Starting, running or growing a business without a business plan is like blindfolding yourself while driving and hoping you’ll make it home in one piece.
Maintaining a written business plan in most cases is the difference between the success and failure of your business especially in your business’ infancy.
A business plan is a blueprint of your business on how your business will run and provides future direction in achieving your goals and objectives. Depending on your business type, your plan could include the following sections:
- Business Summary: A one-page overview written after your business plan is finalised.
- About your business: This is typically called the management plan or operations plan. It covers details about your business including structure, registrations, location and premises, staff, and products/services.
- About your market: This is the marketing plan. It should outline your marketing analysis of the industry you are entering, your customers and your competitors. This section should also cover your key marketing targets and your strategies for delivering on these targets.
- About your future: This section covers your plans for the future and can include a vision statement, business goals and key business milestones.
- About your finances: The financial plan includes how you’ll finance your business, costing and financial projections.
These plans are subject to change and need to evolve with your business to ensure your business is on the path you wish to take it. Many businesses quite often find themselves behind the eight ball from not maintaining and reviewing a well-structured business plan which enforces focus, resets business millstones and helps prioritise your goals. Therefore as your business grows and changes your strategies will need to be reviewed and updated to align your businesses direction to your goals.
Business.gov.au provides invaluable resources in assisting with developing a business plan and should be the starting point in achieving your goals and objectives in business.
And remember failure to plan is a plan to fail.