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 +Business planning
 +=================
 +
 +The business plan is the key document which sets out the strategy by
 +which the development trust will achieve its objectives - whether they
 +are social, economic or environmental - and also stay in business.
 +During the setting up process an early draft of the business plan can
 +act as a 'bid document'​ by which the steering group can seek core
 +funding. The business plan makes the case for establishing the trust in
 +the area, outlines the projects or programmes it will work on, and
 +describes the team of Board and staff needed. At the heart of the plan
 +should be a financial projection. This should show how the trust will
 +balance three main elements:
 +
 +-   The surpluses or deficits generated by projects. Some will be
 +    '​earners'​ and some '​spenders',​ making a net contribution or call
 +    upon the core budget of the trust.
 +-   The core costs of running the trust - its staff, office and other
 +    overhead costs.
 +-   The core funding provided by one or more funders.
 +
 +Trust finances are even more difficult to manage than those of a small
 +firm. They rely partly on grants which are uncertain; some of the
 +projects are deliberately unprofitable;​ decisions rest with a Board
 +representing a variety of interests. Consequently the trust staff and
 +Board can end up scrambling to bridge a gap between expenditure on
 +desirable projects and inadequate capital, while worrying about the
 +security of their jobs. In these circumstances it is not enough to have
 +an honorary treasurer and competent auditors - or even a good
 +book-keeper. At best that's like trying to drive while looking through
 +the rear window, with a few glances to the side. What is needed is a
 +financial strategy - expressed through the business plan - which looks
 +forward.
 +
 +Key issues
 +----------
 +
 +In developing a business plan it is important to grapple with a number
 +of key issues which will determine the success or failure of the
 +organisation:​
 +
 +-   What is the mission or purpose of the trust? Rather than a set of
 +    vague aims and objectives, try and identify and express the tangible
 +    or visible outcomes the trust will achieve. These, together with a
 +    brief summary of methods, can be developed as mission statement to
 +    use to funders and potential supporters.
 +-   What is the core business - what is the trust going to be really
 +    good at? What will it do that is not being done already? How will it
 +    provide value to those it serves?
 +-   The competences. What particular skills, contacts, influence will be
 +    needed in Board and staff to carry out the trust'​s mission?
 +
 +Preparing the plan
 +------------------
 +
 +The plan must be prepared by the trust itself, or by the steering group
 +or development officer in advance of the trust'​s formation. It can't be
 +done effectively by outsiders, although they can provide advice. The
 +plan must have the backing of any initial sponsoring organisations. The
 +maximum realistic timescale for a business is likely to be five years,
 +with six-monthly reviews.
 +
 +What the plan should include
 +----------------------------
 +
 +The following is a suggested outline for a business plan for a community
 +development trust.
 +
 +### 1 Summary
 +
 +A one-side summary at the beginning of the business plan, with some
 +conclusions and an assessment of the trust'​s likely position in five
 +years time.
 +
 +### 2 Context - the area and the trust
 +
 +Profile of the area (including map) covering:
 +
 +-   ​Geography and communications
 +-   ​Social and cultural environment
 +-   ​Economic environment
 +-   ​Physical environment
 +
 +These issues could be covered in terms of a SWOT analysis of the area -
 +strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, plus trends. The
 +community development trust
 +
 +-   ​History of the trust
 +-   The main partners: their roles and interests
 +
 +### 3 Mission statement/​Statement of aims
 +
 +A brief encapsulation of why the trust is needed, what it aims to
 +achieve, and how it will do this. This should also cover the values or
 +principles on which the trust will operate. A longer description of
 +outcomes, targets or objectives. This section could cover the main
 +programme areas of the trust e.g.
 +
 +-   ​Employment
 +-   ​Environment
 +-   ​Leisure,​ recreation
 +-   ​Community development etc.
 +
 +(These will also be used in section 12 below)
 +
 +### 4 SWOT analysis of the trust (optional)
 +
 +The strengths and weaknesses of the organisation,​ and the opportunities
 +and threats that it faces.
 +
 +### 5 Projects
 +
 +A summary of the projects which the trust is planning to carry out:
 +
 +-   ​Project 1 description,​ financial summary
 +-   ​Project 2 description,​ financial summary
 +-   ​Project 3 etc
 +
 +(full business plans for each of the projects should be included in
 +appendices: see below) This detail may not be possible in an initial bid
 +document, in which case refer to the programme areas under section 3.
 +
 +### 6 Communications strategy
 +
 +How the trust plans to communicate and market its overall strategy and
 +projects to a range of audiences:
 +
 +-   The local community and organisations
 +-   The local authority
 +-   The private sector
 +-   ​Generally
 +
 +### 7 Organisational structure
 +
 +-   Legal form, constitution,​ membership, Board, sub-committees etc
 +-   Legal relationships between the trust and its projects, if any of
 +    these have their own management arrangements
 +-   ​Agreements with main partners or sponsors
 +-   ​Staffing structure
 +
 +(This section may include flow charts showing lines of responsibility
 +and accountability)
 +
 +### 8 Human resource strategy
 +
 +The involvement and personal development of those associated with the
 +trust:
 +
 +-   ​Development of membership
 +-   ​Training for Board and staff
 +-   Staff time budgets (optional)
 +
 +### 9 Financial strategy
 +
 +Where the funds will come from to run the trust and develop projects,
 +and how this will be managed:
 +
 +-   ​Sources of grant income
 +-   ​Fundraising strategy
 +-   ​Financial control system
 +
 +### 10 Financial projections
 +
 +An annual budget and projections over five years showing, in particular,
 +how far project income will cover core costs, and how the deficit will
 +be made up
 +
 +-   ​Profit and loss forecast
 +-   Cash flow forecast
 +-   ​Balance sheet forecast
 +
 +### 11 Monitoring outcomes
 +
 +The criteria for evaluation of the trust'​s performance,​ under each
 +heading identified in the mission statement. They should include
 +'​internal'​ criteria (e.g. membership and training). The outcomes should
 +preferably be measurable, and might include, for example:
 +
 +-   ​Number of jobs created
 +-   ​Training opportunities
 +-   ​Employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups
 +-   ​Environmental improvements
 +-   ​Recreation opportunities
 +
 +### 12 Objectives for next year and the following years.
 +
 +These should be set out under each of the criteria and dated
 +
 +### 13 Implementation plan
 +
 +Who will do what and when to put the business plan into practice.
 +
 +### 14 Appendices
 +
 +In a full business plan a mini business plan should be written for each
 +project covering:
 +
 +-   ​Background to the project
 +-   Aims of the project
 +-   ​Description of the project in terms of product or service, market
 +    and customers, pricing policy, promotional policy, premises and
 +    equipment required.
 +-   ​Organisational structure and staffing
 +-   ​Financial projections for the project
 +-   ​Financial requirements of the project
 +-   ​Objectives for the first year of the project
 +-   ​Implementation plan for the project
 +
 +Checklist
 +---------
 +
 +-   Does your trust have a bid document or business plan developed by
 +    the steering group or Board and staff?
 +-   Does the plan cover:
 +    the nature of the area served by the trust? why the trust is needed,
 +    and the benefits it will bring to different interests? a programme
 +    of projects?
 +-   Does the plan contain a five year financial projection showing how
 +    to balance:
 +    project surpluses or deficits? core costs of staff, offices and
 +    overheads? core funding?
 +-   Is there a description of the staff team and Board, and the
 +    management structure?
 +-   Does the plan explain how you will know whether you are succeeding
 +    or failing?
 +-   Is regular reference made to the plan:
 +    when developing more detailed plans and strategies? when talking to
 +    potential funders? when evaluating progress? when producing
 +    communication materials?
 +-   Is the plan reviewed periodically by the Board?
 +
 +© David Wilcox <​david@partnerships.org.uk>​. Tel +44 (0)1273 677377.
 +Fax: +44 (0)1273 677379. These information sheets may be freely
 +distributed with this attribution,​ but not republished as a whole.
 +[Partnerships Online](../​index) : [The Guide to Development Trusts
 +and Partnerships](../​pguide/​index):​ [other
 +sheets](../​pguide/​sheets)
 +
  
partnerships/azp/bus.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)