A well-structured business plan is a valuable tool to analyze and design your project. By identifying weaknesses and strengths, you can make a smarter investment and increase your chances of success. You can also analyze the technical, commercial and economic viability of your business idea, as well as plan the resources you will need.
The business plan is also essential when looking for financing because it is a kind of “business card” of your business project. Not only shows your professionalism and ability to project to the future but in some cases, it is even mandatory to apply for grants and public subsidies or find the support of private investors.
How to make a business plan step by step?
The content of the business plan will depend on the complexity of the activity you want to undertake and the volume of investment you need, although there are some basic details that should be present in any business plan, for example:
The executive summary is essential to generate interest in potential investors and encourage you to continue deepening your proposal as it is a kind of extract from your business in which you will have to summarize the central ideas of the plan.
Presentation of the project
It gathers in a concise and clear manner how the business idea arose, as well as the bases on which it is based and the possible evolution of the project. You should also highlight what differentiates you from the competition and the advantages that your idea can bring to potential investors. Introduce the team that will be in charge of the project, highlighting their talent, experience and availability.
Every business plan must be supported by a market study in which you analyze the current situation of the sector where you want to start and its possible evolution during the next three or five years. That means knowing the competition deeply by detecting the neglected niches, exploring their prices and knowing the level of satisfaction of their customers. The market study also includes a profile of your buyer person. The more detailed, the better, so do not limit yourself to indicate gender, age and socioeconomic level; profiles your consumption habits, needs and interests.
In this section of the business plan, you must describe the marketing strategy of your product or service, including the distribution channels to reach the final customer. Specify the marketing and communication strategy that you will put in place to reach your target. It also reflects the pricing strategy, showing that they are reasonable for your niche market and that you can reach an impressive profit margin.
Production and Human Resources
This section of the business plan must contain all the information related to the personnel you need to hire, both the size of the workforce and the workload that will be assumed and the professional profile or training required. Another point should make reference to the production process, including suppliers and the rules you must meet, details that can make the difference between the success and failure of business because they will directly affect the profit margin.
It is one of the most complex sections of the business plan but also one of the most important to succeed and find investors. You will have to calculate the necessary investment to start up the business, considering aspects such as the expenses of setting up and activating the activity, as well as the money you need to meet the day-to-day expenses. Then you should foresee the fixed and variable expenses that the business will have when it starts, as well as a forecast of the income for at least the following three years.
When you have all this information, you must integrate it into a SWOT matrix, so that you can see at a glance the main weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities that exist for your business.