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Business plans

A business plan sets out key objectives, priorities and strategies for your business and is required to raise finance for your enterprise. Find out more about business planning, the key features for a successful plan and how to continue the momentum once the business plan has been written.

What's on this page?

  • eBooks
  • Online articles
  • Useful links
  • Articles and books from the Library

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Expert help for your enquiries and research.

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Featured article

Do all business plans provide a recipe for success?
Every business owner needs an 'informal' business plan to maintain business focus and manage day-to-day operations. A formal business plan becomes necessary when seeking funding or investment. Thayn Niemand explains how to write both types.

You will need to be logged in to the website to gain full access to the range of articles available online.

Featured report

A guide to smarter business plans
ICAEW Finance and Management Faculty, 2014
A special Faculty report containing a series of articles to assist members with writing business plans. 

Available online to logged-in ICAEW Business and Management Faculty members. Alternatively, to borrow this report please contact the Library.

eBooks

The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

How to write a business plan: creating success
(Kogan Page, 2013) 
Designed to lead you through writing your own business plan. Contains chapters: the structure of the plan; summary; the business background; the market; operations; management; the proposal; the forecast; financial information; risks; legal issues and confidentiality; selling your business; improve performance with a business plan; and using business plans for bidding.

How to prepare a business plan 
(Kogan Page, 2008)
Written to help you make a business case, secure funding for your enterprise, and develop a roadmap for the future.

Making the business case: proposals that succeed for projects that work 
(Gower, 2009)
Aimed at both novices and experts who need to write a business case. The book includes an outline of the underlying logic and purpose of the business plan.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Online articles

The ICAEW Library & Information Service provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. This resource is available to ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

You will need to be logged-in to the website to gain full access to the range of articles available online.

Effective financial projections for a startup

Practical considerations to help startups develop a business plan with meaningful financial projections.

Why creativity is essential

The author argues that business strategy can benefit from an environment that fosters creativity in addition to reliance on traditional analytical models.

Cloud options: it's a jungle out there

The article focuses on the association of cloud computing with business and looks at making a good choice of the best provider to fit your business.

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Useful links

Templates

Free sample business plans
A large collection of free business plans for a wide variety of business sectors. Each plan outlines the following sections: executive summary, objectives, mission, keys to success, company summary, products, market analysis summary, strategy and implementation summary, management summary, and financial plan.

Prince's Trust business plans
The Trust's 'Where to start' section provides a business plan template (Word and pdf format), plus business plan financial tables (Excel format).

FormSwift sample business plans
Free sample plans for five sector categories: bakery, restaurant, salon, personal training and trucking. Each plan includes an infographic and outline of the core elements of a successful business plan.

Business planning templates
Business plan template from the Start Up Loans company, the UK government funded scheme which provides advice, loans and mentoring to startup businesses. An annotated version of the template provides guidance on the type of information, examples and evidence that should be included.

Advice and guides

Business & IP Centre
The British Library's Business and Intellectual Property Centre offers information and workshops on business planning and growing your business in general.

How to write business plans and business cases
Article from business trainers Walkerstone, setting out a detailed structure for a good business plan.

Incorporation and names
Guidance from Companies House setting out the main requirements for incorporating a company in the United Kingdom. Includes guidance on choosing a name for your business.

Writing a business plan
The planning section of startups.co.uk includes information on what a business plan is and what it should cover. The website also provides news and information to get your small business going.

Atom Content Marketing guides

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected books

How to write a business plan: creating success
(Kogan Page, 2013)
Designed to lead you through writing your own business plan, including the structure, business background, proposal, financial information and using business plans for bidding. 

The business plan workbook 
(Kogan Page, 2012)
A guide to all aspects of business planning, aimed at entrepreneurs, senior executives and students. Based on methodology developed at Cranfield School of Management and using successful real-life business plans, book brings together the process and procedures required to produce that persuasive plan.

Find more articles and books

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.