Do you have a strong idea, and do you want to start as an entrepreneur? Then starting your own business is the logical next step. Still, it’s better not to do it overnight. Even with a genius idea, it is best to prepare a business plan or business plan. Because what exactly do you want to do, how are you going to finance it, and which partners do you need for that?
The usefulness of a business plan?
With a well – drawn up business plan, you, as an independent entrepreneur, can estimate the viability of your company. How realistic are your plans, and where do you want to go with your company as a self-employed person?
But your business plan is also useful after the start. It is a handhold when you are faced with important decisions and a control document for yourself. You use it to test how well you are doing and which objectives you achieved and which you did not. This way, you can make timely adjustments if necessary. Many entrepreneurs take their plan at least once a year – in many cases more often – and adjust it according to their current situation.
A business plan also helps you to keep the focus on what is important for your business. For example, where do you want to go? And if opportunities arise, are they in line with your company’s objectives?
Be realistic and build credibility.
You draw up a business plan with the necessary sense of realism. The objectives you set must be credible and achievable.
Tip: think of SMART objectives:
- S = specific: is your goal clearly defined and concrete enough?
- M = measurable: can you effectively measure this goal?
- A = acceptable: does the goal contribute to the realization of the vision of your business?
- R = realistic: is it an achievable goal?
- T = time-bound: when do you want to achieve this goal?
A realistic business plan inspires much more confidence in potential investors (the bank, family…) . It proves that you think about what you want to achieve with your business. Your plan convinces people to put their trust in you, your idea and your new business.
How do you start your business plan?
Drawing up a business plan according to a fixed structure does not exist. The possibilities are endless. Nevertheless, a good plan contains a number of fixed elements.
Project presentation or the goal of your company
Give a clear description of your idea and plan. Why will you and your project succeed? Clearly describe your ambition in your business plan.
This is the ideal place to immediately get people on board with your story, comparable to a good elevator pitch.
A short presentation of your company, yourself, your competencies… In other words: this is your CV as an entrepreneur.
How do you see your vision, mission and strategy? So what is the guideline for your company?
Provide a description of the sector and the market in which you will be doing business. Where are the challenges and opportunities, and what opportunities do you see? What are the trends and evolutions in these or other related sectors?
In your marketing plan, you write down which services or products you will offer, to whom and through which channels. Those channels can be both online and physical: are you going to work with a commercial property or via e-commerce, for example?
In addition, you indicate in your business plan at what price you would do this and how you think you can fund your marketing or advertising with this.
Don’t be fooled by this last place. A financial plan is a crucial part of your business plan. Here you describe the financial side of your company. How profitable is your business, and are your ideas financially viable? Are there support measures you can call on?
Such financial planning for startups is an important part of your conversation with the bank to attract investors. Moreover, a financial plan is even mandatory if you want to set up a company (such as a BV, cooperative company, public limited company, etc.).
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