Have a Business Plan

Business Planning
Business planning is the most important task that a business owner can undertake to ensure that a business is viable and has the potential for success.
 

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:

  1. Vision
     
  2. Strategy
     
  3. 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?

Business cycle

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.