Business Plan

By Jennifer Harrison,2014-05-16 19:36
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Outline aSWOT' analysis of your business (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). It provides an overview of what you see the best parts of

Business Plan

    Writing a business plan forces you to think logically and

    methodically about your business model and assess its

    chances of survival and assesses the viability of your idea. It

    also helps clarify to other potential business partners where

    the business is headed. It will also assist you when

    approaching a bank for finance. It’s much better to do this before you begin business than to find out afterwards your business idea was

    unrealistic! A business plan is a living document and will need to be updated. Following are a number of

    key questions that you need to answer, to build a successful business plan. Remember, accountants may

    also assist with the preparation of a plan. You can complete the boxes provided in bullet point form, or visit… to download a copy if you wish to type your answers.

     Business Background

     Key products Describe your key products and services. Exactly what are you going to

    provide? Be as specific as possible.

    <Insert Text>

     The purpose of the business Briefly describe the purpose of your business,

    including why you want to start it. Explain the market you’ve identified and your competitive

    advantage (what gives you an edge over competitors?). <Insert Text>

     Business structure What is the structure of the business going to be? In other words

    are you going to trade as a sole trader, partnership or a company? <Insert Text>

     The history Briefly outline the history of your business or your idea. Don’t get carried

    away just a few lines on the history of your business idea and the major events that have shaped

    it are sufficient.

    <Insert Text>

     Your location Where will your business be located? Explain why.

    <Insert Text>

     Personal characteristics What makes you think that you are suitable to run your

    own business? Outline the personal traits that you believe you have, that will convince others that

    you have what it takes. Include any personal background information such as previous

    experience, qualifications or personal qualities. <Insert Text>

     Your industry Describe briefly your industry. For example, is your industry fast-growth

    or mature? Is it labour intensive or knowledge intensive (such as software programming)?

    Each industry will have particular characteristics (for example tourism has seasonality, retail

    location and manufacturing distribution).

    <Insert Text>

     Business Support

     Your team Briefly describe your staff (if you have them) and your support network. For

    example you may have an accountant assisting you, suppliers, family or friends, other small

    business owners or staff.

    <Insert Text>

     Suppliers Who are the main suppliers (businesses that you will be buying materials or

    inventory from)?

    <Insert Text>

     Your Business Market

     Customers Outline the major targeted market(s) for your business. What specific types of

    customers are most likely to buy off you?

    <Insert Text>

     Customer assumptions Explain in more detail why you think the customers you

    outlined are likely to buy from you? What evidence do you have? <Insert Text>

     Promotion How do you intend to get the customers you have outlined to buy off you?

    Be as specific as you can and cover your advertising, promotion, word of mouth tactics and just

    how you intend to get customer awareness.

    <Insert Text>

     Market research Outline here what market research you’ve completed. The better

    your understanding of your customers and their changing needs, the better your business.

    <Insert Text>

     Market potential Estimate the market potential for your product or service. How much

    do you think the business could turn over in the first year? <Insert Text>

     Market potential assumption Explain exactly how you’ve arrived at this

    estimate (such as market research, your trading history or trial marketing). <Insert Text>

     Competitors Analyse the strength of your competition. Remember you ALWAYS have

    competition. If not directly, then indirectly, for people’s disposable dollar. <Insert Text>

     Competitor assumptions Outline any assumptions you have made about your

    competitors, including what they are likely to do once you start your business. <Insert Text>

     Your Business Environment

     Outside influences You need to consider all the things that might impact on your

    business from the outside. For example, major trends, international changes, technology impacts,

regulations that might change etc.

    <Insert Text>

     SWOT analysis

     Outline a ‘SWOT’ analysis of your business (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). It provides an overview of what you see the best parts of your business are and the worst parts.

     <Insert Text>

     Describe below the strengths of your business such as what gives your business a competitive edge over the competition.

     <Insert Text>

     Outline the weaknesses of your business. You need to identify these so you can overcome them. Weaknesses could include lack of capital and resources, lack of skilled or trained staff,

    vulnerability to competition, poor market penetration, poor business systems, etc.

     <Insert Text>

     What are the major opportunities you see for your business? For example, exporting opportunities, new market segments, online e-commerce potential, franchising your business model, etc.

     <Insert Text>

     What are the possible threats? Threats could be new technology leapfrogging you, changing markets, new competitors, external crises, changes to your customer base, etc.

    <Insert Text>

     Distribution channel Explain below your current distribution channels.

    For example, do you market direct to other businesses (like many manufacturers), or direct to

    consumers (like retailers), or do you use commission salespeople, agents, distributors, etc? <Insert Text>

     Use of technology Use of technology and e-commerce. Use this opportunity to

    explain how you use (or plan to use) email, a website, e-commerce and technology (such as

    improved communications) to speed up your business, lower costs, keep in closer contact with

    your customers, drive online sales, access new markets here and overseas, etc.

    <Insert Text>

     Business systems Detail below the business and management systems you currently

    have in place (or are planning) that will enable you to carry out your business plan and achieve

    your goals. A good way to run your business is to imagine you are going to sell or franchise your

    business tomorrow. What systems would you need to have in place or documented to make that

    process as simple and efficient as possible?

    <Insert Text>

     Finally, if you are applying for Bank finance, there are four main reasons applications

    get turned down. Outline how you intend to solve each of them.

     1. The idea is untested Outline the evidence you have that the idea will work,

    especially if the business is a new idea, or new to the area.

    <Insert Text>

     2. No experience Discuss the experience of the industry you have, or the training you

    will undertake.

    <Insert Text>

     Outline your previous business management or 3. No management ability training experience.

    <Insert Text>

     4. They need 100% finance Show what you have put into the business idea so

    far such as the hours spent on research, product or service testing, cash on product testing, travel,

    time planning etc.

     <Insert Text>

     Key Assumptions

     Lastly, is there any other information that you believe to be vital for your business? Are there any other key assumptions that you have made that need to be outlined, so someone reading your

    business plan will have a clear idea of what you intend to do and how?

     <Insert Text>

     This document is intended to provide general information only and should not be relied upon in substitution for professional legal and financial advice. While due care has been taken in preparing this document, no warranty as to the accuracy of the information contained within this document is given. No liability is accepted by any member of the ANZ Group of companies for any error or omission, or any loss caused to any person relying on the information contained in this document, except where such liability cannot be excluded.

     Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522

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