How to create a business plan
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to create a business plan. But there are some key things you should consider.
On this page:
- Tips for preparing a business plan
- Implementing your business plan
- Reviewing a business plan
- Common pitfalls
- Be clear and focused about what you want to achieve – this will help align your team so you’re all working toward the same thing.
- Choose the type of business plan that works for you – you may like to have a document, or a business canvas might work better.
- Keep it short, simple and easy to understand.
- Keep your goals realistic and relevant to what is going on in the economy and in your industry.
- Use Statistics New Zealand’s Data for Business website to find useful business tools and statistics.
- Contact Statistics New Zealand to get useful business data.
- Get out and speak with your customers to gain understanding of how your product works for them and whether it’s something they would pay for.
- Ask your advisor or mentor to review your plan and give you feedback and suggested improvements.
- Keep your business plan as a living document – don’t leave it to gather dust on a shelf.
- Make sure it’s easily accessible and top-of-mind for you and your team.
- Reflect your goals in the day-to-day operations of your business.
- Outline the most practical and cost-effective way to achieve each goal – make a note of any extra resources you’ll need.
- Make it clear these goals are the top priority for the business.
- Check how you’re tracking to reach key milestones in your business plan every month, and celebrate when these have been reached.
- Stay on top of industry trends and stay connected with your customers – this will help you stay ahead of any changes needed in your business.
- Update your business plan with any changes affecting your business or industry.
- Not being able to clearly articulate your business and the value it offers to customers.
- Making assumptions about your customers rather than speaking with them.
- Not reviewing and monitoring your business plan.
- Setting unrealistic or uninformed targets.