What to include in a business plan

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Behind every successful business is a well-written business plan. But what should this document include? While there is no strict formula, most effective business plans share a few things in common.

What should be in your business plan?

According to Director at TR Consulting, Tim Roberts, an effective business plan for any business – including building businesses – should include:

  • Solid 3-5 year financial projections– while these are assumption-based, try to make them as accurate as possible by factoring in previous performance as well as your knowledge of the market and opportunities ahead.
  • A marketing plan– this can be basic or sophisticated depending on your needs and available resources. While many building businesses rely on word-of-mouth, don’t forget that strategies such as digital marketing can be very effective and don’t need to cost the earth
  • A risk matrix– identify the key risks to your business and create a mitigation strategy.
  • The laws and regulations that affect your business– keep knowledge around these up-to-date and ensure you understand them.

A clear idea of where your business is headed means you are much more likely to achieve your goals and objectives while managing any potential hiccups along the way.

“A business plan can be one of the first things you do for your business, but it is never too late to write one,” says Tim.

Annual reviews are important

“Once you have your plan, it should be reviewed on an annual basis. A monthly check of what is projected in the business plan versus what is actually happening in the business is also a good idea.”

“Business plans provide goal posts and help keep you focused. They allow you to see how your business is going compared to your expectations for areas including key drivers and outcomes,” says Tim.

For further information about business plans and how you can get started writing yours, visit business.gov.au.