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Business Planning

Course CodeBBS302
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

STUDY BUSINESS PLANNING ONLINE

A business plan sets out the method for running a specific activity over a specific future period.

The specific activity could be the business operations of a sole trader or of a global conglomerate, it may also refer to the business as a whole or as a department, and it can apply to a business venture, charity or non profit making organisation.

The future period might be the first six months of a new company, five years in the life of an existing company or the entire duration of a project. Usually, there is a detailed focus on the next 12 months, which is set against a more general plan for the next three to five years.

A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions.

Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application. Additionally, it informs sales personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals.

It is simply a written document that describes the future path of a business. A good business plan explains the business concept, summarizes the objectives of the business, identifies the resources (both in terms of money and people) that will be needed by the business, describes how those resources will be obtained, and tells the reader why the business will succeed.

This course helps you to develop such a document in a way that is practical, has a clear focus and is able to be applied with minimal fuss.


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Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Business Planning
    • The business plan
    • strategic and operational planning
    • feasibility studies
    • the executive summary.
  2. Focus and Direction
    • Deciding on direction
    • visualising future business directions
    • vision and mission statements
  3. Legal and Administrative Requirements
    • Legal structure of a business
    • business names
    • taxation
    • regulations
    • licenses and permits
    • types of business ownership
  4. Developing Objectives and Strategies
    • Setting goals and objectives
    • SWOT and GAP analyses
    • strategies for achieving objectives
  5. Planning for Growth
    • Planned as opposed to runaway growth
    • subcontracting
    • franchising
    • licensing
    • the growth plan
  6. Risk Management and Contingencies
    • Approaches to risk management
    • identifying business risks
  7. Systems
    • System components
    • the quality audit
    • benchmarking
    • business plans as a mechanism of control
  8. Marketing Plans
    • The definition of marketing
    • marketing requirements
    • the marketing process
    • market research
    • implications of unplanned marketing
  9. Operation Plans
    • Control of business operations
    • writing an operation plan
  10. Human Resource Plans
    • The value of human resources
    • occupational health and safety
    • skills and competencies of different staff
  11. Financial Plans
    • The importance of financial planning
    • establishment costs and start up capital
    • cash flow forecasts
    • profit and loss statements

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Describe what a business plan is, and it main components
  • Differentiate between a vision statement and a mission statement
  • Discuss legal and administrative requirements of a business
  • Explain the importance of a business name
  • Explain the importance of setting goals and objectives in a business setting
  • Describe strategies for coping with growth
  • Describe different types of business risks
  • Explain marketing process
  • Explain operations planning
  • Explain the importance of human resources
  • Explain the purpose of financial planning

What You Will Do

  • Interview a business owner regarding their business plan
  • Visualise the state of a current business in 12 months time
  • Contact a Government Department to determine the relevant licenses, permits, approvals and registrations necessary to set up a business
  • Interview current business owners to determine their strategies and objectives for the next year
  • Identify aspects of a business that would need attention in high growth periods
  • Identify risks to a proposed business
  • Investigate mechanisms for protection of intellectual copyright
  • Investigate the potential of a business currently for sale
  • Evaluate the operations of a current business
  • Develop an operations plan for a newly conceived business proposal
  • Identify potential hazards of a proposed business
  • Identify expenses relevant to setting up a proposed business

PLAN TO MANAGE RISK
 

Risk can be unpredictable and unexpected – the impact of risk may be manageable, or it may end up closing your business. A flood for example can be mopped up and the consequences may not be too disastrous. A fire may wipe out your building, the building may be insured, but you have not backed up your computer system (off-site), so you lose all your customer base, intellectual property and perhaps production systems. This could spell disaster for your business. An employee may injure themselves at work – you did not have correct OH&S procedures in place. The courts find you negligent and you are confronted with a huge payout that your insurance company will not pay (due to a clause in your policy that finds you responsible for negligence not them). Or you were uninsured. You could lose your business.

Risk is not just associated with the floods, fires and litigation though – there are many types of risk that you will face in a business: All business has risks and all business operators need to identify and minimize risk.

The types of risk you may face include: 
  • Production Risks
  • Financial Risks
  • Marketing Risks
  • Management Risks
  • Personal Risks
  • Political Risk
  • Other Risks

What if Something Goes Wrong in a Business

You need to plan for continuity when a problem threatens to stall business.
Business continuity plans are usually made of one or more of the plans listed below:

  • Disaster recovery planning - A disaster recovery plan enables organisations to recover mission-critical applications, data, and technologies at an alternate site.
  • Contingency planning - A contingency plan allows the organisation to manage any external event which might have devastating or catastrophic impacts on the business operation.
  • Business resumption planning - A business resumption plan allows the organisation to resume its mission critical operations at the same production site as usual, by implementing specific workarounds until the application and impacted services are restored.
  • Business recovery planning - A business recovery plan allows the organisation to restore its mission critical business processes and business operations at an alternate site.

Businesses and organisations aim at restoring critical systems within a couple of hours, and in the event of a disaster, high-availability systems and services should be prioritised and these systems and services should be recovered as quickly as possible.

Consulting, planning assistance and recovery assistance
Organisations should consider consulting and planning assistance when it comes to planning for their business continuity and disaster recovery processes and procedures.

  • Software consulting: A lot of service providers are able to offer consulting for organisations coupled with management software for business continuity planning, as well as hot-site facilities.
  • Hardware consulting: Organisations can also refer to hardware vendors who can offer continuity planning consultancy and rapid hardware replacement shipment and/or hot-site facilities.
  • E-commerce continuity consulting: Organisations can refer to networking vendors and communications vendors who can offer high-availability networking and fast and reliable recovery solutions.
  • Product related consulting: Organisations can refer to consultants who offer analysis, audits and objective recommendations on specific products and services necessary for the organisation to maintain its business continuity.

When it comes to obtaining assistance for data, systems and services recovery, organisations can consider the following recover assistance methods:

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) insurance:
When businesses and organisations purchase hardware and IT equipment, the hardware companies supplying the equipment will most of the time offer insurance to guarantee the replacement of any faulty hardware part or equipment with a similar piece of hardware within a specified period of time. Many organisations opt to take out such insurance policies, because it would cost them less than 10% of the monthly maintenance bill.

Rapid shipment:
When hardware components need to be replaced, the hardware vendors will generally provide fast shipment of the replacement parts at an additional cost to the clients. Therefore, organisations and businesses should consider paying the extra premium to guarantee rapid shipment of any hardware items which might be faulty or which can stop in the event of a disaster.

 


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Meet some of our academics

David CrothersChartered Accountant with 20 years experience in corporate and financial roles. David has a FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons), Cert IV TAA. Extensive international experience in business and finance.
Denise Hodges Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for health and wellness. Denise has an Adv.Dip.Bus., Dip. Clothing Design, Adv.Dip.Naturopathy (completing).
Kate GibsonKate has 12 years experience as a marketing advisor and experience as a project manager. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia. Kate has a B.Soc.Sc, Post-Grad. Dip. Org Behaviour (HR).


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