The 7 W’s of Business Plans
There are many times in your life when you will need a plan: When you are organising your life after graduating from school or university. When you are starting a family. When you are preparing for a road trip. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that starting a business should be another of those planned instances. But, 40% of start-ups don’t have a business plan. This is a staggering statistic, especially considering that one–third of Australian small businesses fail because they don’t have a business plan. At Synergy Accountants and Estate Planners we want you to be on the positive side of those statistics, so let us help you by explaining the 7 W’s of Business Plans.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan acts as your roadmap to success. It sets the priorities for your business, guides you toward success and even helps you avoid any bumps along the way.
A business plan should achieve three things:
- Help you prioritise;
- Give you control over your business; and
- Help you get finance.
Why is a Business Plan Important to Your Business?
Think of your business plan like a GPS: it will guide you to where you want to go. The Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) in your business plan act as your scheduled stops which keep you accountable along the way. They are your measures of success. And when not met, they prompt you to review your business plan and make adjustments.
When Should You Create a Business Plan?
A business plan can be made at any time, but research shows that the best time to write a business plan is between six and 12 months after deciding to start a business.
Where to Start when Creating a Business Plan
The first thing to do before creating a business plan is to determine its purpose. Is it just for your use? Is it for internal parties – i.e. to share with staff or business partners? Or, is it to help you gain finance? Knowing the answer to this question can help with writing the plan as you can tailor it to the correct audience.
From here, you can conduct market research. This stage is about getting to know your competitors and your audience. Following this, you will have some decisions to make about your business structure, marketing strategies and, of course, financial assessments and goals.
Who can Help me Create or Review my Business Plan?
The Australian Government have created some templates to help you get started. These templates are very easy to navigate and will help you consolidate your ideas and may even help you with aspects of your business which you may not have considered.
But, if trawling through all of the information gets too overwhelming, an accountant can help.
Why You Should Review your Business Plan Regularly
Business plans are never finished. As your business grows or evolves, so too should you plan. We recommend you review your plan every six to twelve months. These reviews will help you take stock of your progress and allow you to make adjustments as necessary.
Where to from here?
With all the business plan templates readily available on the internet, you can feel confident in putting together a plan which is suitable to your business. However, if you do want some guidance or someone to simply look over your plan for possible improvements, please feel free to contact Synergy Accountants and Estate Planners.
*Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is a guide only and is not intended to be used in lieu of advice from your registered accountant.