There is a lot to consider when starting your own business. A lot. But, as an entrepreneur, how can you be sure that you are not missing anything? That you’ve thought of everything? A business plan is a useful tool for organizing your thoughts. In a fast yet complete way. We are happy to help you draw up a good business plan by following these 9 simple steps:
STEP 1: INTRODUCE YOURSELF
As an entrepreneur, you are the most important person in your organization. A good introduction is, therefore, in order! Make it clear to your readers who the entrepreneur behind the company is. Here you describe factual information (date of birth, address details, hobbies, etc.) and other relevant matters. For example, describe what drives you and gives you energy and which tasks you would rather not do. For example, because you can’t or don’t want to. Then immediately tell us how you can get help with this, for example, by outsourcing it or hiring staff. At the end of your introduction, the reader will have a clear picture of your qualities as an entrepreneur.
STEP 2: THE PROBLEM
Of course, you start your company with a certain idea. You see an opportunity in the market and have decided to go for it. An opportunity in the market is often a problem or need for your potential customer. Therefore, describe in detail the problem of your target group and why this has not yet been solved.
Suppose, for example, that starting entrepreneurs find it difficult to draw up a good business plan. As an entrepreneur, you often only write a business plan once, so you don’t have much experience. Outsourcing also turns out to be expensive.
STEP 3: YOUR SOLUTION TO THAT PROBLEM
After you describe the problem, your solution comes. You describe how you will solve the problem for your target group. In short: what added value do you provide to your customers? Or, put more bluntly: what is the raison d’être of your company? That may sound a bit exaggerated, but if you can’t identify what problem you are going to solve and why you are the right party to do this, why should your company be successful? A good solution to a problem is often so simple that the reader wishes he or she had come up with it themselves. The interest is then definitely aroused. Now you have a solid foundation for the rest of your business plan.
STEP 4: INTRODUCING THE COMPANY
Now that you’ve captured your reader’s attention start introducing your business. Describe factual matters and matters you have outsourced to other parties, for example, administration, payroll processing or marketing. This is not the most exciting part of a business plan, but it is necessary for a complete description.
STEP 5: DESCRIPTION OF THE MARKET, INCLUDING GOOD MARKET RESEARCH
It is now time to describe your playing field: the market. In market research, you describe which relevant developments are going on in the sector. You not only describe what the market looks like at the moment but also what the expectation is in 5 or 10 years. Do developments such as the focus on sustainability or the introduction of 3D printing play a role, for example? Describe the opportunities and risks for your company of these developments. It is also important to describe why now is the right time for your company. The last thing you want is to enter a market that has insufficient prospects.
STEP 6: COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS
Before you start, it’s useful to know who you’re up against. So a description of your main competitors. Many entrepreneurs underestimate this analysis and have insufficient insight into the relationships in the (regional) market. Make a clear overview of your main competitors and describe what sets your company apart. The central question here is: ‘ why would a customer choose your company instead of one of the competitors? ‘. If you can’t answer this question, think about your company’s positioning in terms of service, price, or quality. Revise your strategy if necessary. Describe your conclusions in a competitive analysis.
STEP 7: REVENUE MODEL
It’s time to describe in more detail how you want to do things. You do this in your revenue model. You describe which product or service you sell, how, at what price, and to which target group. For example, are you going to start a trading company? Then clearly describe the purchasing process, transport, storage and sales process. You take your reader by the hand, as it were, and walk you through your entire process from purchase to sale step by step. Also, describe here what risks there are and what countermeasures you have taken to prevent them.
STEP 8: WHO DO YOU NEED?
In almost all cases, the success of your business depends on a number of people. Sometimes these are partners with whom you will manage the company, employees with specific qualities or essential cooperation partners. Without them, there is no success in your business. Clearly describe who has what tasks and responsibilities. This gives you an overview of which areas you are well represented and where you can possibly use extra quality.
STEP 9: FINANCIAL PLAN
The financial plan is the numerical basis for your business plan. You provide insight into the expected margins and future developments of your company. The reader now gets a better feel for your company’s revenue model and its expected profitability. You also include what you will do if things go against you and name your break-even point. This is the minimum turnover you need to make to cover your costs. This is important in the reader’s decision whether or not to invest in your company, for example. A good financial plan should contain at least the following:
- An investment plan
- A financing plan
- An operating budget
- A liquidity forecast
Would you rather outsource the writing of your business plan?
If you do not have the time or inclination to write a business plan yourself – whether or not based on the example business plan – you can leave it to a professional company like Maven business plans. After all, their business plan consultant has extensive experience writing professional business plans. Their approach is always personal, professional, and focused on your success. Like many other entrepreneurs, get off to a good start with a convincing business plan.
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