The Prince’s Trust is a youth charity that helps young people aged 11 to 30.
They are one of the most prominent organisations helping young people to start their own business and move into self-employment.
The primary way they do this is through their enterprise programme, a training course that provides you with all the knowledge and skills to run your own business.
The Enterprise programme takes place in one of their local centres and is broken down into three stages. You can also learn flexibly on Enterprise Online.
The Princess Trust also offers development grants and business loans through the Startup Loan Company.
The Start-Up Loans Company’s scheme started in May 2012. It is a government-funded initiative that provides start-up loans with mentoring for entrepreneurs across England and Northern Ireland.
It was designed to go some way to help solves the problem of supporting people who have a feasible business idea but no access to finance. The Start-Up Loan program aims to equip enterprising individuals with the tools needed to make their businesses a success.
The business plan is the most important part of your application with your startup loan application with the Prince’s Trust so let’s go through their business plan template section by section.
Section 1: Elevator Pitch
On average you spend 20 – 30 seconds in a lift.
Write a short, concise summary of your business that lasts no more than 30 seconds.
No fluff, just the core purpose of your business and the key benefits.
Section 2: Your background
Traditionally banks only loan money to entrepreneurs who are highly experienced in their field.
The Start-Up Loan scheme is similar but more lenient. It was started to help young people who do not have years of experience. Be honest; if you don’t have a lot of experience, you have to make up for it with passion.
Why do you want to start a business? Is it a hobby? Is something that you are highly experienced in? You need to convey that you are desperate to start the business and it’s just not a backup option for you.
Previous Work Experience
Enter here what type of work you’ve done in the past. Any relevant work experience within the field your business is in will be beneficial. If you don’t have previous experience, mention any key managerial decision-making roles that you’ve had in the past.
List any relevant qualifications and vocational training you may have. Qualifications related to your business is ideal, but qualifications of any kind show you are a dedicated, committed person, so include them.
The Start-up loan company do not fund training as a start-up cost so I wouldn’t mention anything that would make them think you’re not qualified to run the business now.
However, every business owner should be developing and learning, so it’s okay to include professional development.
Hobbies and Interests
If you’re not qualified in your chosen field, I suggest that you mention that your business is your primary interest. It is important you portray your business as your passion project.
Section 3: Products and Services
Explain what your business does in more detail, breaking down your products and services into categories and explaining customer benefits.
Section 4 – Target Market
Your Target Market is the most likely people to be interested and subsequently, buy your product.
There could be multiple buyer profiles who will be interested in your product.
List them out as your primary, secondary and tertiary markets.
Also, include buyer habits. These include
When do they buy?
How often do they buy?
How much they spend?
Section 5 Market research
There are two types of market research.
Primary Market Research
Primary market research is:
Previous sales and feedback from customers
Research conducted directly with prospective customers surveys interviews.
Primary Market Research doesn’t need to be face-to-face; you can do it online using polling software, Google Forms or many other different types of application.
Secondary or Desk Research
This type of research is done by market research companies or government about the industry or/market in general.
Primary research is better than secondary research as it proves the demand for your product service. Desk research is useful as it gives insight into the overall market, but this type of research is also relevant to your competitors and possible new entrants.
Section 6: Marketing strategy
Based on your target market you need to describe the marketing channels you will use — for instance, Facebook, Google AdWords, flyers and posters.
Section 7: Competitors
Princes Trust business plan template uses Competitor SWOT analysis. This is where you list all of your competitors and describe their strengths and weaknesses together in one place.
It’s important not to just users has a box-ticking exercise. A competitive SWOT analysis gives you greater insight into how you can strengthen your own USP and improve upon the weaknesses in your competitors business.
Section 8: Operations
Explain how your business will operate post-funding when you have launched.
Production – How you will produce your product or deliver your service?
Delivery – How will your product/service reach your customers
Payment Terms and Methods – How quickly will you get paid. This will be very important for your cash flow assumptions.
Suppliers – Who are your suppliers – are they reliable?
Premises – A description of where your business will be located. Some companies may need commercial property. Other can start from home. If you need a commercial, you should include the lease terms you have agreed with a landlord.
Equipment – Any equipment you may need to start the business.
Legal – Any legal or regulatory issues that need to be resolved or complied with the business for you to start the business.
Insurance – An insurance quote for your business from a reputable supplier.
Then finally you need to start-up costs. Just add what you need for you to start the business. No big shopping lists of things you would like to have. Just stick to the essentials.
Section 9: Backup Plan
Your backup plan this is how you will repay the loan if your business doesn’t go as well it is expecting.
It depends on circumstances sometimes in some businesses you can sell the business, equipment or the lease.
In other circumstances, the best thing you can do say is you will return to full-time employment to repay the loan.