Measure of Success; Masterclass

Article excerpt

Each week a leading executive gives advice on the business principles at the heart of building a company - and how to ensure the best practice.

Today, constructing a business plan.

By DAVID SINGLETON Managing Director of Lloyds TSB business banking

IF you can't measure it, you can't manage it - and nowhere is this more relevant than in business planning.

Your business plan is your means of making choices for running your company, measuring its success and charting its development.

It serves three purposes - to monitor performance, to help raise finance and to act as a communication tool for the company. It should include the following information: * History: A brief look at the performance of your business or the experience of the key people in a start-up.

Include an overview of the industry and what forecasts and trends imply about its future.

* Objectives: These may be broad and long term and, if you are the owner of the business, should reflect your own goals, including whether you plan to sell it or pass it on. …