Once you are satisfied that your initiative will address a real need, will be used by the people it’s aimed at, and is viable for funding and support, you should set down the aims and objectives of the initiative and make a plan.
The aims of the project are expressed in broad terms e.g. ‘to reduce health inequalities through teaching cooking skills’. The objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART). It is important to be clear about your objectives so that when it comes to evaluating your initiative, you have something to measure your achievements against.
Then you need to make a plan about how you can achieve this. As well as your aims and objectives, this needs to include:
- What you are going to do and why you are doing it
- How you are going to do it and what resources are needed
- Timescales, location, costs
- What you will do at the end of the project
Once you’ve done a first draft, you’ll need to get someone to evaluate it for you. When it’s ready you should also start to look at what sources of money are available to you.
If your initiative is going to be a new organisation, employing people, you will need to do a detailed business plan and decide on an organisational structure.
- Business planning (SCVO)
- A business planning guide to developing a social enterprise (Forth Sector 2013)
- Business Gateway: Working on a business plan - includes a downloadable template)