When we think of a business plan, we tend to think of it as a simple planning process for
the beginning of business – this could not be further from the truth. A business plan is a
strategic tool, created to support your business and evolve with it through every stage.
While a business plan is essential for gaining financial support and pitching to investors or
partners at the start of a business journey, it is also a vital tool for assessing the feasibility
of your prospective business, clearly outlining goals and potential outcomes, and can
even be looked back on and reassessed as your business grows to ensure you’re on track.
Why do I need a Business Plan?
If nothing else, risk management should be your top consideration when it comes to a
new business venture, and a solid business plan is the most effective way to minimise
financial loss, assess the market and clearly outline the viability of your proposal.
According to the Small Business Association, more than 60% (other reports say over 90%)
of businesses fail within the first three to five years, with a lot of the fault being credited to
lack of feasibility and business planning according to a number of sources (including the
SBA and the Australian Bureau of Statistics). So even if you are not pitching your business
for capital or partners, a well-constructed business plan will help you identify any
potential weaknesses within your business and allow you to plan for, and negate the
possible effects they could have on your success.
A business plan forces you to step outside the excitement of a new idea, and look at the
probability of success from an impartial point of view. During the research stage for your
business plan you may find your market is flooded, your original sales price would mean
an annual loss or even that your original location doesn’t hold the socio-economic value
to support your business. All of these factors could mean instant failure and financial loss
when the business officially launched, but a plan means you can regroup and strategise
before taking the leap. Having a business plan in place can also mean that you’ve got a
correction strategy in place if things start to turn a little sour.
What’s in a Plan?
There are multiple elements in a business plan, it is much more complex than simply “this
is the name and this is what I do”. In fact, that’s the least important part altogether. There
are generally a set number of key elements to a business plan if you use a standard
template, but this can differ depending on your own personal needs and the type of
business you have; i.e franchise, service based, retail, mobile.
The most important sections are broken down below.
It’s all in the name. This is a summary of your business, containing all of the most
important information and designed to instantly inform the reader of the vital points
within the plan. This is basically an elevator pitch, and includes key factors of success from
each section. Typically, despite appearing first, this is the section you would write last.
What’s your business model? What do you do? This is the part of the plan that describes
how you operate, where you operate and what gives you the edge. Include marketing
opportunities, projected growth, business relationships that you or your team members
have that could help with your success.
This is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of a business plan; knowing your
buyer and more importantly, knowing your competition. In this section, you will include
information on your key demographic perhaps with a customer profile. You might
identify their behaviour and use that to demonstrate why they will buy from you, or use
You’ll also need to outline the competition and clearly state your point of difference. This
is something you may not have considered deeply enough before a business plan, and
not knowing how to outperform your competitors (or even operate alongside them with
your own niche) can really be the downfall of any business.
Other key elements of your plan will include sales strategies, an outline of the people
working for your business and what their involvement means in terms of achievement,
funding requirements and of course, financial projections.
Overall, a business plan should give an objective look into the workings of the business;
how to set it up for success and how you plan to mitigate failure. Once a plan is outlined,
it can be used to track success and ensure you’re on the right path to building your own
This is WHY we do, what we do.
The use of decade-long business and finance specialist knowledge, world class market
research tools and collaboration with the best-of-the-best experts in the field, helps our
clients to not only bring this risk rate down significantly, but gives their businesses the
needed head-start that can, indeed, increase your likelihood of going the whole-nine-
Business plans are the backbones of business and business is the backbone of Australia.
- What is a Business Plan? A business plan is a document which details the business, its
products/services, sales, operations, marketing, financial plans backed by market and
industry research, current trends, with respect and benchmarked against forecasted
(Copyright Pathways to Business 2018-present)
- What is included in a business plan?
a. Executive Summary of the overall opportunity (written last)
b. Everything proposed about the business – Including:
ii. Management and Leadership
iii. Skills matrix
iv. Legal requirements
v. OHS requirements
vi. Industry standards
vii. Staffing requirements
viii. Products and services to be offered
ix. Possible risks and their mitigants
x. Insurance requirements – however for Australian laws, we do not advise on this but
highly recommend and encourage insurances to be analysed by a qualified advisor
(business and personal insurances)
xii. Areas for possible expansion or exits
xiii. Market research
xiv. Consumer profiles
xv. Economic outlook
xvi. S.W.O.T. analysis
Please see our blog which elaborates on this point further found here: [insert link]
- What is a business plan needed for? Business plans can be used for a myriad of things
a. Attracting Investor Interests and Investor funding
b. Business Loans
c. Attracting new business partners whether it be directors, shareholders, partners,
customers, suppliers and so forth.
d. Your own business clarity and direction
Writing a business plan can be one of the most effective things you can do for your
business! The founder of this business knew there was a gap in the market bridging the
dreams of business ownership to making it a simple reality. She wrote her own business
plan after she started the business and found that the prices offered were 50% lesser than
competition. This was a key factor in a. why they had many clients and b. how she has
created competition in providing quality service offerings for competitive pricing in her
- What are some key components of a business plan?
a. Description of goods, services and stakeholders
b. Sales Strategies
c. Marketing activities
d. Risks and Mitigants (including Legal and Insurances)
e. Human Resources
- Is a business plan important? These documents are very important for the clarity of the
business, its offerings, and its direction. I would not overlook this step. You can write it
yourself, or we can, but it is so important for the early stages, but its future. You need to be
aware of your competitive surroundings and whether there is a market for your goods or
services at all before you start investing. I have seen some businesses go out of business
because their goods and services were not in demand at all, you need to supply a service
or good that is demanded, or else, there are no people to sell to? Yes, you can create
markets or create the need in general, but in order to do that effectively, you would need
to know how and to whom to position the offerings to.
- Can you write the business plan yourself? Absolutely, our Australian Business Gov
website has an amazing plan for free on their website:
It is downloadable in a word document and is very comprehensive. It provides definitions
or suggestions of what to include in your business plan. We also have a graphically
designed customisable template available for purchase also, for a small fee. The viewing
of these are private but can be arranged by appointment as it contains intellectually
property unique to our business. Or use our guide with headings in our other blog.
- Can a business plan guarantee success? No unfortunately it cannot, although it has
been proven that it increases the chance for success.
- How can a business plan help raise funding? Firstly, investors or finance companies
want to see that you are invested in the idea, the first and truest way of doing this is
evidencing your research on the business’ feasibility. This is shown through investing time
into researching the business and its potential and putting the findings into a business
plan. Business plans also include all of the key elements of information that they are
interested in reading: Product, customer, sales, marketing, financials. What will be the
return to their investment? Do the numbers stack up? They may request more
information, but at least it will get you to that point, opposed to them rejecting your initial
- Is there a Business plan writer near me? We service the whole of Australia from our
offices around Australia – remotely – but utilise our networks of Accountants, bankers,
brokers, lawyers, business sales agents and much more in your local areas for your
How to write a business plan – resources –
- Business.Gov.Au https://www.business.gov.au/planning/templates-and-tools/business-
plan-template-and-guide 2. Shopify: Business Plans 101: How to Write a Business Plan For
Any Business by Desirae Odjick How to Start a Business
Jan 8, 2019 15 minute read Link to article: https://www.shopify.com.au/blog/business-plan
- HubSpot https://www.hubspot.com/business-templates/one-page-business-plan or
https://www.hubspot.com/business-templates/business-plans 4. Business.vic.gov.au
- Entrepreneur.com Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide –
How to Write a Business Plan – https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247575
7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan –
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281416 6. YouTube How To Write a Business Plan To
Start Your Own Business – Young Entrepreneurs Forum
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqch5OrUPvA Entrepreneurship Series – Business
Plan Writing 101 – Wharton School https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlrb_X6fYZ0 7.
Udemy Ultimate 1 Page Strategic Plan – William U. Peña, MBA
How to Start a Startup / Business – Julien Meyer, MBA
https://www.udemy.com/share/100c0uBUUYdl1bQXo=/ More will be added as we sift
through the options! There are so many resources on the internet, but this is enough to
get you going!