How to Create a Business Plan: Step by Step Tips

What is a business plan?

If you are thinking of starting a business, it is essential to do a prior analysis that allows you to know all the details of it. Only in this way can you get a global idea of ​​the challenge you face and the possibilities you have of turning it into a success.

The business plan is precisely the written document where all this analysis is reflected . It is summarized the document where it is counted:

What is the business idea and what objectives does it have?

What value does it have with respect to the market and the competition.

What strategy is going to be implemented.

Although it is considered essential before starting any business, some companies continue to do without it or do not know what exactly to put. If this is your case, we hope this post helps you reflect on it and create your own. Learn more business plan

Who is interested in the business plan?

You are the most interested : It seems obvious, but you and your partners are going to be the most interested in the business plan. This document will allow you to learn about the state of the market and how viable the idea of ​​your company is. It will also serve as a tool for planning the project, knowing strengths and weaknesses, as well as getting to know the competition.

Your investors : Although we develop it in more detail in the next point, your potential investors need to know what you are presenting to them, why should they invest in your idea and not in another? In addition, this business plan will also allow you on many occasions to qualify for grants and subsidies .

What parts does a business plan have?

The business plan is not a legal document and therefore there is no mandatory format. However, there is a standard used by most companies. This standard includes the following elements:

Executive summary: The executive summary is actually a summary of the business plan. It is useful when an entrepreneur is looking for investors for his idea because it is the first thing they read and it will depend on whether they read the rest of the plan. You should consider it as your cover letter and therefore, it must be personalized according to the investor you are presenting it to.

Definition of what you are going to do: In this part of your business plan, you must clearly describe what the business consists of and what its objectives are. It is a fundamental point because it will define the essence of your company, what it is going to do and what its business model is.

Market study:

This is the study that describes the gap that you have identified in the market and that you are going to cover, who will be your potential customers and what is your value proposition to solve it. If you are going to start a business, you must fully know the context in which your activity will take place.

It is also very interesting to try to know the entry barriers that your competitors are going to have to access your customers (when you have them). Perhaps you are differentiating yourself from the competition because you have a patent or perhaps it is because you have knowledge that the rest do not have. These types of things are what can make you special and therefore very attractive to a potential investor.

And don’t forget something very important today … How do your potential clients find what they are looking for? Questions like What keywords do they use when they search Google? or are they customers who use Facebook or Twitter? o Do my competition have articles on their corporate blog that serve as a hook to attract these potential clients? Remember that social networks or search engines like Google can become your best showcase to the world and hence the importance of SEO positioning .

Competitor analysis:

It is important to thoroughly analyze the competition. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have no competition or that your competition is small and unqualified because in a high percentage of cases, that is not true and surely the problem is that you have not spent enough time to perform this analysis. The important question is … Can a prospect buy from them instead of you? If the answer is yes, then they are your competition.

In this process you must find out who that competition is, what products and services they are offering, what prices they have, what commercial discounts they make, what strategies they follow, what weaknesses and strengths they have, etc. What do they do better than you? What do you do better than them? You need to answer these questions to know how to deal with them, focus on the aspects that you must improve and highlight those aspects in which you are better.

Explanation of the product or service: Once we know the market and the competition, it is time to explain the product or service that you are going to implement to solve the problem or deficiency that you have identified. It must be clear in detail what it consists of, what it contains, its characteristics and above all, what makes it different from the rest .

When defining this product, you should not lose sight of the most important thing … Are customers going to pay to solve the problem that your product or service solves? Does your product or service really solve the problem?

Marketing and sales strategy:

Here are detailed the marketing plans that are going to be put in place to sell and advertise. For example, press announcements, creation of a corporate website, creation of a corporate blog , SEM positioning in Google and social networks, etc.

If you are looking for investors, you must keep this section in mind. Your investors need to verify that you know and can sell the product or service you offer. No matter how good and brilliant that product or service is, if you are not able to sell it, it will be worth the effort.

Organization:

The organization will concisely describe the human team that will be part of the company, from the CEO to the lowest-ranking employee. Do not forget that what defines a company are its people and that is why, although it may seem otherwise, this is an aspect as important as all the others.

From the investors’ point of view, this point is especially relevant to show them the expertise and know-how that you have in the company to be able to carry out your idea.

Financial plan :

The financial plan is one of the most important elements of the business plan since the economic viability of the business depends on it. Both the cost forecast (start-up and operation) and the profit forecast are included.

Any newly created business requires an initial investment that, if everything goes according to plan, will be recovered little by little as income is generated. Both the money you initially need to start, and the projection of its recovery are fundamental points to convince your investors. In order to carry out this projection, you must ask answers to questions such as how much does it cost me to produce the product or service? or what margins am I going to apply?

Having a well-written business plan will allow you to be more clear about the direction of your business. In addition, it is an essential requirement if you are looking for investors.

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