Preparing a business plan or investment strategy
Check to see if your business ticks all the boxes for potential investors
In order for us to assess your application efficiently, we need a comprehensive Business Plan describing your business. We will be using the following check list to make sure we have all the information we need before starting work on analysing your application, so you can save time by making sure all the points are covered. However, all business plans are unique and so you can present the information in the order and format that best suits you.
You will receive instructions about how to upload your business plan to our portal when you make an enquiry using the Statement of Interest form.
Please make sure that your financial forecasts are in EXCEL.
Summary / Introduction
This consists of one, or at most two, sheet(s) summarising the proposal, including your objectives, prospects for profit and growth, key operational, financial and managerial information and saying how much money you are seeking from the Fund.
It helps to give the location of the business, contact details and also information on your professional advisors and bank. We also need information on the ownership of the business (including shareholdings).
We will need you to provide full CVs (at least one page per person) including names, ages, home addresses, personal details, qualifications & experience.
This is where you describe the principal activities of the business, its history, current trading situation and its potential.
Products & Services
What are the products and/or services of the Company. Are there any unique features that give you a competitive advantage? If you have any sales literature please include copies. What are your product/service development plans?
Give details of the market size, segments, competitors and a forecast of future trends. How do your sales projections compare to the size of the market?
Discuss each of your competitors, commenting on their relative strengths and weaknesses.
What are your customers’ needs? How do you know? Do you have any evidence that indicates customers will buy from you (such as market surveys, letters of intent/encouragement or even actual orders)? How many customers do you have and are you dependent on a small number of customers for your sales?
How do you set your prices? Indicate the selling prices and costs of your main products. What credit terms do you give?
Production & facilities
Describe your manufacturing process or the service you provide and give details of your premises and equipment.
Indicate your key suppliers and the credit terms available. Are you dependent on a single key supplier?
Identify the key risks facing the business and say how you are trying to overcome them e.g. what would happen if a key person were ill?
S.W.O.T stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and it is a useful way of analysing the key things that affect your business, you don’t have to include one in your plan but it may help. Under each heading you list the key things relating to your business in relation to your competition and then say how you will be making the most of the strengths and opportunities whilst minimising the weaknesses and threats.
Explain the roles and responsibilities of the key staff - A simple organisation chart can be useful.
If you are already trading, you must let us have copies of your past accounts, including up-to-date management accounts. You should include details of your main creditors and debtors.
We need at least three years projections (on a monthly basis) of CASH FLOW, PROFIT & LOSS ACCOUNTS and BALANCE SHEET, including an opening balance sheet and details of the assumptions you have made. Please make sure these are in EXCEL format.
Whilst this is not essential at the time of an application, if you can demonstrate the effect of your sales being higher or lower than forecast on your profit and cash flow it will show that you have considered the possibility and what you will do in those circumstances.
What do you want the money for? How much do you need in total? How much will your personal commitment be? How much is available from elsewhere?
If ACF made an investment in your company, please explain how and when you envisage that the investment would be redeemed, and from what source.