Create a Solid Business Plan: A Guide for Entrepreneurs


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Creating a business plan isn't mandatory, but it's a major asset. A business plan is essential not only :

  • present your business to investors (for example)
  • but also to follow the evolution and the achievement of your objectives.

A business plan consists of several elements that allow you to have a clearer idea of an entrepreneurial project as a whole.

If you already have a business idea, here are the different key parts of a business plan:

Definition of the company's objectives

Start your own business include defining its goals. Defining the company's objectives is the first step to create a business plan. This involves determining the objectives and results you expect from your business: short, medium and long term.

Short-term objectives may include:

  • creating a product/service,
  • conquering new markets,
  • improving performance,
  • increasing market share, ...

Medium-term objectives may include:

  • improving processes,
  • developing new products/services,
  • accessing external funding, ...

Long-term objectives may include:

  • growth in profitability,
  • expansion of activities,
  • development of new markets, ...

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Market study

Market study is essential before you make your entrepreneurial project a reality. It is also the second step in creating a business plan. It is important to gather information about the competition and the commercial environment before launching your business.

Information to gather includes:

  • market trends,
  • target customers,
  • competition,
  • similar products/services,
  • promotional strategies,
  • macroeconomic factors
  • and political conditions.

Once these informations are gathered, they should be analyzed with a perspective of using them to develop an effective business strategy.

The product/service development plan

A product/service development plan will be used to define the products/services you want to market and their value to the customer.

It will also determine:

  • the price
  • and features of your products/services.

Your development plan should also include information on:

  • the quality and safety of the products/services
  • as well as their compliance with standards and regulations.

Finally, the plan should also include information on:

  • production capacity,
  • supplying
  • and logistics.

The marketing plan

Creating a business plan involves the elaboration of a marketing plan. It will be essential to achieve the objectives of your business. The marketing plan will help you answer the question "How to you sell your products and services?".

Its function is to define the promotion and distribution strategy. It is essentially based on the market segmentation. It will determine:

  • the positioning of the products/services
  • and the communication strategy to adopt.
  • It will also be used to define the distribution strategy.

Finally, the marketing plan must include information on:

  • costs,
  • prices
  • and promotion strategies.

Financing Plan

The financing plan will determine the sources of funding and associated costs. It should include information on investments, loans and grants.

The financing plan should also include strategies for:

  • cash flow management
  • and risk hedging.

It should also present information on projected:

  • revenues
  • and expenses.

The Operations Plan

The operations plan is another key element to create a business plan. It will be used to define the procedures and systems required to achieve the objectives.

This will include:

  • employee duties and responsibilities,
  • production processes
  • and maintenance procedures.

The operations plan will also:

  • develop training and safety plans
  • and define quality control systems.

Finally, it should also detail informations about:

  • the equipment,
  • tools
  • and software

required for the business.

Human Resources Management Plan

A competent, motivated team is essential to ensure the success of your business. The function of the human resources management plan is to define the responsibilities and skills needed to achieve the company's objectives.

To do this, you will have to determine:

  • the criteria for recruiting employees
  • and the selection procedures.

You will also need to:

  • develop training and skills development plans
  • and define compensation systems.

The plan should also include information on:

  • performance management
  • and incentive policies.

Evaluation and monitoring forecast

The last element to consider to create a business plan is the forecast of the evaluation and control of the company's activity.

It will determine the key performance indicators and monitoring methods. For this part:

  • you will need to develop performance measures and targets.
  • But also define methods to monitor financial results.

Finally, the evaluation and control part of your business plan will also serve to detail:

  • informations on audit procedures
  • and analysis tools.

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Creating a business plan is not compulsory. It is, however, a precious tool that will help you bring your business project to reality. A business plan is used to provide a clear and detailed presentation of a business project to investors and stakeholders. It is therefore essential to raise funds.

Creating a business plan will help:

  • structure and guide the development of the company
  • and assess the risk and viability of the project.

This by providing a perspective and a global vision of the business activities in the short, medium and long term.

But also to give the elements that will allow:

  • to measure the performance
  • and to define strategies to achieve the objectives.