How to Make a Business Plan?

Making a business plan is a must for starting a business. This document is essential to developing your project and obtaining external funding. A business plan is a presentation tool. Which is used to define its strategy to concretize its project and achieve its objectives.

The business plan must therefore be irreproachable, both in substance and in form. It is a question of demonstrating methodology and rigor to build a solid business plan.

How to make a business plan? Here is a summary of the 9 key steps. Do not hesitate to take inspiration from a business plan model to get started!

Step 1: write your executive summary

To make a business plan, the introduction must be devoted to the executive summary (or “operational summary”).

The executive summary is a very short part of the business plan (two pages maximum) and is of great importance. The objective is to summarize the essence of his business plan in a very synthetic way and to give a global vision of his project. The elements to include are the following: name of the company, nature of its activity, values​​, history of the project, target audience, and typology of the market (competitors, size, opportunities). It is often essential to introduce the management team.

Good namely: many presentation pitches are based on the executive summary. Having a rehearsed and powerful speech is essential to present a project in its best light.

Step 2: introduce the founding team

To create a personalized business plan, in which the values ​​of the founders shine through, it is essential to present the training, background, and skills of each member of the team. The role of each co-founder, future partners of the company, must also be specified in the business plan. It is also necessary to designate the person who will have the role of the legal representative of the company and manager.

The goal is to put that before the complementarity of their respective skills to convince potential funders and partners of the relevance of their project.

Step 3: Expose the values ​​of your project

It is essential to set out in your business plan the values ​​that drive the team leader, and which constitute the starting point of his motivation. These corporate values ​​can be the sense of service, expertise in a field, or the social impact of the project.

Step 4: do market research

The offer: it is necessary to identify the offer available on the target market. Competitors are the essential component. It is important to know how many competitors are present on the market, the variety of their offers, and the prices charged. Understanding their commercial and operational strategy from a brand strategist is also essential to better understand the existing offer on the market.

Demand: it is also essential to carry out a careful study of your target clientele, their consumption habits, their average budget, their unmet expectations, etc.

A potential market deficiency: the identification of one or more needs not satisfied by the competition makes it possible to determine the competitive advantages exploitable by its company.

To identify your target market, it is best to meet customers, competitors, and other market players. The rule is simple: to create my business plan, I must be able to understand the concrete expectations of my future customers.

Good to know: it is extremely rare to have no competitor. It still exists, even if it’s in direct competition. To assert this would be perceived by funders as a weakness in the business plan.

Step 5: Define your business strategy

To define a business strategy, many entrepreneurs use the 4P method (or “marketing mix”):

Price (price): it is necessary to establish a list of the offer of products and/or services of its company, the formulas proposed, and to detail the prices (price list, decreasing prices…), etc.

Product: a catalog of goods and/or services must be drawn up, with their characteristics, their differentiating assets, the packs offered, the promotional offers, etc.

Place (distribution): the distribution strategy must be carefully defined. It is necessary to determine through which channels the company will sell its products or services (physical store, online, through distributors or other intermediaries, etc.).

Promotion (communication): this point corresponds to the communication strategy (step 6 to know how to make a business plan).

Tip: Defining a business strategy is as important for a major project like a business plan for an amusement park as it is for a more modest project like opening a food truck. The important thing is to plan a viable and profitable strategy, no matter the size of your business.

The commercial strategy is used to define how the company will succeed in entering the market. The communication strategy, for its part, makes it possible to make the company known to its future customers.

Step 6: Determine your communication strategy

Determining your communication strategy with the help of a brand consultant to set up a business plan allows you to:

Defining the image of your company: it means giving your company its own identity by choosing its graphic charter (logo, colors, etc.) and its commercial discourse (keywords to use to trigger the sale).

The communication strategy should not be neglected in its business plan. Today, thinking about an online communication strategy or trade advertising is a vital issue. The government has also launched a digitalization plan for VSEs-SMEs with “France Num”.

Step 7: establish your business model

Building a compelling business plan involves determining the business model of your business. This part lends itself particularly well to the development of financial forecast tables. Two tables must imperatively appear to present its economic model:

Table of minimum expected turnover

This table must realistically present the expected turnover. For this, it is necessary to estimate:

  • The number of sales achievable per day and the average basket of a consumer.
  • Costs related to the creation and operation of his business (rent if renting premises, cost of manufacturing the product or providing the service, cost of purchasing raw materials, repayment of a loan, taxes, salaries, executive compensation, etc.).

Finally, comparing its economic model with those practiced in the target sector makes it possible to assess the relevance of its business model.

The table on the financing plan

Again, it’s about being realistic. Voluntarily minimizing your financial needs to obtain financing more easily would be a mistake.

The financing plan must describe:

  • All the needs necessary to launch its activity.
  • Resources already mobilized (internal resources).

Result: the difference between the two makes it possible to determine its need for external financing.

Step 8: choose the legal form of your business

The choice of the legal form of his company will play a role in the development of his business model and his business plan.

Depending on the legal status chosen, the tax and social security regimes are applicable. And the related expenses (tax regime, social charges, and administrative costs) will be different.

Good to know: if you wish to choose the status of micro-entrepreneur, you will need to write a business plan.

In addition, at this stage. It is important to have an idea of ​​the place of residence of the future company (at one of the founders. In a coworking space, with a domiciliation company, in commercial premises, etc..).

Step 9: find funding

At this stage of writing his business plan, the entrepreneur has in hand all the key elements that will characterize his business and that will enable him to reach the break-even point in the long term. To finish building a business plan, all that remains is to detail the external financing solutions for your company.

To set out to conquer external financing, necessary for the launch of its activity, having a business plan is essential. Presenting a solid business plan makes it easier to obtain financing from potential investors. Banks, or even state aid for business creation.

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