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Why it’s important to plan for your business

Having a solid business plan from the start can help you to prepare answers to a lot of the questions that will come up during the first year of running your business.

Your business plan can guide you to:

  • set realistic goals you want your business to achieve
  • track your progress against the goals you have set
  • know what to prioritise in your business
  • sell your business idea to others (e.g. potential investors)
  • know what to do when things don’t go to plan.

Did you know?

Your business plan is an important tool if you’re looking to get finance for your business through third parties such as getting a loan or finding investors.

What is a business plan?

A business plan sets down what you want to achieve out of your business and how you will do it.

It’ll include details on your business, what your product and services are, how your finances will work, and set goals for what you would like to achieve. 

A business plan explains:

  • what your business is
  • why you’re in business
  • how your business works
  • where you’ll operate your business
  • how you will generate profit
  • who your customers are
  • why your business is important

Planning your marketing strategy

Aside from your business plan, it’s also a good idea to include a marketing plan as part of your business planning.

A marketing plan helps you to plan how you are going to market your business.

While there are many different ways you can choose to advertise and spread the word of your products and services, a marketing plan will help you find the most effective ways to do it.

A good marketing plan helps you to:

  • identify your target audience
  • identify who your competitors are
  • develop a marketing strategy to make your business stand out

Find out more

Read about marketing plans in Marketing to your customers or in Business Victoria's Write a marketing plan

How to write a business plan

Before you start writing your plan, it’s important to analyse your business idea, concept and why you want to be in business.

This will help you when you’re setting your business goals.

To start off with, your business plan should include information on:

  • your business – e.g. how you operate, your registrations, staff, location and premises, products and services you offer
  • your market – e.g. who you are selling to, how you will reach your audience, who your competitors are
  • your future – e.g. your business vision, business goals, milestones for your business
  • your finances – e.g. how will you finance your business, what are your projected income and expenditures.

In your plan you can also consider other details such as:

  • How are the products or services you provide different from others in the market?
  • Do you need to protect your brand or product ideas through intellectual property?
  • Do you need a website for your business?
  • How do you plan to market your business?
  • Do you intend to change the services or products you provide in the future?
  • How do you see your business growing?

If you don’t know what to include into your business plan, our Business plan template can help you get started. 

Did you know?

Your business plan shouldn’t be a document you create once and never look at again. It's a living guide that needs to be developed as your business grows and changes.

Remember to review and update your business plan when your business and circumstances change. You may even want to set yourself a reminder to review your business plan regularly!

Templates and tools to help you get started

Check out our information, tools and templates to help you start planning your business:

You can also check out these state government resources for business plans: