasons for appointing Scriba, Tidy Planet’s director James Tyler said: “It was clear that Scriba PR would be the perfect fit for boosting Tidy Planet’s visibility within the industry. The team’s extensive experience with the waste management and recycling arena – including their established media contacts – will be key to achieving our growth objectives for the coming year.” With estimated UK food and drink waste standing at 10 million tonnes per year – 60% of which could reportedly be avoided – management of this surplus has long been a global public policy issue. Tidy Planet’s cutting-edge technologies are specifically designed to address this growing environmental concern, and its business objectives are in sync with the government’s aim to achieve zero food waste entering landfill by 2030 – as outlined in Theresa May’s 25-year Environment Plan in January. Elaborating on the partnership, Scriba’s founder Katie Mallinson added: “Tidy Planet’s forward-thinking waste-to-resource approach is what really sets them apart from competitors. Failing to responsibly manage surplus materials is something many companies are guilty of, but Tidy Planet’s innovative technology is enabling them to do incredible things with otherwise redundant resources. “We’re now looking forward to raising their profile within the industry by building up their media relations in the UK and overseas, as well as enhancing their presence online.” Since 2016, Tidy Planet has also been focusing its attention on tackling more niche wastes, which often prove increasingly challenging for businesses to dispose of effectively. This includes – but is not limited to – Grade C wood wastes, compostable tableware and poultry processing by-products.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Yorkshire Businesswoman Appointed to the Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing

Wednesday 25 April 2018

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Huddersfield-based businesswoman Katrina Cliffe, as their SME Ambassador on the Yorkshire Regional Board. Katrina has worked in the marketing industry for almost 20 years working for a variety of businesses across multiple industries before establishing her marketing agency, KC Communications in 2014. Katrina has been a member of the CIM for almost ten years and has completed two CIM Diplomas in marketing communications and digital marketing. Speaking of her appointment, Katrina commented, “I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Board in this new role. Supporting SMEs with the development and implementation of marketing strategies that positively impact on their business and regional growth is something I am truly passionate about. As an SME business owner myself, I understand the challenges faced by SMEs, and I hope to be able to use my range of contacts and the variety of professional activities I already undertake to promote the benefits of both the CIM and how marketing can play a key role in the success of a business”. Diane Earles, Network Manager for CIM, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Katrina to the board and I am sure she will be a real asset to the team.”
Posted by KC Communications
Scriba PR adds to growing team

Friday 20 April 2018

Huddersfield-based technical public relations firm – Scriba PR – has announced a new appointment as the brand continues to grow. Amy Lloyd is the latest person to join the B2B communications team. She has come onboard as junior account manager to further drive the business forward and support the increasing number of clients. Having previously worked as a project officer at aspire-international and digital content team leader at Super Break, she has developed skills across the marketing and copywriting disciplines. Being TESOL qualified also highlights Amy’s grammatical awareness and in-depth understanding of the English language, which will aid her in her role at Scriba – a company renowned for its word passion. Commenting on the appointment, Scriba’s managing director Katie Mallinson said: “Amy has already made a positive start in her position by fully immersing herself within the team and the technical clients that we work with. She will be responsible for helping to take care of the newest waste and recycling firm we have welcomed to our client list, as well as some of our latest tech customers.” Amy will utilise her Languages degree and draw upon her previous writing experience to liaise with the media and draft blogs, features, awards entries, press releases, as well as managing social media accounts. As her knowledge develops she will also become responsible for increased campaign planning and strategy. “During my one and a half year role at Super Break I built content calendars for the team, and created engaging blog, website and social media content to build upon our brand awareness. This is definitely something I will bring with me into my new role at Scriba,” explains Amy. “I have already learnt so much, but I am most excited about increasing my knowledge in the niche PR sectors in which the firm works!” “This most recent appointment highlights how much we are expanding, and with greater capacity in the team, I hope it will further cement our position as a leading PR firm for the technical world,” continues Katie. “We are all delighted to welcome Amy into the team and I’m excited to see her further develop in her role.” The addition to the company comes ahead of the business’ fifth year of trading. Scriba currently has seven employees and 32 clients, including tech specialist Vapour Cloud, global waste shredding brand UNTHA and decommissioning consultancy RVA.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Interested in Finding Out What Business Banking Can Do To Help Grow & Develop Your Business

Thursday 12 April 2018

On the 25th April 2018 Matt Caie, who is Barclays Business Manager in Huddersfield, will be with us in the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre on Firth Street, Huddersfield. Matt specialises in Business Banking, seeking to help grow and develop businesses through regular contact and advice and assisting companies in overcoming the challenges faced in meeting goals. Why not pop along to our Business Engagement Centre between 1pm and 4pm to have a chat and get some no obligation, business banking advice for your company! Look out for future dates/times that Barclays and other Business Support Specialists are with us and remember, the Business Engagement Centre is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm to help address the bespoke needs of your business and to provide no obligation, impartial advice and solutions or just a general chat about your company and any challenges you face. We look forward to seeing you!
Posted by 3M Buckley Innovation Centre
61 results found, page 1 of 7.  

Events Posted

3 results found 
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UltraFast Internet Connectivity
Tuesday 26 June 2018, 08:30 - 10:30
John Smiths Stadium, Office Part Second Floor North Stand, Stadium Way, Huddersfield, HD1 6PG
Free Entry - 10 places
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Basics of Social Media
Thursday 26 July 2018, 09:30 - 12:30
Storthes Hall Park, Storthes Hall Lane, Huddersfield, HD8 0WA
Free Entry - 30 places
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Basics of Social Media
Thursday 27 September 2018, 09:30 - 12:30
Storthes Hall Park, Storthes Hall Lane, Huddersfield, HD8 0WA
Free Entry - 30 places
3 results found 
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