A business plan is a written description of the future of your business. A document that explains what you are going to do to make your business profitable and how you are going to do it. Usually when a business idea comes up you know what resources and capabilities you have to start with, and where you want to go in a certain period of time (usually in 3 or 5 years). But what is the path to reach that goal? Where to start? How to get the interest of investors?
Making a business plan is to build a map that will guide you in that period to get where you want to go with your initial idea. It is very important not to confuse it with other documents, such as the financial plan or the marketing plan. These last two are part of the business plan.
Why do I need to make a business plan?
To find investors. If what you need is only to write the financial part of your company we give you the 10 key points to create a financial plan.
To apply for loans.
To know the viability of your business idea.
To make improvements to your current business.
How to make a business plan?
1. Cover and index
The first impression will certainly influence the decision of the investors. You should include in the business plan a simple but precise cover with all the data about the company: logo, name, address, telephone, email, website, name of the founder and, if appropriate, a photo of the product or service.
With the index you must order all the points of the business plan with the corresponding page number. Make it as complete as possible so that the reader gets a clear idea of what the document contains.
2. Executive summary with the needs and objectives of your business
In the first part of the document you should make a descriptive summary of the idea that includes the following points: the product or service and its advantages, the opportunity in the market, the management team, the trajectory to date, the financial projections, the financing needs and the expected profitability.
You will have to define the need or problem that your business intends to solve. But, above all, you will have to capture the attention of investors in approximately two pages where you will summarize the most important points of the text. You must also take into account several things:
- If you are still not sure what the fundamental objectives of your business are, you need to think about them before making the business plan.
- It is interesting to refer to the time it has taken you to develop the business idea and the work you have done so far.
3. Describe how you will solve the problem explained in the summary
At this point you should describe the mission of your business. A list of actions your company needs to take to address an existing problem in the market.
- Describe what your product or service is, what customers will get with their purchase and what their weaknesses or drawbacks are. The latter is very important when making a business plan, readers will appreciate your sincerity.
- I’m sure there are already companies working towards the same goals. Identify them and ask yourself: How am I going to differentiate myself?
4. Explain why your business is unique and who will be part of it
Making a business plan involves examining the strengths and weaknesses of your competition, once identified you will be able to justify why your business is unique. You must distinguish yourself from the crowd to increase the investment opportunity.
At this point you can also include the skills of your team to make your business unique. That is, refer to the following information:
- How the management of the business will be carried out.
- Describe the background and experience of each team member.
- Clarify how you will cover the main areas of production, sales, marketing, finance and administration.
- Include management accounts, sales, stock control and quality control.
- Analyze, if necessary, the location of the company and the advantages and disadvantages of this situation.
If there is something that investors value, it is the entrepreneur’s capacity for commitment. Take advantage of this point in the business plan to show them the amount of time and money that you and your team are willing to assume.
5. List the characteristics of the market in which you will develop your business
- You will need to analyse the market conditions: how big it is, how fast it is growing and what its profit potential is.
- Explain how you will research your audience and with what tools.
- Know the target market in which the business will develop and direct your marketing strategies towards that target. If you do not orient your marketing strategy you will lose time, effort and money. Make sure that you solve the following questions from investors: What are your competitors’ products and how do they create them? Why would someone abandon your current competitors to buy from your business?
6. Devise promotional strategies
This is where your business’ marketing plan should go. It is perhaps one of the most relevant steps when making a business plan. Marketing and promotional strategies could determine the success or failure of your business. To sort out all this information try to answer several questions:
- How are you going to position your product or service (compare features such as price, quality or response time with your competitors)
- How are you going to sell to your customers? (Phone, website, face to face, agents…)
- Who will be your first customers?
- How will you identify potential customers?
- How are you going to promote your business (advertising, public relations, email marketing, content strategy, social media…)
- What benefit will each part of your business achieve?
7. Analyze your sources of income
When you get to this point in making your business plan you should start translating everything you have said into numbers. That is to say, to analyze the financial forecasts of your business.
- The analysis should include: price structure, costs, margins and expenses.
- If you need more information on how to make a financial plan, we recommend reading this guide.
8. Creating a plan to deal with profit or loss
If you hit a rough patch early and don’t have a plan, the business could suddenly go under or fail. If you receive an unexpected success, your goals could suddenly change and you will need a new business plan.
Therefore, you should evaluate the risks of your business, identify the areas where something could go wrong and explain what you would do in that case.
It is very possible that after making the business plan you will need to give additional information to complement it. For example:
- Data from the market research you explained in point 5.
- Curriculum of the team that will form your company (very important if you are looking for external financing).
- Technical specifications of the product or service (you can include photographs).
- The names of some potential clients.
10. Use freelance talent to make your business plan
At LanceTalent we support startups and small businesses in their initial phase. That is why one of the most demanded projects in the platform to be carried out by freelance experts is the writing of a business plan.
- Why support you with freelance professionals? Creating a business plan normally means writing more than 50 pages with attractive, dynamic and precise texts, which manage to capture the attention of very demanding people. It should attract the attention of investors, who despite having read hundreds of them, should find something unique in your business plan.
The best way to create this document with maximum peace of mind and with the support of qualified professionals is through freelance talent. Find out now and we will help you find the best professionals to make your business plan.