Know how to make a business plan correctly is very important for anyone who wants to be successful when launching a business or creating a company, since when preparing this document you will be doing a systematization and presentation of a project at a strategic level. This could be a way to get some stability in your plan, thus avoiding some risks and difficult periods when starting your business.
How to make a business plan
In other words, a business plan is a guiding tool that must include critical information that is decisive when bringing together potential partners or investors, the existence of both being important if you want your business to succeed in the market. It is through it that you can obtain funds that make it possible to materialize your idea with potential suppliers or investors, including Banks, Private Investors, Venture Capital Companies and Official Institutions, among others.
To this end, the document should systematize information about the interested party’s business idea, how it intends to implement it and what results it expects to obtain. This means that there will have to be a great deal of research into the project’s data before starting to develop the plan. It is also important to ask for the collaboration of external experts in some matters that must be included in the plan, including the financial aspect and the economic viability of the project.
Structure your business plan well
How to make a well-structured business plan? Although there is not a single structuring option, we share with you the one suggested by the Institute for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation (IAPMEI), which highlights the following topics:
- Brief project summary
- Introducing the creator and the project
- Contextualization of the market and the external environment
- Definition of goals and objectives
- commercial strategy
- company structure
- Preparation of financial forecasts
- Business control and management
- Necessary investment
- Attach documents and other information
Correctly select plan information
Each of the topics presented must contain clear and concise information, so that there are no doubts about which business is being dealt with. Beware of spelling errors, as they may alienate potential stakeholders from the project.
Brief project summary
Also known as the Executive Summary, this part of your business plan structure is considered a business card of sorts for potential investors. As such, it should not be too long, but rather flashy, simple and objective, with a maximum of two pages being advisable for this summary, which should be like the synopsis of a film. It is through the summary that you will be selling your project, because if it does not captivate the reader, it is possible that he will give up reading the rest of the information in the business plan. The text cannot miss information such as:
- Business name;
- Identification of the service or product;
- Identification of the sector;
- Mission identification;
- Explanation of the reasons that make the idea innovative;
- Identification of potential markets;
- Approach to the strengths and weaknesses of the project;
- Identification of what may be attractive to investors;
- Explanation of the human resources and investments required to carry out the project;
- Approach on the relevant qualities of entrepreneurs for the project;
- Approaching the amount of time that may elapse before the project begins to create positive net results.
Introducing the creator and the project
How to make a business plan in which you can sell your idea well? Taking advantage of the topic of Presentation of the creator and the project, where you must enter information about your personal history, including your training and education, experience gained in previous projects and which team you intend to include in the project. All these data will be taken into account by potential financiers and investors.
Contextualization of the market and the external environment
To succeed in your business, it is necessary to acquire good knowledge about the market related to the area where you intend to launch, as this is a very important step. As such, information such as:
- Market characterization;
- Market development;
- Customer typology.
If necessary, contact market analysis companies to gather this information.
Definition of goals and objectives
It is not possible to draw up a good business plan without including goals and objectives. These must be well defined in order to attract funders.
Establishing this type of strategy is fundamental and easy to develop after having concretely understood the needs of customers in the market for which the business plan is intended. It is in this topic that you should:
- Identify customers;
- Define the target audience;
- Define the means to be used to boost sales;
- Create supports for the implementation of the image and communication strategy;
- Training of sales teams.
Preparation of financial forecasts
These forecasts must contain break even projections, the name given to the moment from which a project stops losing money and starts generating income, thus recovering the capital invested. Don’t forget to also include cash flow, sales and financing projections, as well as documents that justify the costs with the team involved in the business and other external services that are essential for the business.
Business control and management
Another way to attract investors is to show rigor and confidence in the numbers and strategy of the plan. One of the advantages of knowing how to make a business plan is having knowledge about some software tools that help in the systematization of information.
It is in this topic that you should write how much your business investment costs and how to meet its objectives, which can be done through amortization planning, for example. It is essential to establish deadlines to better define the period of investment linked to the business.
Attach documents and other information
After you have placed all the information mentioned above in your business plan, it is important that you use this last topic to add more data that can reinforce the added value of your business, such as the inclusion of technical specifications about products, financial documents that support the entire cost and sales forecast, curricula of the promoters of the idea, among others.
Key features of a business plan
If you want to know how to make a business plan that will lead you to success, you should learn that this document must contain the following characteristics:
- Have an organized structure;
- Have a professional appearance;
- Be original and creative;
- Be easy to read;
- Be objective;
- Contain achievable goals;
- Indicate the responsible persons;
- Evidencing the quality of the company’s elements;
- Have a target market focused approach;
- Present detailed budgets;
- Show good financial planning;
- Contain good forecast documents;
- Mention the business risks;
- Help to put the plan into practice in an easy way;
- Be a business plan with realistic estimates and projections.
It is important that the document undergoes a critical reviewthat is, you must show it to people close to the business who can give you constructive and reasoned criticism, in order to correct and thus improve your business plan in some aspects before definitively completing its preparation.
Avoid mistakes that can be fatal for the business
Don’t make the mistake of drawing up a business plan that is too extensive, as it will become boring and likely to be dispersed in information. It is advisable that this document does not exceed the limit of 50 pages. Also avoid making unrealistic financial forecasts, which means you shouldn’t make big long-term projections.
Remember that one of the main goals of the plan is to get funding for your idea to be put into practice, so don’t waste everything with the elaboration of a bad business plan.
Questions to ask after the plan has been prepared
Have you really learned how to make a business plan that will lead you to success? To find out the answer, you’ll need to test your plan when you’re done by asking yourself questions, including:
- Who are the entrepreneurs of this project and what is the reputation that each one has at a professional and personal level?
- Did I choose my team well for this type of project?
- How can we respond to business risk factors?
- Is this plan realistic in terms of the objectives set?
- Could this document help me to observe potential future risks?
If you were able to answer all these questions easily and positively, it means that your business plan is ready to be shared with potential partners or investors. Good luck!