University of Technology Sydney

25774 Financial Planning as a Small Business

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Finance
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject provides students with the skills required to successfully start and operate an independent business venture in the financial planning space. The subject is designed around the development of a strategic business plan: from the definition of a market and a competitive strategy, to the analysis of all the specific areas of running a financial planning practice: recruiting and people management, marketing, and financial and risk management. The subject also deals with topics specific to the financial planning industry such as licensing and compliance.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to manage a small business enterprise in the financial planning space
2. Discuss and apply business planning techniques
3. Demonstrate the knowledge of the regulatory requirements for operating an independent financial planning practice

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Independent financial planners represent a key component of the financial industry in Australia. This subjects contribute to overall curriculum of the Master of Financial Planning by providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to start their own independent financial planning practice. As such this subject contributes particularly to the development of these graduate attributes:

  1. Business knowledge and concepts
  2. Critical thinking, creativity and analytical skills
  3. Business practice oriented skills

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is designed around the development of a business plan for an independent financial planning practice. The subject is delivered with a mix of on-line learning and face-to-face interaction. In the on-line component students will learn the theoretical framework and specific skills underlying successful financial practice management. Case studies will be used to illustrate specific management issues. A significant portion of the face-to-face class time will be devoted the development of a strategic business plan.

Content (topics)

  1. Development and implementation of a strategic plan
  2. Defining a competitive strategy
  3. Recruitment and people management
  4. Marketing and client engagement
  5. Financial and risk management
  6. Licensing and compliance


Assessment task 1: Quiz on the content of the online learning component*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 3

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Assessment task 2: Individual assignment


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Assessment task 3: Written final exam (open book)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 3

Type: Examination
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Required texts

Mandatory reading and other learning material will be placed on Canvas.


Colin Barrow, Paul Barrow, Robert Brown, 2018, The Business Plan Workbook, Kogan Page Ltd.