Writing a business plan often seems complicated to entrepreneurs. Most of you usually don’t know where to start, what to include, or where to find the information.
This series of articles on the topic of how to make a business plan aims to answer all these questions.
We tried to cover the whole methodology to make a business plan: from the definition of the business plan to the analysis made by investors.
Tailor-made business plan
The business plan has an argumentative aim: it must demonstrate that the project is attractive. The structure of the business plan must therefore be adapted according to the project in order to enhance it.
The reader of the business plan will decide to continue the project (or to abandon it) according to the balance between the risks a
nd the opportunities of gains which are associated with it. The perception of risks will depend on the identity of the reader: banks, managers, and shareholders all have their own way of understanding risks.
It is therefore important to understand the analysis grid that the recipient of the plan will use to make his investment decision before writing the plan in order to be able to adapt it accordingly.
1 business plan = 2 documents
There are almost two different documents in a business plan. The executive summary and the rest.
The summary is the most important section of the business plan, its objective is to make the investor want to know more about the project by succinctly answering all the questions stated above.
After reading the summary, and if he is interested in the project, the investor will explore some of the other sections of the business plan in order to obtain more detail on the points which seem important to him.
What is the typical structure of a business plan?
A business plan generally follows the following order:
- Company (who are we?)
- Products and Services (what do we sell?)
- Market research (to whom?)
- Strategy (how ?, who are our competitors ?, what is the timetable?)
- Operations (how is the product made?)
- Financial Plan (what are the financial needs ?, what is the return on investment?)
While there is a typical business plan structure , it is important to note that the plan should be tailored to both the reader and the project.