In this week's Business Banking blog our Chief Financial Officer Greg Taylor stresses the importance of new businesses having a business plan.
A business plan is “must do” when you are starting a business. That is because it really does help you to get clear on what you need to have in place to run your business successfully. It is also essential because people financing your business, whether it be a financial institution, investor or the Government, will want to see your business plan.
A business plan is also a vital ongoing tool for your business. It helps you be clear about what your business does and your key selling points; your customers and competitors; marketing your business; the structure and management of the business; the resources you need to operate your business effectively (people, premises, equipment, supplies and finances); as well as your realistic business performance goals and targets. These points could be the headings in your plan.
The plan doesn’t have to be the size of a novel. Make it too big and you won’t be motivated to write it or review it and you will have less time to focus on other aspects of business.
It is a good reality check to help make sure you don’t get too caught up in the excitement of starting a business. It gives you the discipline to think through all relevant issues. The more thoroughly you plan, the fewer surprises you will experience. (It won’t eliminate surprises; there are always surprises in business.)
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to write a business plan. There are many places to get help. The Australian Government’s business website (www.business.gov.au) has a good guide to starting a business, including on how to write a business plan. There are other online resources both public and private. Local business enterprise centres and business advisors can help as can your accountant.