Planning your business

Why you need a business plan

Writing a business plan may be less exciting than dreaming about your business – but it could be the key to making your business dreams come true. Here’s why you need one.

Reading time: 3 minutes

In this article

Keeps you on track

A good business plan helps you plan where you want to go; your future end destination illuminated by the milestones along the way. At any time, a quick glance at your business plan lets you determine if you’re on track to achieve your goals, or whether you might have to steer the boat back on course. 

Decision-making tool

Your business may feel like it’s getting somewhere – but is it where you’d choose, or is there a better way? A business plan helps you steer towards a clear destination by giving you a blueprint for future growth. 

A business plan also identifies areas of your business you might have previously overlooked that need attention, or areas that present an opportunity to implement something new or different. 

A smart investment

Completing a business plan will help you think through each aspect of your proposed business and transform your ideas into practical steps that you can follow. The process will sharpen your ideas which will give clarity to your purpose and concept.

Sharing your vision

A business plan provides a focus and motivation for you and your staff. It’ll help you share your vision for the business, turn that vision into action, and measure your progress along the way.

Your business plan demonstrates confidence by showing you’ve thought through your ideas and translated them into achievable steps. 

People who will use your business plan

You, along with your management team and staff, will be the main users of your business plan and financial forecasts. But the information will also be useful to professionals who provide you with business services. 

For example, a business plan will give your bank the information they need when:

  • Setting up your cash management
  • Setting up funding and investment services
  • Considering applications for finance. 

Your accountant will often help you prepare your business plan (particularly the financial statements), but they’ll also use the information you provide in the plan to offer further advice.

Your lawyer can provide advice on the way you structure your business and enter agreements (such as leases) with other parties. Business plans and financial forecasts give the background information your lawyer needs. 

A business plan is also vital for showing investors what your business is about and how you plan to make them money.

Before you begin 

Before you launch into writing your plan, consider some of these useful tips. 

Gather all the necessary information

If you’ve already made some sales, you should have financial statements that include profit figures, sales figures, and business costs.

Be realistic

It’s easy to be overly optimistic about new ideas – but beware of rose-tinted glasses. Think about the targets you’ve set and whether they’re appropriate at this stage in your business’ life cycle.

Plan for balanced growth

Growth that is too rapid or too slow could cause difficulties.

Change is constant

Your business plan should recognise that things like markets, consumer needs, trends, technology, products, and services are constantly evolving. Can you show how your business will keep up?

Think long-term

Your business plan will naturally focus on the year ahead. But you should also consider issues that will affect your business as far ahead as five years’ time. That way, you can put a plan in place that will set your business up for future success.

How to create an effective business plan

Create a simple, yet effective business plan: from setting SMART objectives to conducting a SWOT analysis, understanding your customers to marketing strategies.

How to get started

Your business plan can take any shape, but it can be helpful to work to a template. The key is to keep your plan short, simple, and practical, so it’s easy to implement. Otherwise, it’ll end up gathering dust on a shelf. 

Contact an ANZ Business Specialist

Our specialists understand your kind of business and the challenges you face as a business owner. We can help you figure out how to make your business grow and succeed.

Popular planning your business articles

ANZ Business Start-up package

If you’re in your first two years of business, sign up and pay no transaction or monthly account fees on an ANZ Business Current account or a ANZ Business Flexible Facility for two years.

Important information

We’ve provided this material as a complimentary service. It is prepared based on information and sources ANZ believes to be reliable. ANZ cannot warrant its accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use. The content is information only, is subject to change, and isn’t a substitute for commercial judgement or professional advice, which you should seek before relying on it. To the extent the law allows, ANZ doesn’t accept any responsibility or liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising from any act or omissions by any person relying on this material.

Please talk to us if you need financial advice about a product or service. See our financial advice provider disclosure at

Was this content helpful?