The delicate art of the business plan

Damien has been maturing his project for months. He scribbled his ideas as the inspiration flowed. “A Google document that I’ll be updating along the way,” the young man confides as he settles into the La Petite Etoile building. He has an appointment with Margaux Derhy, founder of this company with a poetic and comforting name that helps entrepreneurs raise funds or write their business plan. A sufficiently knowledgeable and detached view to enable project leaders to prioritize their ideas and better anticipate the expectations of future investors.

Questions about the beginning

Damien is only at the beginning of his project. Torn between enthusiasm and questions. “I ask myself a lot of questions,” Damien says after the unfolding of his professional career. What should I bring up in my presentation document? How much do I need? Who can I ask for money from? to begin? Because I know the field I want to work in and I know there is a market.” Margaux, attentive and benevolent towards him, takes notes. She listens with enthusiasm as he unfolds the contours of his project: an e-commerce site for leisure.

The young man is inexhaustible about the potential of the market. His ideas melt together. “You have to sharpen the message that you focus on a clear idea, Margaux tempers. In the creative phase you have to focus on your core business (core matters). And keep that in mind. There’s nothing stopping you from putting a paragraph at the end of your business plan detailing your development projects, just to show investors that you see far. But without ever giving the impression that you are distracting yourself. †

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Numbers to back it up

Margaux Derhy is used to visiting investors regularly and brings up another weakness of Damien’s project: the lack of numbers to back up his demonstration. “You’re in a niche, but you have to estimate its exact size from solid numbers,” points out the young woman, who advises her to do her own research and visit competing foreign sites to get a precise idea. of the area in which he ventures.

At this stage of the interview, Margaux gives Damien some practical advice. “Powerpoint instead of a Word document, the young woman specifies. Investors will appreciate it, trust me.” Another essential point: a clear pitch that can be summarized in two minutes. “You should also improve your profile and emphasize the solidity of your past experiences, especially on the web,” adds Margaux, who also advises him to dissect the workings of a neighboring or competing site, acting as a role model of sorts.

Five things to remember before you get started:

1/ Define your core business and stick to it.

2/ Dive into your market research and quantify the project well.

3/ Get inspiration from competitors, existing models.

4/ Improve your profile.

5/ Anticipate your future business strategy.

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Over the course of the exchanges, the project is refined, reshaping Damien who also wonders how much he will need to bring his business to life. “You will have to write the financial part of your business plan including your BFR (working capital requirement) to determine the amount needed,” concludes Margaux, accompanied by Damien. Drawing up your business plan requires careful preparation. But so much time has been saved for the future.

Tiphaine Thuillier


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