Running your own business is exciting and challenging all at once. Whatever your goals, we’d like to help you get off to a great start. A business plan will help you develop a crystal clear vision of your business and keep you focussed on your goals.
Here are some tips you might like to consider to help you write a business plan. It’s a general guide so please seek professional advice for your own business.
Here’s what your business plan might look like. We’ve also included a section-by-section breakdown later in this guide.
Summarise the essence of your business.
Give an overall description of what your business is and where you want it to go.
An assessment of your market, customers and competitors. Do a SWOT analysis.
Detail your sales, marketing, promotional, distribution, and pricing strategies.
How will your business will be managed and staffed? Detail the responsibilities of key staff members.
Detail how your business will operate, include information about your premises, equipment, materials, licences, consents, insurance, suppliers and systems.
How is your business going to be viable? Provide profit and loss forecasting, cash flow, capital expenditure and information on how loans and investors will be repaid.
If disaster strikes, what is your contingency plan? Detail how you will keep your business operating.
Consider having an independent professional help develop your business plan too; someone such as an accountant. It may carry more credibility, particularly if it includes cash flow forecasts that the professional can endorse.
This section gives an overall description of what your business is and where you want it to go. Key points to include here are:
Then think about who would buy your product or service and why it’s better or different from your competitors’ products or services. Consider what you will charge for your product or service, and what your sales targets are in order to break even.
This section details your sales and marketing strategy, products and services, promotional and distribution strategies, as well as pricing.
Your plan should answer questions such as:
Who are your key people? They make a big difference to your business performance. Think about questions such as:
Key questions you should answer about how your business will operate might include:
We recommend you talk to a finance professional in your industry when you complete this section. If you’re looking for an ASB business or rural loan, talk to us today, we might be able to help.
Consider the following:
Some things you may need to prepare:
Rule of thumb: When it comes to finances and forecasting be conservative, double your expenditure and halve your sales forecasts.
If disaster strikes, it’s important to have contingency plans in place to ensure your business can trade afterwards.
For example, what would happen if your business lost electricity or internet access for more than 24 hours, or if a key supplier was suddenly unable to operate?
Think about how your business might be affected and plan a number of ways you might be able to work around these problems. It’s a good idea to develop a business continuity plan that you can activate if the business suffers a major setback of this nature.
You’ll find more about business continuity planning at resilientbusiness.co.nz.
ASB’s lending criteria, terms and fees apply.
The above information is a guide only and should not be relied on as it does not take into account the financial situation of your business. You should seek your own professional advice to suit the particular needs of your business.