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.

Government procurement

Sunshine Coast procurement

Local businesses are encouraged to submit tenders for Sunshine Coast Council procurement contracts for goods and services and disposal of non-current assets. To submit a tender, you must be registered with:

For more information, you can email [email protected] or phone (07) 5441 8287.

Supplier briefing

Find out more about upcoming capital works and service contracts and opportunities through these council briefings. Attending these sessions will give you more detail on the council procurement process and allow you to speak with council officers. 

Find our more here.

First Nations Supplier Briefing

Sunshine Coast First Nations Supplier Day showcases First Nations businesses to government, NGOs and corporate businesses to provide relationship building opportuities. The event highlights First Nations businesses and their ongoing contribution to the sustainability of the Sunshine Coast region. Organisations can attend this event to learn about products and services First Nations businesses provide and discuss potential supplier opportunities.

Find our more here.

Queensland Government procurement

Stay updated with upcoming procurement contracts with the Queensland Government and find resources that will help you submit a competitive tender.

Visit the following pages to find contracts and procurement information.

Growing Queensland Business Roadshow

Business Queensland travel to regions in the state in a roadshow program that:

  • allows you to connect with local and state government representatives
  • provides practical tips and information on government procurement, ‘greening’ your business and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

At each stop in the roadshow, businesses can expect:

  • a 45-minute information session on procurement processes and requirements
  • free 30-minute mentoring sessions (You’ll need to register for a session)

Find out more here.

Australian Government procurement

AusTender is a centralised platform that aggregates all Australian Government procurement opportunities.

Find out more here.

Programs and support

Build a Better Business Program

Sunshine Coast Council has partnered with TAFE Queensland to deliver this FREE Build A Better Business Program. This practical course shows participants how to develop a Business Action Plan including finance, marketing and implementation plans. Plus, participants receive a Certificate IV in Small Business management.

Learn more about the program here. Register your interest here.

Scaling Up

This program targets businesses that are ready to scale up their operation. Delivered in a boot camp format, it’s designed help businesses meticulously strategies their expansion.

The programs runs for 12 weeks and includes face-to-face and virtual sessions. Businesses will complete the program with a three-year plan to execute and much more.

Scaling up is a Sunshine Coast Council program facilitated by Groei.

Find out more here.

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.

Mentoring for Growth Program

Access business experts for free in this Business Queensland program. Eligible businesses are matched with an expert that has expertise in the opportunity or challenge that’s been faced. 

Learn 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.

Support through webinars

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) consistently hosts informative and practical webinars that provides businesses with insight on a number of topics. Find webinars on topics such as capturing your carbon footprint, new family and domestic violence leave, industrial relations reform and more. 

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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Networks and support