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6 Key Elements for Writing a Successful Business Plan in the Social Care Sector: A Guide for New Business Owners

By Maizie Miller, Policy and Compliance Expert

If you are thinking about registering your care provider company with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), then you are going to need to create a Business Plan. Along with applying for a CQC-countersigned DBS, a business plan should be first on the new providers to-do list.

A complete list of all documents required to register can be found here: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/registration/register-new-provider

A business plan is a document that outlines the company’s aims, objectives and goals, how the company plans on achieving these goals and with what methods, as well as in what time frame. The business plan should have the following key components:

  1. An executive summary
  2. A description of the company
  3. Details of the services you wish to provide
  4. Information on market research that has been carried out
  5. The company’s management structure
  6. A financial forecast of at least 2 years.

As part of the registration application process, CQC will require a copy of the company’s business plan. It is crucial that the business plan is aligned with the information provided in other parts of the application, such as the Provider Application, Registered Manager Application, and Statement of Purpose.

For instance, if the Statement of Purpose outlines the intention to provide support to individuals with Dementia, but the business plan fails to mention the specific types of individuals to be supported and how the support will be provided, the application may be questioned. Consequently, the applicant may need to clarify their aims and make necessary amendments, leading to a delay in the application by several weeks. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that all submitted documents contain consistent and accurate information.

Although the business plan should be completed within the early stages of the business creation and application process, it is also something that needs regular reviewing as the application process moves forward. The application process is neither quick nor easy and many providers find as they work towards CQC registration they become more aware of what is realistically achievable based on their resources, funds and some external factors such as the demand for the service/s in the area they wish to operate in, so it’s during this time that the business plan may need amending to really focus on what the provider can do well to deliver excellent services, what they can offer new staff, etc. This might mean removing some service user types or restricting the areas they wish to operate in to start with, with the focus of expanding and adding more services when they are in a position to do so.

Part of the application process also includes disclosing what contact the new provider has had with the Local Authority in order to establish the need for the service in their local area and so it’s best for the provider to start having these types of conversations early on as this could very well inform the type of service that they create and how this is portrayed in their business plan. Furthermore, based on the specific skill sets of the Registered Manager, Director and the care team and what they can offer, this could then influence how quickly the application gets processed. You will only get a true picture of the service demand by talking with the Local Authority, local NHS and other health and social care establishments.

Here at CQC Experts, we can review your business plan as part of the initial consultation provided with our Registration Support Packages. We get many enquiries from prospective providers looking for a service that includes completion of their business plan but this is not something we can provide or recommend. You know your business best and are in the best position to create it according to what you already have in place, are able to source and what your local community is like.

To learn more about our registration services and how we can help you get started, visit our registration page https://cqcexperts.com/cqc_registration/ We look forward to working with you!

To help you get started, we can provide you with a FREE Business Plan template, just contact us at info@cqcexperts.com or 01462 222600