How to create an effective business plan?

Advimotion | Financial advisor and fundraising

The business plan is a fundamental document for entrepreneurs and it is carried out at different stages of a company’s life: first, to assess the viability of a project, also to obtain bank financing or to raise funds from private investors, etc.

Advimotion gives your company keys to create an efficient business plan.

1. Defining the market issue

The market issue constitutes the main line of a project: it means defining the issue that you want to solve with your new product or service. It does not necessarily have to be something particularly innovative, as there are many competitors doing the same thing in several markets. However, making small adjustments to address a defined sub-problem can be a good strategy for startups.

For example, while Uber responds to urban mobility issues, the Kolett application, an “Uber” dedicated to women answers a dual problem: mobility and women’s safety.

Thus, the way you approach the subject will have an impact on your persona, the person to which you will have to sell your product or service.

2. Market survey and competitors

Market research is a preliminary step in the creation of the business plan. It is a matter of collecting relevant information to guide the decision-making process. Such a study makes it possible to analyze the factors of success and weakness as well as to study the different elements that influence the market in order to position your company.

The next step is segmentation: this involves dividing the market into several segments and associating a given customer group with each segment. The next step is targeting you will have to study the product/market mix to which you will allocate your resources and knowledge.

All of these steps allow you to see whether a market is saturated or booming and how to stand out.

3. The body of the business plan

The business plan should fully reflect your business. After the presentation of the previous steps, the points discussed are therefore:

The presentation of the management team,

The presentation of your products and/or services and how they differ from the competition,

The description of your value chain,

Your financial projections and activity indicators, and

The highlighting of your commercial benchmarks.

In the context of a fund-raising or a bank loan, it is important to specify the need for financing and the use that will be made of the funds.

4. The management team must commit to the business plan

Even if it is often the founder or one of the co-founders who presents the business plan to the potential financial partners, it is important that operational associates and shareholders endorse the project and are able to pitch it.

It is therefore interesting to involve them in the elaboration of the business plan (with different levels of participation).

5. The Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is the summary of your business plan and plays the same role as the back cover of a book, except that here your summary has to be more solid and convincing. Given the impressive number of files that banks and investors receive each month, the aim is to sell your project as briefly and effectively as possible.

In the Executive Summary you should avoid using too technical terms that the investor will not be able to understand and divide up this part in a clear and structured way.

This part should also allow investors to quickly find out why you are soliciting their help and how the budget will be apportioned and whether it is sufficient to achieve the set objectives.

6. Form is as important as the content

Investors will prefer a clear and well-structured presentation rather than a long Word document without graphics or diagrams to illustrate your words. Methods and tools have evolved: We advise you to use the PPT form rather than Word and to simplify your presentation as much as possible.

The investor should want to read your business plan and scroll through the pages that constitute it using a logical and attractive organization.

In conclusion

Focus on the quality rather than the quantity of the information in your business plan and don’t be afraid to be commercial: You need to convince investors that you have the best product or service in your market.

After a first overview of the project, it is very advantageous to be supported by a professional to establish a business plan. To raise funds or obtain a loan, there are specific codes that must be anticipated (rates of return expected by investors, preference over the funding for certain types of expenses by banks and public organizations, specific ratios to be met).

Asking for help from a professional can therefore be a strong asset.

At Advimotion we build your business plan and accompany you during the fundraising process.