The business plan, the essential tool for any business venture

Whether you plan to start a business, take over an existing structure, or start a new business, it is in your best interest to write a business plan. Sometimes condemned, this document is nevertheless significant. It allows you to validate many points of your business project and, above all, it will help you convince your future partners (banks, investors, suppliers, etc.).

The business plan: what is it?

The business plan is often mistakenly confused with the financial forecast. In reality, forecasting is only part of it. It generally includes a balance sheet, an income statement, a cash budget and a financing plan. This financial component supplemented by another.

The other part is on the contrary economical and descriptive. It takes the form of a note in which you will present your offer of goods and/or services, the market you want to develop in, the clientele you target, the competitors you want, the business model you want to implement. keep around you etc.

It’s important to feel good understand what a business plan is before starting its design. Indeed, it should not be seen as a limitation or an administrative obligation, but in reality as a real decision-making tool.

How is the business plan useful for a business venture?

The business plan is THE essential document for any business project, whatever it is: company creation, company takeover or business development. In particular, it makes it possible to precisely quantify financing needs. But not only: it is an excellent communication/negotiation support and a very good management tool.

If you are in the creation phase, it will allow you to do so measure the profitability of your project. In addition, it will facilitate the validation of some of your creation choices (profit tax scheme, social status of the manager, etc.). By the way, he will act as support to get a bank loan or get investors into your company’s capital.

When you take over a company, the business plan can be used to convince a bank to give you a loan to buy back the shares. It can potentially validate a financial arrangement: creation of a “head of the group” holding company, repurchase of securities using bank financing and payment of dividends, etc.

How to make a business plan?

There are several solutions at this level. First of all, if you have use an accountant, you can ask him for an estimate so that he can accompany you in this task. This is the professional best placed to help you, even if his intervention has a cost.

If you have solid knowledge in the area, you can establish it yourself by using a spreadsheet (Excel, for example) for the financial part and PowerPoint for the financial part. If needed, many sites offer online models and tools (sometimes free, but more generally paid).

That said, remember one thing: whichever option you choose, make sure you do it actively participate in the development of your business plan.

“Make a business plan allows you to put your thoughts in order and off structure your project. Admittedly, it is built on forecasts that are inherently random, uncertain and subjective; but this document helps to reduce the risks. Thanks to that, you will make sure of it nothing will be left to chance “. (Source: Business plan guide)

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Pierre Facon

Pierre Facon is Associate Director of FCIC, a company specializing in online media publishing on the creation, management and acquisition of companies. He created and launched the website l…

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This text is published under the responsibility of the author. Its content does not in any way engage the editors of Les Echos Solutions.

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