How do you make a good business plan?

In the current context, project leaders and future entrepreneurs can hardly ignore the business plan, because it allows them to launch professionally in the market they have wanted to focus on. A true act of confidence for the entrepreneur, it is a difficult reference document to produce, but essential to formalize the manager’s project and strategy and to find investments, financing and loan repayments. It gives a concrete picture of the contours of the project of the manager and his commercial ambitions and is a means of convincing future investors and relations, but also suppliers and bankers. That is why it is important to establish it rigorously to ensure the start of your entrepreneurial adventure. Here are some tips to help you.

Get help from outside people or software

To simplify the process of creating your development plan, get help from outsiders through workshops or training courses, as well as online sites that offer software to download templates or evaluate your project. Some tasks can take a lot of your time and cause you to waste it, which is why these various solutions are helpful. The CCIs (Chambers of Commerce and Industry, editor’s note) offer you “business plan making” workshops at an unbeatable price. Led for two to three hours by specialized consultants of the structures or by partner experts, 15 to 20 people come to learn the methodology, the principles of drafting or making economic and financial presentations.

Computer programs, valuable tools

Computer programs and sites provide many practical tools that can help you take the weight off certain points, such as the layout of the document or the financial forecast. This is especially the case for sites such as CreateMonBusinessPlan.fr or www.my-business-plan.fr. The first allows you to estimate your project and create financial simulations. As a result, it provides you with a lot of data to start writing your document and helps you with useful information at every stage. The software also offers free templates for every industry. The second helps entrepreneurs to write their plan easily thanks to practical sheets and special software depending on the areas, while offering the possibility to contact experts through a club. It is also possible to create part of your business plan on your own, but delegate the quantified and technical elements to an accountant. This will bring you a touch of expertise by further stimulating the reflections on certain points and analyzing every detail to make the information more coherent.

Use visuals to attract readers

If your business plan is to be a serious and professional document, it should nevertheless not be boring for the public, who quickly grow tired of the tons of figures and texts that make up it. The visual elements are then very important to include in the document in order to attract the attention of the different protagonists. Images make your business plan more attractive and dynamic and help readers better understand the elements and objectives you want to emphasize. According to Heinz Mandl and Joel Levin’s book “Effects of Text Illustrations: An Overview of Research,” people who follow instructions with text and illustrations are 323% more attentive than people who follow instructions without illustrations. According to Ronald E. Green in his book “The Persuasive Properties of Color,” color images increase readability by 80%. So add various visual elements to captivate your readers and investors using infographics, charts, posters or photos. There are a number of tools on the web that will help you implement these different aspects, such as Infogram, which provides you with custom gauges, maps, and diagrams, or Easelly, which provides you with several customizable themes and media to harmonize your different media. †

Set up your business plan according to a target group

Adjusting your development plan according to the discussion partners is an essential part. Remember that you are talking to different actors such as investors, bankers or associates. You will therefore have to adapt your content to your interlocutors and insist on elements to which each of them is sensitive. A financier will pay more attention to the figures and forecasts you disclose to him, as well as to your annual accounts and balance sheets, than to a project presentation on the technical aspects of which he is not a specific specialist. Rather, it will be necessary for the investors to insist on the growth rate, on the acquisition costs, on your market research, on your commercial strategy or on the inventory of the necessary resources, whether human or material. They are more likely to be tempted by a demonstration and an in-depth and detailed analysis of a few numbers than by a mass of data. However, the changes made to each of them should be limited and all elements of the document should be preserved. Just display them in a different way.

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