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How to set your goals with business planning

Setting goals for your business helps you keep an eye on the bigger picture. Learn why and how business planning is key to success with our new Business Planning section.

When you’re busy with the day-to-day demands of your business, it can be hard to step back, look up and see if you’re heading in the right direction. That’s where business planning can really help.

Business.govt.nz has a new Business Planning 101 section to help you.

By setting goals, knowing who your customers – and competitors – are, and much more, you can outline the path you want your business to take.

Unsure what business planning is? Think your business can manage without it? This section explains:

Business planning varies between businesses, but we suggest you think about an overview of your business and market, your financial situation, your team, and your marketing strategy.

Keep your business plan short, simple and easy to understand, and keep your goals realistic.

Keep your business plan short, simple and easy to understand, and keep your goals realistic.

When it's right for your business

You should always be thinking about where your business is heading, but there are some key dates when taking time away from daily operations to sort out your future is important. For example, starting out is when you need to work out the price of your product, how much income you want, who you are going to sell to, and a range of other aspects. Likewise, if you’re looking for an investor, they’ll want to see that you’ve thought about these things and are confident that you’ve planned for the future.

Some businesses fall into the trap of making a big decision before they do business planning. That’s the wrong way to go about it. Business planning helps you focus on what you really want to achieve, including the lifestyle you want.

Accordian House of Dumplings 03

Case study

Vicky Ha of House of Dumplings describes her business plan as being more about figures than words. She plans to grow her business first nationwide and then internationally – but only once she’s confident customers want to buy her product.

The first time she sold her dumplings at a market, she had spent 17 hours making them, and they sold out in just two hours.

“Priority number one is making sure someone wants your product. Is your food that amazing or that special? And don’t ask your family.”

Since launching in 2012, House of Dumplings has grown from its small-scale beginnings. “Today we’ve got our market stall, our restaurant, we’re in supermarkets and do catering and cooking classes,” says Ha.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to create a business plan, but we’ve got some suggestions for the key things to consider in our How to create a business plan section.

Your business plan is a living document — don’t leave it to gather dust on a shelf.

Your business plan is a living document — don’t leave it to gather dust on a shelf.

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