Understand what a Business Plan is and get to know the complete step by step of how to make yours – WAU
The business plan is the best tool for an entrepreneur. It is the key to having total control of your company, its objectives and results. Without one, it is common to get lost along the way, making it difficult to achieve success. Know more!
Every entrepreneur needs a business plan. This tool is the best way to have control over your company, possible investments and, of course, all the plans that involve its success.
How about learning more about this feature? In this post, we will explain what the document is, its importance, how it can help your company and a step by step to assemble yours. Enjoy reading!
What is a business plan?
The business plan is a management tool that helps the entrepreneur to plan all the steps of the company, whether in a specific marketing action, whether in the opening of a project or in the expansion of a unit.
Regardless of the scenario you are in, this document will help you map the objectives of your company and the steps to be followed to achieve the expected results.
Why create a business plan?
Creating a business plan can help your company in several ways. This plan is, above all, a working tool, which will guide everything that needs to be done, analyzed and considered in its management. Among the various objectives and benefits of the resource, we have the following.
1. Simulation of scenarios
To understand what your company will face in the future, it is possible to create a scenario simulation. Consider everything that has been defined in your business plan and imagine favorable and unfavorable situations, to understand exactly what are the pros and cons, greatest opportunities and threats, and more!
2. Preparation for adversity
A business plan involves identifying possible problems that can be faced throughout the company’s trajectory. Therefore, it is possible to create strategies to deal with all the adversities that may arise, creating not only plans to avoid them, but also to circumvent those that appear in the future, such as a brand crisis.
3. Alignment of information
One of the most common reasons for fights between members is the lack of information alignment. Therefore, the business plan may be the best way to keep every relevant information recorded, organized and aligned, ensuring that all parties involved in the company are aware of the details.
4. Correction of deviations
With a good business plan, it is possible to have a more accurate forecast of the steps that your company needs to go through and what are the possible results in each of these moments. Therefore, when something goes off track, it is possible to predict what has been diverted and create a correction plan.
5. Obtaining financing
If you have identified that a third party investment or good financing is required, the business plan is an excellent way to make a good presentation of your proposal.
This ensures that prospective investors have access to a professional, objective and quality content, increasing the chances of attracting financing.
Also check out this content about business plan!
Business Plan x Business Model: what are the real differences
What do you need in a business plan?
To create your business plan, consider everything it encompasses: the summary, market analysis, marketing planning, financial planning and more.
In order not to forget any details, check below which are the categories that can not be missing!
The summary is the first part of the plan. In this tab, you will need to enter the most important information about your company. Are they:
- clear and objective description of what your company is and how it stands out in the market;
- the mission, vision and values of your business;
- description of entrepreneurs, employees and what to expect from each of these professionals;
- what products and services will be marketed by the company, as well as their benefits;
- who are your company’s customers;
- where will be your physical headquarters;
- what are the legal procedures;
- what the total investment value will be.
All the most relevant information about your company needs to be considered at this point, without, of course, objectivity being left out. Your summary needs to be professional, creative and objective, as it is the reader’s first contact with the business plan.
Market analysis is one of the most important points in your business plan. It is done in several ways, covering fundamental details for the proper functioning of your company.
One of the most striking details of a company is the segmentation of customers. After all, this is where you will identify:
- who your audience or persona is;
- what these people would like to buy;
- which products and services are most interesting to them;
- which is the age group, gender and education level;
- whether they are individuals or legal entities;
- where they usually buy;
- what your biggest needs are and more.
The better your understanding of the public, the more successful your communication actions will be, whether related to investment in content marketing and SEO, or to strengthening the company’s presence on social networks.
Understanding the public also helps to understand the product and / or service that will be marketed: does it need to be optimized? Is it in line with market needs? Can it be improved in any way?
Competitor analysis is an excellent way to learn more about the market and identify opportunities. At this point, consider companies that operate in the same industry as you and that offer solutions that compete for preference in the market with their products and services: those who solve the same problems and needs of your audience.
Take advantage of this moment to identify, based on the experiences of these companies, what can be interesting and what not to do under any circumstances! After all, learning from others’ mistakes is a way to stay one step ahead of them!
Review some details, such as:
- how is the quality of your competitors’ products and services?
- Are the prices higher or lower than yours? Do they make sense?
- Is customer service quality?
- How are the opening hours, deadlines, delivery services and other details?
- How does your company differ from each of your competitors?
- What are the differentials of these competitors? What makes the public choose them?
Making a good study of suppliers is essential to be able to have more control in daily activities. Here, it is necessary to consider which will be the best companies to search for what is necessary to make products and services feasible, which equipment must be purchased and much more.
Analyze market options, search for trusted companies and ask a few questions to ensure you are making a good choice:
- what raw materials are needed?
- Who are the suppliers for each of them?
- Are suppliers offering good payment terms?
- Are the prices attractive?
- Is the delivery time interesting?
- Where are the supplier companies?
- What are the minimum quantities for each supplier? Do they fit your needs?
Having a marketing plan is essential to ensure successful communication. At this point, you need to describe all the details of your product and service: colors, quality, sizes, labels, brands, flavors, thickness, weight and all other specifications.
Likewise, you must consider which sales strategies will be used for your products, and how you intend to structure these actions so that the information reaches the customers.
To create a good marketing plan, answer the following questions:
- is the price of the product adequate?
- How to describe the product?
- How does your product help customers?
- How does your product stand out from the competition?
- What are the competitive advantages?
- How does your customer behave at the time of purchase?
- How will the distribution be?
- How will the customer know that your company exists?
- How will he identify your product?
- Will sales be made in physical stores or e-commerce?
- Will there be delivery service?
Having answered all these questions, you can identify the best marketing strategies, sales pitches and other important details for marketing your products.
We are sure that these other contents can help you too!
Digital marketing canvas: plan your complete online strategy!
4 Ps of marketing: understand the concept of the Marketing Mix
SWOT Analysis or F.O.F.A Matrix: what it is and how to do it [templates]
How to set your company’s marketing budget in 2019
The financial plan needs attention and care. At this point, you need to plan your company’s expenses and investments to prevent your business budget from getting messy.
When writing your financial plan, consider all the costs you have had so far, what investments have been made, what needs to be considered, what is the best working capital amount and more.
Consider the costs to create a website, domains and virtual store hosting, marketing, employee salaries, equipment, rent of physical space, suppliers, necessary raw materials, etc. When all this is considered, it is possible to have a clearer idea of what your company’s total investment is.
The total investment can be divided into 3 other categories.
The first of them are the fixed investments. At this point, you consider all the goods that need to be purchased for your company to function in the best possible way: equipment, furniture, machinery and utensils.
The second category is the working capital. Here, you need to identify how much money is needed to ensure that the business continues to run smoothly every month. Consider investments in inventory, payment from suppliers, etc.
The third and last category, pre-operating investments, are the necessary expenses before starting the company’s activities. Possible renovations to the property, registration and legal fees, among other bureaucratic details that need to be resolved before opening the company’s doors are considered.
The operational plan is a section of the business plan where you describe how your company will operate. In this part, consider all the steps that will be taken to sell your product and provide the services you market.
It is necessary to answer the question “how much will I be able to sell in a specific period?”. To do so, consider the following details:
- what is the time required for the process of selling or providing services?
- Do you have enough and well-trained employees for your company’s good performance?
- Do you have the necessary equipment and materials to get all your work done?
- How is your product storage and distribution capacity?
- How is your relationship with suppliers? Are the deadlines attractive?
- Have the positions that each employee will occupy have been defined?
Establish which employees are in each position, how the company and office space will be arranged and, of course, how the gondolas and departments will be distributed in your physical store, if one exists.
Analyzing the scenarios is a way to simulate some contexts to identify what are the possible bottlenecks that will be faced.
At this point, work with some speculations, with situations in which your company could be doing well or not doing so well. With these scenarios, you can identify the most relevant solutions for each of these contexts, improving results and reducing problems in negative scenarios.
This is the time to raise everything that can go wrong and everything that can go right in the day to day of your company. Create action plans for each of these situations, and be prepared for whatever comes!
The appendix is a complementary and optional part, in which you can insert files and information that will help to enrich the content of your business plan. In it, you can insert surveys and other relevant files to make your plan much more complete, with interesting examples and attachments.
What are the best practices for creating this plan?
To have a well-structured business plan that is capable of leading your company to success, it is necessary to pay attention to some details. There are mistakes that are commonly practiced by some entrepreneurs and, based on that, end up hampering business results.
One of the best strategies in the business plan is to be objective. That way, everyone who comes into contact with the plan will be able to read and interpret it easily, without the need to take a long time to read aspects that do not clarify doubts.
To create a much more effective business plan, it’s interesting to explore data. If your company already exists and you have some information about the market and the behavior of your consumers, it is time to consider these figures, without forgetting, of course, market research.
Do market research
If you’re going to start a business from scratch and you still don’t have data to explore, market research will guide you from the start. An essential element in this process, it allows:
- understand who your audience really is through the study of personas;
- what are the market expectations for your type of business;
- what are the biggest opportunities and challenges you will need to face when putting the plan into action, and more.
This research will allow you to plan and be able to have greater understanding of the market, making it easier and more effective to define your competitive advantage.
Test the business plan
It is interesting to test the business plan to see if its structure is correct. With a complete document and all the details well defined, do a market research, put the plan into action and carefully follow all results achieved, analyzing which points of success and which need to be rethought and improved.
Making a business plan is fundamental to understand how your company really is, what the market opportunities are, the biggest challenges and, of course, to have an action plan for each one of them.
Did you like to understand what it is and how to develop your own business plan? Then take the opportunity to also check out our central marketing, sales and management tools, so that you can already perform a good part of what you have mapped about your business!