How to make a simple business plan
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 you design a business plan that will help determine basic aspects of your idea, such as 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.
Before starting to detail the plan it is important that you know what a business plan consists of and the usefulness it has 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 local, material, etc.) and other essential aspects to determine before embarking with a project of this caliber.
This plan will also help you establish a timming that is necessary for any start-up company: what are the objectives you want to achieve and in how much time. In short, the business plan is like a schematic map that helps you think carefully about some of the essential aspects to start with your idea .
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 must contain information about:
- The product or service that you are going to sell
- The advantages of your idea compared to the rest
- The current market and competition
- The team that will start the business
- Projections at the level of financing: the needs and profitability that you expect to obtain, as well as the deadlines
In this summary you have to present the need that your business idea will cover but, above all, you must have a commercial hook because this document is what your potential investors will read. At the most you should occupy two pages and you have to make sure that the information appears clear, easy to read and schematized.
Let's start now to elaborate 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 in detail your idea and provide the basic data of it:
- Characteristics of the product or service and, above all, its difference from the current market
- The target audience to which it is intended (youth, women, children, etc.)
- The reasons why you have decided to start your business
- The objectives you pursue
- The strategies that you will follow to achieve the objectives
In this section you should also do the SWOT, that is, the analysis of Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunity, a way to speak clearly about everything positive and negative that your idea has; in we discover how to do a SWOT analysis so that you have in mind all the points to value in this important section.
The next point to analyze is the market in which we are going to introduce ourselves, that is why, our business plan must contain a thorough market study in which aspects such as competition, the evolution of the sector, the possibilities for innovations in the face of future (R & D), etcetera.
- Analysis of the competition : it is the first point that you have to evaluate within this study. Identify which companies can be your direct competition (ie, do the same as you) and which can be indirect competition (that is, that offer your product / service among other options, that offer something similar to yours, and so on). In addition to analyzing it, you will have to mark your difference compared to the rest: why your idea will work better than yours, what characterizes your business, how will you do to overcome them, etc.
- Analysis of the sector in which you are going to introduce yourself: it is important that you also make a study about 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 customer you are targeting. Studying behavior habits, the use of networks, the places you frequent, your 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 first time moms, for example, you will have to analyze in depth your consumption habits to be able to adapt to reality.
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 of this document because it is the essential method that will make you succeed in your business or, on the contrary, fail.
Establish a deep analysis on the strategies that you will carry out to be able to make yourself known, above all, within your potential customers is the most important thing before undertaking your business. Not only to get investors but so that you have a clear and concise idea of the actions you are going to follow in order to be successful. Some of the basic questions that you should ask yourself at this moment are the following:
- Sales channels: that is, if you are going to have a website, if it is going to be selling by phone, in person, etc.
- Customer attraction: if you are going to make announcements, flyers, you are going to do an opening, etc.
- Business promotion: to attract, retain and consolidate 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 "happy".
In we tell you how to use social networks to position your company.
Another important section within a business plan is the financial plan, that is, the economic study of your business idea and that will be crucial to find out if it has profitability 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 true way you can do to know exactly what your income and expenses will be .
In order to make a comprehensive plan, you must calculate the following:
- The structure of the prices (the PVP 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
- The fixed expenses
It is a budget, that is, a fictitious data that you calculate based on income forecasts that do not yet exist; however, it is highly recommended that at this point you be as cautious as possible and always pull downwards.
You must also include information about the human team that will integrate your business. In this section you should 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, so that 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 a customer service. If no one of 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, bill payment and, in general, the accounting of the company should be carried out by someone specialized in this topic.
- Commercial : every team must have people with commercial experience to be able to make your product known to customers and work, only in this regard. The skills of a good commercial are important in order to be successful and really get benefits.