By Daniel Hunter

One in four small businesses don't have a business plan or strategy in place for growth, according to research by Barclays.

The study showed that Less than half (47%) of the UK’s small businesses have a formal business plan in place that is written down or recorded, while the remaining 25% have an informal, verbal plan. Only half (49%) of UK small businesses have a succession plan in place.

Rebecca McNeil, MD for Business Lending and Enterprise at Barclays, said: “Having a business plan is fundamental for a small business. It defines exactly what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve it across a set time period and is a sure fire way to ensure that growth targets and plans are being met. Business plans are dynamic documents - meaning they should be revisited and adjusted as the business develops. In addition, a strong plan can help applications for finance from a business loan to alternative forms of finance and investment.

“Importantly, when a business is in trouble, having a solid plan can help to steer it back to good health. A lack of succession plan can put the future success of a business at risk, so this needs to be considered far earlier and more formally than the results show. What’s important is that small businesses feel confident about their future and have the necessary tools in place for growth.”

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