This morning I had an appointment with a business advisor to get my business plan approved. The advisor’s job is to vet the business plans of start up enterprises like mine as a step towards qualifying for some Government supports.
It is important to get your business plan approved because it opens doors to other opportunities.
I spoke to the advisor on the phone to arrange the meeting and discussed the level of detail that was required. I then worked on the plan over the weekend following a business plan work book template that I found online. This template is very straightforward once you have worked out your start up and running costs and can forecast your income for the first year. I drew on some of the earlier work I did when I was following the LEO Start Your Own Business Programme and I added in some information from my sales pipeline to show that I have some interested customers already lined up.
The meeting went well and my business plan was approved. The advisor was extremely helpful and gave me useful contacts and tips for the next steps to take. I had not realised, for example, that my business might qualify for some supports because it has some customers who are outside the country. This means that I will be providing an internationally traded service and there are apparently specific supports for that which I will need to check out over the coming days.
It is less than 2 weeks since my last day in full time employment and already it feels like a lifetime ago. So much has happened in these first few days — I’ve lined up lots of meetings with potential customers, sorted out some of the startup legalities and tax aspects and experienced a roller coaster of emotions from exhilaration to anxiety, from punch the air pride to abject fear!
So far, my engagement with the support agencies I’ve met has been very positive and I definitely recommend engaging with them if you are thinking about a start up. I’m really glad I did the SYOB classes while I was still working — that saved me a lot of time and hassle this week and was a critical step in helping me to get my business plan approved.