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What Exactly Should Your Business Plan Include?

When you are first setting up a business, understanding exactly what you are setting out to achieve can be a daunting task. But a business plan takes some of that stress away by helping to cement your business idea into achievable goals. It can be as simple as dot pointing your strategy on the back of an envelope, or a 30-page report of what your business is hoping to achieve.

However, a formal business plan should consist of specific information that you can present to investors (or a bank, or just your spouse) as an indication of how your business will succeed.

Your Concept

What is the point of the business? In this section, try to outline your plan succinctly.  You should discuss the industry that your business will be operating within, what structure your business will take, the particular product or service

Actioning The Strategy

What goals do you have for your business? When and how will you reach your goals? Do you have a clear set of steps that you need to take to implement your strategy into being?

Why Your Product?

What’s the competitive advantage of your product over the others in your field? Are you a solicitor who specialises in family law? Do you sell vintage merchandise for Aussie Rules football teams?

What niche does your business fulfil that your customers need? Provide solid information about your product to your readers, and explain the reasoning behind why your customers will want to purchase your product, and not those of your competitors.

The Market

Who are your target customers? What demographics do your customers primarily lie in? How will you attract and retain enough customers to make a profit? What methods will you use to capture your audience? What sets your business apart from the competition?

Answering these questions will assist you in planning out your marketing strategy, and demonstrate to your investors that you understand how you will be targeting your customers.

Financial Needs

These will be based on your projected financial statements. These statements provide a model of how your ideas about the company, its markets and its strategies will play out.

Obviously, a report that outlines your business plan is probably preferable to a scrap of an envelope, but the main point to this is working through the business idea in a written form that you can take to your business strategists to formulate a more comprehensive and viable business plan that aligns with your goals.

As you write your business plan, stick to facts instead of feelings, projections instead of hopes, and realistic expectations of profit instead of unrealistic dreams of wealth. Facts—checkable, demonstrable facts—will invest your plan with the most important component of all: credibility.

It’s time to start writing that business plan if:

  • You have a new idea for a business and want to explore its feasibility
  • Your industry is undergoing significant changes and dramatic developments, and you want to map them out for your current business
  • You’re looking to sell your business and want to establish a value for it that can be supported by facts and figures.
  • You require financing for your business idea and want to plan out how you’ll expend the resources you’re committing.

If you’re looking for assistance with planning for your business’s future, you can come speak with us.

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.

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What our Client Say

John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier

David and Alison Parker

I have been consulting J L Noller and Co. (more specifically Jane) for six years and during this time I have found her to be professional, efficient and easy to discuss all accounting and taxation matters with. Her office team are all polite and friendly also.

David and Alison Parker

Business Owner

Carl Gillmore

I have used Jane & the team for the last 6 years for all of my business & personal accounting needs. They have always been professional, easy to talk to & available when we have needed assistance.

Carl Gillmore

Carl Gillmore Landscape

John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier