Initial Considerations

A business plan is used to serve a number of purposes:

  • To secure support for the project or organisation to which the plan relates
  • To enable regular checking of progress and re-planning of activities if necessary
  • To communicate with project stakeholders

Particular care needs to be taken with asset projects that involve objectives which allow cross subsidy of some activities by others. For example it is assumed that surpluses from some elements of the project (rental income from housing and workspace) will cover the costs of others (community centre facilities or community development activity). For these objectives to be fulfilled there must be a focus in the project business plan on management and maintenance of the assets. If they do not perform well then it is not possible to cross subsidise other activities. The Asset Management page sets out some of the issues which may be involved and which should be addressed when using the template to develop a Business plan for the project, particularly its revenue costs and income projections.

Business planning: initial considerations

Audience

Who will read the plan and why? Investors/ funders? Staff only? This will affect the levels of detail and content

Time period

What period of time is the plan to cover? One, three five years? The time period chosen is particularly important to establish a credible view of the business potential, particularly if it involves loan finance.

Range of activities

Is it intended only to include the asset and how it will be used, or will it be linked to the delivery of other programmes that are to be located in the asset?

Stand alone or linked?

It may be that to be viable an asset project needs to provide subsidy to or receive subsidy from other activities.

Research and evidence base

The initial assessment for the project may have collected some evidence but this may need to be more detailed dependent on the range of activities to be included

Related strategies and plans

Larger organisations may already have business plan which an asset project may be linked to or stand alone.