Congratulations, after much deliberation you have decided to start your own company and you now want to make a business plan? Smart, because a business plan gives you insights into the ideas you have. For example, is it all realistic and achievable?
You have probably never made a business plan before. But with the tips and handles below you should be able to write your business plan.
Why do you actually need a business plan?
In fact, in a business plan you are going to tell us what you are going to do and especially how you are going to do it. This is actually the rationale for why your business will be a success. In the first instance it will help you to take a critical look at your own ideas and it may even provide you with new insights.
In addition, if you need a loan for your own business, a bank would like to know who they are spending their money on. The same goes for any investor who wants to know whether it will be a good investment.
With a clear business plan you can convince the bank or your investor to the chance of success, although you can never give a 100% guarantee, you can show that you have thought it through and that you take the entrepreneurship very seriously.
Discover here 7 helpful steps that every business plan should include:
1. What is the goal?
Why this idea? How did it begin? What drives you to start a business? What are you doing it for and what do you want to achieve? This is the place where you tell about the usefulness of your company. Do this as short as possible, for example a maximum of 3 sentences.
2. Which product/service?
What exactly are you going to offer? In this step you explain exactly what your product or service is about. Think, for example, of what it can do, how it works, what it costs, how it is created and so on.
A prototype or a detailed elaboration helps to convince others of your own ideas. That makes it all concrete and tangible. But don’t be “too” technical, unless this is precisely the distinctiveness or innovation of your product. The focus should mainly be on how your product/service will now be a solution for your target group (see point 3).
3. Who is the target audience?
Who is your company’s target audience? Who are your customers going to be? Who are you doing it all for? Which sales market? What problems will you solve with your product or service?
When you list this, you will see that your product or service will take even more shape.
4. How are you unique?
What makes you different from others in this market? What is your added value for the target group? Carefully map out this step. Is it innovative, or something that doesn’t exist yet? Or are you going to approach it in a completely different way, so that you still stand out? Are you going to target some niche market perhaps? Determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
5. Draw up a marketing plan
In a marketing plan you will look at how you will sell your product. For example, what will your price setting look like? How will you promote your service or product to the target audience? Are you going to sell through an (online) store? Through some distribution channel? It’s important to get all of this straight before launching your business.
6. Competition Analysis
If you work in a monopolistic market, then competition makes little sense, of course, but in which sector or niche is this still the case today? In 99% of the cases you will have to deal with competition. But who are they and what should you keep in mind? See who your competitors are and how they market their products so you don’t end up doing the same. Because then there is a good chance that you will not make it.
In this step it is also useful to make a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), in which you link the strengths and weaknesses of your organization to the opportunities and threats in the market.
7. The Financial Plan
Last but not least … the financial plan in which you give a clear insight to the bank or a potential investor of how you think you will earn money, within what timeframe and what costs you think you will incur. You can have the wildest ideas and the biggest dreams, but it must of course be financially feasible.
To substantiate this, make a financial plan. This includes, for example, the costs that you will incur and how much you have to sell in order not to make a loss. How many customers are needed for that? But don’t forget the way you are going to make money.