The brains to develop your enterprise. Safely
This page is a real guide to writing a perfect Business Plan. To convince your managers, to strike a chord with investors,
to win the challenge.
The Business Plan is the key document to carry out your business idea. It is the written version of this idea, it summarizes the contents and describes the characteristics of your project. The Business Plan is an operational guide to your company or business project. It must be engaging, it must make it clear to those who read it that your idea is right and it must make clear how you are going to carry it out, how you are going to make those who will be making the decision to believe in you.
From BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS to Business Plan
Business Plan is the ideal continuation of the BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS. It translates the whole study phase and the feasibility analysis into figures that let you understand many things about the company. How is it doing? When will you start generating revenue? What is your break-even point? When will you have positive cash flow? How will you manage customers? How will you enhance your products or services? Who will your partners be? And so on.
Improve your BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS every day and you'll find yourself with a ready-made Business Plan!
Business Plan is a management tool that summarizes the progress of your company or project in the form of data and
statistics. There is no business, no company, no startup without a Business Plan.
When to use a Business Plan
The answer is very simple. Always. In this case as for the Executive Summary, there are two types of Business Plan:
Startup - if you are a launching a new business the Business Plan will end up being scrutinised by an investor. It will have to be convincing because otherwise your project will never see the light of day. In this case, it will present the business idea in figures and focus on a feasibility plan. A very strong BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS will be essential. The rest will follow.
Established Business - if you have experience as an entrepreneur, you should already know about this tool. Already it is your irreplaceable guide to company management. You just have to write the right BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS for the new activity to be undertaken, for a new product to be launched or to modify the one you are already using.
The Business Plan, in fact, is not a fixed document, written in stone. Far from it. It is a dynamic tool, constantly evolving and that needs to be constantly updated.
How you write it
The Business Plan is divided into various sections. You and your collaborators can fill in the different sections, complete them and comment on them with the appropriate editor. This list gives depth to the individual blocks of the Business Plan, which in any case will be a single document.
Key Activities differ according to the chosen business sector:
Explain to investors why your product, your service and your business idea is right, what needs of the chosen market segment are met, what your answer is to this need, why your customers will choose you and not your competitors. When writing the Value Proposition, always remember to:
Be brief and precise.
Put customer needs at the centre and how you might bring value.
The value you can give your customers is not only economic convenience, but also time, quality or other values.
A key element of Business Plan which is essential for already structured companies and is often underestimated by startups. The CRM plan is necessary to increase sales of your product, retain customers and improve profit margins. Through the CRM strategy:
You get to know and value your customers. Identify purchase trends to find out who the most important and most profitable customers are.
Acquire and store data in one place so you always have it at your fingertips and so you can test and refine your marketing strategies and increase sales.
Create a targeted and personalised service for the customer. This is the way to keep the customer coming back to you.
Acquisition of data on customer buying behaviour will allow you to develop up-selling and cross-selling strategies.
Improve efficiency through specific targeting and through reduced sales and marketing costs.
It constantly monitors market trends and customer behaviour. Acquire new customers using the data at your disposal.
Define your target audience precisely. Subdivide your clients' market by needs, behaviours, but also by age, sex, gender, ethnicity, profession, qualifications. Cross these built segments with your Value Proposition and explain why you decided to target a particular group or segments. This phase is very important for your overall strategy and for defining key resources.
Accurately explain what the strategic assets are to perform Key Activities and make your business successful. The choice and explanation of these resources is a key point in the business plan. It can be enclosed in 4 macro-categories:
Physical - These are the tangible things you need to produce or sell your product or service like machines, points of sale, computers.
Intellectual - Everything that the company has in terms of knowledge and intangible value: brands, patents, partnerships, databases.
Human - There is no successful company if the people who work there are not the right people. Explain why some professionals will allow you to make a difference with competitors.
Financial - What gives you an edge from the financial path point of view? In this part, insert the reasons why you can take advantage of the market thanks to economic resources that make you stronger than your competitors in the acquisition of physical, intellectual and human resources.
Write in detail about the distribution, sales and communication channels you have chosen in order to reach your target. These are what is known as touch points. Enter them in order of importance, explaining why they will work with your customers.
Financial Plan (Costs & Revenues)
This is perhaps the decisive part of the business plan. All the other sections are important but the Financial Plan must convince an investor or manager to take a risk on your project. Financial sustainability must be detailed and precise, accompanied by clear and comprehensive tables and graphs. It is the detailed exposition of costs and revenues, how much your products or services will cost, when your business will become a winner. The essential elements are:
Sales Forecast - These are your sales predictions. It must be for a minimum of three years, divided monthly or for periods less than one year, in which the number of units sold, the price of the product per unit and the cost of sales to establish the gross margin, is predicted.
Expenses Budget - These are costs, usually divided into fixed costs and variable costs. The lower the fixed costs, the greater the chance that your business will be successful.
Cash-flow Statement - The financial statement is the king of the Financial Plan. It clearly explains the cash flow, or how much money will go out of your business and how much will come in.
Income Projections - This is the result of the first three points, the forecast of your profits and losses in the coming years. Discover the net profit once deducted from the gross margin, expenses, interest and taxes.
Assets and Liabilities - Take into account the assets, holdings available to you and fixed liabilities that are not part of revenues and losses.
Break-even - Especially in startups, an analysis to understand when your business will become profitable is fundamental, that is when your expenses will be matched by sales.
In this section, explain what the metrics are, the numbers you have chosen to monitor your business. For example, you can compare your results in terms of sales with the original aims. Or monitor the efficiency of your human resources. Metrics can be multiple and can cover every sector of your business. Let us have a look at some possibilities:
CAC - The cost incurred by the company to acquire a new customer.
Like for Like - The comparison between turnover or sales compared to business objectives.
LTV - The value of a customer in the time frame in which they remain your customer.
EBITDA - Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation
Free cash flow
In your plan, make a detailed list of how you will find the funds to finance your business. Please indicate all sources accurately, especially if your Business Plan ends up on an investor's table for your startup. These are the main sources:
Build a matrix to visually represent the channels you have chosen to position your product on the market and where they are placed on traditional/innovative, virtual/physical, web/mobile and so on.
Visually present a competitive analysis of your main competitors in the market segment you wish to occupy and in neighbouring segments. Emphasise in a timely, concise and truthful manner what their strengths and weaknesses are. Analyse their strategies, products, pricing, locations, customers, data and financial resources, the brand.
Explain how technology will impact on your business plan, what your strategies are for reducing costs by increasing the efficiency of your business, what investments you will make for computer security, which technologies you will acquire to keep up with your competitors, which technologies you will subcontract externally.