Business Planning

Learn to create an effective business plan, so you know what you will be doing in your business. This online course will help you ensure that you have sound business practices and contingencies in place in a written plan.

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

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Learn to create a sound and effective business plan- give your business the best start!

Establishing a sound and effective business plan for your business will not only ensure that you are more financially viable, you will also be prepared if something does go wrong. This course will guide you through the essentials of business planning to help you get the best possible outcomes for your business.

Why would you do this course? Whether you wanting to start a new business or if you are already in a business, having a sound strategic and operational plan will help you know where you are heading, the main purpose of your business, your product, customers and make sure you don't get sidetracked along the way.

Planning is the best insurance you can have against failure. 

Running a business, starting a small business, or starting a company: all require proper planning if you want to avoid, or at least minimize failure.

Get the tools you need to avoid wasting very significant amounts of time and money and get your business humming the way you want it to.

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.


  • 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 for Success

In order to make your business a successful one, there needs to be an outline or plan in place to create a focus and direction for the business before it begins.  This outline or map helps the business to formulate what it is that they want to achieve as well as making a future goal of how you want your business to operate. It is a blueprint for your business.  It also allows employees or lending institutions to see your vision and how you plan to map it out to have it come to fruition. 

Plan your direction

In addressing the creation of a vision statement or mission statement, it generates an outline for the intent of the business.  Once this is done, it can be modified later when it is put up against the goals of the business to see if these can be attainable, or if it is something that needs to be adapted into a more realistic vision.  It is important in the beginning to re-evaluate and provide flexibility if needed for the business in this area. 

A crucial step in any planning process is deciding what you really want to do, or achieve, and to be available for changes or alterations to the initial plan as more research and data is compiled.  Once you have developed your vision, objectives, and strategies, it is advisable to re-evaluate your vision and objectives to be sure that they can still be attained.

To do this, you need to visualise your business at a set date in the future and then you also need to take into account all the possible variables and changes that could happen and be able to make strategic alterations if they are necessary. 


What is in a Business Plan?

A typical business plan, might contain the following. Do you know how to put this together?

  • Title
  • Title Page

The Executive Summary
The Executive summary is essentially a miniature business plan. It should summarize all of the significant points of the whole plan in ideally one page. The executive summary sets the tone of the business plan, it can tell the reader what to expect. Infuriatingly, some key decision makers can base finance decisions based on the summary alone, so make sure it’s good!

Table of Contents
Organised list which enables users to find specific items quickly.  This may divide items by sections, pages, chapters, or all of these.

The Main Body

This might contain any or all of the following:

  • Direction
  • Mission/Vision Statements
  • Aims
  • Objectives
  • Business Description (environment, marketplace, structure, growth etc)
  • Business Functions
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Financial
  • Human Resources
  • Systems
  • Quality
  • Innovation
  • Information Technology
  • Control (Incorporating Risk Management)

The Conclusion
What is the business building up to?  What last impression do you want to leave on the reader’s mind?


Details of the main body will become apparent as the course progresses.


Start A Business, or Work in Business Management

  • What is Successful?
  • What is the future?
  • How to make money?
  • How to improve?
  • How to sell?


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David Crothers

Extensive international experience in business and finance. Chartered Accountant with 20 years experience in corporate and financial roles. David has a FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons), Cert IV TAA.
Kate Gibson

Kate 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).
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 healt
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
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