Whether you are a student doing a business course or you have a fantastic idea for a start-up, My Business Plan will guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive and well-structured business plan.
My Business Plan will help you to structure your thoughts, identify opportunities and source all the information you need.
My Business Plan will take you one step at a time through the planning stage. The activities will help you to explore the viability of your business idea, create a vision to connect with your customers, refine your pitch, develop your business strategies and address all of the practicalities to turn your idea into action!
So, no matter how big or small your business idea is, start planning now to make it happen.
Next, explore it , s viability and develop your pitch
Then create a vision for your business idea to connect with customers
And last of all put it all together in your business plan
Now develop your business strategies
Take it one step at a time, starting with your business idea!
wHat is a good busineSs idea? A good business starts with a good idea. But how do you really know if your business idea is good? Try a simple YES or NO answer to these questions. Consider your idea • Does it solve a challenge or a problem?
STILL HAVE NO IDEA? You want to start a business but you don’t have a business idea. There must be something that you are good at, enjoy doing, are passionate about, or would like to learn more about. It’s time to think CREATIVELY! Ask yourself a few questions. Questions help to kindle new ideas. New ideas spark further questions and further questions lead to creative answers. Creative answers = great business ideas!
What can I do?
What am I good at?
How could I do it differently?
• Is this a challenge or a problem for other people? • Does your idea fill a particular need or want? • Is it an improvement on what is already available? • Is there a market? Do customers exist?
How could I do it better?
Can I turn it into a product or a service?
Consider your product or service • Will people love it? • Will people use it? • Will they return to it? • Will people recommend it to friends?
Who would pay me to do it/ make it/ sell it?
How would my customers use it?
Why would they want it/need it?
Consider you • Does your idea showcase one of your skills or talents? • Are you passionate about it? • Are you excited about the prospects of your idea? • Do you have the drive to make it happen?
What would my customers say about it?
Who would they share it with?
What if I made it bigger? Smaller?
If you are confident that the answer to most or all of these questions is YES – you could be on to something! If you’re not sure – do the research! • Ask around, chat with friends, family and your community • Take notes • Do a targeted survey • Speak to people in the industry for insights, tips and strategies
What if I made it faster? Slowed it down?
What will I call it?
What will it look like in 3 years?
Keep in mind • There’s no need to reinvent the wheel – just do it better or smarter • Simply being new or different is not enough. Your idea needs to be of value to others
How does it make me feel?
HAVE YOU DONE A FEASIBILITY STUDY?
Make a few notes on the table below to see if your business idea is feasible.
Overview • A general summary of your business idea
Technical Feasibility • Do you have the technical resources? • Hardware, software and other technologies • What are the potential risks and solutions?
Economic Overview • Capital requirements • Critical risk factors
So you have a business idea, but do you know if it is practical or even viable?
Legal Issues • Legal requirements • Data protection
Site and Location • Zoning regulations • Access • Environmental issues
Before you do your business plan you need to conduct a Feasibility Study to determine if your business idea is worth a shot!
Market Assessment • The market environment • Competition and demand
Operational Feasibility • Data and information control • Resources, labour and time • Operational requirements • Staffing and personnel requirements • Services – are they reliable, flexible and timely?
Scheduling • Timelines • Time management
Conclusion • Your findings and comments
SHOuLD YOU consider creatinG AN MVP?
Briefly explain your MVP idea
Does it serve a purpose? YES/NO What purpose? (Explain) Does it solve a problem? YES/NO What problem does it solve? If the answers are no, or it’s too difficult to explain - go back to the drawing board!
If your business idea is based around a product or service – think about creating an MVP.
Once you have your idea – pitch the idea to other people ,put out a survey, utilise social media… What do they think? Better still – would they be willing to pay for it?
An MVP is the first stage or the most basic version of your product. (Depending on your business idea, it could be a product, a basic website for your online business, or a scaled down or cheaper service.)
If the answer is positively yes to all of these questions – go for the design! List all of the features your product could have or your service will offer.
At the MVP stage your product should have just enough features to meet the needs of your early customers. You can then develop your product with their feedback supported financially by the money you make from your early sales.
Once you have listed, sketched, explained as many features as you can possibly think of – one by one strip those features away! Keep only the bare minimum; those features that you will absolutely need to put your product or service onto the market. You should now have your Minimum Viable Product. YOUR MVP Sketch it. Explain it.
Why introduce a minimum viable product? Introducing your MVP onto the market is very helpful in developing your best possible final product. • It saves time and money in research and resources • It helps you to focus on the essential features • It tests the response of your customers – will they buy it? • It reveals your product’s strengths and weaknesses • It allows you to respond quickly to feedback • It reveals whether or not there is a viable market for your product • It makes your product easier to market
If you want legal ownership and protection for your intellectual property, it must be formally registered. Take a look to see which protection applies to your idea or creation: Patents: Protect inventions and new processes - product design or production processes Trade Marks: Identify the goods or services of a business as distinct from others that are similar - branding rights Copyright: Protects the original expression of an idea, but not the idea itself. • Computer programs • Artwork • Literature • Music Registered Design: The design or appearance of a product is protected, but not how it works. Plant Breeder’s Rights: This protects the commercial rights of new plant varieties. Perhaps you have a green thumb? Geographical Indications: Identifies goods or products as coming from a particular region or location. Automatic Protection: Some things are granted automatic protection in Australia without having to go through the legal process of
HAVE you created or invented something?
recognition. • Copyright
• Trade secrets
• Circuit layouts
If the answer is yes, the first thing you should do is to protect it. You’ve put in the time and effort and it would be a shame if one of your competitors stepped in to copy your idea. Think about registering for protection.
Does it need a patent, trademark, copyright or other? Is it granted Automatic Protection?
Do any of these apply to your business idea?
A Logo (A small symbol or design that identifies your product or idea.)
Software or App
Your Brand (That’s what identifies you as distinct from your competitors.)
Slogan (A simple phrase that represents your Brand) Words or Music
Intellectual Property (IP) is the original ideas and creations that result from your intellectual endeavours. IP is often referred to as the property of the mind. IP includes • Inventions and discoveries • Products and services • Art and literature • Music and film • Design • Ideas in action!
Special packaging or design
A particular scent or recipe
Visit the Australian Government website to learn more about the different types of Intellectual Property, and get the right advice if you need it. www.ipaustralia.gov.au/understanding-ip/getting-started-ip/types-of-ip
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WHat type of busineSs Will it bE?
Understanding what type of business yours will be will help you to explain it in your business plan. Take a look at the table.
Farm machinery and equipment Take-away, Café, Catering Hardware Plant nursery Childcare Butcher, Greengrocer, Smallgoods Accounting and financial services Maintenance and gardening Dog walking Running errands Sewing and mending Childcare Website design Data entry Online editing and copywriting Virtual administration Research and data collection Online surveys and questionnaires
Will your business idea see you as a part of the community you live in?
LOCAL BUSINESS Any business that provides for its local population or community. Local business is usually small to medium enterprise.
Type of Business
Products or Services
Is this business yours?
Hand crafted or made to order clothing, accessories, jewellery 3-D digitally printed products Artwork Seasonal, organic, homegrown produce Crafted furniture, tiles Baked goods and delicacies Personalised services, small group tours, specialist cleaning
Do you have a particular skill (or passion) and a market for your product?
BESPOKE If something is bespoke it is not mass- produced.
Bespoke businesses/products are sought after because they offer quality, sustainability and individuality.
Fancy carrying out micro jobs? It’s flexible money whilst you are studying or between jobs. Micro jobs could even keep you busy enough to be your main source of income.
MICRO-JOBS Online micro-job market sites provide a platform for employers to post micro- jobs, and workers to sign up and get paid to complete them.
Gardening services Pet care Home care Coffee Financial services Fast food Health, Beauty and Wellbeing
Does starting out feel too risky? Buying into a franchise rather than creating a new business is often a less costly or risky option. A franchise offers purchasing and marketing strength
FRANCHISE A franchise is a commercial licensing arrangement.
For a fee, the owner of a particular business model, grants the right to another party to use its business model. The party that grants the franchise is known as the FRANCHISOR. The party receiving the franchise is the FRANCHISEE.
Vehicle sharing Storage space
Have an asset that you don’t use all of the time, or a skill that you would like to use more often? Share it!
SHARE ECONOMY BUSINESS The physical assets and skills of individuals are consumed as services. Put simply, people borrow or rent assets that are owned by someone else.
Cleaning services Gym and Fitness Education and Training Financial services
Sporting or electrical equipment Holiday homes or a single room Pet-sitting Courier service
Market gardening Recycling Conservation services Public ride-sharing Energy efficient construction Efficient design Eco-tourism Ethical investment Small-scale manufacturing Food and catering
Is your business idea dedicated to reducing environmental risks? Perhaps it promotes social justice, health and wellbeing.
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS (The green economy)
Training opportunities Employment access Social engagement groups Environmental regeneration and conservation schemes Food co-operatives
Are you passionate about tackling problems in the community such as homelessness, unemployment, or environmental degradation? Your business idea could create sustainable and lasting change.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE A social enterprise is a business that has been set up specifically to advance social change.
The green economy is one that serves the needs of the present, without risking the quality of life, or the environment for future generations.
Technology oriented N ≈ w, disruptive ideas
Is your business idea innovative and new? You have to be energetic and you need investors willing to take the risk!
STARTUPS A startup is a newly established business or entrepreneurial venture. Startups aim to reach a large market and focus on quick growth.
Based at home, you can tailor your business idea to suit family and other commitments. Less travel and other related costs.
HOME-BASED BUSINESS A business based in the home.
Childcare Party plan Online selling Graphic design Tutoring Financial services
Fun fact: Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Amazon, all started as home-based business in a garage!
Explain which type of business yours will be in your business plan, and the reasons why.
You are ICT savvy and can work from home or anywhere. Can you link your business idea to a Blog or website so that you can actively engage with your customers?
INTERNET BASED BUSINESS Any kind of business activity that takes place online.
For more information on business types and structures visit the Business.gov website. www.business.gov.au/Planning/Business-structures-and-types
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Once you understand really well what your product or service will mean to your customers, you will be able to respond to their needs, build their loyalty and build up your business!
YOUR TARGET MARKET
Who is your target market? (The people who buy from you or use your services)
Hi, I’m a typical craft beer drinker! I’m 35 years of age and I have a Bachelors degree. I keep fit riding my bike and jogging and prefer to buy organic foods.
How will they use what you have to offer?
Without your perfect customer, your business wouldn , t exist! your customers will be your focus, so identify them and get to know them. WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOmerS?
What will they like about your business or your product?
How will you make their life even better?
Using your customer profile, create an avatar of your ideal customer (draw, cut and paste…) Picture your avatar – height, hair colour, how they dress… Give your avatar a name – you will be speaking with and about them, introducing them to your staff … Write a brief scenario - about your avatar’s daily life – what problems they may face, how they react to these problems – and how your product or service will help them. Create a synopsis - describing your avatar’s demographics and lifestyle. CREATE YOUR CUSTOMER AVATAR
build YOUR CUSTOMER PROFILE Customer profiling is a way of describing and categorising customers so that you can understand how to sell to them. Your business will probably cater to the needs of several types of customer. If you create a number of customer profiles you will be able to work out ways to connect with each and reach a wider target market. Complete the customer profile diagram so that you can create a detailed customer avatar.
How will you connect with them?
What annoys or scares them?
How old are your customers?
Are they married or single?
Are they male, female or both?
What do they do for a living?
What do your customers value most in life? Family, health, social status?
Where do they live?
What is their income?
What are their hobbies and pursuits?
What is their educational status?
Do they have children? Pets?
You will find plenty of up-to-date (and historical) statistical information on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. www.abs.gov.au/browse?opendocument&ref=topBar
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Take a look at a business that would be in direct competition with your own and complete this competitive analysis. This will give you strategies for improvement.
WHO IS YOUR COMPETITION?
How are they in competition?
Quality of product/service
Believe it or not, a degree of competition is good for business. Without it there’s a risk you might get too complacent and let your quality slide. One of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition is to know your competition, so do some market research.
Length in business
Customer needs met
New or unique products/services
TYPE OF FUNDING
how wiLl you funD iT?
Enthusiasm Mentorship, guidance and expertise A network of business contacts Better terms than a bank
Can demand up to 50% of your business Will remove you if you are an obstacle Could pocket their rewards through acquisition
ANGEL INVESTORS Individuals willing to invest their own money to help fund the start-up.
Very little risk if you keep to your terms of agreement
BUSINESS Banking finance Raise capital with a business loan or overdraft from a bank or other financial institution. CROWD FUNDING Funding a venture or product launch by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people via a crowd-funding platform.
Creates awareness of a product or venture Great PR and marketing Assesses demand and opportunities Generates interest and excitement Raise money debt-free There are grants for different purposes The purchase of equipment etc. Starting and promoting your business Special research Artistic endeavours Training or further education Often able to release funds quickly Flexible Shared costs and risks Access to new and diverse markets Stronger distribution networks Greater access to a resource of skills, expertise and technologies Shared ideas, innovation and strategies Support for newly developing businesses Helps businesses to employ and expand Encourages investment Maintains cash flow Invest in ventures that have the potential for substantial growth Venture capitalists are prepared for the risk
Crowd funding site fees can be expensive Some sites are all or nothing. You can’t keep the money raised if the funding target is not met
Whether your business idea is big or small, there are going to be start up costs as well as ongoing costs. How will you fund these?
Grants are extremely competitive The criteria is very specific and you must be eligible The application process can be complicated and time consuming
GOVERNMENT GRANTS A financial award given by state, federal or local governments for a specific purpose.
Some require a large return on their capital because of the risk Think carefully about mixing money with family and friendships! An imbalance of expertise, assets or investment between the parties Conflicts of interest or expectations
PERSONAL INVESTORS Friends, family or other personal contacts willing to provide financing.
JOINT VENTURE Two or more businesses pool their resources and expertise to share in a temporary business arrangement or activity.
Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and confusion
Take a look at the advantages and risks of a few types of funding to decide which one to put into your business plan.
Some subsidies don’t hold a specific monetary value.
SUBSIDIES A form of financial support, given by the government. Subsidies come in the form of cash payment, loan or a tax reduction or rebate. VENTURE CAPITALISTS A wealthy investor or institution prepared to put up capital for new ventures.
More interested in established businesses Demand a higher return for their investment A fierce market
Which form of funding would suit your business idea best, and why?
Visit the Australian Government Business website for more information on finance for your business: www.business.gov.au/new-to-business-essentials/finance-for-your-business
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CAN iT BE GLObAL?
Could your business idea go global? Fill out the table and find out
What country or countries would buy your product?
Is there any global competition? If there is, explain your competition’s products or services
If your business idea has potential to expand globally, why limit your options to the local market?
Are there any global trends or potential trends that would benefit the growth of your business? Explain them.
Can you predict the potential growth rate?
Communication technologies have made it easier to expand globally, and there are many opportunities out there for exciting new businesses. You can either • Export your product • License your product or intellectual property • Franchise • Go into a joint venture
What are the demographics (age, cultural practices, education, interests…) of your global market?
Are there any barriers to trade in your targeted countries? (tariffs, free trade agreements, conflict…)
How will you market globally?
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How will you sell globally? (Direct selling, distributor, agent, joint venture…)
Australian Government: Trade, import, export www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/business-and-industry/ trade-import-and-export
YOUR WORK TASKS
List the legal issues around going global. (Licensing, intellectual property, registered trademarks protection, Insurance, customs requirements…)
Are there any government grants or subsidies that would apply to your product or service? Explore them!
CREATE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT A good mission statement will define and articulate the reason your business exists – for your customers, your employees and your community!
Follow these steps to create a mission statement for your business plan. Step 1. The purpose of your business! Describe what you do, what will your business produce or provide. Say it to yourself, and then put it down in a couple of words. The purpose of my business is to:
Step 2. Description of your business There’s no need to go into detail; just give a brief general description of the way you want to do business. Incorporate one or two of your core competencies or values - what you pride yourself on. Examples: Produce a high quality product, Foster innovation and creativity, Practice environmental sustainability
Your mission statement should incorporate: • WHAT you do • HOW you do it • WHY you do it – (Who for and how it helps)
Step 3. Bring steps 1 and 2 together Put the purpose of your business together with your description of how you want to do what you do. That’s the core of your mission statement. The purpose of my business is to:
Take a look at these examples
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete. Breaking it down: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world (what and how) If you have a body, you are an athlete (why)
Step 4. Why you want to do it? Think about why you want to start your business. Who is it for?
How will your business make a difference? What would you like to be known for? What excites you about what you want to do? Who will be your customers? How can you make a difference? What are the core values or beliefs that underpin your business idea? How will you measure your success?
To prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection Breaking it down: To prevent cruelty to animals (what and why) by actively promoting their care and protection (how)
Step 5. Write your mission statement
Hey, I am going to let you in on a little secret. Writing a mission
statement for your business idea will help you to sort your thoughts, provide a focus for your plans, and give you ideas for your marketing.
Step 6. Now, look at your statement. Does it communicate who you are? Is there a better way of putting it? Play around with it and make it more personal by replacing ‘the purpose of my business’ with your business name.
Get feedback on your Mission Statement from family and friends. Once you are happy with it, add it to your business plan.
Market definition (Which category, context or industry? How are you relevant?)
Brand promise (Your values, unique benefit, problem you solve)
Reasons to believe (How will you deliver on your promise?)
Take a look at what you have written and use the following template to put together your brand positioning statement. Be creative and bold!
A brand positioning statement is one or two sentences that condense what is unique and excellent about your business or brand. It is often followed by a tagline that stays in the mind of customers. To find your position, think about your strengths and your point of difference. Against your competition • Apple: Think different Within your own category (your point of difference) • Volvo: Safety How you do business • L. J. Hooker: Nobody does it better Alongside your consumer • QANTAS: You’re the reason we fly Using the templates and suggestions, craft a brand positioning statement and a kick-ass tagline for your brand or business. Remember to be: • Imaginative
(Reasons to believe)
Or, perhaps it sounds better this way… For
Create a Tagline Try distilling your ideas into a tagline of no more than seven words. Here’s a little inspiration… Nike: Just do it Disneyland: The happiest place on earth Target: Expect more. Pay less MTV: I want my MTV L’Oréal: Because you’re worth it
• Dynamic • Succinct
(Reason to believe)
Perhaps you would prefer short, sweet and powerful.
Play around with your statement until you are happy that it delivers the promise that your brand stands for.
DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND PERSONALITY
Here is a list of traits to help you with your description.
Whether your business idea (or brand) is a trusted friend or passing acquaintance to your customers will depend on your brand personality. Customers connect with a brand that they can: • Trust • Aspire to • Have fun with • Rely on • Relate to An easy way to work out your brand personality is to think of it as if it were a person, and choose six adjectives to describe it. (Is your brand dependable, caring, serious or fun…)
Methodical Meticulous Moderate
Modern Modest Neat
Objective Observant Open Optimistic Orderly Organised Original Outspoken
Creative Cultured Curious Daring
COMPETENT Intelligent, successful, reliable
EXCITING Imaginative, adventurous, bold
SINCERE Honest, down to earth, heartfelt
Chances are that your brand personality description will come under one or a combination of the five core dimensions. Look at your chosen words and see where your brand personality fits on the Brand personality scale.
Is your Brand ?
RUGGED Tenacious, strong, outdoorsy
SOPHISTICATED Charming, avant-garde, worldly
Articulate your Brand Essence Your brand essence is the heart and soul of your brand. You should be able to sum it up in one, two or three words. Try using the ADJECTIVE, ADJECTIVE, NOUN combination.
(Adjective) (Noun) You can use your brand personality to shape your literature, marketing activities, branding strategies, logos, and even the colours that you use. (Adjective)
CREATE YOUR VISION STATEMENT
FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO CREATE A VISION STATEMENT FOR YOUR BUSiNESS IDEA. EXAMiNE YOUR MiSSION STATEMENT TO YOU HELP FOCUS.
Step 1 – YOUR VISION Where do you see your future business in 5 – 10 years? What will you work to achieve? Who are your customers? What would you like to do for them?
Your vision statement should express what your business aspires to. It goes hand in hand with your mission statement!
Think about your business idea and follow these steps to create a powerful vision statement that will inspire your customers. Remember
Step 2 – SHAPE YOUR VISION INTO A STATEMENT What will your success look like? Put it into words. Write a statement that articulates your dreams in less than 20 words.
• Be specific • Dream big • Be daring • Use present tense • Be passionate
Step 3 – SHORTEN YOUR VISION STATEMENT Take a look at your statement. Is it longer than 20 words? Shorten it to below 10 or 15 words. Will people remember it? Will they quote it?
Take a look at these examples...
Imagine a world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all knowledge!
Our Vision. Delivering a world-class chocolate experience every time.
WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY?
Consider what suits
Your notes/plan of action
YOUR TARGET MARKET You’ve identified them already in WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS? • Who are you trying to reach? • Your style of marketing (language, content and delivery) needs to connect with them!
CREATE AWARENESS Think about how to build your BRAND awareness! • Word of mouth, flyers • Online advertising • Social media, blog, website Post high quality content to generate trust and traffic! • Infographics, videos, podcasts, interviews YOUR UNIQUE ADVANTAGE You’ve identified this already in HOW WILL YOU DO IT BETTER? and WHO IS YOUR COMPETITION? • What do you have that the others don’t? • Why would people choose you? • Highlight and promote your unique advantage • Keep it simple! COMMUNICATE! Turn customers into followers, Focus on their needs, wants and habits and attract new followers! • How often and when will you communicate to get the reach? • What time of day, what time of week? • Papers or posts?
OK, you have a great business idea, but even before you open the doors you will need to let people know who you are and what you do.
For that, you will need a marketing strategy to add to your business plan. Your marketing strategy should ultimately aim to • Reach your customers • Increase your sales • Gain advantage over your competitors Fill out the table to develop your marketing strategy. Remember... You know your product and you understand your customer. As you fill out the table, keep your customer firmly in mind and speak to your ‘customer avatar’. To shape your marketing, continue to reflect on your
• What kind of posts on what platforms? • Maintain communication – don’t neglect it!
ACTIVITIES Stay connected and mix it up with different activities – but make sure they suit your style! • Webinars and seminars • Giveaways
• Advertising and flyers • Blog posts and stories • Interviews
IS IT WORKING? How will you measure if your marketing strategy is effective? • Email subscriptions • New leads • Page views, likes/comments
• Increased website traffic • Increased orders and sales
whAT ABOUT YOUR distribution?
Think about your business idea and how you will be distributing your product
What will you be selling?
Is your product perishable?
Does it need to be customised or installed?
Does it need service or ongoing maintenance?
With a well-planned distribution system you have a better chance of selling more products to a wider market!
Where will your customers buy your product?
Will your customers need personalised service and information?
Distribution is the process of delivering a product into its target market. In other words, from the place it has been manufactured or produced, to the place it will be sold or consumed. Distribution involves marketing, packaging, transportation, storage and delivery.
Will you need to deal directly with your customers?
Would your customers prefer to buy directly from you online?
Will you need retail outlets?
DIRECT DISTRIBUTION Producer
Will you need a wholesaler or distributor?
Will you sell at a market?
Work on a distribution plan for your business idea and add this to your business plan
Explain why you have chosen these distribution channels
Your workplace will be the physical location of your business. Depending on your business, your workplace could be the floor of your garage or a dance floor, a high-rise office, or even a hub sharing with other like-minded startups. Your workplace is whatever is called for – a place or a space to get the work done!
Create a workplace inspiration board! Use this page to design or put together ideas for your workplace or workspace. Add colour swatches, pictures of furniture and equipment, or pictures of other workspaces that inspire you.
You will need to build the cost of your work place into your budget. This table will give you a clear idea of what you will need to spend.
Describe your workplace activities/ type of work Location
Explain how you will set it up
Storage or warehousing
Making your workplace more productive or comfortable Showroom/display/meeting with clients or customers Other facilities (Kitchen, toilet etc.) Safety requirements and
council regulations Heating and cooling
Parking and customer needs
wiLL YOU NeED A WORKFLoW CHaRt?
DESIGN A WORKFLOW CHART TO COVER ANY ASPECT OF YOUR FUTURE BUSINESS.
Put your workflow chart together using the template below, or create your own template, with these steps: • Detail the objective – what is the end goal? • Identify the individual tasks • Identify the people responsible for each task - which task belongs where and to whom? • Sequence the steps in logical order • Allocate the approximate time required for each step • List any equipment required
Once you have finished examine your workflow chart and tweak it if you have to. • What are its strengths and weaknesses? • Are there any gaps or missing steps? • Is it user friendly? • Is there room for improvement?
Think about the workflows that will keep your business running efficiently.
Process step 1
Process step 3
Process step 4
Process step 5
Workflow is an important part of the smooth functioning and performance of any business. A workflow chart helps to identify the most efficient way to complete a task or series of tasks. A workflow chart has a beginning, a sequence of steps and an end. In business there are always a number of workflows running parallel to each other.
Process step 2
Process step 6
Consider the gaps in your business; that is, the things you won , t be able to do yourself because you either lack the time or the expertise.
WHat pEOpLE Willyou NeED? At first you might start your business as A Jack of all trades with
List the people you will need as you start out, and as your business grows.
How many hours will they work each week/ month?
How many hours will they work each week/ month?
What skills and competencies must they have?
Casual, part-time, full-time, contractor or freelancer
Determine the correct rate of pay or industry award
no employees. As your business grows and becomes busier, you may find that there are gaps that you cant fill, so make provisions for this in your business plan.
Who will you need? Employees: Your members of staff who are full-time, part-time or casual. Independent Contractors: Someone who provides their temporary services to your business... bookkeepers, accountants, consultants, tradespersons. Freelancers: Work for short periods in a limited scope for your business ...website developers, copywriters, graphic designers, social media marketers.
Go to the Fair Work Ombudsman website to find out about rates of pay and industry awards www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/minimum-wages/pay-guides
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YOUr businEsS PitCH
WHO IS YOUR COMPETITION? - WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT? • Describe your KEY DIFFERENCES • Explain what makes you better • Talk about your passion and your vision
A business pitch is a short presentation on a business idea. If you want funding you’ll need to pitch your idea to potential investors.
YOUR MARKETING PLAN • Keep it simple, but remember – your investors want to know that you have thought about this!
Here’s what you need to do to get them on board! Once you have put your ideas together for your business pitch, practice it in the mirror or on family/friends or film yourself. The more you practice the more confident you will be in your delivery.
WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER? (Investors want to know your TARGET MARKET – spark their interest!) • Describe your customer • WHY do they need what you have to offer? • If you have an endorsement, (someone who has something really positive to say about your business idea) – share it!
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (Investors need to understand how you will grow over time) • HOW you will make money? • WHEN you will break even? • Show your current milestones and your projected milestones
OUTLINE THE PROBLEM – EXPLAIN THE SOLUTION • Tell a story - make it personal. Make it something that your investors can relate to • How will it help them? – Put them in the story • Be compelling!
INVESTMENT PROPOSAL • What will you offer as a return for investment? • Be clear, practical and realistic!
wHAt EQUiPMENT WilL YOU NeED?
Pricing and options
No matter what type of business you are planning, you are going to need the equipment to get the job done, your product made or the service to your customers.
Your equipment will include everything from tools of the trade, utensils and appliances, machinery, vehicles, computer equipment and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). You will have to purchase your equipment as a capital investment, or hire it as you need, and the estimated cost will be a part of your business plan. So do your research. Figure out what equipment you will need. Get advice from similar business operators about the purchase or hire of their own equipment, and explore suppliers for pricings and options.
DO you NEED AN EXIT STRATEGY?
BY ANSWERING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PLAN YOUR EXIT STRATEGY.
What do you want from your business?
Are you motivated purely by profit or would you like to leave a business legacy?
Your business idea probably includes visions of a bright and successful future. Those visions might not include an exit strategy, but what if things don’t go as planned? What if you want to change your lifestyle or move on to other ventures or sadly the business fails?
When do you want to sell?
Are you flexible or do you have a definite timeframe in mind?
Would you still wish to be involved in your business?
An exit strategy is a contingency plan to reduce or sell ownership once the profit objective has been achieved; or to liquidate assets if the business is not performing well. Establishing an exit strategy will help you to leave your future business comfortably. It should be a part of your business plan.
Would you like it to continue your business as is, or expand and merge with another?
Would you prefer your business to be dissolved completely?
EXIT STRATEGY OPTIONS What? Selling the business (merger or acquisition) This involves either merging with a similar business, or being bought out by a larger company.
You want to retire or try something different. You don’t want to see your hard work go to waste.
Would you plan to fund another venture?
You’re happy to combine forces with a similar business, increase your revenue, then sell your share to fund another venture. You still wish to be involved in your business. It hasn’t been a success and you just want to close up and move on. You are happy to break even and get out. You would prefer the business to be dissolved completely. You would like the legacy of your business to continue. You still wish to be involved in some way
Would you like to retire comfortably?
Liquidation The simplest and cleanest way to exit. It involves distributing the assets of the business and bringing it to an end.
Would you be happy just to break even and get out?
Management Buyout Management or employees have inside knowledge on how the business runs and are genuinely interested in its success. Bankruptcy In extreme financial difficulty, when creditors cannot be paid, bankruptcy may be the only option. This is an extreme exit strategy that should only be taken with professional financial advice.
You have no other option. You would prefer the business to be dissolved completely.
Business Queensland, Ways to exit a business www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/leaving-business/ways-exit-business
FinD OUT MoRE
Australian Government Business, Succession Plan www.business.gov.au/planning/business-plans/succession-plan
YOUR WORK TASKS
CREATE YOUR PROJECTED FIRST YEAR BUDGET
STEP : CHOOSE A TIME FRAME Whether it’s monthly or quarterly or yearly, deciding on a timeframe for your budget will depend largely on the needs of your future business. STEP : ESTIMATE YOUR START-UP EXPENSES There will be a number of one-off purchases you will need to make or budget for. Many of these are your start-up costs. Refer back to HAVE YOU CREATED OR INVENTED SOMETHING on pages 10 and 11, WHAT ABOUT YOUR DISTRIBUTION (pages 34 and 35), WHAT WILL YOUR WORKPLACE LOOK LIKE? (pages 36 and 37) and WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL YOU NEED? (pages 44 and 45). This will help you with your budget. Examples of one-time expenses • Computer/software
One of the most important parts of putting together a business plan is creating a budget for your business idea.
• Vehicle • Permits • Business and domain names • Office supplies • Furniture and equipment • Legal requirements STEP : ESTIMATE YOUR FIXED EXPENSES
Your fixed expenses are those that will be the same every month. HOW WILL YOU FUND IT pages 20 and 21, WHAT WILL YOUR WORKPLACE LOOK LIKE pages 36 and 37, WHAT PEOPLE YOU WILL NEED pages 40 and 41. Examples of fixed expenses • Salaries • Insurance • Rent/mortgage • Bank fees • Phone/internet • Utilities STEP : ESTIMATE YOUR VARIABLE EXPENSES These are the expenses that don’t have a fixed price. For help refer to WHAT IS YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY pages 32 and 33, WHAT ABOUT YOUR DISTRIBUTION? Pages 34 and 35. Examples of variable expenses
Creating a budget will help you to estimate your start-up costs and your income and expenses. It will also help you to allocate your funds without overspending, set your business goals and make good solid business decisions. Think of your budget as an action plan!
STEP : ESTIMATE YOUR INCOME Calculate how much money you expect your business will make over the time frame you’ve chosen. (That is, estimated sales or any other income.) Be conservative! Examples of income sources • Product sales • Investment income • Savings • Loans STEP : CALCULATE YOUR PROFIT/LOSS Add up all your income for the allocated time frame. Add up all your expenses for the allocated time frame. Calculate the difference by subtracting total expenses away from total income and the result is your profit or loss.
Learn more about creating your business budget on the Australian Government Business website: www.business.gov.au/Finance/Accounting/How-to-create-a-budget