Do you have a business idea in mind? More and more people decide to start their own business but, before starting to work on it, it is recommended that a business plan be designed that will help determine basic aspects of your idea such as, for example, the marketing plan, the financial aspect, the human team you need, and so on. In addition, this type of preliminary study will help you to present your idea to potential investors and, thus, be able to obtain the money you need to start it. In this article we are going to tell you how to make a simple business plan that will help you put all your ideas in order.
Steps to follow:
1. Before starting to detail the plan, it is important that you know what a business plan consists of and how useful it is before starting to start with your idea. This document is a detailed description of what your future business will be: you have to talk about the concept, the profitability of your idea, the action plan, the workers you will need, the required equipment (if you need premises, material, etc.) and other essential aspects to determine before embarking on a project of this caliber.
This plan will also help you establish a timing that is necessary for any newly created company: what are the objectives you want to achieve and in how long. In short, the business plan is like a schematic map that helps you think carefully about some of the essential aspects to be able to start with your idea.
2. The first field that a business plan should have is the executive summary, that is, a brief explanation that describes your idea as well as the objectives you want to achieve. In general terms, this section should contain information on:
- The product or service you are going to sell
- The advantages of your idea over the rest
- The current market and competition
- The team that will be in charge of starting the business
- The projections at the financing level: the needs and the profitability you hope to obtain, as well as the terms
In this summary, the need that your business idea is going to cover must be presented but, above all, it must have a commercial hook as this document is what your potential investors will read. It should occupy two pages at most and you have to ensure that the information appears clear, easy to read and outlined.
3. Let’s start now to develop the business plan in detail. The first step we have to think about is the business mission, that is, what our business will consist of. You will have to describe your idea in detail and provide the basic information about it:
- Characteristics of the product or service and, above all, its difference with respect to the current market
- The target audience for which it is intended (youth, women, children, etc.)
- The reasons why you have decided to start your business
- The goals you pursue
- The strategies that you are going to follow in order to achieve the objectives
In this section you should also do the SWOT, that is, the analysis of the Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunity, a way to speak clearly about everything positive and negative that your idea.
4. The next point to analyze is the market in which we are going to enter, therefore, our business plan must contain a thorough market study in which aspects such as competition, the evolution of the sector, the possibilities of innovations with a view to future (R&D), etc.
- Competitor analysis: it is the first point that you have to evaluate within this study. Identify which companies can be your direct competition (that is, they do the same as you) and which ones can be indirect competition (that is, that offer your product / service among other options, that offer something similar to yours, etc.). In addition to analyzing it, you will have to make your difference from the rest: why your idea will work better than theirs, what characterizes your business, how you will do to overcome them, etc.
- Analysis of the sector in which you are going to enter: it is important that you also do a study on the market in question; For example, if you are thinking of setting up an app, you will have to talk about the evolution of the market, future prospects, and so on.
- Analysis of the target audience: in the same way it is also essential that you study your target audience, that is, the client you are targeting. Studying their behavioral habits, the use of networks, the places they frequent, their average income, etc., will help you to create a realistic business adapted to the situation of your customers. So, if you are thinking of creating a company dedicated to new moms, for example, you will have to analyze their consumption habits in depth in order to adapt to reality.
5. The next section that we will have to analyze is the marketing plan, that is, what actions we will do to reach our target audience and get them to buy our product or service. It is one of the most important steps in this document as it is the essential method that will make you succeed in your business or, on the contrary, fail.
Establishing a deep analysis of the strategies that you will carry out in order to make yourself known, above all, within your potential clients is the most important thing before starting your business. Not only to get investors but so that you have a clear and concise idea of the actions that you are going to follow in order to be successful. Some of the basic questions that you should ask yourself at this time are the following:
- Sales channels: that is, if you are going to have a website, if it is going to be sales by phone, in person, etc.
- Customer acquisition: if you are going to make announcements, flyers, do an opening, etc.
- Business promotion: to attract, retain and establish yourself as a brand, it is essential that you have a monthly marketing plan in mind that reminds your customers that you are there. Also making discounts or rewarding your best customers is a good way to get your audience to “like you”.
6. Another very important section within a business plan is the financial plan, that is, the economic study of your business idea and that will be decisive to find out if it is profitable or, on the contrary, is unfeasible. One of the basic reasons before starting to undertake a work idea is to analyze the benefits that you will obtain from it and, in this sense, this plan is the most detailed and truthful way you can do to know exactly what your income and expenses will be.
In order to carry out a comprehensive plan, you will need to calculate the following:
- The price structure (the RRP that you will put to your service / product or your commission)
- The costs derived from your activity
- The investment you need
- The profit margins you have
- Fixed expenses
This is a budget, that is, some fictitious data that you calculate based on income forecasts that do not yet exist; however, it is highly recommended that at this point you are as cautious as possible and always pull down.
7. You should also include information about the human team that will make up your business. In this section you must introduce yourself and your partners or workers with whom you start the idea, explaining their professional experience, their skills and the field in which they are experts.
It is advisable that you think about all the departments that a company requires and say how you are going to cover them because, then, you will really have the basic needs to be able to carry out a business. Some of the necessary departments are:
- Customer service: whatever the company is, it is clear that you must have customer service. If no one on your team is going to take care of it, you will have to have the option of hiring a subcontractor to carry out this task but you should not neglect it.
- Administration or managers: payroll, payment of invoices and, in general, the accounting of the company must be carried out by someone specialized in this matter.
Commercial: in every team there must be people with commercial experience to be able to make your product known to customers and work, only, in this sense. The skills of a good salesperson are important to being successful and truly profitable.