Want a stronger business? A business plan can help

Attempting to grow your broking business without a business plan is like trying to build a house without a blueprint – things just won’t line up when you’re done.

A business plan is where you truly define, in writing, your vision for the business. A plan provides you with clarity, confidence and direction by outlining the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and future success. We explore how to create a business plan and how it can help you grow your business.

The big picture

Regardless of whether your business is a few months or several years old, a business plan is important to helping it grow. Creating a truly useful plan requires time, research and effort. It may be worthwhile consulting professionals – such as an accountant, financial planner, or business coach or advisor – when crafting your business plan.

If you already have a business plan, now’s the time to dust it off, review it and revise it so that it reflects the current state of your business and your future aspirations.

What to include in your plan

Your business plan should clearly articulate who you are as a business and what your goals and objectives are for creating the business plan. It might include:

  • a detailed summary of your business, including who and what your business is about, its structure, staff, products, services and specialties
  • an overview of your key markets and details of your existing customer base
  • an analysis of the industry and market you operate in and an overview of some of your key competitors
  • your future goals (this can include both short-term and long-term objectives and targets), potential opportunities, and strategies and timelines for how you plan to reach them
  • financial information and documentation, such as profit and loss statements, cash flow, budgets, assets, liabilities, projected earnings and sources for future funding.

The Australian Government’s business support website offers a range of handy templates and kitsdesigned to help business owners develop plans, along with fact sheets that address business requirements specific to the financial and insurance services industry.

Check your state or territory government’s business site, too. Many offer free advice sessions for businesses wanting to create or improve their business plans.

Putting your plan into action

Once you’ve developed a plan you’re happy with – one that you feel is a true reflection of your business and its future direction – the next step is to put it into action. Your business plan will help you maintain focus on the goals you’ve set out for yourself. It should become a map that guides the decisions you make, the steps you take and the outcomes you’re striving for.

Consult and refer to your business plan regularly. Are you missing, meeting or exceeding the monthly, quarterly and yearly targets you set? Look at incentives as a way to drive and reward exceptional performance. Alternatively, review results that didn’t meet targets and consider what factors may have influenced the outcome. Does anything in your plan need to be revised to reflect this and rectify future performance?

Business plans can help you gain a deeper understanding of what’s driving your business performance, as well as provide insights into potential opportunities, growth areas and new income avenues. Invest some time in identifying and developing these.

The best business plans are constantly evolving, and reflect the true and current state of your business – to help you move it forward.

For more information about how a business plan can help you grow your mortgage broking business, please contact us.