Business plan: knowing how to tell a good story

The first part of the business plan, also called the development plan or business plan, is traditionally devoted to the description and development of the project and the people behind it. That part of the editorial staff is important, but not exclusively: it is recommended to illustrate the text with figures, tables, graphs or photos. What information should be included? “All the elements that justify the creation of the company. But try to be concise. The first quality of writing a good business plan is the spirit of synthesis,” warns the head of a consulting firm. consulting company specializing in business creation assistance. It is therefore necessary to sort between the essentials and the accessories.

There is no standard plan: it must be original and tailored to the specifics of the product you want to sell or the service you want to provide. However, the various sections below are all essential.

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Go to the essentials to be sure of being understood

“Why are you setting up this business? What market needs does your initiative meet? What problem do you want to solve for your client? These are the answers I want to get when I read a business plan,” explains an iSource-managing partner, a venture capital firm with specializing in start-ups and in the development phase. Explain from the first page the gap that your company will fill. Although it is an innovation in a complex niche, its presentation must be understandable.

This is the famous pitch: your idea of ​​how complex it is to implement, must be summed up in a single sentence and allow the business potential behind it to evolve. “Maybe you, like 400,000 Frenchmen, have a draft novel sleeping in a drawer? How about asking author Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt to help you complete it?” That’s how Evelyne Platnic Cohen, Marjorie Leblanc Charpentier and Sophie de Parseval, the founders of The Artist Academy, captured investors and managed to raise 900,000 euros from eleven business angels to launch their online course platform, which offers virtual masterclasses with renowned artists and athletes.

Luca Verre, an ingenious engineer, had the idea of ​​using the work of the Institute of Vision to completely reconsider the method of acquiring visual information with cameras and image sensors. To convince investors, he does not go into detailed explanations of the technology itself, but of what it changes: While his competitors are constantly increasing the computing power of their cameras, his own, by not processing relevant information, e.g. 20 to 30 times faster to detect a pedestrian than a conventional camera. A huge advantage in the colossal market of autonomous vehicles, connected objects, built-in cameras … estimated at $ 54 billion in 2023. With his start-up Prophesee, he managed to raise … $ 19 million in early 2018 !

Describe the profile of the creators and their potential partners

This is the essential selection criterion: “For investors, the man behind the project is at least as important as the project itself”, warns Laurence Piganeau, consultant at AFE (Agence France Entrepreneur). The document must therefore highlight the manager’s / managers’ professional experience. For young creators who do not have a career behind them, winning a trophy or participating in an accelerator program are great ways to calm down.

When the creator is accompanied by one or more partners, it is essential to present them as accurately as possible: experience, skills, complementarity with you … “The ideal, in a start-up, is a nerdy profile for the technical side , and a marketing profile for management “, recommends Benoît Galy, author of Collaborate well for better business (Leduc.S.). Including an organization chart is a great way to highlight everyone’s specialties and how roles will be distributed. If reputable seniors in your business sector are involved in setting up your business – as occasional advisors, sponsors, investors or financial backers – do not hesitate to mention it.

>> Also read – Business Creation: How to Build Your Business Plan

Bring out the added value of your product

A natural continuation of the previous part, the creator must present his product in detail. “Investors are currently abusing a term that has the benefit of saying what it means: ‘the breach,'” warns Nicolas Fritz, chief operating officer of Content Square, a company that analyzes Internet users’ behavior. , and author, together with Raphaël Boukris, of Business Angels: A Guide to Good Practice for Investors and Entrepreneurs (Pearson). In other words, what sets your offer apart from the competition? Support your demonstration by adding pictures of prototypes or models if it is a website.

Another element of this part of the business plan that must not be forgotten: the market research carried out in the previous phase. Its conclusions will be taken up and detailed. It must make it possible to measure both the characteristics of demand (volume, customers, location, solvency, degree of satisfaction) and supply (competitors’ market shares). And then to better understand your positioning.

Finally, regardless of the originality and innovative nature of your product or service, you need to clearly identify your future, existing or potential competitors. To do this you need to attend trade shows and trade shows. It’s a great way to gather information and documentation, but also to understand how others work and therefore better define your competitive advantage.

Assume the right tone and a clear presentation

Do not try to make great literature, first of all be sure to be ready. Your business plan should start with a first significant editorial part. Three pitfalls to avoid:

  • For technical: professional jargon must be banned, including anglicisms. It can be tempting to show that you are familiar with the environment you start in, but above all, you risk discouraging your readers.
  • Too enthusiastic: forget the exclamation marks, the flashy colors, the fabulous slogans like: “Invest in tomorrow’s Amazonas!” A slightly skewed tone is possible if it matches your personality.
  • Too close: avoid too long sentences, ventilate your file and illustrate.

Get inspiration from an existing model

More than 500 examples of business plans, real and fully developed, are available on the Bplans.com website.

Advantage: all activity sectors and all types of projects are represented. For example, you will find business plans for an e-commerce site, a consulting firm and even … an airline if you feel like getting into this business sector.

Inconvenience : this page is in English only.

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