The business plan is an essential and indispensable step for any project owner when raising funds and launching a startup. It is a document that structures and presents the project, but also the financial objectives of the latter. It is essential that the business plan is understandable for the people who read it, but also irreproachable both on the form and on the substance. The writing of such an exercise can often seem difficult for project leaders. That’s why we explain how to write a business plan for a startup in this article.
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The executive summary
This first step of the business plan should not be neglected because it is the first approach that potential investors of your startup will read, so it is essential that it is short and concise. Generally two pages are more than enough. The executive summary should present your startup’s project in a succinct and synthetic way. Therefore, indicate the name of your startup, the nature of its activity, the target audience, the history of the project, the team, the market analysis, etc. It is essential to choose a clear and relevant vocabulary so that all types of profiles can understand the opportunity of your startup.
The executive summary should address the strengths of your company in terms of market, team, product/service, metrics and differentiation from your competitors.
This step allows you to give a human dimension to your startup, but also to convince potential financiers and partners of the motivations, skills and qualities of each member of the founding team. It is about presenting the education, experience and skills of each of them while remaining succinct. Just as a CV would be. It is also essential to specify the role of each co-founder, but especially to demonstrate their complementarity to convince potential partners of the interest of your startup. Also highlight the team spirit.
The team is the most important factor in the success of a startup.
The market study within the business plan of a startup
This step is essential to convince your future investors of the viability of your project. It must give your reader the image of a company evolving on a vast and growing market. It is about showing that you know the economic environment of your sector, the direct and indirect competitors of your startup, the complete analysis of your target clientele and the key factors of success of your project. Even before creating your startup and your project, Advimotion recommends you to conduct a market study to assess the feasibility of your project. You are only describing the synthesis of a previously accomplished work. It is essential to accompany this presentation with sources that you will insert in appendix in order to quickly justify the veracity of the study.
In order for the market study to be complete, it should be presented not only in France but also in Europe and/or internationally, depending on your strategy. Use reliable sources such as INSEE, professional associations specialized in the sector, press releases from large companies or specialized press articles.
By convention, investors focus on global markets worth more than €1 billion.
The first step in carrying out market research is to target the market(s) in which you will operate. It is not uncommon for a company to operate in several markets.
The global strategy within the business plan of a startup
This step aims to determine the commercial and communication strategies, as well as the quantified objectives of your startup. You need to show how your startup will enter the market and get known by its target audience. It is imperative to design the business model of your startup with its price level, i.e. define its economic model (commission, margin, pricing, type of customers etc.). Also present the products/services of your startup and the estimated sales in the following months.
For physical products, it can be interesting to detail how the prices are elaborated according to the cost price, logistics, etc. Give a glimpse of your startup’s evolution over 1 to 3 years (sales figures, number of customers, hiring forecast, etc.).
This step aims to present and justify the legal form chosen for your startup. It is not to be taken lightly, because the tax and social security systems, as well as the related expenses (taxes, administrative costs, etc.), will differ according to the status. It must be complete and gather all the information related to the company’s identity
The financial study within the business plan of a startup
This step aims to describe the financing needs of your startup, but also to present the type of consideration that you will propose to the financiers and investors. You must present all the items to be budgeted, the material and immaterial expenses of your startup, etc. In short, describe the totality of the indispensable needs to launch your startup and the internal resources already mobilized. It is essential to describe the reasons for the fundraising and the ways in which the funds will be allocated to allow the development of your company. Also talk about the sources of financing mobilized in response to these needs (capital, bank loan, crowdfunding, etc.). It is essential that your expectations are presented in a clear and comprehensive manner. Above all, do not minimize your financial needs to obtain an investment more easily! This could be considered as a bad anticipation on your part.
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