For someone starting or buying a business, it seems obvious they should have a business plan. Because businesses are not successful by accident. 

Most clients who walk through my door [or more commonly these days, hop on a zoom call] come in with a grand plan to start their business. But there are ‘plans’ and then there are ‘plans. 


what a business plan is 

First and foremost, a plan is a living, breathing document. It’s not something to draw up and then leave hidden away in the maze of folders once the business is operational. The plan should have clear goals and milestones and a timeframe for achieving them. 

I advise clients to have two plans. 

  1. An overarching one that sets out goals over a 3–5-year period, and 
  2. A more immediate plan with more detail that outlines the strategy for the next year. 

Individual aspects of a business such as marketing strategy can also require a plan. In saying this, I am not suggesting the plan is sacred, that you can’t deviate from the blueprint. You will, and you should.  

What I’m saying is your plan becomes your benchmark and point of reference as the business grows. 


it’s all about the process

Not every business needs to have an incredibly detailed 40-page plan that covers every aspect of the business from here to the moon.

Some of the best business plans I have seen are ‘just’ a plan on a single page.

What’s important is the process you went through to get that plan on the page. It’s about getting the right people together to figure out how your business is going to operate and achieve what it is set out to do.

For some businesses, this does mean spending a few weeks working through the details and crafting an incredibly detailed plan. For others, it is just taking an afternoon to collect your thoughts and get everything important onto the one page.


how a business plan helps 

A plan really helps if you run into a roadblock. Did we envisage the problem? What was our solution? If we didn’t, why not? Does this mean the business plan is fatally flawed? Do we need to address this objectively? 

Business plans should be clear and concise, with the goals clearly articulated. This is not just for your benefit. The business plan sets the foundation for the performance targets in your business. 


keep your team in the loop 

Business plans play a critical role in ensuring your stakeholders are aware of long-term goals and short-term implementation. This includes other shareholders, creditors and, most importantly, your key employees. 

I can’t emphasise enough the importance of communicating the plan to all relevant parties. because it’s critical you are all on the same page. 


test your business plan 

Finally, it’s important to road-test your plan. You might think it is brilliant and you might be right – but get a second opinion. 

Experts will help you assess whether it’s viable from every perspective – marketing, capital requirements, cashflow, etc. 

Small businesses have finite resources, finite budgets and finite time frames. 

When you are in that heady period of getting a business off the ground, it’s easy to forget these limitations. That’s why an expert’s opinion is so important to ensure your feet stay firmly on the ground.  


we’re here to help! 

Need a hand setting up a plan for your business or are looking for an expert business advisor to provide insights on your existing plan? We’d love to help you – just reach out at or give us a buzz at 1300 BDEPOT! 


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general advice disclaimer 

The information provided on this website is a brief overview and does not constitute any type of advice. We endeavour to ensure that the information provided is accurate however information may become outdated as legislation, policies, regulations and other considerations constantly change. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial, investment or legal decision. Please consult with an appropriate professional before making any decision.