Every entrepreneur knows it: writing a business plan is a mandatory step when you need to raise funds or convince your banker.
The document will serve as a support to explain your business project, demonstrate its feasibility and certify its profitability to obtain the financing necessary for its completion.
Its writing must be impeccable, both in substance and in form. These seven steps will assist you in your approach: to writing an effective business plan!
Step 1 of writing a business plan: the executive summary
Before starting, it is important to specify that a good business plan is constructed and that Each step needs to be closely scrutinized before continuing.
Your business plan will therefore begin with an “executive summary.”
This summary of your business plan has the heavy task of having to capture the attention of your reader immediately while briefly outlining the main lines of your project:
- The problem your business will address.
- The solution provided.
- The study of competition.
- Your business model (what you will sell, targets, purpose, and for what benefit).
- The presentation of your team and the explanation of your choices.
- The expected results.
- Your financing needs.
Your abstract should fit on one page, two maximum. Fine-tune your writing to make a good impression and give your reader the desire to go further.
Step 2: presentation of the actors of the company
In this part, you will introduce yourself and your management team, associates, partners, and suppliers (1 to 3 pages).
In a way, you will write a CV detailing your motivations, experiences, and skills that will make you a good business leader.
Then, make a presentation of the other project actors by explaining why you want to work with them.
Step 3: Presentation of the products or services
To write an effective business plan, you will have to prove the usefulness of your product or service:
- To whom is he speaking?
- What solution does it bring to your future customers?
- What are its characteristics? His utility?
- How will it be designed?
- What are its strengths and weaknesses?
- What sets you apart from the competition?
In short, why THIS product or THIS service, and what is its added value.
This is a crucial step in your business plan because you must convince your funders that your project is coherent and justified.
Step 4: market research
This is one of the biggest parts of your business plan (around ten pages).
Your market research will therefore analyze supply and demand around your sector of activity and will therefore draw up an assessment:
- market trends
- Positioning of your competitors and differentiating factors
- Constraints related to your training and its regulations
- Demand, customer needs, and their buying habits (qualitative and quantitative study)
- Suppliers and their offers
- Distribution channels
Writing your market research is long, do not hesitate to integrate diagrams and tables to ventilate your content a little and be more readable.
As for the content, at this stage, you will demonstrate that you have an in-depth knowledge of your market and that your offer is relevant and legitimate.
Step 5: your marketing strategy
This step includes four points of your marketing plan (between 2 to 6 pages):
- Price: your pricing policy and how you justify it.
- Promotion: the communication to promote your offer and the advertising actions envisaged.
- Product: the activities planned on the request and the evolution of your product or service over the years.
- Place: the activated distribution networks.
Carefully detail your commercial strategy by integrating the budget for marketing actions and a schedule for the various marketing operations.
The more quantifiable your business plan is, the more credibility it will receive.
Step 6: the financial forecast
Your forecast will reassure your investor about your ability to manage your business and generate revenue.
On 5 to 10 pages, give all the figures necessary to establish:
- The income statement
- The cash table
- The financing plan
- Your fund needs
Set your objectives for the first three years so that the banker or your future investor can assess the profitability of your project.
Last step: risk identification
Knowing how to assess the risks and opportunities of your project will prove to your interlocutor that you know your field of activity perfectly and that you are aware of its flaws and strengths.
Demonstrate to investors that you know how to anticipate risks and what actions will be considered to counter them (or at least limit them).