Business planning and management
A complete, thoughtful business plan is one of the most valuable tools that can help your business to reach long-term goals.
Business planning should be an ongoing business activity. You should regularly review your plans and keep them up to date.
Writing a business plan
While it is a good idea to have a business plan in place before you start your business, it is never too late to develop one, even if you have been in business for some time.
A business plan gives your business direction, defines your objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the road.
Business planning is an ongoing business activity - you should regularly review your business plan to keep it up to date.
Marketing can help you reach your target audience, boost your customer base, and increase your bottom line. Marketing is more than just clever advertising and brochures. Good marketing helps your customers understand why your product or service is better than, or different from, the competition.
Marketing can help you attract new customers, focus on satisfying their needs and build lasting relationships. Marketing requires research, time and appropriate allocation of budget. Investing time in developing your marketing plan can help your business grow.
When you're writing a marketing plan you should be clear about your objectives and how you'll achieve them. A good marketing plan sets clear, realistic and measurable objectives, includes deadlines, provides a budget and allocates responsibilities.
Obtaining statistics and conducting market research can give you a better understanding of your market, your customers and their needs, as well as giving you a better insight into your competitors. This greater understanding of your market can help you better focus your marketing efforts, make informed decisions about your business and make the most of available opportunities.
An important first step is to look at where your business fits in the market. Developing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis can help you with this. It can also help you discover how your business can improve, what you excel at and what practices other businesses are using.
Find out more about conducting market research.
In Australia, the reality of natural disasters such as flood, fire and even earthquakes can strike without warning. Your business is critical to your financial wellbeing and could also be a necessary service to your community, so naturally you want to protect what you can.
Emergency management planning can help you identify risks to your business, critical areas of your business and how to best protect them. It also covers continuity and recovery planning to help your business prepare for and survive any emergency situation.
A good emergency management plan protects your livelihood by preparing you for unexpected disruptions to your business.
Download an emergency management and recovery guide and template. You might like to also download the MyBizShield tablet app that provides you with a template to get started.
Building your business management skills can help your business to grow and succeed. As your focus shifts from the day-to-day work of your business to more of a management role, it is a good time to work on developing your management skills.
Some resources available to help you build your management skills base include:
- management training courses, which are often run by experienced business owners and are offered outside work hours
- industry-related workshops and conferences which give good industry insights and provide opportunities for building networking skills
- reputable online business management websites offering practical advice and do-it-yourself training.
If you need help with business planning and management for your business, search for your nearest government-funded business advisor using Advisory Services.
You might also like to search Event Finder to check if there is a government-funded event, seminar, training course or workshop you can attend in your state or territory.