Planning your E-business
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A business plan is a detailed written document that describes all aspects of a proposed venture - its planned activities, projected earnings and expenses, financing needs, management team, marketing plan, even its location.
Developing a plan for your e-business is essential as it is a tool that assists you in evaluating your business idea, obtaining financing, outlining the goals of your business and putting them into actionable objectives, as well as guiding you and any employees in operating the business once it is established.
Whilst there are many variants to the elements of a business plan, the following sections are usually included:
Executive Summary: an outline of what is contained in the full plan document, providing enough information for readers to understand the key points, what is unique about the business and why the business will be successful.
Business Profile: includes a description of your business, reasons for going into the venture, your business structure, as well as registrations, licences, permits and insurance requirements.
Market Analysis: an analysis of the market in which your business will operate, including research on your customers, competitors, and the industry.
Product or Service Description: an outline of the products and services that your business will offer, as well as sales forecasts. Also included is information relating to suppliers and intellectual property.
Strategy and Implementation: an explanation of the various strategies that have been identified and implemented for your business. This includes marketing, pricing, distribution and competitive strategies.
Operating Plan: a plan that identifies the operations of your business; including information on staffing, systems and processes, equipment, facilities and general risk management.
Management Plan: a plan that identifies your management team's key roles, job descriptions, and organisational structure.
Financial Plan: a plan that outlines the financing and budgeting aspects of your business. Included are key financial statements, budgets, as well as sources of finance that will utilised to obtain capital for the venture.
Action Plan: a plan of action that integrates all the identified strategies, designed to achieve the mission and goals of the business.
It is important to evaluate the business' performance compared to objectives identified within the business plan, as well as update and adjust the plan in relation to any necessary changes or additions. This should be done periodically, so as to ensure that the business meets its targets as well as to address any issues regarding the business' performance.
For an e-business plan template, visit digitalbusinessguide.gov.au.
For more information on how to develop a business plan, visit toolkit.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au.
 E-business. Greg Holden et. al.