Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Starting a business – preparing a business plan

Developing a business plan is an essential step in starting up your business.  Having a clear plan provides direction to your business and gives you a barometer to measure progress against.  If you are seeking finance or looking for investment partners, your business plan is likely to be the first document requested.

Key topics that should be addressed in your business plan include:
  • Purpose and objectives – your vision and goals for the business
  • Industry analysis – an objective analysis of the industry, including size of the market, growth potential, key competitors, degree and drivers of market power, and how your products and services can compete
  • Marketing plan – your marketing strategy, including your value proposition, target customers, product and distribution strategy, pricing, and promotion strategy
  • Operations plan – the structure, location(s), and key operational processes that will support the business
  • HR management plan – the staffing and management plan for the business
  • Financial plan – current and future projections of your cash flow, profit and loss statement and balance sheet, plus funding requirements and strategy to obtain funds
You will need to regularly review your business plan to ensure it remains relevant as your business grows.

www.business.gov.au has an example template to prepare a business plan:
http://www.business.gov.au/information/pages/businessgovauplanningtemplates.aspx

and also an iPad app:
http://www.business.gov.au/Business-Apps/Pages/MyBizPlan.aspx

The state websites I mentioned in a previous post (http://www.millionaireonheels.com/2013/02/starting-business-where-to-go-for-advice.html) each have additional guidance and templates.