In the current context, project managers and future entrepreneurs can hardly ignore the business plan because it allows them to professionally launch the market they have chosen to focus on. A true act of faith for the entrepreneur, it is a reference document that is difficult to produce, but essential to formalize the project, the manager’s strategy and to find investments, financing and loan repayments. It provides a concrete idea of the contours of the business leader’s project and his commercial ambitions and is a means of convincing future investors and partners as well as suppliers and bankers. Therefore, it is important to establish it strictly to ensure the start of your entrepreneurial adventure. Here are some tips to help you.
Get help from external people or software
To simplify the process of creating your development plan, you can get outside help through workshops or training as well as online sites that offer software that gives you templates to download or to evaluate your project. Some tasks can take up a lot of your time and waste your time, which is why these different solutions are useful. The CCIs (Chambers of Commerce and Industry, ed. Note) offer you workshops on “creating business plans” at an unbeatable price. Led for two to three hours by specialist advisers from the structures or by partner experts, 15 to 20 people come to learn the methodology, the principles of preparation or how to make economic and financial presentations.
Computer programs, valuable aids
Computer programs and websites offer many handy tools that allow you to remove the weight of certain points, such as the layout of the document or the financial forecast. This is especially true for sites like CreateMonBusinessPlan.fr or www.my-business-plan.fr. The first allows you to estimate your project and make financial simulations. As a result, it gives you a lot of data to start writing your document and helps you at every step with useful information. The software also offers free templates for each industry. The second helps entrepreneurs write their plan with ease thanks to convenient sheets and dedicated software depending on the areas, while allowing for contacting experts through a club. It is also possible to produce part of your business plan on your own, but to delegate the quantified and technical elements to an accountant. This will give you a touch of expertise by pushing further reflections on certain points and will analyze 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 must not be boring for the public, who quickly get tired of the tons of figures and texts it makes up. The visual elements are so very important to include in the document to capture the gaze of the various protagonists. Images will make your business plan more attractive and dynamic and help readers better understand the elements and goals you want to highlight. According to Heinz Mandl and Joel Levin’s book “Effects of text illustrations: A review 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, color imagery in his book “The Persuasive Properties of Color” increases the desire to read by 80%. Then add more visual elements to capture your readers and investors using infographics, charts, posters or photos. There are a number of tools online that will help you implement these various aspects, such as Infogram, which offers you custom gauges, maps and charts, or Easelly, which offers you more custom themes and media that can be matched to harmonize your different media.
Arrange your business plan according to an audience
Adapting your development plan to the conversation partners is an element that should not be left out. Remember that you are talking to various players, such as investors, bankers or associates. Therefore, you will need to change your content according 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 reveal to him, as well as to your accounts and balance sheets than to a project presentation on its technical aspects, of which he is not a particular specialist. For investors, it will rather be necessary to insist on the growth rate, on the cost of acquisition, on your study of the market, on your commercial strategy or on the inventory of the necessary resources that they are human or material. They will be more seduced by a demonstration and an in-depth and detailed analysis of a few figures rather than a lot of data. However, the changes of each one must be limited and all elements of the document must be preserved. Just show them another way.