Sustainable Business/The business plan

ABOUT THIS BOOK | THE BUSINESS PLAN | BOOKLETS | PRINT THIS BOOK


Booklet the business plan.jpg

This is a template for a sustainable business plan. It can be used for planning a new business that is yet to start, or an existing business in need of a business plan. Alternatively, it offers some quick reference guidance in some aspects of the business. Copy it into your own word processor and spread sheet calculator. Use the linked information as a guide for each section. You will find information in the Booklets relating to each section of the business plan.

What is the purpose of the business plan?Edit

Write down why you are writing this business plan. It is important that you have a clear reason. Ensure that you refer to this reason as you complete your plan

Business profileEdit

  • The business profile is designed to be an overview of your business and the business plan. It should provide readers with a quick overview of your business, including your values and objectives, so they can get an immediate feel for what you’re doing and where you’re going. Ideally it should be no more than five pages. Comment only on sections relevant to your business.
Useful booklets

Executive summaryEdit

  • What is the purpose of your business?
  • Briefly outline the history (if any) of your business
  • Objectives (where do you want to be in five years?)
Useful booklets

Products/servicesEdit

  • What key products or services are you going to offer?
  • How will you ensure they are delivered in a sustainable manner? Consider how they will be environmentally responsible and contribute positively to the local and wider community. See Examples of sustainable business in the Sustainable Business Practice booklet.
  • List the major requirements you’ll have to comply with, or apply for
  • Where will the business be located?
  • Indicate key people or organisations prepared to help you
Useful booklets

The marketEdit

  • How big is your market? Outline the potential demand
  • Describe the major targets your business will be aiming for
  • What major trends will impact on your business? See sustainable trends in the Sustainable business practice booklet
Useful booklets

Achievements so farEdit

  • List your achievements to date. If you have not started your business then list what you’ve done to prepare yourself
Useful booklets

CompetitionEdit

  • List the major competition
  • Are any of your competition competing on sustainability? For instance, for the café owner, are any of the other cafés offering organic food, or offering end of day food to the homeless shelter etc?
  • Mention any other topics not covered above that are likely to have an impact on your business:
Useful booklets

Your competitive advantagesEdit

  • What are your key competitive advantages?
  • Could sustainability be a competitive advantage for your business?
  • List as many reasons as you can why you are better than your competition:
Useful booklets

Stakeholder engagementEdit

  • Outline how you intend to communicate with your stakeholders (people or organisations that have the ability to influence your business or who are impacted on by your business, eg customers, neighbours, suppliers) and what type of information you will be sharing with them. See also Stakeholder engagement in the Sustainable business practice booklet
  • Collect information from your customers
Useful booklets

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threatsEdit

  • What are the organisations strengths and/or opportunities? Include in your answer, sustainability strengths and opportunities (for instance ability to use environmentally sound materials, ability to create jobs for locals, involvement in community activity, employment of long term unemployed, product safety, employee share ownership scheme)
  • What are the organisations weaknesses and threats? Include in your answer, sustainability weaknesses and threats (for instance, difficulty to source environmental materials, difficulties in accessing skilled labour to develop environmental technology)
Useful booklets

Sustainable Business PracticeEdit

This business plan includes prompts to help you consider how to build a sustainable (in the sense of environmentally and socially responsible) as well as a long-life business.

In addition to the prompts throughout the business plan, complete the questions below. Use the operational sustainability principles (ie Good employer, environmental responsibility, community contribution and fairness, and influencing others) See Operational principles within the Sustainable business practice booklet for a more detailed description of the principle.

  • What are the main social and environmental negative impacts your business has? To help you assess this, see sustainability impact in the Sustainable Business Practice booklet
  • Where are the greatest opportunities for your business to contribute environmentally and socially?
  • What are your sustainability goals?
  • What can be done to minimise the negative impacts, maximise the opportunities and achieve your sustainability goals? Often there are easy things that can be done that have a significant impact, such as changing a supplier to one who sources environmentally and socially responsible materials
  • How are you integrating sustainability into the organisation? for more about this see Integrating sustainability into your organisation
  • How are you being innovative and considering the long term implications (on future generations) of your business? See Strategic principles section of the Sustainable business practice booklet
  • How are you being transparent about your actions with your stakeholders? See Strategic principles section of the Sustainable business practice booklet for more information about this.

For those businesses who are ready to go a step further with sustainable business practice, read the Applying strong sustainability to business practice.

Useful booklets

Organisational RelationshipsEdit

  • Who are the people/organisations that have the ability to influence your business? (eg neighbours, media, customers, environmental advocates, employees)
  • What is most important to them about your business?
  • Who are the people/organisations that your business has the ability to influence? (eg suppliers, customers, employees) See also Sustainable business practice: How your business influences
  • What is most important to them about your business?
  • How does your business make it easy for its customers to make sustainable choices? See also Sustainable business practice: Make sustainable choices easy
  • How do you contribute make your local community a better place to live and do business?
  • Are there any opportunities to make your wider community a better place to live and do business? See also Sustainable business practice: The wider community
  • How do you know if your organisation is operating fairly? Consider the impact both within the supply chain (eg child labour used in the manufacturers business) and within the business directly (such as fairness of remuneration rates)
  • How do you ensure that the business does not put any stakeholders at risk when dealing with uncertainty? See also Sustainable business practice: toxic materials
Useful booklets

MarketingEdit

Your best customersEdit

Who are your best customers?

Useful booklets

Market analysisEdit

  • How is your customer base changing? For example, see Sustainable Trends.
  • What are your competitors currently doing?
  • From the above information, what in your business do you think you should change strategically?
Note: Fill out this section for each of the targets you have selected. If you have five targets, then you’ll be repeating this worksheet five times.
1. Select one target for the next 12 months. Describe the target in as much detail as possible
2. Are you going to change any of the following for the selected target? If you are, then state what you intend to do:
  • Price?
  • Product or service?
  • How will you distribute?
3. List the promotional activities you’ll use to attract the target described
4. Estimate the total cost of the ideas generated in Point 3 above. Is this amount of money feasible? Can you still make a profit?
Useful booklet

Tactical marketing plan timelineEdit

Tactical marketing plan timeline
List all your promotional ideas Place an an X in the month when you intend to run the specific promotion
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1
2
3
4
5
Useful booklets
  • Marketing (Section: How to complete a tactical plan)

FinanceEdit

The financial part of your business plan is where you pull together all of the various elements of your business and express them in a common denominator: dollars. It is the part of the exercise where you see whether all your efforts and plans will result in you making a profit or not.

This is also an opportunity to consider what impact your sustainability commitments have on your financial results. You may consider there will be no cash outlay until the business is paying you a living wage, or you may consider from day one, your business will make financial donations to the local community. You may also join the local Sustainable Business Network (link to www.sustainable.org) or gain some type of environmental certification. Be sure to consider these costs in your financial projections.

See the Plumber's commitment in the Sustainable business practice booklet.

1 Year Profit and Loss ForecastEdit

One-year profit and loss forecast GST exclusive
Pessimistic Realistic Optimistic
$_______  % Sales $_______  % Sales $_______  % Sales
SALES REVENUE
Cash sale
Credit sales
Other revenue
(A) Total revenue
LESS Direct cost of sales
Stock/raw materials
Direct wages
Commissions paid
Other direct costs
(B) Total direct cost of sales
(C) GROSS PROFIT (A-B)
LESS Overhead expenses
Selling expenses
Promotions
Freight
Royalties
Commissions
Other selling expenses
(D) Total selling expenses
Administration expenses
Depreciation
Insurance
Lease costs
Power
Rent/Rates
Repairs and maintenance
Salaries
Stationery
Sundries
Telephone
Travel
Vehicle expenses
Sustainability expenses
Other admin expenses
E) Total admin expenses
Financial expenses
Bank charges
Interest
(F) Total financial expenses
(G) Total expenses (D+E+F)
NET PROFIT before Tax (C-G)
Less Tax
NET PROFIT AFTER TAX
Useful booklet
  • Finance (Section: The profit and loss forecast)

Monthly Profit and Loss ForecastEdit

Monthly profit and loss forecast GST exclusive
SALES REVENUE
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total Year
Cash sale
Credit sales
Other revenue
(A) Total revenue
LESS Direct cost of sales
Stock/raw materials
Direct wages
Commissions paid
Other direct costs
(B) Total direct cost of sales
(C) GROSS PROFIT (A-B)
LESS Overhead expenses
Selling expenses
Promotions
Freight
Royalties
Commissions
Other selling expenses
(D) Total selling expenses
Administration expenses
Depreciation
Insurance
Lease costs
Power
Rent/Rates
Repairs and maintenance
Salaries
Stationery
Sundries
Telephone
Travel
Vehicle expenses
Other admin expenses
E) Total admin expenses
Financial expenses
Bank charges
Interest
(F) Total financial expenses
(G) Total expenses (D+E+F)
NET PROFIT before Tax (C-G)
Less Tax
NET PROFIT AFTER TAX
Useful booklet
  • Finance (Section: The profit and loss forecast)

Three Year Profit and Loss ForecastEdit

Three-year profit and loss forecast GST exclusive
Pessimistic Realistic Optimistic
$_______  % Sales $_______  % Sales $_______  % Sales
SALES REVENUE
Cash sale
Credit sales
Other revenue
(A) Total revenue
LESS Direct cost of sales
Stock/raw materials
Direct wages
Commissions paid
Other direct costs
(B) Total direct cost of sales
(C) GROSS PROFIT (A-B)
LESS Overhead expenses
Selling expenses
Promotions
Freight
Royalties
Commissions
Other selling expenses
(D) Total selling expenses
Administration expenses
Depreciation
Insurance
Lease costs
Power
Rent/Rates
Repairs and maintenance
Salaries
Stationery
Sundries
Telephone
Travel
Vehicle expenses
Other admin expenses
E) Total admin expenses
Financial expenses
Bank charges
Interest
(F) Total financial expenses
(G) Total expenses (D+E+F)
NET PROFIT before Tax (C-G)
Less Tax
NET PROFIT AFTER TAX
Useful booklet
  • Finance (Section: The profit and loss forecast)

One-year cashflow forecastEdit

One-year cashflow forecast
Cash Receipts Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total Year
Less Cash Payments
Stock/raw materials
Direct wages
Commissions paid
Other direct costs
Promotions
Freight
Royalties
Insurance
Lease costs
Power
Rent/Rates
Repairs and maintenance
Salaries
Stationery
Sundries
Telephone
Travel
Vehicle expenses
Other admin expenses
Bank charges
Internet
Drawings
Purchase of Fixed Assets
Repayment of loans
GST payments
Income tax payments
Other
(B) Total Cash Payments
(C) Net Cashflow (A-B)
(D) Opening Bank Balance
CLOSING BANK BALANCE (D+C)
Useful booklet
  • Finance (Section: Cashflow budget)

Break-even calculationsEdit

To calculate the necessary level of sales for your business, use the information developed in your Profit and Loss Forecast

Useful booklet
  • Finance (Section: Break-even calculation)

Business structure, tax and complianceEdit

Useful booklets

Risk management strategyEdit

List below the top hazards and risks in your business in order of priority, and plan how you will eliminate, isolate, minimise or manage each risk. Don't forget sustainability risks such as public backlash against those who cause environmental damage, or a reduction in the supply of oil, pushing oil prices and potentially material prices up dramatically

Risk Description Risk Management Action By when Budget $____ Assigned to
1
2
3
4
5
Useful booklet

Planning for the futureEdit

Long range planningEdit

Long range planning
Your goals and objectives______________ Comments_____________
A
B
C
D
E
F

Medium-term planningEdit

Medium-term planning Time frame: 2-3 years
Your goals and objectives______________ Comments_____________
A
B
C
D
E
F

Short-term planningEdit

Short-term planning Time frame: within 12 months
Your goals and objectives______________ Comments_____________
A
B
C
D
E
F
Useful booklets




You have now completed the business plan - basic version.


Additional sections for specific business needsEdit

The following sections can be added to the business plan if applicable. Check the headings below to see whether any of the additional information applies

Choosing your teamEdit

  • How will you ensure a safe and healthy workplace
  • How do you know if you are paying a living wage (enough for employees and their families to meet their needs)?
  • How do you ensure you are an equal opportunity employer? See also http://www.eeotrust.org.nz/
  • Is there anything else you could do to ensure you are a good employer?

Creating a job descriptionEdit

Job title:

Immediate superior (person to whom reporting):

Responsible for:

Brief description of job:

Major job objectives:

1.

2.

3.

Key tasks:

Resources required to achieve key tasks:

Creating a person specificationEdit

1. Physical requirements:

2. Qualifications—level of education and experience:

3. Special aptitudes—numeracy, literacy and computer skills, etc:

4. Personal characteristics—communication and people skills, etc:

5. Specific circumstances—able to travel, etc:

Application formEdit

Personal information

Position applied for:

Date:

Full name:

Address:

Contact details:

Phone:

Fax:

Email:

Previous experience

Start with your current or last position

1. Job title:

Name of company:

Contact person:

From:

Key Tasks:

2. Job title:

Name of company:

Contact person:

From:

Key Tasks:

3. Job title:

Name of company:

Contact person:

From:

Key Tasks:

Performance appraisal (PA)Edit

Staff member:

Date of PA

PA completed? yes/no

Results of PA

Action taken as result of Performance Appraisal:

Useful booklet

E-CommerceEdit

Other e-commerce usesEdit

Outline here any other ways not previously covered that your business uses e-commerce

Email and databasesEdit

Outline how you use email and your customer databases in your business

Using the internetEdit

Outline here how your business uses the internet to become more efficient, to research markets, to order products and services, to source information and to reduce costs

Permission marketingEdit

Describe here how you use e-commerce to develop permission marketing in your business

Your websiteEdit

Describe here the functionality and purpose of your website

Encouraging employee innovationEdit

Outline here how you encourage employees to innovate in your business

Developing a culture of innovationEdit

What are you doing to encourage a culture of innovation in your business?

Innovation trainingEdit

What are you planning to do to ensure that you and your staff can continue to upskill in innovative practices and be exposed to new ideas?


Useful booklets

Raising investment fundsEdit

Raising outside investmentEdit

If you’re looking to raise outside investment for your business, where do you expect these funds to come from? If necessary, list multiple sources (for example, cashflow, the bank, a corporate investor)

Your key barriersEdit

What do you think are the key barriers faced by other businesses that might wish to compete against you?

Market sizeEdit

What is the size of your market in New Zealand dollars?

Identifying key contactsEdit

List here the key people you can contact for assistance. Include their experience, qualifications, history and the relationship they have with you

Exit strategyEdit

Outline how you believe an investor will be able to exit from an investment in your business

Intellectual Property ProtectionEdit

Describe all the intellectual property protection you have in place for your business

Structuring the dealEdit

Outline how you believe you will structure the deal for any potential investor. Include here also how much your business is worth, and what percentage of your business you intend to sell (if you’re looking for investment capital)

Useful booklet

ExportingEdit

Dealing with your customersEdit

How do you intend to deal with people located in another country? By phone? By visiting? By a physical office? By employing staff overseas?

Possible product or services changesEdit

What would you have to change in your product or service to meet the needs of an overseas market?

Coping with a different cultureEdit

How will you cope with possible culture and language difficulties?

Market development costsEdit

How do you intend to assess the costs of researching and staying in an overseas market?

Targeted overseas marketsEdit

What country or countries have you targeted for export?

What types of people or businesses are you targeting in these countries?

Contacts and sources of assistanceEdit

List here all your existing export contacts and sources of assistance that have helped you so far

DistributingEdit

Outline how you intend to distribute your products or services in your targeted country

Branding issuesEdit

What brand will you market under in your international markets? Explain why this is suitable

Promoting overseasEdit

How do you intend to promote your business in your targeted international market?

Assessing possible price changesEdit

Do you intend to price your products or services differently internationally? If so, how and why?

Transport issuesEdit

Are you going to export the product or sell the right to manufacture the product in another market?

If exporting the product, how do you intend to transport your products in a sustainable manner?

How do you intend to transport your products so they reach your markets on time?

Useful booklet

ManufacturingEdit

Manufacturing ProcessEdit

What can you do to ensure that resource use is minimised in the manufacture and use of your materials?
What can you do to ensure that waste and pollution (to landfill, water, air) is eliminated or minimised?

Plant requirementsEdit

List here your plant requirements

Raw materialsEdit

What raw materials and stock are required?

Are you aware of what raw material choices there are to minimise environmental damage (for instance a builder using environmentally preferable glues in the manufacture of plywood?)

Useful booklet - Manufacturing

Industry sectorEdit

Useful booklet - Industry sector influences

Key success factorsEdit

Identify the key success factors for your business

Key performance indicatorsEdit

List the key performance indicators for your business. (Get help from an accountant or financial advisor if necessary).

See Measuring sustainable business practice in the Sustainable business practice booklet

Last modified on 23 June 2013, at 10:23