By: Stefano Maifreni, founder of Eggcelerate
Developing an effective business plan can ensure growth and success, whether you are just starting or are already running a business. If questions like where to start from or how to grow your business keep you up at night, you are not alone.
A good business plan is one of the crucial things you need to get clarity and peace of mind and get things in motion.
While you may have come to terms with the fact that you need to spend your time developing a business plan, you might still be wondering how to create one.
1- Conduct Proper Research
Conduct proper research to know the scope of the market that you are deciding to enter and its future growth. You need to get a feel of the macro elements like the market scope, but an excellent in-depth research exercise is also likely to leave you with many detailed insights.
You can either conduct online research or look for the companies that work in the same field to check what they do, how far they go and see if there is some market gap to accommodate the uniqueness of your idea. By conducting research, you can easily find out where does your idea fall and where it excels.
However, don’t forget to be objective in your research. We know how important it is to showcase the benefits that you provide to your customers. Still, it is also essential to be objective in all the data, information, and research that you reference.
2- Know your competition and audience
Knowing your competition well will help you describe what makes you a unique and better option for your customers. Additionally, it will also help your audience understand why they should choose you instead of your competitions in the market.
Just the way your business plan must have a defined purpose, it should be for a clearly defined targeted audience. Not only this, but you may also need to develop several sections of your business plan that will help you target different audience segments with different go-to-market strategies.
3- Learn to Summarize your ideas
Business plans tend to become highly detailed. And that is fine; they ought to be. However, while your business plan and its various sub-sections and chapters become the giant bible of your business – do always retain the ability to summarize your entire business plan.
When you learn to convey your point without dragging it a bit too long, your stakeholders and investors will be more likely to understand your vision and plan better. It will also make your investors realize that you have a solid grip on your plan, and you also think critically about the steps you are going to take.
Remember, you are the first critic after developing a business plan. Therefore, make sure to give it a thorough read before it reaches the stakeholders out there.
4- Have proofs, references, and sources to back up your claims
If your business plan has mentioned why your product is the best that your audience can get their hands on, make sure you prove it with some facts. Ideally, you should back everything from a market-related point to a hypothesis that you have made with proofs, references or at least logic.
Business plans that are made on dream castles often crumble down because they do not have a solid fact-based or data-based grounding. So, whatever your big, grand vision for your business may be, get down to the research and get it validated with data and sources.
5- Provide supporting documents
To gain the complete trust of your investors, don’t be afraid to add an extensive list of documents or appendices to your business plan. It may include, e.g., product demonstrations, CVs of your team members, examples of internal or external messaging. You can also add all the data and information regarding, e.g., your competitors and market, with some relative and authoritative data points.
Now, not only will it work as a proof for others who would come across your business plan, but internally, within the company – it makes it an excellent practice to collate all the essential business-related documents in one place.
As an SME owner, you would have had an idea by now of how important developing a well-researched business plan is while keeping business’ growth at the forefront. This business plan can help constantly remind your stakeholder of what you stand for and remind the investors that your vision is worth their investment.
However, while developing a business plan, there are specific rules that need to be followed. Following these simple rules to writing your business plan will help you and your team to clearly understand your competition and point of difference, the market scope of your product, and your goals.
An engineer by education, product manager by role and expert at achieving growth by career, Stefano has an outstanding track record in business strategy, operations, product and marketing, with extensive P&L management and international expansion experience.
His professional journey includes Senior Manager roles in global Blue-chip companies, Growing Businesses and Start-ups in technology-intensive and innovative industries (IT, Telecom, Technology Manufacturing, Drones, IoT and FinTech).
Eggcelerate is the B2B growth experts for British SMEs supporting the growth of medium and small B2B tech British and Italian companies with international aspirations, helping them manage growth and change while streamlining their operations and improving their bottom line and cash flow position. Eggcelerate has worked, among others, with British start-ups in the field of FinTech (equity crowdfunding, supply chain finance), IoT (immersive events, drones) and more mature Italian SMEs (software house, manufacturer of electronic components).