Business Essentials

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Business essentials outlines benchmarks that, when achieved, should underpin the foundations of your business. Whether you’re starting out with a new business venture, or you have been running your business for some time, careful business planning is necessary to achieve your success.

The below benchmarks formulate the business essentials pillar, in order from developing to leading levels. 

Complete market research

Conducting market research initially can help you identify potential customers and their needs, competitors in the market and distribution channels. Research can help you make an informed decision on your product offering. 

Regular market research can help you to:
o    better focus your marketing efforts
o    make informed decisions about your business
o    present business opportunities for development

It is important market research becomes part of your ongoing business plan.   

Learn how to research your market, including goods and services, customers and your competitors. 

For further information on conducting market research and to understand the current NT tourism landscape contact Tourism NT on [email protected] 

Basic business plan

A basic business plan should reflect essential business details such as your business description, product offering, short to medium term goals and expected outputs. An up-to-date business plan is vital if you intend to apply for a grant, need to obtain financial support and to keep track of your business development. 

Create a business plan

For assistance in writing a business plan contact the Business Enterprise Centre NT

Meet regulatory compliance

All businesses must comply with a range of regulatory standards as required by local, state and federal governments, as well as industry bodies. You must adhere to the regulations and guidelines that apply to the business and industry you operate in. 

Check which licenses your business needs by visiting Australian Business License and Information Service (ABLIS)

As a tourism business in the Northern Territory, you may be required to hold additional permits and licences. Further information can be found here:

Public liability insurance

Public and product liability insurance helps protect your business if it becomes liable to pay compensation for personal injury or damage to them or their property, whilst undertaking work at your business. 

It is compulsory for every tourism business to have public liability insurance in the Northern Territory. 

View business insurance types, including public liability by visiting 

Customer service policy

A customer service policy outlines how staff should communicate with customers, including best practice and complaint management. Even a basic policy will assist with providing excellent customer service, generate positive word-of-mouth, keep your customers happy and encourage them to purchase from your business again. 

The policy can be included in staff training and within the business plan.

Customer service tips. 

Strategic business plan

A comprehensive business plan outlines all aspects of how your business will create, deliver and capture value, while placing sustainability at its core. It articulates business goals, customer service, resource management, profitability, business sustainability, risk management, marketing, future investment and more. 

Having a business plan can help you:

  • prioritise; it will provide business direction, define your objectives, outline strategies to achieve your goals and help you to identify any possible bumps in the road
  • maintain control over your business; the planning process will help you learn about the different factors that may affect your success. If you're already in business, it can help you to step back and objectively look at what's working and what areas you can improve
  • obtain finance; if you're seeking finance for your business, you'll need to show banks, government or investors why they should invest in your business.

As your business evolves over time, the goals and strategies in your business plan may need to be updated. 

Start developing your business plan.

For assistance in comprehensive business planning consider the Business Growth Program; strategy, offered through your small business champion. 

Risk management plan

All businesses face risk. It is important to understand any risks that may apply to your business and find ways to minimise them. A risk management plan outlines any potential risks to your business as well as the strategies for dealing with these risks. It is a great reference to provide guidance when unexpected disruptions occur, and is crucial for your business to remain resilient. 

Steps to developing a risk management plan:

  1. Decide which areas of your business need assessing; social and people, economic and technology, policies and law or business aims and strategies.
  2. Consult with your stakeholders.
  3. Identify the risks with a risk assessment.
  4. Analyse the risks in a scale of likelihood.
  5. Evaluate a risk and identify when to accept the risk.
  6. Develop a plan to treat evaluated risks.
  7. Implement risk management in day-to-day business activities.

Assess and manage risks within your business.

Additional Resources:

For assistance in risk management consider: 

Business sustainability plan

Sustainability is becoming an essential part of business across all industries. Your business can be sustainable in multiple areas such as; 

  • social; identifies both positive and negative impacts your operation may have on people in/and surrounding your community
  • economic; identifies aspects of business operations that add to the economic growth of your business, state or country
  • environmental; identifies impacts, both positive and negative, that your business operation can have on the surrounding environments. 

A sustainability plan outlines impacts, both positive and negative, and ways to manage these.   

For assistance in business sustainability planning consider the Business Growth Program; strategy, offered through your small business champion. 

Capital reinvestment plan

A capital reinvestment plan identifies where dividends will be used to reinvest into your business. The plan outlines profitability and identified goals for reinvestment, aligning with business goals identified in the business plan. 

For assistance in developing a capital reinvestment plan consider the Business Growth Program; strategy, offered through your small business champion. 

Page last updated on 27 March 2023