PlanningTips for busy small business owners


Get actionable tips to help you grow your business.


In this series, we’re bringing you practical tips to help you focus on achieving your business growth goals. In our first two posts, we covered off how to get more done and how to plan tasks to guarantee you will get them done. Now that you’re a pro at making time and planning and executing tasks, it’s time to put pen to paper and pull together your business goals.

Creating or updating a plan for your business gives you the chance to review the market, your unique value proposition and overall business health. Understanding how each of your business functions works together allows you to continually make informed decisions, optimise your business, set goals and achieve growth.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve pulled together this list of some of the best free online business plan templates to point you in the right direction.


  1. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Business Plan Templates

MBIE has created two Business Plan templates in association with Stats NZ. The full business plan is perfect for those looking to launch a new business and the quick-fire template is great for established businesses. The full business plan template is a Word template ready-to-go with all the sections you’ll need for a comprehensive business plan, with detailed explanations and handy links throughout. The quick-fire template is a PDF template best filled out by hand. The quick-fire template is perfect for a quarterly or yearly business health and strategy check-in.


  1. ANZ Biz Hub Business Plan Tool

Never written a business plan before? This handy online tool is great for beginners. The tool takes you through writing a full business plan step-by-step with helpful prompts and examples for each section. Once you’re done you can simply download and print the Word version of your finished plan.


  1. The $100 Start-up One-Page Business Plan

This template is a helpful exercise for thinking through a new business idea, or even for testing a new product, service or promotion for an existing business. It can be helpful to distil down a full business plan into a one-pager for more regular review to compliment monthly or quarterly business plan sessions.


  1. Microsoft Office Business Plan Template

Microsoft Office offers a range of free business document templates you can use with their suite of products. This Business Plan template is similar to the one offered by MBIE, but with a more modern design. The template also includes various charts and graphs to present your market research and forecasting numbers, with helpful, detailed step-by-step instructions on throughout. Simply change the document colours and font to suit your brand.


  1. Strategyzer Business Model Canvas

The strategyzer Business Model Canvas is not a document, it’s a visual tool that helps you map out all the elements of your business and understand how they work together. The Business Model Canvas is a great pre-cursor exercise to preparing a full business plan and it also works as a group exercise with your leadership team to review and refine your strategy and goals.


See more from the series: