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❶How modern is the equipment and what is the capacity of your current facilities compared with existing and forecast demand? Positioning Explain how you position your product or service in the market place.

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What are its disadvantages? How do you plan to develop the business? Define the market in which you sell and then focus on the segments of the market in which you compete. How large is each market segment? What is your market share? What are the important trends, such as market growth or changing tastes and the reasons behind the trend? What are the key drivers affecting each important market segment? Describe the nature and distribution of your existing customers.

Are you heavily reliant on sales to a few large customers? If so, how do you plan to diversify your sales? Define your principal competition. What are the advantages and disadvantages of their products and services compared with yours?

Cover issues such as price, quality and distribution. Then explain why customers will buy your product or service instead your competitive advantage. Be careful of criticising or underestimating competitors.

What unique selling features does your product have and which of these features will you concentrate on? What is your pricing policy? Explain how price sensitive your products or services are. Look at each product or market segment in turn. Identify where you make your profits and where there is scope to increase margins or sales. Explain how you set your pricing accordingly. How do you promote your product or service? Each market segment will have one or two optimum methods, for example, direct marketing, advertising or PR.

What channels do you use or plan to use, to reach your end user? Compare your current channels with the alternatives and note the distribution channels used by your competitors. If they are using some channels, such as the internet, more effectively than your business, outline any plans you may have to match them.

Analyse the cost efficiency of each of your selling methods, for example, telesales, a direct sales force, through an agent, or over the internet. If you have a direct sales force, include all the hidden costs, such as management time. Set out the structure and key skills of your management team and key staff.

Identify any skill shortages, such as IT skills, and your plans to cover these. Explain your recruitment and training plan, including time scales and costs. Analyse your workforce in terms of total numbers and by department. Compare the efficiency ratios with competitors or with similar industries. Useful figures might be sales, average salaries, employee retention rates and measures of productivity. Be realistic about the commitment and motivation of the workforce and spell out any plans to improve or maintain motivation.

Consider how you would survive the loss of a key worker. Analyse the capacity and efficiency of your operations and your planned improvements. Do you own or lease your premises? If you lease, do you have security of tenure or are you stuck in an unsuitable location?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the present location? Should the business expand or move? Explain how you organise production and what equipment you use. How modern is the equipment and what is the capacity of your current facilities compared with existing and forecast demand?

Give an overview of the management information systems you have in place, such as databases, networks, servers, and accounting reports and processes. Are your systems reliable and can they cope with any proposed expansion? Also identify any quality or regulatory standards that the business must conform to, including environmental standards.

Your financial forecasts translate your planned strategy and tactics into numbers. Set out the historical financial information on your business for the last three to five years. Or is it to develop a strategic framework to move from points A to point B?

He suggests using a realistic set of projections and looking at worst case rather than best case scenarios. In fact, he says, you should expect to have months and possibly even years added to how long you think it will take until your plan is self-funding.

Determining your goals and objectives will point your business in the right direction. For instance, if one of your goals is to have a certain number of new clients or customers by the end of the year, your objectives might include creating a customer referral program, revamping your website and blog, or hosting an online competition to gain a greater following on social media.

Boyer suggests gathering smart critics and having them tear your plan apart. You can repeat this process until most of them are confident in your plan. So here are the most important elements of a simple business plan. It should generally be no longer than one page and will provide a compelling description of your business. What qualifies you to run this business? How many years of experience do you have?

What are some of your achievements? Who are your customers? Why will your products or services appeal to them? How do your products or services differ from those of your competitors? What is your sales forecast? How much money do you need to get started? How much of your own money do you intend to contribute? How much do you need from outside sources? Remember, this is just a summary, so keep each point as brief as possible by leaving out any detailed explanations, and using bullet points and short paragraphs.

Along with a brief vision statement that outlines the purpose of your business and what your goals are, this section will provide details about the history, structure and location of your business. This section will look at the products and services you intend to provide and should address the following questions:.

The market analysis section is one of the most important parts of your business plan as it will help you gain a better understanding of your industry. For specific legal, operational and business requirements check out these industry fact sheets.

Conducting a SWOT analysis is also good way to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats your business may face. Because each business has to generate revenue, the template lists the questions that need to be answered in order to develop a realistic assessment and business plan. What are your business objectives? For instance, you may want to enhance your web presence or introduce X number of people to your brand. How will your customers buy your products?

Will they buy directly from your store or website, or through other retailers and distributors? How do you want to position yourself in the industry and how will your pricing support this position? What strategies will you employ to reach your objectives? For instance, if you want to enhance your web presence, you might optimise your website for smartphones and tablets or focus on specific SEO strategies. How much of your total budget will you spend on marketing your product or service?

How much will you be allocating to each activity? What objectives will you aim to reach within the next six months or one year?

What marketing strategies should be prioritised? How will you measure your progress? This section looks at how your business or will be or is currently being managed. Describe other key members of the team too, such as marketing managers, office managers, accountants or other experts, and include details of any openings that still need to be filled.

You can also provide a brief overview of the salaries for each position and how much you might need to spend in order to attract qualified candidates. Templates will differ, but the basic approach is the same for all business plans. Your business plan is your roadmap to success.

It needs to be fluid and flexible, reviewed and revised at regular intervals throughout the year. You can take a side trip or take a different route.

But it helps to have something with a destination, to keep you focussed on the goals ahead. This 20 minute webinar will showcase the difference that a business plan could make for your business, and will guide you on how to develop and maintain your plan.

This information is general only and does not constitute any recommendation or advice. It is current at the time of publication, and is subject to change. It has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to these matters. Consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed in this document, including when considering the finance options for your business.

Skip to main content Skip to main navigation. Business Solutions Starting a business What do I need to start? Writing a business plan. What should be in your business plan? Some key points to focus on are: The Business Outline what your core business will be. The Market Defining your market is important to help focus your marketing strategies.

Are you looking to focus on your area, region, Australia-wide or go international? Consider your products and services closely.

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Tips on how to write a business plan for your new or existing business. Learn about what you need to include to make it as useful as possible. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to them and their cultures and to the elders.

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Write a business plan You might also be interested in. Business planning is essential for the success of any business. A business plan provides direction, keeps you on track and is usually a requirement when you seek melbourne.

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