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Business Planning Resources

Business development templates

A collection of open-source templates that you may find valuable in your planning:

Business development Webinars

In November 2021, the Creative Business Champions delivered a series of free webinars on various business development opportunities.

View the full series of Creative Business Champions webinars.

Business planning resources for organisations

Business Queensland - What’s in a business plan?
A step-by-step guide to developing your business plan that considers product or service market analysis, marketing plan, legal and risk management plan, operating plan, personnel and finance plan.

Business Queensland – Tools for preparing a business plan
Including a market research kit, a business planning kit, how to prepare a business continuity plan and how to use a SWOT analysis.

Business Queensland – Business Mentoring
A guide to business mentoring, how to become a mentor, finding a mentor and mentoring women in business.

Tourism and Events Queensland Events Guide
The Queensland Events Guide is designed to help organisers throughout an entire event project to ensure they are equipped to stage the best event possible.

Arts Council England – Business planning guidance or arts and cultural organisations (PDF, 508KB)
Commissioned by Arts Council England, this guide helps to develop good practice business planning guidance for the arts and cultural sector.

Strategic planning resources for organisations

Australia Council – Strategic Planning Framework (PDF, 510KB)
A guide for strategic planning for arts and cultural organisations.

Our Community – Strategic Planning Resources
Resources to help not for profit organisations undertake strategic planning.

Our Community – Strategic planning versus operational planning
An overview of the difference between an operational plan and strategic planning and a guide to integrating them.

Business Queensland – Improving your business
Tools to help you improve your business including SWOT analysis, benchmarking, market research and trend analysis.

Business Queensland – Create a business vision
A practical how-to guide for creating a business vision including the purpose of a business vision, identifying your long-term business goals and which key aspects of your business are important.

Reconciliation Australia
Resources, tools and templates for developing a reconciliation action plan.

Legal and contract resources

Arts Law Info Hub
Arts law provides free information sheets and articles covering a range of legal issues and different arts practices. They also provide a suite of low-cost contract templates that artists and arts organisations can use to create best practice agreements as part of their arts businesses.

Arts Law Legal Services
Arts Law provides free and low cost legal advice services to artists and arts organisations. The Telephone Legal Advice service allows clients to speak to a lawyer one-on-one and have their legal questions answered over the phone. Clients can also have their contracts or other documents reviewed by a lawyer as part of the Document Review Service. A subscription is needed to access some of Arts Law’s services.

Growing your arts and cultural business

Business Queensland – Ways to grow your business
A guide to understanding if your business is ready to grown and some ways to grow it.

Business Queensland – Ways to transform your business
A guide to implementing business transformation including how to transform your business model, operations and processes.

Create NSW – Creating new income – a toolkit to support creative practice
A practical how-to guide to generating revenue for your creative practice including building you donor base, telling your story, trusts and foundation, major gifts, crowdfunding and collective giving, business sponsorship as well as some relevant case studies.

Board governance and performance resources for organisations

Guidance for Directors of Arts and Cultural Companies (PDF, 109KB)
This factsheet has been commissioned by Arts Queensland and prepared by Board Matters to provide guidance to directors of arts and cultural companies about insolvency and the safe harbour provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) including the COVID-19 related temporary measures.

Arts Acumen Resource Guide – Managing Arts Boards: understanding roles and responsibilities seminar (PDF, 310KB) 
Useful resources, guides and templates to assist with understanding and managing the roles and responsibilities of an arts board.

Australia Council for the Arts – Essential governance practices for arts organisations (PDF, 1850KB)
Best practice recommendations encouraging the creation of value and provide accountability and control systems to minimise problems and optimise performance and accountability.

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission – ACNC Governance Standards
An outline of the governance standards for charities to remain registered with the ACNC.

Australian Institute of Company Directors – Effective Board Reporting: Writing
Five tips for writing a board paper.

Australian Institute of Company Directors – Risk management – Role of the board
A resource exploring the role of a board to set the risk appetite of the organisation and identify and manage risk through a risk management framework.

Cultural Governance Alliance – A practical guide to Governance
A range of essential information, bespoke resources and downloadable templates that address board structure, finance, risk management and fundraising, board meetings and board recruitment.

Institute of Community Directors Australia (Not-for-profits) - Recruitment
Tools and resources to help find new board members

Institute of Community Directors Australia – Board diversity
Resources to help make your board more inclusive and diverse

Financial planning resources for organisations

Business Queensland - Tax for business: the basics
A useful overview of business tax, employer obligations and record keeping for tax purposes.

Business Queensland – Managing cash flow
A guide will help you to manage your cash flow and understand how to use cash flow analysis to inform business decisions.

Business Queensland – Monitoring your financial performance
A guide to help with how to assess your business performance using common financial ratios.  Measuring profitability, profit drivers, monitoring cash flow and liquidity, risk and return and sales.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

A vibrant, sustainable arts sector is reliant on continuous innovation and an entrepreneurial approach by our arts and culture practitioners, businesses and organisations. These resources provide insights into the latest trends, innovation models and future thinking to inspire entrepreneurship in arts practice, product and business.


Arts Acumen – Great expectations: megatrends and the arts
A keynote lecture by CSIRO’s Principal Scientist in Strategic Foresight, Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, discussing the social, economic and technological trends that may impact the arts sector in Queensland.

Business Model Generation – Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas is a tool you can use for developing new business models as part of your business planning strategy. 

DIY Toolkit – Innovation Flowchart
Define your opportunities and use the DIY template and instructional video to develop a plan to make the ideas a reality.


Queensland Government Business and Industry Portal – Crowdfunding finance
An overview of the advantages and disadvantages of crowdfunding.

TED Talk – Bill Gross: The single biggest reason why startups succeed
Be inspired by this talk by Bill Gross detailing the key characteristics of successful startups.

Proof of concept

Business Queensland - Becoming an innovative business
Learn how innovation can benefit your business.

Project Smart – Writing an Unbeatable Business Case 
An overview of the key sections to include as part of your business case. 

Queensland Government Business and Industry Portal – Market and customer research 
Resources to help with conducting market research and validating product and service demand.

Useful links

Advance Queensland
A comprehensive suite of programs designed to turn great ideas into investable products and growing businesses.

IP Australia 
Tools, resources and case studies to assist with protecting your idea. 

Queensland Government Business and Industry Portal 
A broad range of resources, support, information and advice on starting, running and growing your business. 

Partnerships and philanthropy

Partnerships and private sector investment in the arts is integral to long-term sustainability of the arts and cultural sector in Queensland. These resources assist in understanding and developing strategic partnerships and funding opportunities.  


101 Philanthropy
Creative Partnerships Australia - Philanthropy and private giving 101.

101 Sponsorship
Creative Partnerships Australia - Sponsorship 101.

Arts Hub - Trends and Challenges in Philanthropy
Panel discussion and top tips about engaging philanthropists.

Michael Kaiser – 25 rules for fundraising (PDF, 89KB)
Tips to consider when developing your fundraising strategy.

Open Forum - 10 Tips to Engage Millennial Philanthropists
Tips that can help you to understand Millennial donors.

Philanthropy Australia – How to seek funding
An explanation of the different avenues available for seeking funding. 


Queensland Government – Volunteering
Information about opportunities, legal requirements and resources for volunteers in Queensland.

For volunteers

Pro Bono Australia – Search for a Volunteering Opportunity 
Search for a volunteering role in Australia.

Volunteering Australia – Quick Guide: I want to volunteer – where do I go? (PDF, 57KB)
A guide to finding the best volunteering opportunities to suit your skills and aspirations. 

Volunteering Australia – Information Sheet: Volunteer Rights and Checklist (PDF, 99KB)
An overview of volunteer rights including the organisation obligations and relevant legislation. 

Volunteering Queensland – Find a volunteer role 
Search for a volunteering role in Queensland.

For organisations

Pro Bono Australia News – The Key to Volunteer Success
In this article, Susan Ellis, President of Energize, discusses why defining clear expectations is key to effective volunteer engagement.

Volunteering Australia – The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement 
A framework for organisations to consider the role of volunteers within the organisation and the impact of effective volunteer involvement.

Volunteering Queensland – Code of Practice
Volunteering Queensland’s code of practice for organisations engaging volunteers.

Useful links

Volunteering Australia
Volunteering Australia is the National peak body for volunteering and works to advance volunteering in the Australian community.

Volunteering Queensland
Volunteering Queensland advances the interests and capacity of community, through effective and innovative volunteering, social participation and civic engagement.