How do I create a business plan?

Australia is a nation of small business owners and managers. More Aussies are employed by small businesses than medium and large businesses – just over 44%. If you’re not working in a small business now, there’s a strong chance you will be later in your career. In fact, you might be one of the thousands of Australians who launch their own business each year. Or one of the hundreds of thousands of managers working in small businesses.
Planning in any business is of great importance. However, it doesn’t need to be cumbersome and should always be flexible and written down. Planning in a small business needs to be a practical roadmap that outlines where you want to be and how you want to get there.

A business plan contains the strategies for the development and operation of your business. A lot of information will go into this plan but you can get an idea of the direction of your business idea by considering some broader questions.

Now what? Yep, you gotta just get started and get that plan going. Here’s 4 steps to get you moving in the right direction:

Research, research, research

So many people skip this part! But if you don’t research? You’ll be in the 66% of small businesses that fail in the first three years of operation. It’s your responsibility to know everything you can about your business and the industry that you’re entering. Read everything you can about your industry and talk to your audience.

Create your vision and mission statements

We’ve all seen the company mission statement half-heartedly stuck on the kitchen wall in the office. Does anyone read them? Actually, there’s a reason they are valid. A mission statement is intended to clarify the “what” and “who” of a company, while a vision statement adds the “why” and “how” as well. As a company grows, its objectives and goals may change. Therefore, vision statements should be revised as needed to reflect the changing business culture as goals are met.

Objectives

There’s a reason you’ve started your business right? It fills a gap in the market place. So what are the objectives of your business? What do you want to achieve? Here you want to list the objectives for the actions your business takes to address holes in the market.

Company profile

You’ll be able to write this in your sleep. But make sure it’s easy to understand so that your workers can get on board and be part of it. You company profile should include the history of your organisation, what products or services you offer, your target market and audience, your resources, how you’re going to solve a problem, and what makes your business unique. This sets you up to then dig deeper and create marketing plans, budgets and the structure of your business.
And above all else, don’t forget to go watch ‘Sinek’s WHY’ and lock down why your business exists. It’s not a tagline, or anything operational. It’s the simple, short reason why your business is here.

Need more help getting your business up and running? Find out about our Small Business courses here or get on touch with a Course Consultant on 1300 738 955.