Guide to Writing a Business Plan

Your business plan is a working document. It is not meant to be written and then forgotten. You should review it regularly and if necessary change it to ensure your plan (and your business) stays focused on the objectives.

1. Use this template to write your own short business plan. If you’re looking for a business plan template to assist in getting a bank loan visit http://plansandchecklists.business.vic.gov.au 2. The text in RED is instructional. You should delete it before printing or sending your plan. 3. Any text in blue indicates a link to a webpage or document. Press control and click anywhere in the link to launch the page. You should delete these links before printing or sending your plan. 4. Keep your sentences short and concise. Use bulleted lists to highlight key points. 5. Break up your paragraphs with extra headings, as shown with the example business text. 6. This template works best when used in Microsoft Word ’97-2007

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<your logo here>

<Business Name>

Business Plan
<Business Address>

Prepared By:

<Your Name>

Table of Contents

1. Business Overview ...................................................................................3 2. Products/Services .....................................................................................4 3. Business Structure and Management....................................................6 5. Competition ................................................................................................9 7. Finances....................................................................................................13 8. Action Plan................................................................................................15 Appendix I: Competitor Analysis..............................................................16 Appendix II: Strategic SWOT Analysis.....................................................17

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1. Business Overview
Include in your overview: • • • • what your business does, your products or services how long you have been operating the industry you’re in point of difference over your competitors—such as different location, cheaper price or better service—and key benefits to your consumers where the business will be in two-to-five years and how this will be achieved, e.g. your position financially and in the market place (you may need to complete this after you’ve worked through the other sections)

Outline of services Example Business is a complementary medicine business based in Melbourne. The primary service is Kinesiology which promotes physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual health.

History Example Business has been in operation since February 2009 and sits within the Health Services and Complementary Medicine / Alternative Health Therapies industry. Example Business has one owner/manager and no staff are employed at this stage. Point of difference The business stands out from other complementary medicine businesses by: • being a holistic therapy which treats the whole person (physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual) • adopting a modality with a process that is natural, gentle, safe, non-invasive and for people of any age and gender (including pets) • encompassing an education program that teaches clients to self heal (clients are often looking for more than just an hour treatment) • focussing on a strong online marketing presence • maintaining affordable services such as concessional rates and first session specials Service benefits From my personalised Kinesiology process, clients will be treated as a ‘whole person’ with a better understanding of the inner workings of their lives. Clients will be empowered with the knowledge and tools to heal and be healthy. The business will be accessible to a wider range of clients through: affordability, Kinesiology requires an average of only a few sessions per issue, and close proximity to local transport. Five year plan In five years, Example Business will have a network of clients in the Melbourne region and a national and international following in the online

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environment. The business will be sustainable with the ability to support the owner/manager on a full time basis.

2. Products/Services
Describe what you are going to offer your customers, including:


• • • • • Tip

exactly what you are going to sell or provide and how it will be produced branding and packaging (where applicable) ongoing product or service development your product/service’s features and how they compare to major competitors the price and how you have determined it (by considering production costs, labour and other overheads) any dealings with supplier/s

Get information about defining your product

Service: now and ongoing Kinesiology is the primary service. The training for this has been completed as at December 2009. The supporting equipment and stock have been purchased within the start-up budget allocated. Ongoing training and industry networking activities will be sought throughout the year through short courses, conferences and research. This will ensure skills and knowledge are kept up to date and to broaden the services offered. 20 CPE (continuing professional education) hours per year are a requirement for association, health fund and insurance membership. Branding A logo with the business name has been designed and implemented on all marketing and advertising material to enable brand recognition and to ensure a consistent image is maintained. This includes business cards, flyers, posters, articles, online business listings and the business website. The logo represents the idea of balance, a key aim of Kinesiology. The colour yellow is the main colour due to its association with happiness and energy. Price Since completing the final level of training in Kinesiology, the price for a session is based on timeframe and full rate or concessional: 1. $80/$65 for one hour (full rate/concession card holders) 2. $110/$90 for one and a half hours Price was determined by the average price of Kinesiologists in the Melbourne region who practice at the same level. To be both affordable to

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as many clients within the target audience and to charge an ethical amount, the lower end of the scale was chosen. Clients with eligible private health fund membership will also be able to receive a rebate. Price was also determined by ongoing business expenses which include: association and insurance membership, stock replacement, room rental, gas and electricity supply, telephone and internet services, further training, marketing and advertising. At the end of each financial year the price will be reviewed based on industry trends, business expenses and any further training attained. Suppliers In the future the business may expand to include product sales. At the moment, suppliers for equipment and stock have been sourced and registered with. The business is purchasing these at practitioner prices.

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3. Business Structure and Management

Describe the ownership structure (such as sole trader, partnership, company) including: • • • • • Tip reasons for chosen structure any trademarks, patents, web addresses and other intellectual property you need to protect owners and any legal agreements you may need any key staff, their involvement, responsibilities and expected salaries your exit strategy

Structure The structure of the business is Sole Trader. The benefits of this structure include: low level of legal and tax formalities involved in setting up the business, inexpensive to set-up as a sole trader, and the control and profit remains entirely with the business owner. Protection The business has registered the name ‘Example Business’ in Victoria only. As a sole trader, the business has no protection from a company to take the name due to ATO laws. The business has registered two URLs ‘www.examplebusiness.com.au’ and ‘www.examplebusiness.net.au’. This needs to be renewed every two years. The business has not registered a trademark or any other IP. Owners and staff As a sole trader, the business does not have any legal or informal agreement with any other owner or business. The business does not employ any staff. This is a consideration for the five year mark.

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4. Market Analysis
Research your market and industry. Consider the following sources: industry profiles on IBISWorld (which can be viewed for free at any Victorian Business Centre), trade magazines, government reports such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, consumer surveys, running focus groups, identifying your competitors, online keyword analysis etc. Briefly outline what market your product/service will serve and why. For example, if you plan to publish a magazine, you need to know about publishing trends, online competitors, other publications that cover your market (including their circulation, advertising rates, reader profiles) and identify a viable gap to fill. Make sure you include: • • • • • Tip who will buy your product or service where your market is located: local, regional, state, national or international the state of the market: is it growing, declining, segmented? market influences such as seasonal price fluctuations or trends the price range: based on your target market will it be high, low or in the middle

Target audience Complementary medicine targets people of all ages from babies to the elderly. Kinesiology can also be used with pets. Kinesiology targets any problem from physical complaints such as pain and disease, emotional problems such as depression, mental problems such as memory loss to spiritual problems such as life goals. To further define the audience, Example Business specialises in: • Women’s health o While females comprised half the population in 2004-05, they accounted for 62% of people who had visited a complementary health therapist in the previous two weeks (of the census) and 56% of people who had visited other health professionals. • Sleep disorders o Over 1.2 million Australians experience sleep disorders. • Stress, anxiety and depression o Depression is one of the most common of all mental health problems. One in five people experience depression at some stage of their lives. While everyone feels anxious from time to time, some people experience these feelings so often and/or so strongly that it can affect their everyday lives. • Emotional and spiritual well being

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Location The location of the business is currently Brunswick on the North side of Melbourne. The council is Moreland City. The service requires clients to travel to Brunswick. While the business has attracted clients from other areas of Melbourne such as the Southern Metro region, the target is mainly the inner and outer Northern suburbs. North Melbourne is suffused with successful complementary medicine businesses which highlights the community as common customers of complementary medicine. This is also a challenge to the business with a high number of competitors. A move to another affluent area that is less dominated is a possibility. From a national and international perspective, the business website utilises online social networking in the form of blog posts. The purpose of this is to support and educate those that cannot travel to the clinic or cannot afford the services. Market trends The enumerated population (those counted on census night in Moreland) was 135,205. However, the estimated resident population count (an estimate that accounts for people not counted in the census) was 144,015 (as at 30 June 2007). Individual income varies considerably with the majority earning somewhere between $150 and $799 per week. This data related to people aged 15 years and over. Over 6,000 individuals in the Moreland area work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. The highest age group in Moreland is 20 to 44 years. People who visit health professionals tend to be older than the general population, because illness increases with age. However, the proportion of the population who visited complementary health therapists was highest between the ages 25 and 64 years (ABS). Since the 2006 Census it is estimated that the Moreland community will increase by 1 to 1.5% each year. There are currently 10,200 registered businesses. Several reports indicate that over 50% of Australians are using alternative therapies and this number is increasing significantly. Influences Despite the recent economic recession, the trend toward alternative therapies is increasing. The ABS reports that "Complementary health therapists are relatively small occupation groups but have been growing fast, according to census data. Likewise, the number of people who reported having consulted such a therapist in a two-week period increased from around 500,000 in 1995 to almost 750,000 in 2004-05 (ABS 2008).

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An IBISWorld special report for 2010 predicted alternative health therapies will be the seventh highest growth industry for 2010, with an increase of 5.1%. Growth “has been encouraged by better acceptance and understanding of treatments, rising consumer focus on health due to Australia’s ageing population and increased coverage of alternative health therapies by private health insurance providers.” Price fluctuations are uncommon other than those related to inflation. Price range Given the average income in the Moreland City Council is in the middle socio-economic bracket, the price will remain on the lower end of the scale. This is coupled with a marketing approach that targets affordability. 5. Competition

List details about your competitors including: • • • • • Tips • who and where they are how you'll position your product or service against them your product/service features against theirs and what gives you a competitive edge the benefit/s of your service/product in comparison to the competition comparison of your pricing, promotion and distribution

To help you assess your strengths and weaknesses against your competitors, complete the Competitor Analysis Template, Appendix I

Competitor’s profile According to the census, 8,600 people were employed in Australia as complementary health therapists in 2006. This was 80% higher than the number in 1996. The leading occupations were naturopaths (2,980) and chiropractors (2,490), up 56% and 45% respectively from 1996. The fastest growing group was osteopaths, tripling in number between 1996 and 2006. Over the same period, the Australian population increased by 12% and the total number of health professionals rose by 31%. The majority of each type of complementary health therapist were owner managers, ranging from 91% of homeopaths to 72% of naturopaths. The Moreland City Council region has a particularly large number of complementary medicine businesses ranging from home based and small shopfront clinics to larger scale multi-disciplinary health centres. Point of difference

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The business stands out from other complementary medicine businesses by: • being a holistic therapy which treats the whole person (physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual) • adopting a modality with a process that is natural, gentle, safe, non-invasive and for people of any age and gender (including pets) • encompassing an education program that teaches clients to self heal (clients are often looking for more than just an hour treatment) • focussing on a strong online marketing presence • maintaining affordable services such as concessional rates and first session specials Service edge Example Business approaches complementary medicine in a holistic way by treating the ‘whole person’ and giving clients a better understanding of their lives. Clients will be empowered with the knowledge and tools to heal and be healthy. Kinesiology promotes physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual health. Price and promotion comparison For similar services, pricing ranges from $70 to $180 per hour in the Melbourne region. Those on the higher end of the scale have increased their prices due to further training and extensive experience. Example Business has set the price at the lower end of the scale to enable accessibility to a wide range of clients without undercutting the competition (predatory pricing).

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6. Marketing Strategy

Show how consumers will find out about your product/service including: • where, how and when you will promote your product/service such as shopping centre promotions, point of sale, viral marketing, billboards, loyalty schemes, etc what type of printed materials you’ll create your website or online presence details and cost of advertising including print, online, TV and radio product/service launch plans how you will measure the success of your marketing strategy and various promotions how pricing will encourage sales (e.g. selling in bulk) ‘wishlist’ for further marketing in the future (ideas to look at further down the track with more $ or more experience)

• • • • • • • Tips •

To help you assess which marketing strategies will best reach your target market, complete the Strategic SWOT Analysis Template, Appendix II

Promotion During the initial set-up phase and the first few years of business, the budget for marketing is minimal. Whilst the majority of clientele seek out new therapists by word of mouth, specific marketing tools have been chosen for their cost effectiveness. The business logo and colours will be consistent across all material to encourage brand recognition. The list of current marketing tools is as follows: • Small local newspaper ad (this was found to be ineffective) • Low cost local exhibitions that target lifestyle, health and wellbeing • Website/blog with online business listings (free and low cost) • Small Google Adwords campaign • Letterbox drop with flyers (also found to be ineffective) • Flyers and business cards to be taken to local businesses • Networking with other practitioners Online presence The business website and online listings is the focus for marketing at this stage. Search Engine Optimisation has been a focus for content and functionality. The ‘feature article’ section will allow for a diverse range of topics to be explored. A ‘Subscription’ to email updates is an avenue for further marketing and notifications of new articles and special service prices. From this, Example Business hopes to gain an online community following and increase the discoverability for new clients.

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Example business is listed on Natural Therapy Pages as this is the most widely used practitioner listing in Australia. Other online business listings have been sourced and registered with. This will increase the presence of the website on Google search results. Cost The cost for marketing is: • Printing of business cards (500): $65 • Printing of flyers (200): $22 • Printing of banner for exhibitions: $16 • Website: $3,149.50 • Google Adwords: $1,200 (for one year) • Local newspaper ad: $187.00 Launch Plan The launch of marketing material will be rolled out in three phases: Phase 1 (set-up): Local letter box drop, Natural Therapy Pages listing and local newspaper advertisement Phase 2 (expand): Website launch, Google campaign, further online listings Phase 3 (maintain): Maintain website with new articles and Google advertising (dependent on marketing budget) and exhibition stalls Measuring success Evaluation of the effectiveness of each marketing campaign will be carried out every six months. New clients will be surveyed as to how they found out about Example Business and website analytics will evaluate online trends (both the business website, Google and Natural Therapy Pages allow for analytical tracking). Newspaper ads and letterbox drops have already proven to be ineffective. Business profit will underpin the ability to extend the marketing campaign beyond the current three phases.

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7. Finances

Summarise your financial situation including: • • • Tip Find an accountant to help you by using how you'll finance your business, e.g. business loan, personal funds, investment capital costings, including your start-up costs, salary and fixed overheads financial projections including how much you will need to make to break even, when you are likely to make a profit and growth expectations

Finance Example Business start-up costs were funded by personal savings of $26,088. As the business has begun on a part time basis, a supplementary part time job has been sourced to support the developmental stages. The business has no employees. Basic costing Training: $19,000 Business name registration: $79.50 Insurance: $200.00 (annual) Association membership: $180.00 (annual) Equipment and stock: $3,079 Website development, hosting and domain purchase: $3,149.50 Accountant fee: $400

Financial projections It is estimated that within a five year time period the business will be running full time and at a profit to support the owner/manager. At the eighteen month mark (current), the business is attracting new clients on a weekly basis and is running part time. The desired growth is to reach and maintain twenty sessions per week (an average of four sessions per working week day).

Validate your summary by completing these financial templates and attaching them to the end of your business plan. Download these templates and guides and save them separately. • (MS DOC 40Kb) These are your start-up costs which will not be repeated, e.g. setting up

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premises, licences, buying equipment, market research, etc • (XLS 32Kb) This shows your profit and loss for the first 12 months: this will include sales revenue, product costs and expenses (XLS 51Kb) Most small businesses use their cash flow to show net worth, however this is useful for bigger businesses (XLS 29Kb) Calculate how much cash you will need to keep your business running, irrespective of expected profit, and where it will come from. This will help you determine your overall overheads (PDF 123Kb) This tells you how much money you need to make to run your business and is useful to calculate your required cash flow

Tips • • Access other

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8. Action Plan
Your action plan is the most important part of your business plan. It manages how you’re going to achieve your business plan objectives, so review it regularly and use it to control your activities. List the actions by key areas such as: • • • • establishment legal finance marketing

List the key tasks to be done, by whom and by when. Don’t make them too detailed or they become unworkable. If you don’t achieve a task, reschedule it, but if it’s still not done by the second date, ask why. Is it too large? Is it unclear how it will help the business? Do we have the skills to do it? See example below. Key Objectives Establishment Register business and trademark Research and purchase licences - Rental agreement - Redecorate - Finalise office set up Consult with lawyer Finalise contracts Sign - Get costings - Meet with accountant Identify amount to reduce loan - Review P&L with managers - Complete cash flow plan Review finance documents Identify sales in each quarter for first year Outline plan Agreement and decision on implementation Agree concept Approval of copy Print Distribute brochure CP FB TS 15 Dec 15 Dec 1 Feb Task By Whom By When

Finalise premises Legal Contracts

FB FB TS/CP/TGJ/FB CP FB CP/TS/ FB CP FB TS TS/CP/TGJ/FB TGJ TGJ/CP TGJ TGJ

15 Dec 15 Jan 1 Feb 15 Dec 1 Jan 1 Jan 1 March 1 Jan 1 Feb 1 March 15 March 30 April 10 May 1 June

Finance Determine fixed overheads Determine financial objectives Finalise cash flow plan Finalise initial finance Marketing Determine sales and marketing objectives Determine launch plan

Create a brochure

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Appendix I: Competitor Analysis
Use this table to list your competitors and how you compare against them. Think about how your business can improve on what they are offering.

Competitor Their name

Size Small, medium or large e.g. Staff #s, estimated percentage of market share

Strengths Their main strengths, including their unique value to customers e.g. convenience, price, quality, service *Inner city retreat ambiance *Multi-disciplinary team *Targeted outcome (relax) appropriate for city location *Multiple services/qualifications *Price (offering free mini services) *Multi-disciplinary team *Dispensary of herbs and natural remedies *Health store with books and other products

Weaknesses Their main weaknesses

Total Tranquillity

Small

*Marketing approach may limit their reach *Crowded space for the number of practitioners *Uncommon service type may mean people won’t try it *Narrow approach *Jargon used on marketing material *Location difficult to find *Price is upper market

Life Evolution

Small

Local Holistic Health

Small

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Appendix II: Strategic SWOT Analysis

A strategic SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis will help you turn your knowledge into strategy which you can then turn into actions. It provides direction to the business and its marketing strategies. Use this table to describe your businesses strengths, weaknesses etc and develop strategies that will help you eliminate or mitigate them. Lists ways you can capitalise on your strengths and take advantages of opportunities. Consider turning the strategies into actions using your Action Plan.

Strengths
Advantages the business can exploit, e.g. • good customer service • innovative edge • unique products

Weaknesses
Areas of the business that need to be acted on, e.g. • poor website • not enough staff training

Opportunities

Strategies using strengths to address opportunities
Ways to take advantage of business strengths, e.g. • promoting good customer service to attract competitor’s customers

Strategies to reverse weaknesses to address opportunities
Ways to ensure weaknesses don’t hamper opportunities, e.g. • hiring an experienced trainer to up-skill staff • provide better customer service, something no one is offering well at the moment

Marketplace areas that can be built on, e.g. • gaps in the market • competitor closure

Threats
External issues that could affect the success of the business, e.g. • decrease in consumer demand • sudden increase in costs

Strategies to counter threats with strengths
Ways to use business strengths so threats are not a problem, e.g. • launching new product to revitalise consumer demand

Strategies to fix vulnerabilities
Ways to address areas where the business may be vulnerable, e.g. • utilising new technologies or social media to reach potential customers • adapting green practices to minimise costs

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