It does not matter at what point in the life cycle your company or business is located, the size, the level of sales, the stability of the cash flow, etc. It is always important to have a kind of “road map” through which to navigate between the challenges and difficulties that require going afloat with that particular business and we call this a business plan or strategic plan.
A business plan is a written instrument of planning, organization, coordination, control, and evaluation of an idea that you have to undertake or take the current business to another level. It is the point at which ideas acquire a method and a structure, the point at which dreams begin to become objectives to be met and demonstrate their viability and/or reformulate the objective or strategy.
As we saw in our previous blog (link), it is important to know our business and define many of its variables and particularities before launching to write our business plan and in this way, we can create a successful one, which is usually characterized by having these qualities:
- He is technical in his vocabulary and uses precise terms to define his ideas.
- It’s short, hovering around 30 pages.
- It has a clear structure that is easy to follow.
- It anticipates questions from potential investors
- Prioritizes the factors that can lead to business success.
- Impeccable in its presentation and design.
Now, let’s see a typical structure of a business plan that can help you take your business to another level.
- Executive Summary
- It will briefly summarize the entire document, although it is at the beginning it can be easier to write it at the end of the process with the document made and in such a way to be coherent.
- Definition of the business and its product
- Here you will find the unique characteristics of the business, its particularities and where it is going, that is, what is intended to be done, what you want to solve in the market.
- Market study
- The context of business development. It is important to be specific and define the target audience, size the market niche, segment, position geographically and also analyze and list the direct, substitute and/or complementary competitors, in this way you have a clear picture of where you are going to play.
- The organization
- Present your work team, how it works and who they are and if new members are required what their ideal characteristics would be.
- Marketing plan
- How the product or service will be marketed can be more important and decisive than the solution itself, so it is important to define it with the 4 P’s of the marketing (product, price, point of sale, advertising-promotion)
- Business system
- It is the operative plan in which the physical requirements of the business are described, as well as the operation of this.
- Study of investment and financing
- The current financial state of the business and will define how much and how the money required to start up the business and the possible sources of financing will be used.
- The idea is to have the basic Financial Statements, namely: Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows and Changes in the financial situation
- Financial valuation
- Here we try to demonstrate the viability of the project through an evaluation of the project where the development of the project will be shown. The investment recovery period will be shown, as well as other variables such as ROI (Return on Investment), NPV (Net Present Value) and IRR (Internal Rate of Return).
- Action plan
- Describe the project schedule defining milestones, resources and responsibilities.
- Highlight realistic key factors including risks.
If you need advice to carry out your business plan, become a member of the REC. Memberships provide free reviews and feedback to the current plan. If you want to get help from the beginning, we can also help you.
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