What is a business plan?
…And do I need one to apply for government funding?
A business plan is a living document and depending on the grant, it is possible that you may or may not need one. As a living document, if you do require one, it will need to be continually updated through the course of your business or project. Your business plan is the fundamental roadmap for how to steer your business or project. It acts as a guide for your business goals and projections and strategies. A well written plan should give you conclusive evidence that all the way from the conceptual beginning ideas to your final exit strategy, weeks, months or years down the track, that your business was economically viable and realistic.
Most grant, funding and loan grantors in Australia will have completely different requirements in order to consider your application for financing. Large amounts for business expansion would most certainly need one because not only does it show the grantor proof that their funds will be well spent, the plan itself gives the business owner a significant form of credibility.
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Credibility that you have done the research, projected the budgets, forecasted the cash flow and that you know your industry or project-concept inside out. On the other hand minor grants for community groups and other businesses may simply require that an application form is lodged. No business plan needed.
On top of these things, just like a good map, a good plan will show potential investors your vision, how you intend to attract talented employees, gain perspective clients or customers, negotiate suppliers/strategic alliances and should also have the power to inspire confidence in your venture within yourself and in others.
For the rest of this article let’s assume that you actually do require a business plan to apply for your funding.
Funded From: Augusta-Margaret River Shire
Industry: Count Me In Inclusion Grants
Category: disability support
Funded From: Commercialisation Australia
Industry: Product Development
Category: Skills and knowledge
Funded From: Dept. of Education
Category: Education and Training
State: Western Australia
Funded From: Shepparton Council
Industry: Community service groups
Category: Community Service