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What goes in my business plan?

Friday, 27 August 2010 | By James Thomson

Your business plan will define exactly what your business will do, how it will do it, how much it will cost and when you expect it to become profitable. Who will be involved in the running of your business? Will you operate your business as a sole proprietor or will you be working with others in a partnership, trust or company?

 

 

One way to develop a business plan is to ask a series of questions under appropriate sections and then complete the answers.


Business profile

  • What is our business?
  • What are our products and/or services?
  • Who are our target customers?
  • Who are our major suppliers?

 

Customer profile

  • What is the scope of our customer base?
  • What is our competition?

 

Strategy

  • What is our strategy to gain our target customers?
  • What is our strategy to retain our target customers?

 

Marketing

  • What is our initial marketing strategy?
  • What is our ongoing marketing strategy?

 

Production

  • What is our method to establish our production?
  • What is our method to continue our production?

 

Premises

  • Where will our business be conducted?
  • What is the tenure of the premises?
  • What is the medium- and long-term suitability of the premises for our business?

 

Plant, equipment and vehicles

  • What are our requirements for plant, equipment and vehicles to operate the business?

 

Computer system

  • Which computer system is appropriate to cover customers, sales, production and financial recording and reporting?

 

Registrations and permits

  • What permits are required for premises, product storage and plant operation and business operations?
  • What patents should be registered to protect the proprietary products of the business?
  • What trademark registrations are required to protect the business name, logo or product names?
  • What registrations are required in relation to the business?

 

Operations

  • How will the business operations commence?

 

Management

  • What is the proposed management structure?
  • What is the availability of the proposed management for commencement of the business?

 

Staffing

  • What is the proposed staffing structure and remuneration packages?
  • What is the availability of the proposed staff for commencement of the business?

 

Internal funding

  • What is the source and timing of the internal funding proposed to establish and fund the ongoing operations of the business as detailed in the budget and cashflow?

 

External funding

  • What is the requirement and indication of availability of external funding necessary to establish and fund the ongoing operations of the business as detailed in the budget and cashflow?

 

Ownership

  • What is the proposed ownership and operating structure of the business, whether a company, trust, partnership or a sole trader?

 

Planning

  • A time-frame relevant to each section should be developed and linked to the overall plan to meet the proposed start date and the ongoing operations of the business.