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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 advisable to 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 the previous study will help you get your idea presented to potential investors and, thus, be able to get 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 is and how useful it is before starting to undertake 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 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 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 must contain information on:
- The product or service you are going to sell
- The advantages of your idea compared to the rest
- The current market and competition
- The team that will be responsible for starting the business
- Projections at the level of financing: the needs and profitability that you expect to obtain, as well as the deadlines
This summary has to present the need that will cover your business idea but, above all, it must have a commercial hook because this document is what your potential investors will read. At most, it should occupy two pages and you have to ensure that the information appears clear, easy to read, and schematized.
3. Let’s start to elaborate on 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 (young people, women, children, etc.)
- The reasons why you have decided to start your business
- The objectives you pursue
- The strategies you will follow to achieve the objectives
In this section the SWOT should also be done, that is, the analysis of Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunity, a way of speaking clearly about everything positive and negative that your idea has; In a How do we find out how to do a SWOT analysis so that you take into account all the points to be valued in this important section.
4. 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 innovation are evaluated future (R&D), etc.
- Competitive analysis: it is the first point that you have to evaluate within this study. Identify which companies may be your direct competition (that is, that do the same as you) and which may be in direct 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 against the rest: why your idea will work better than yours, what characterizes your business, how you will do to overcome them, etc.
- Analysis of the sector in which you are going to introduce yourself: 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 addressing. Studying behavior habits, the use of networks, the places they frequent, their average income, etc., will help you to create a realistic business and adapted to the situation of your customers. So if you are thinking of creating a company dedicated to new mothers, for example, you will have to analyze in-depth their consumption habits 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 take 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 an in-depth 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 for you to have a clear and concise idea of the actions you are going to follow in order to succeed. Some of the basic questions 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 a telephone, face-to-face sales, etc.
- Customer acquisition: if you are going to make announcements, flyers, you are going to make an inauguration, etc.
- Business promotion: to capture, build loyalty, 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 going discounts or rewarding your best customers is a good way to get your audience “liked”.
6. Another 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 has profitability or, on the contrary, is unfeasible. One of the basic reasons before starting to undertake a working idea is to analyze the benefits you will get 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 price structure (the PIP that you will put at 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, 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 down.
7. You must also include information about the human team that will integrate your business. In this section, you must introduce yourself and your partners or workers with whom you start the idea of 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, in this way, you will really have the basic needs to carry out business. Some of the necessary departments are:
- Customer service: be it the company that is clear that you must have a customer service. If nobody 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 subject.
- 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 regard. The skills of a good commercial are important to be able to succeed and really get benefits.