Business plans focus on how your organisation will operate to achieve your short to long-term goals. Business plans guide the implementation of strategies, support good governance, focus on resources and effort as well as monitor and evaluate organisational performance against budgets and targets. They help ensure your programs are viable and keep you focussed on what is most important.
- Business plans are useful for organisations or a single project or program
- A business plan provides a reference point for other plans such as project plans
Basic business plans cover your implementation program and provide the details of why and how things are to be achieved. They also include a budget, avenues for support and a timeframe. Depending on the complexity of the initiative you may also need to provide details about contingencies, interrelated parts of a project, responsibilities and how to measure the results.
Questions worth asking
- Which parts of your plan depend on other parts? Have you allowed for this?
- What resources will you need (funds, people, equipment) and when?
- How will you provide these resources?
- Have you tested your assumptions?
- Are there things you should find out more about before making decisions?
- What might go wrong? How to prevent it and what to do if you can’t?
- Have you prioritised your time, resources and attention?
- How will you know your progress?
- Use your strategic plan as a reference point
- Involve everyone who is relevant – including people from different groups
- Allow for unforeseen events such as staff changes or changes in economic conditions
- Think carefully through the order in which things need to happen
- Allow time for reflection and be prepared to revise your plan if things change