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Business planning

Set your business goals and plan your strategy

Get your business off to the best start or map your business growth. Business planning helps you identify exactly what your business is and its journey to success. The following information and resources will give you the tools necessary to level-up your business.

What to find

Register your business

  • Register for an Australian Business Number (ABN): This unique number is a legal identifier of your business for your customers, suppliers and the Australian Tax Office. It’s advised that you seek consultation from a qualified professional to determine what business structure will be best for you when you register. More information and register here.
  • Register your business name: Register your business name to publicly identify your organisation here. Before doing so, check the availability of your preferred business name on the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) register.
  • Register for GST and other taxes: Seek qualified professional advice to determine what tax registrations your business should be applying for. This online tool will provide a guide.

Create your plan

Creating a business plan allows you to grasp a deeper understanding of your business, its goals and the road to achievement. The following parts can make up your business plan.

  •  Executive summary.
  • Business profile.
  • Vision.
  • Market analysis.
  • Marketing plan.
  • Legal and risk management plan.
  • Operating plan.
  • Employee plan.
  • Finance plan.
  • Action plan.
Find more details on creating a business plan here. Find useful tools to help build your plan here.

Programs and support

Build a Better Business Program

Join fellow business owners through a hands-on business planning journey. Develop a tailored business plan, marketing plan, learn about auditing finances, supply chain agreements, staff agreements, policies and more. Participate in workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions to successfully complete the Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB40320) qualification.

Complete the Expression of Interest.

View the course guide.

Email [email protected] for further information.

UniSC Business Planning Course

This free course is delivered by the University of the Sunshine Coast and supported by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training. The course provides participants with strategic skills and knowledge that helps future-proof businesses. Over the seven weeks of workshops, participants will build a business plan that will then be presented to an expert panel.

Find out more here.

Digital solutions mentoring and workshops

Australian Small Business Advisory Services provides tailored advice on digital solutions for small business that can save time, money and supports growth. Up to four hours of one-on-one tailored mentoring and unlimited attendance to free and low-cost events, workshops and webinars are included. The program delivers insights on:

  • how digital tools can help your small business
  • websites and selling online
  • social media and digital marketing
  • using small business software
  • online security and data privacy

Find out more here.

Self-employment assitance

Professional mentorship and accredited training are available to assist with establishing a small business. Self-Employment Assistance can help with:

  • work shopping business ideas
  • creating business plans and developing business skills
  • providing accredited small business training.

Eligibility requirements and further information can be found here.

Mentoring for Growth Program

Business Queensland provides this free program for businesses to engage with experienced business mentors to discuss challenges and opportunities. Mentors can assist with:

  • cash flow
  • growth strategies
  • marketing and sales
  • business development
  • finance
  • human resources
  • export and investment.

Find out more here.

Workforce planning course

UniSC deliver this free course designed to help business owners and managers fully understand their workforce. The course guides business through developing an agile and flexible workforce plan to respond to changes in the business environment. The content is delivered through in-person workshops or Zoom. The course includes the following modules.

  • Module 1: Introduction to workforce planning
  • Module 2: Who to involve in workforce planning
  • Module 3: How to understand your business and the environment
  • Module 4: How to identify your workforce issues
  • Module 5: Understanding what your future workforce looks like
  • Module 6: How to assess your workforce risk
  • Module 7: Developing your workforce plan

Find out more or express your interest here

Workforce development program

This Queensland Government e-learning program is designed to address labour shortages. The six flexible online modules guide businesses on developing a recruitment strategy to unlock new job seeker markets.

Find out more here.

Migration Queensland

Migration Queensland provides prospective migrant businesses and skilled workers with visa opportunities to locate to Queensland. They work with a network of industry bodies, migration agencies and Trade and Investment Queensland contacts to promote the state as the destination of choice.

Find out more here.

First Nations Entrepreneur support

The One Business program delivers training, support and advice to First Nations entrepreneurs and business owners to help guide them in growing a successful business. Delivered over three parts, you will:

  • perform a health check on your business
  • receive procurement training and one-on-one mentoring
  • pitch or promote your business at an event.

Find out more here.

Resources and tools

Economy ID

Economy id provides an overview of the Sunshine Coast’s community and economic profile. This is a useful tool to help understand the local demographic and industries in the region when planning your business.

Find out more here.

Market research kit

Research the market to identify your customers, competitors, suppliers and how your idea will perform in your local economy. 

Find the step-by-step guide here.

Austrade export services

Austrade export services is a platform that includes information on everything that you need to know about exporting. Plan your export strategy, understand international markets, be aware of laws and regulations through this specified platform.

Find out more here.

Business health check

Analyse the health of your business through this Business Queensland tool. This tool addresses several business areas by asking you a series of questions. Receive a health check report at the completion of the questionnaire that highlights your strengths and areas for improvement.

Find the business health check here.

Export program on the Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Council delivers training programs, industry news, resources and networking events with experts for businesses wanting to export both domestically and internationally.

Connect with export-orientated business and consultants on Council’s Export LinkedIn Network. Share tips, contacts, resources, experiences and post your questions to the group.

Generating export-ready businesses and market responsive industries will continue to better enable businesses to respond successfully to domestic and global demand.

Find out more here.

Workforce support

Find a suite of resources and helplines for workforce support through the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ).

Accessibility in business

Employing people with disability

Employers of people with disabilities can experience higher levels of productivity and foster a more inclusive and diverse workplace. Changes to the working environment can be required but often cost nothing to the business. Benefits to a more inclusive workplace include:

  • access to a talent pool of skilled workers
  • alternate problem-solving approaches that lead to increased innovation
  • higher employee retention and engagement
  • consumers supportive of inclusive workforce
  • mutual benefit for all employees in an inclusive workplace.

Find out more here.

Australian Human Rights Commission and IncludeAbility have compiled an online employer page that gives you resources to help create employment opportunities and make a more accessible and inclusive workplace.

The page includes guides and factsheets on:

Find out more here.

Recruiting assistance

Job Access is an Australian Government support service for people with disabilities, employers and service providers. Employers can find assistance through this service that helps remove barriers to employing people with disabilities. Find expertise in:

  • training and recruitment
  • workplace adjustments
  • occupational therapy.

Find out more here.

Seniors and carers card affiliation

Senior and carer card holders can access discounts at registered businesses. Businesses can register to become a participating business online. Joining the scheme can help build your customer base through:

  • inclusion on the online discount directory for cardholders
  • your business details being shared with domestic and international cardholders if you choose.

Register here.

Companion card affiliation

The Companion Card program supports people with disabilities to participate in activities by allowing companions entry with no charge. Businesses that charge an admission fee or participation fee can become an affiliate with the companion card.

Find out more here.

Accessible tourism toolkit

The Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport has developed a toolkit that tourism businesses can use to make their business more accessible for all visitors. Some of the toolkit resources include:

  • video modules
  • access templates
  • accessible communication
  • checklist

Find out more here.

Utilise accessibility platforms

Spinal Life Australia has created the Accessible Australia app to allow people to search businesses and find out their accessibility rating and reviews. Add your business to the platform to show that you’re an accessible business.

Find out more here.

Create accessible online platforms

Find a wealth of resources that will guide you in developing website, apps and other digital platforms accessible for people with disabilities.

Find out more here.

Auslan in the workplace

Create a more inclusive work environment for your staff with hearing impairments by providing Auslan training to your workplace.

Find out more here.

Hosting accessible and inclusive online meetings and events

Businesses should ensure that when hosting a meeting online that the meeting is easily accessible for all. Here are some simple points to consider when organising and delivering an online meeting.

When preparing:

  • include a telephone dial-in alternative for those with no computer or internet access
  • provide an agenda and meeting materials in alternate formats for those who require it.
  • note a contact person that can accessing the meeting if issues arise.

When hosting the meeting:

  • mention if the meeting is being recorded
  • read names of attendees to help blind attendees understand who is in the meeting
  • assign someone to monitor the chat so attendees unable to speak can have their comments and questions responded to.
  • speak clear and simple and ensure all text font is large and easy to read.

Find out more here.   

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