Business Planning

We've all heard the old adage that failing to plan is planning to fail, and this is true when it comes to your business.  

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a document that describes your business, its objectives, strategies, target market and financial forecasts. It's a blueprint to your business's future.

Business plans can vary enormously in length, style and content, but the key is to ensure the document is realistic, practical and regularly reviewed. It should not only set the direction for your business but act as a reference point for measuring performance.

♦  Download the Business Plan Template (28-page Word doc 290 KB)

Why do a business plan?

It may seem like a lot of work at the outset, but a well prepared business plan can save you time and money in the long run and help you secure major contracts or funding.

Most importantly, a business plan incorporating a feasibility study will help you determine whether your idea is commercially viable and any issues you need to address or plan for along the way. It will help you:

  • apply for finance from a financial institution;
  • secure investors, sponsors, suppliers and staff;
  • clearly outline your goals and long-term vision;
  • determine the commercial viability of your idea;
  • examine your business idea from many different angles;
  • test your commitment and motivation;
  • identify your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats;
  • develop strategies to successfully operate and market your business; and
  • establish measures to evaluate your business success.

What's in a business plan?

There are no rules about what your plan should cover or the level of detail it should contain, but it's worth considering the areas in the Business Plan Template especially if you're hoping to secure finance or to use your plan as a tool for managing and monitoring business performance.

Generally a business plan will cover the following areas. Download the Business Plan Template (28-page Word doc 290 KB) for more information.

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What's next...

Related Information

Business Guide to view:
Business Plan Template

Business briefs to view:
Business Starters Checklist


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