A business strategy is critical at the first stage of launching a project; in fact, it's imperative when looking for investors and must be done to persuade them of the merits of the business plan, this document is vital for its structure. A future entrepreneur may still have some difficulty in writing it: Where to start? Which format to use? Which are the errors to avoid? There are a very large number of methods and recommendations to carry out this work.
Several factors can lead an individual to start a business. However, one element is recurrent: Responding to a need. No matter how hard you try to create a "revolutionary" service or product, your business will never be successful if its object does not meet any market criteria. Remember that you must make life easier for consumers or meet their needs before launching your product.
Market research is an essential step in launching your business: How big is it, is it developing, what are the usual profits in the sector? Many questions must be asked in this step. This study can be carried out using documents on the internet, but we urge you to connect with your audience. Do not wait to make a phone call to business plan writers in the sector and above all to prospect directly in the field (specialized trade fairs, catchment). Therefore, you will have to define a very precise target customer segment: the average age of your customer, their gender, their CSP, etc. Make sure you obtain all of these elements before you start.
The existence of competitors in your sector should be well perceived. Indeed, this presence will strengthen your market research and validate the presence of a real need: if a competitor exists, it means that customers are indeed interested in your activity! Try to get as much information as possible about your competitors (the price of products or services offered, work process, area of activity, etc.), and find your differentiating factor to gain a place in the market (improved offer, lower price, etc.).
You have to consider that your business plan will include many assumptions at the creation stage, especially for very innovative projects. To reassure potential financiers, develop a section devoted to the different profiles that will support the project: talk about your experiences and your legitimacy in the sector. These elements will reassure the external stakeholders as to the proper conduct of the project.
Once your positioning has been established, it is time to find the means and strategies to apply to lead your business to success. We recommend that you highlight marketing and sales techniques in this part: How do you plan to attract your customers? Once captured, how do you hope to retain it? You will then have to set out a real action plan over time: set milestones, objectives to be reached with deadlines. This will allow you to give direction to your project and reassure stakeholders about your organizational capacity and your seriousness.
The market study is conclusive, the strategy defined. But how to monetize your project, generate cash inflows? Depending on your industry, different options are available to you. For example, a restaurant owner will have to look at the offers he offers (lunchtime menu, a dish of the day, etc.), while service companies will have to think about earning money: advertising, subscription, price per service? Many options are open, but a real reflection is to be adopted: the survival of your business depends on it.
The financial plan will allow you to get a real vision of the expenses and income that your business will generate. Different tools are used in the business plan: The provisional income statement, which gathers the majority of the financial information of your company, but also the intermediate management balances, making it possible to understand the construction of the result. Other financial tables are to be presented, such as the cash flow table or the financing plan. The primary objective of this part will be to ensure that your project is economically viable, reinforce your idea of creation, or reassure potential investors.
The social form of your business is of utmost importance. Indeed, according to the chosen status, your tax regime and the remuneration systems will be deferential. A EURL, micro-enterprise or joint-stock company does not have the same assets depending on your activity: it is, therefore, imperative to find out about the legal side of your structure. For people wishing to join forces from the start of the business, drafting a partner's agreement is also "mandatory": this document is comparable to a real marriage contract between the partners. It must provide for all the contingencies in joint management or when external shareholders are present.
These eight tips will help you make a business plan that is popular with local banks and investors. Writing this document may seem long and tedious, but don't be discouraged: the benefits you will reap from it are innumerable and will greatly contribute to the success of your business.
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