Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Tabraiz
A business plan gives you an overview of your company. This way you can see which tasks you have to do in which order. But even after a successful start-up, such a plan serves well. It always reminds you of upcoming tasks and your company goals.
If you have worked perfectly when creating the business plan, you can always see whether you are working efficiently. The business plan also makes it easier for you to evaluate the measures you have chosen. This allows you to preserve what is good and improve or eliminate what is inappropriate.
Furthermore, a business plan for generating subsidies and loans is indispensable. Banks want to see collateral if they are to give you money. You have to convince them that your business idea is viable and future-oriented. Your profit estimates must be convincing and your money requirements must be comprehensible. So, you have to create a good business plan for that reason in order to be able to submit it to loan inquiries.
The more professional your business plan is designed, the more likely it is that you will be able to borrow money for your business. Investing the time, effort, and money into creating a professional business plan is well worth it in many ways.
A business plan contains all the factors relevant to a company. These include:
Business ideas and target groups
When you create a business plan, you should clearly define your business ideas. What do you want to achieve with your company and which customer requirements can your products and services meet? From this, you develop concrete goals that you want to achieve with your company. From a certain annual turnover to market leadership, all conceivable goals are open to you. In a further step, you deal with the definition of your target group. What age group, gender, and income bracket are your offers aimed at? This decision will determine how you need to design and market each item.
Opportunities and risks of your business idea
When creating the business plan, you should also consider the opportunities and risks that your business idea entails. What are the chances of success and what dangers stand in the way of success? In order to be able to answer these questions, a precise market analysis is required. All of your decisions should be based on concrete facts and research. Having a gut feeling is good and helpful, but when it comes to starting and running a business, precise planning is better. These enable you to proactively manage your business and not just react to emerging factors. This is precisely why it is so immensely important to create a proper business plan.
Your financial needs
Another topic that you have to deal with when creating a business plan finances. Among other things, you determine your capital requirements. Questions to ask are:
- What funds are needed, for example, for necessary investments?
- Do you need to buy machines or materials?
- Do you need employees?
- How much money do you want to invest in marketing?
All of this information is important if you are considering applying for a loan or start-up grant. Here you should also calculate exactly and use serious calculations as a basis. This is the only way to get a reasonable value when creating a business plan and not suddenly find yourself without capital because you need more money than planned.
Another important component is the marketing concept. In this, you deal with all measures of customer acquisition and customer retention. For young companies, in particular, it is vital for survival to gain a certain degree of recognition. This is the only way to win customers for your business who will flush money into the till. You need this, among other things, to continue investing and growing.
In your concept, you should focus on a marketing mix. Don’t limit yourself to just one marketing channel. As a result, you miss many opportunities and only reach a part of your target group. With a marketing mix, for example, you are present in both print and online. As with the other elements of your business plan, nothing should be left to chance when it comes to marketing. Develop a comprehensive and clear marketing concept. Using local SEO Melbourne is highly recommended for expanding your business in a specific area.
The company’s structure
A business plan deals with the structure of the company. What hierarchies are you striving for and what authority do the individual employees have? It is also important that you structure your company into different departments. This ensures that specific employees are responsible for specific tasks. If everyone does a little bit of everything, chaos quickly ensues. Occasionally, tasks are then completed twice or not at all. In addition, there are no synergies because all employees do their own thing. You can avoid this through a clear division and distribution of tasks. The company structure thus supports the efficiency and success of your company. Therefore, you should definitely take it into account when creating a business plan.
Range of services
In the next step, present your product or range of services. You should note the following points:
- Describe your product and/or service offerings and prices.
- Describe precisely the target groups your offer is aimed at!
- Also, note how you differ from the competition.
- Express what makes your product so special, so “unique” that future customers will want to buy it.
Market analysis is interesting for both you and potential lenders. If you want to create a convincing business plan, you have to work through this point thoroughly. Here you examine exactly what the market situation is like in your segment. Do you have an innovative new idea or do you want to enter an existing market? Depending on the answer to this question, your competition is bigger or smaller. You need to research your competitors to assess your chances of success.
The more detailed you analyze the market, the more well-founded your decisions will be and the more convincing your business plan will be.
The company goals
When you create your business plan, you need to define clear business goals in it. Avoid generalities and be as specific as possible. “I want to increase sales” is too vague as a company goal. If you sell a unit in the first year of business, that already represents an increase in sales.
However, selling a unit cannot seriously be your goal. Better is the goal “I want to sell 50,000 units of my product in the first year.” This goal is clearly measurable. At the end of the year, you will be able to determine exactly whether you have achieved this goal. If so, you can set new goals. If not, you must ask yourself why that was. You may need to adjust your goals or optimize the way you work.
Your corporate goals are of great relevance, especially for financiers. These help you to assess whether your business concept is realistic and whether an investment is worthwhile. Therefore, set goals that are both ambitious and realistic. If you set small goals, your results will only be small. On the other hand, if you set yourself big goals, you will at least achieve medium-sized results. It is important that your goals are well-founded and factual. Therefore, do not make decisions based on gut instinct, but always develop your goals on the basis of concrete data.
Marketing is a central task of all companies. Founders can use marketing strategies to gain a base of customers on which they can build. It is important for established companies not to be dependent on regular and existing customers. That’s why it’s worth investing in customer acquisition for them too. For this, it is important that you develop a concrete marketing concept. In this, you present all marketing channels that you want to use for the acquisition. You also explain the measures and strategies with which you want to win or keep customers.
An overview of your marketing strategies is of great help to you. You can then see which measures you need to implement and optimize. In everyday work you have a firm footing that you can use as a guide. A marketing concept is also an important tool for financiers. You can see whether you have developed a sensible strategy for customer acquisition. This is the basic requirement for your company to be able to generate profits. It is therefore worth investing time in developing the marketing strategy and bringing in the details when creating the business plan.
Customer acquisition and customer retention through marketing
Customer acquisition and customer loyalty are the two main tasks of marketing. On the one hand, you want to inspire new customers for you and your offers. This puts your company’s success on a broad basis and you are not dependent on specific companies or regular customers. At the same time, it makes sense to maintain existing customer relationships. It often takes less time and effort to convince existing customers to buy from you again than it does to acquire new customers. Because your existing customers have already had experience with your company. If they have been positive, they will happily remain loyal to you and continue to buy from you.
There are many different strategies you can use to acquire and retain customers. For example, you can place advertising in print media or online. You can also use e-mail marketing to regularly inform your existing customers about promotions and offers. You can present yourself and your company at trade fairs and conferences. In this way, you gain greater awareness and promote your sales. Each marketing channel has its own strengths and weaknesses.
It is important that you make your customers feel special. As soon as they feel comfortable with you, the most difficult step towards long-term business relationships has been taken.
The financial plan
The financial plan describes in detail what funds you need to find, develop and market your company. This ranges from fees to the purchase of machines and materials to rental and wage costs. The financial plan takes into account all the costs associated with founding a company. You have to walk a fine line here.
- On the one hand, you want to raise as little capital as possible. However, your financial planning must be realistic, because only then will you get the money and your interest rates will remain within reasonable limits.
- On the other hand, you want to have as much money as possible. This makes them flexible and they can even withstand a setback without danger.
Therefore, when creating a business plan, be as realistic as possible. Calculate your financial needs neither too tightly nor too generously. It is best to orientate yourself to the needs of other companies in your segment. Find out what costs they have to bear and what start-up capital they started with. Also, think carefully about the location of your company. Does it really need to be on the most expensive street in the posh neighborhood of your city? Or does a smaller building a bit away from the city center also make sense? The more well-founded and comprehensible your financial plan is, the more likely it is that you will receive capital from lenders.
As a rule, it is important to financiers that you bring a certain amount of equity with you. This serves as security that you are really serious about your business. If founders only use outside capital, they are considered less motivated than if their own money is also at stake. This is also mandatory for some types of businesses. For example, sole proprietorships are liable for their own money. Accordingly, a minimum capital of 25,000 euros must be available when the company is founded.