A good business plan can help you define the direction of your business, create strategies to achieve your goals and secure finance for your business.
The planning process helps you learn about the different forces and factors that may affect your success. If you’re already in business, it helps you to step back and look at what’s working and what you can improve on.
Getting Business finance
If you’re seeking finance for your business, you’ll need to show banks and investors why they should invest in your business.
Lenders and investors will only risk their time and money if they’re confident that your business will be successful and profitable.
A thorough and well-researched business plan:
- Shows that you’re serious about your business
- Helps lenders and investors to understand your business idea
- Shows your projected profits and income streams.
Prioritise your actions
A complete, thoughtful business plan is one of the most valuable tools in helping you reach your long-term goals. It gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the road.
Preparing a business plan will help you work out the goals you want to achieve and the strategies to achieve them. This means you can focus your resources and energy on what you need to do, so you don’t spread yourself too thin.
The business planning process also helps you to consider possible hurdles to your success and put a plan in place to better manage them if they do come up.
There are a number of free business planning templates and guides available to step you through the process of developing a plan that is solid, well-structured and tailored to your business. Here are a couple offered by the Australian Government:
Once you’ve got a business plan in place, it’s a good idea to regularly review and update it to:
- Remind yourself of your goals and priorities
- Assess whether your strategies are working
- Adapt to any new changes in your environment
- Make the most of new opportunities as they come your way.
Get control over your business
Business planning can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but many successful businesses look at it as an opportunity.
Developing your business plan helps you to step back and look at what’s working in your business and what you can improve on.
If you have employees, the planning process can be a good opportunity to seek their feedback on possible ideas and improvements. Your employees will value this opportunity to contribute to the business.
Taking the time out of your business to plan will give you a sense of control about the future of your business and livelihood, and pay off in the long run!
Writing and researching for your business plan gives you the chance to:
- Learn about your industry, market and competitors
- Write down exactly where you are in the market and where you’re headed
- Identify challenges you may come across and work out strategies to avoid or overcome them
- understand your business finances, including managing cash-flow and determining your break-even point
- Set specific goals, timeframes for achieving them and how you’ll measure performance
- Make sound business decisions that focus your activities, maximise your resources and give you a competitive edge.
- Provide a solid basis on which to seek business finance.
A good finance broker specialised in business finance can assist you with securing finance to achieve your goals.