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Business Planning, AWICS

About Business Planning

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan has been defined as a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organisation or team attempting to reach those goals. Business Plans are prepared by private sector and public sector organisations.

How to write a Business Plan?

As part of our management consultancy offer, AWICS has experience in assisting local authorities, housing associations and other organisations with writing business plans.

Business Planning is focused on two key processes. First, the strategic analysis that is required to identify the objectives of the business plan and what is required to achieve those objectives and Second, a long-term financial plan to realise those objectives.

The key to writing an effective business plan is to carry out sufficient robust analysis to underpin the strategy and the financial plan. It is also important to stress test the financial model by carrying out sensitivity and risk analysis. There are a number of templates that can be used.

Business Plan Templates

There are various business plan templates available.

A generic business plan template would be based around:

  • Setting the Mission and Objectives
  • External analysis: Political, Economic, Social & Technological (PEST) analysis; Marketing analysis - Review of Customers and Competitors.
  • Internal analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT) analysis; Value for Money review.
  • Preparing plans: Marketing Plan, Financial Plan, Asset Management Plan, Risk Management Plan, Performance Plan, Action Plan.

The United Kingdom Government has produced guidance on what it considers essential to make a local authority housing business plan ‘fit for purpose’. To comply with this guidance, authorities must address the following matters adequately:

  • Strategic Context and Consultation
  • Stock Condition
  • Current Performance
  • Resources
  • Priorities and Options
  • Delivery and Presentation
  • Accessibility

A Housing Association Business Plan will typically cover:

  • Overview: Review vision and objectives; Map stakeholders; Analyse environment; Conduct initial risk assessment
  • Detailed Strategies: Marketing Strategy; Asset-based strategies; Human Resources; Information Technology
  • Addresses: Cashflow, income and expenditure; Who will manage what in the future; Where the Housing Association will get its money from; How much money is required to deliver promises to residents

Marketing Plan

The Marketing Plan is a key part of the business plan. Marketing is more than just advertising. It requires a good understanding of the environment in which the business operates and a robust analysis of the market including potential and actual customers and competitors. This leads to decisions about the products and services that are to be offered and how they are to be provided. All this comes before thinking about advertising. This approach is as important n the public sector as it is in the private sector.

Business Cases

While preparing a business plan various options will be considered. It will often be necessary to prepare a business case. For example, a housing business plan will often require preparing a business case for a new build scheme or regeneration scheme or even a merger. Similarly, a business plan for a fleet management service may require considering a business case for an in-house of external provision of maintenance services. AWICS has experience of providing assistance with business cases in many contexts.

Business Plan Examples

Examples of recent work by AWICS on business plans includes:

  • Assisting three housing associations in London with preparing business plans as part of a proposed merger.
  • Assisting local authorities with preparing housing revenue account business plans to deliver increased value for money and new council housing.

Further Information about Business Plans

We are holding seminars on 'Housing Business Planning in an Uncertain Environment' in November 2017. For further information, please click HERE

For further information about management advice and assistance and training that AWICS can provide in business planning, please contact Adrian Waite at Adrian.waite@awics.co.uk or 017683-51498.

To download a copy of our brochure on housing revenue account business plans and 'health checks' please click HERE

The following briefing papers are freely available on our website. To download a copy please click the link:

We have also published the following book on business planning. For more information or to place an order please click the link:

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Business Planning is focused on two key processes. First, the strategic analysis that is required to identify the objectives of the business plan and what is required to achieve those objectives and Second, a long-term financial plan to realise those objectives.

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