Starting a new business? Why a business plan is essential
Starting a new business venture can be an extremely exciting time and also one that keeps you very busy with the myriad of tasks you need to get done.
Writing a business plan is one of those very important tasks.
A well thought out and written business plan can provide much more information than projecting how much money you need from a lender or from an investor, but can help you to manage your business more effectively, can set out business objectives and strategies and also provide benchmarks in what the business is going to achieve.
A business plan can also determine any areas of strengths and weaknesses and also provide an exit strategy for the business owner in the future when the time comes to sell or move on from the business.
How to write a business plan
Your business plan will involve writing on a number of sections which provide clear information about all facets of your business.
Even if it is only ever written for your use, a professional business plan that you refer to regularly, can give you clear direction and help you to remain focused on achieving your business goals and growing your business into a successful one.
The business plan usually starts with a title page that states it is a business plan for your business.
After the title page, the next section will be about your business. Here you will provide all details about your business such as:
Products & services
Location of the business
Organisational chart outlining management & staff
Following on from the about your business section, you will then be writing about your target market. This essentially forms the basis of your marketing plan and will address advertising and marketing of your products or services.
After careful market research you will be detailing the industry your business is in, who your customers are, what demographic they are in, which other businesses you will be competing with and what your point of difference will be.
After analysing your target market, you will be able to determine the key strategies to achieving your businesses goals and targets.
Next, you may like to discuss your vision for the future of the business. Some business owners will compile a vision statement about their business.
A vision statement is a declaration of an organization’s objectives, ideally based on economic foresight, intended to guide its internal decision-making.
As a vision statement declares your future plan for the business, a mission statement states how you will achieve your vision.
In your mission statement you will write about the goals and objectives of the business for the short term and the long term and what activities you will undertake to meet them.
This section may also involve an action plan, clearly setting out milestones, who needs to meet them within the business and what date these milestones should be achieved.
The financial plan of the business summarises the profitability of the business, provides the businesses key financial objectives, discusses any working capital required, where such capital will be obtained from and any financial contribution from the business owner.
For new businesses you would be outlining start up assets, liabilities, expenses, funding and projecting income.
An income statement, balance sheet and profit and loss will also need to be provided in this section of the business plan if the business is already established.
Any licences, financial documents, organisational maps, resumes etc are attached here for referral by the reader.
Lastly, you will detail your business information in summary form:
- Business Name
- Business Structure
- Business location
- Date it was established
- Business owners
- Business owners experience
- Product or services
- Target Market
- Projections for the future
Writing a business plan can seem quite daunting and often new business owners seek the help of a qualified accountant.
Plant & Associates, with offices on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh, can write a business plan for you, assisting you to start, grow and sustain a profitable business.
The expert team at Plant & Associates are dedicated to making the lives of business owners easier so they can get on with what they do best. We also offer accounting, tax and superannuation services.
If you want your new business to succeed right from the start, call Plant & Associates today on 07 5596 5758!