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Women business founders on the rise

04 September 2018

Running a business road maps and maintenance

Running a business is dynamic and the planning process is ever-evolving. There’s the preparation and implementation, followed by ongoing maintenance, review and adaption to the surrounding business environment.

The Australian Government’s strategy to boost women’s workforce participation: Towards 2025 has found that 24 percent of start-up founders are women, up from 16 percent in 2014.

“In the decade from 2005 to 2015, the number of women running businesses has grown by 4.8 per cent, compared to an 8.7 per cent decline in the number of men operating a business. Women now comprise just over one third of all Australian business operators (34 per cent or 668,670 business operators, up from 31 per cent in 1994).” (Towards 2025)

As a living entity, a business is never static, and like anything worthwhile - your relationships, yourself, your personal finances, your Super, your car, your house, your favourite pieces of sporting equipment - businesses need regular maintenance.

Maintenance often means giving everything a ‘good Spring clean’. Our new Ruby webinar will help you dust off your budget to reveal any holes that need fixing; flush out your cash flow and identify blockages, and put a broom through your business plan, helping you see how you can adapt and pivot.

Regular monitoring of your business performance and modifying your goals or activities as needed enable you to keep your business current and relevant. Within that, having an up-to-date business plan is vital. Your business plan is like a roadmap for your business. The plan enables you to explore different scenarios and select the ideal path to get to your desired business destination. The road map won’t serve your business’s needs if the ‘locations’, ‘landmarks’ and ‘roads’ are out of date.

Westpac’s recent research into what supports business success, found that 71 percent of business owners surveyed indicated that increasing employee engagement and wellness is a significant factor in ensuring future business success. The importance of personal and employee maintenance further emphasises the importance of business maintenance in general.

A business plan doesn’t need to be overly long or complicated but it does, according to Westpac’s Davidson Institute need to consider the 7 Ps of effective business planning:

Purpose

Often referred to as a Mission Statement, this should drive every decision you make in your business so it’s vital to be clear on the purpose of your business. When defining the purpose, you need to consider the reason the business exists, the specific outcome your business is trying to achieve and why.

Product

Here you need to define the goods or services your business sells. You also need to outline or plan how they will be produced and sold as well as what benefits they deliver to the your customer.

People

This component looks at who’s needed to operate your business but who’s needed to help you achieve your business goals; how much time they will need to invest; what skills they need to possess and the details of how their role will assist you.

Place

This involves defining the logistics of your business. How will you distribute your goods or services? Do you need a shopfront, a warehouse or will you be operating online via a website or virtual location?

Price

An ideal pricing strategy should achieve a balance between price/volume and costs that will help you maximise your profit.

Promotion

When developing the promotional element of your business plan it’s important to identify your target market, outline the communication channel that will best connect you with your target market and ensure your messaging is consistent and includes a call to action.

Performance

Here you need to define how you measure success, how you will collect the relevant data for measurement and how you will put these measurements in place so you can review your business performance in a meaningful way.

Business banking needs

For the fourth year in a row Westpac has been named best business bank. For more on why, visit here.

Any information provided is of a general nature. Before making any business or financial decisions, please ensure you seek appropriate professional advice.

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