Have a Business Plan
A business plan sets out goals and objectives in a way to assist the owner to identify what they want to focus on and what they want the business to achieve. It gives the business a purpose.
A business plan is made up of three elements:
- Tactics (action plans)
Vision, strategies and tactics (action plans)
Start with a vision of where you want your business to be in a period of time.
Think about your strategy and consider external and internal factors.
What tactics or actions will you perform to achieve the vision?
Develop a marketing plan to communicate the business's message to potential consumers.
Develop a financial plan to estimate revenue and profit.
What are your objectives?
Determine what your five key objectives of the business are and for each objective write down the following:
- Critical road blocks. What could stop you from achieving your objective?
- Key performance indicators. How will the objective be measured to indicate its success?
- Targets. Where do you want your business to be?
- Issues. Anything that may arise from the road blocks or targets.
- Now. What are you going to do now to achieve these objectives?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
It is important for a business to do a SWOT analysis or external forces analysis. This includes driving forces that are internal and external to the business.
- Strengths. What are you or what is your business good at?
- Weaknesses. What should you or your business improve on?
- Opportunities. What can your business do and benefit from?
- Threats. What external or internal forces may threaten your business success?
A business owner needs to be aware of the business cycle.
- Start with a business idea.
- Growth - the business grows and the business earns revenue.
- Maturity - the business peaks and earning revenue slows or stops. This may be when the business comes up with a new idea or the cycle ends because the business couldn't earn revenue.
- If the business owner comes up with a new idea the business cycle will start again.
Seek help and continue to plan
There are a lot of resources available to assist business owners. Mentors can give support and tailored advice and there is help for business at all levels of government - local, state and federal.
Business plans should be continually assessed and updated on a regular basis.
Remember that having a vision, strategy and action plans can equate to the success of your business.
Visit Business Victoria to get more information about developing a business plan and to download a business plan template.