The development of a business plan is an essential know-how for any manager, profit center boss, creator or buyer of a business. The business plan is not a simple exercise of formatting a project already finalized but an exercise in which the carrier of the project elaborates his business plan at the same time that he progresses in his reflection. For this reason, entrepreneurs create their project from the frame of the business plan, even without seeking external funding, for the sole purpose of designing their project.
Qualities of Successful Business Plan
We have identified 4 great qualities to convince in the realization of its business plan.
- Head in the Clouds
To convince, the project leader must demonstrate that he has taken into account all facets of the strategic analysis: he provides an innovative response to an unmet or unmet customer need. He identified market opportunities and threats. It controls the key factors of success to acquire a sustainable positioning in its market; it has defined a position that sets it apart from its direct and indirect competitors. The economic model contributes to improving economic performance (limitation of capital invested and flexibility of charges).
- Feet on the Ground
The project leader must reassure decision-makers of his ability to carry out the project, in particular by having defined concrete and time-bound operational action plans. By presenting his business plan, the project leader is in the “starting blocks”, his project has been matured, and he is only waiting for the agreement to embark on the implementation of the project. The written document is a summary document, it contains only a summary of the main action plans: industrial property, marketing, sales, investments, human resources, logistics, during the oral presentation, he prepares to respond accurately and quickly to any question from the investor on the progress of the project.
The project leader must also audit his resources; He ensures that he really has the necessary resources for the success of his project: human resources, material resources;
As part of his project, he ensures his real room for maneuver: the practices of his company allow it to resort to outsourcing, to use external expertise additional to those already existing internally.
He has a realistic vision of the pace of development. For a merchant project, the first turnover often comes later than what enthusiasm makes us anticipate. The full potential of productivity gains is achieved only after a learning period (ramping up).
- Know how to Count
Even if the business plan is not just a fiscal year, the project owner must be perfectly comfortable with the main financial parameters:
It must demonstrate the achievability of its sales forecasts in relation to the size of its reference market and it’s positioning in this market.
Thanks to his mastery of the project, he must take care not to forget any investment or load position. Illustration: an engineer figures out the project of setting up a computer assisted production management (CAPM). He forgets that the use of SAP software requires a workstation license.
He has in mind the few key figures that determine the success of his project: minimum selling price, sales volume neutral, cost of a raw material, average cost of one person per month, minimum level of cash.
- Being Agile
Some argue the futility of the business plan because it traces a scenario that, in practice is very unlikely to occur, at least in full. It is a misconception that the business plan is not built on a single scenario, even if a most likely scenario is put forward.
From the design stage, the project leader must be in a position of constant adaptability in relation to the evolution of his environment. The business plan must reflect the different action plans and alternative organizational methods according to the different scenarios envisaged. If he proposes different alternatives to carry out his project, the project leader must also take advantage of the one that seems preferable to him thus opening the occasion of a dialogue with the decision-makers. For each scenario, he reviews all the hypotheses. Thus, if he plans to resort to subcontracting, he will review the number of square meters occupied, the means of the HR function.