How to write a business plan in 10 steps

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You may be wondering what a business plan is? Before any business creation process, writing and implementing a business plan is a mandatory step.

The business plan is the cornerstone of your project. Although it is likely to evolve, the business plan should not be rushed because it will be the only guarantee of the credibility of your project. Here are ten key steps to integrate into your strategy to develop an effective business plan.

What is a business plan? Definition

The business plan is a document that summarizes your strategy and action plan to make your entrepreneurial project a success. But, first, it is necessary to find a bank, an investor, and partners. 

In this summary document, you present in a reasoned way your need for financing and the prospects for the profitability of your project. 

Ten steps to writing a business plan

  1. Find the right idea to enter a market or create a new one
  2. Know your market well and be on the lookout for opportunities
  3. Benchmark competitors and identify targets
  4. Set development goals and establish a schedule of key stages
  5. Put ideas ambitiously but realistically
  6. Find partners and surround yourself with the right people
  7. List and highlight your competitive advantages and your product/service benefits
  8. Think about digital communication to build a community from the start of your activity
  9. Have your back and get an RC Pro
  10. believe in you

Find the right idea to enter a market or create a new one.

It seems obvious that to become an entrepreneur, and you need an idea. But it is not necessary to have a revolutionary idea. It is quite possible to adapt an existing idea and develop it differently.

For example, it may involve reinventing a service by changing its business model and its uses. The most convincing examples are Airbnb and Uber. Indeed, they have been able to create a new business model to meet demand and compete with traditional hotel and VTC transport services. 

Do you have a completely new idea? You can also decide to create a new market! The digital world is full of examples, such as the Leetchi online kitty or the Lydia payment application. But it’s not just in fintech that we have a pool of innovations. The green and connected objects are also very good avenues to explore! In particular, the arrival of 5G in France will allow great technological advances. 

Are you running out of a key business idea? Our best advice is to look around. You will, perhaps, realize that a product or service is lacking in the population and that there is a real demand. Read our article dedicated to this subject if you want to know more. Otherwise, go for it!

Know your market well and be on the lookout for opportunities

It is also important to know the environment and the regulations of the market you are going to enter. Therefore, in addition to market research which will occur from the start, a regular market analysis throughout the conduct of your project will be essential. 

Indeed, some markets are evolving to counter newcomers who threaten to disrupt the system already in place. There is, for example, the taxi service between individuals Uber-Pop, sued several times because it represents a threat to the profession of VTC. 

This market watch will also allow you to detect new development opportunities: the first ERP integrated management software packages managed to get a head start on their competitors because they adapted to the cloud first.

Benchmark competitors and identify targets

After finding the right idea, it is essential to conduct a thorough benchmark to identify its competitors and assess the potential for success of your project. This analysis will also allow you to specify your strategy, refine your business model and make predictions. It will also help the reader of your business plan better position you as a new player in the market

Beware of the misconception that a very competitive market is closed! All of it comes down to knowing your competition. Thus, you will be able to differentiate yourself by offering better new or tailor-made services to your customers. Identify your targets beforehand to imagine an axis of communication for each one.

Set development goals and establish a schedule of key stages

Regardless of your idea or market, you must always start with a clear vision in mind and set your objectives. For example, where do you see yourself in a year? In 5 years? What will be your forecast turnover in a few months and years of operation? 

This bet on the future can be difficult to assess, but it is a milestone for your business. The more goals you set, the more you want to achieve them. And don’t forget to summarize all these steps in a schedule, with the actions to be taken to have visibility over several years. 

Finally, remember that the financial business plan must show investors and bankers that your project is financially viable. You need to demonstrate that your project will bring a return on investment and that it deserves to see the light of day.

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