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Setting up your own business is an exciting time. Save yourself time and money by making sure you plan for the success of your business.

Business planning should be an ongoing business activity. You should regularly review your plans and keep them up to date.

Market research

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.

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.

When determining your fit within the marketplace, your market research should include researching your customers, your competitors and product or services.

Find out more about conducting market research.

Business plan

Once you have conducted research into the feasibility of your new business you are ready to write your business plan. Investing time and focus in creating a detailed, well-structured business plan will give you direction and help your business become a success.

Depending on what type of business you intend to start, your business plan could include elements such as a marketing plan and financial plan.

Business planning is an ongoing business activity - you should regularly review your business plan to keep it up to date.

Marketing plan

A marketing plan assists you to integrate your total marketing effort. It should detail your approach to developing products and services to meet the needs of your target market.

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.

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.

Emergency plan

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.

Download an emergency management and recovery guide and template. You might also like to download the MyBizShield tablet app that provides you with a template to get started.