It is becoming more and more important for voluntary and community organisations to have a business plan in place
- to present to funders and potential funders to show that plans and ideas are going to work
- to guide the progress and work of the project
Most people's view of a business is of a boring and tedious process. This does not have to be the case. Working on a business plan as a group can be a dynamic process as you work through the exercise and spot opportunities for growth and development and identify strengths in your fellow committee members that you didn't know existed.
Ann carries out business planning by working alongside the members of a community organisation to gather the information required for a business plan. This means that they are fully involved in the process and so learn the skills themselves. They then have a working document that they are fully conversant with which can guide them in the development and running of their project. The work involves carries a SWOT analysis of the project, developing an operational plan, a marketing plan, a risk assessment and a cash flow forecast. We try to develop the plan in such a way that it can feed easily into funding applications.