Small businesses in Birmingham are taking a chance on their survival in the economic downturn by failing to use a business plan.

A survey by Lloyds TSB Commercial of more than 500 UK businesses with an annual turnover of up to £15million found that more than a third of the region’s firms don’t have a business plan in place at present, with 56 per cent of respondents who don’t have a business plan saying they have never had one and don’t feel it is necessary.

The survey also found a third of companies in the West Midlands didn’t feel that business planning had become more important in the current economic climate.

Andy Youngman, Area Director, Lloyds TSB Commercial in Birmingham, said: “It has never been more important for the region’s businesses to plan ahead, not only to be prepared for potential challenges, but also to be able to seize opportunities.

“Too many businesses in Birmingham turn a blind eye to planning but just now it is vital that businesses get back to basics and take the time to think ahead. Drawing up an effective business plan is critical to starting a business but is also vital to manage a business through its ups and downs.”

The research also showed a third of local businesses said they would like at least some help writing their business plan; from choosing the best structure and content to more comprehensive guidance from start to finish.