The construction of a business plan, also called business plan, is an essential step in all the key moments of the life of your structure: creation of your company, development of your activity, launch of a new product… Your business plan is an operational and forward-looking document that allows you to build, evaluate, activate and control all the dimensions of your strategy.
Whether it serves as a guide throughout the launch phase or as a communication medium to convince potential investors of the solidity of your project, the business plan is an essential tool for any business creator.
What’s in a business plan? How to build it? How to structure it?
To simplify the creation of your business plan, your online accounting firm Small Business Coach offers you this mini guide.
What is a business plan?
The business plan is a document that details the history of your project, your development strategy as well as all the financial elements that ensure the profitability of your business.
A successful free business plan template must be concrete and coherent to highlight the relevance of your business project.
It must present a set of actions to be carried out by the company, determine precisely the means necessary to deploy these actions and set the timetable for implementation. Each of these components must integrate the specificities of your project.
Why create a business plan?
The construction of a business plan allows you to present your project of creating or taking over a business. This document demonstrates the relevance of your project and helps prove that your business is worth starting.
This document is very useful because it allows you to materialize your business plan, set your medium and long-term objectives and validate your financing assumptions.
Your business plan is the reference document for your business creation.
You will be asked for it by your banker, your investors and all the interlocutors to whom you will present your project.
Here is a summary of the main advantages of a business plan:
Test the feasibility of your business idea: writing a business plan is the first step in testing the feasibility of a business idea.
Develop your business faster: writing a business plan is about establishing the foundations of your business. It is not a question of predicting the future, but of developing your company’s strategy and the stages of your project’s development with a forward-looking approach.
Attract investors: Investors and business angels need to know that you have a solid understanding of your business’s prospects. Making a business plan allows you, in this perspective, to provide potential investors with the right financial statements, your forecasts and a synthetic explanation of your economic model.
Make strategic decisions with confidence: By having a written business plan that you review regularly, you can make decisions with confidence. You’ll have all the information you need to predict the best time to hire new employees, launch a new product line, or make a major purchase.
Characteristics of a good business plan
When done well, a business plan grabs the attention of investors and other stakeholders, and encourages them to support your project.
Here are the 7 characteristics of a good business plan:
- Concise: Make sure your business plan is not too long. The business plan should be direct and impactful.
- Realistic: Your approach should be 100% realistic and pragmatic when working on your business plan. Don’t present unrealistic projections of your goals.
- Precise: When creating your business plan, you need to be precise. Define your timelines, key performance indicators (KPIs), target audience, etc.
- Modular: your business plan is a “living” document that must evolve along with your business. Do not hesitate to update it regularly according to your developments.
- Formal: Your business plan should also be written in a formal format and style.
- Understandable: Write your business plan using language your audience will understand. Avoid highly technical jargon or unfamiliar acronyms.
- Error Free: A business plan should be error free.