Collecting evidence

To be convincing, a business plan must be based on evidence rather than wishful thinking.

It is not hard to collect evidence but it does take time and a systematic approach. Each element of the business plan will require some form of evidence or as a minimum a clear concise explanation of what is proposed or how the objectives of the project are to be met. Particular attention needs to be paid to the market research and estimates of both capital and revenue costs to ensure that they are as robust and comprehensive as possible.

Business plan element

Evidence needed


  • Clear and concise account / explanation.

Your Organisation

  • Annual Report, Accounts, info on legal structure and governing body, information on impact measurement.

Introduction to the Project

  • Clear and concise account / explanation.


  • Details of competitors and their charges.
  • Market survey information on need/demand for kinds of uses proposed for the asset. This should be based on a defined catchment (e.g. local/regional/national/online) of relevant customers given the service/facilities being offered (not simply consultation).
  • How prices have been arrived at and calculated.


  • Evidence to support why the methods that have been included have been chosen for the target market.


  • How costs have been arrived at - e.g. professional quotes, comparative estimates, actual historical costs, published rates, supplier quotations.
  • Basis for the assumptions that have been made for example about inflation, when income and expenditure have been included.

Risk Assessment

  • Assessment (rating of impact and likelihood) of relevant risks and proposed ways to address them.

Download this table at the end of the page

Be aware that revenue costs and income will be different if you are making a land or building asset available to others (in which case the organisation taking ownership will be collecting rents and recovering service charges) as opposed to using the asset to deliver services itself (in which case the organisation taking ownership will be having to cover these costs itself).

Potential revenue costs and income



  • Rents, fees and charges
  • Membership fees
  • Grants/donations
  • VAT
  • Service charges
  • Staff Salaries (including Employers National Insurance, pensions). Also consultant costs, recruitment and cover for holidays etc where appropriate.
  • Insurance (Land / Buildings / public liability / employers liability / contents / rents and service charges)
  • (including IT/telephone)
  • Professional fees - Audit and legal
  • Repairs and renewals
  • Marketing/Letting (direct costs and sub contractors)
  • Utilities (e.g. gas, electric, water)
  • Security
  • Training
  • Administration/office costs/bookkeeping
  • Rates
  • Loan repayments
  • Cyclical Maintenance (decoration etc)
  • Cleaning
  • VAT
  • Gas electric lift and fire compliance
  • Sinking Fund (reserved fund for future major works  / improvements)
  • Promotion/publicity
  • Allowance for bad debts/voids (unlet property)

Download these tables at the end of the page

Potential capital costs and income



  • Land Acquisition and legal fees
  • Site Investigations
  • Building/construction work 
  • Professional Fees
  • Furniture 
  • Equipment 
  • VAT 
  • Contingency 
  • Sales
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Equity 



Related Resources

Business Plan: Collecting Evidence

Table showing each element of the business plan along with the evidence required to ensure that the project objectives will be met.

Microsoft Office document icon Business Plan: Collecting Evidence

Potential Costs / Income

Tables showing potential revenue costs and income, and potential capital costs and income

Microsoft Office document icon Potential Costs / Income