Introduction to Business Planning (CFNI) Recording

4 Mar 2021 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 4 Mar 2021

Stephen McGarry from Workwest delivered a session on Introduction to Business Planning on 17 February as part of the CFNI Accelerator programme funded by Department for Communities. This article has a recording of the session.

Stephen gave an overview of the work of Workwest and how they could help charities and social enterprises. He then explained why you need to prepare a business plan. It is important to give your business every possible chance of success by understanding your market, financial objectives and marketing objectives. You also need to think about your social value -  how does it fit with your mission and vision, what difference are you making and how will you measure impact? You should also consider Programme for Government draft outcomes framework and how your work fits with that. The key thing is to have sustained competitive advantage. You can do this by ensuring your products and services are valuable, rare,inimitable and that you are well organised. 

Stephen reminded us to think about our implementation partners, people like our beneficaries, board, funders, delivery partners and suppliers. How do we engage them and communicate with them? He also gave an overview of some useful tools to use such as PESTLE, SWOT and Porter's Five Forces.Reiterating the importance of the customer and how to identify key market segments for your products or services.

Example from YMCA North Down

Stuart Buchanan from North Down YMCA joined the session and outlined how business planning had worked for them. He highlighted 4 benefits for his charity:

  • Priorities - tracks the right things to focus resources
  • Perspective - helps to take a step back to see the bigger picture
  • Milestones - gives tangible goals to monitor progress
  • Innovation - give confidence to take calculated risks

Stuart then described the impact of this on his organisation

  • Funding by choice
  • Growing autonomy
  • Stronger "core"
  • Longer-term focus
  • Pro-active activity
  • Rediscovered mission

Watch the webinar here:

Introduction to Business Planning from NICVA on Vimeo.


Support and resources

Workwest social enteprise support and Go Social - more information on their website

You can also contact Stephen McGarry directly for support [email protected].'s picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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