Take your time. The road to a clean business plan is correspondingly hard.
Pay attention to the language. A clean business plan not only offers comprehensible numbers but should also be written in the correct language, have an attractive design, and be neatly bound, emphasizes Blasucci.
Check profitability. As a company founder, it is precisely the numerical part – i.e., the chapter “Cost structure” in the canvas method or “Finances” in TAKE OFF – that you should subject to a critical check. If it still works, then you are on the right track».
Keep it short. When writing a business plan, you should always think of the readers. Twenty pages ought to suffice. The most important aspect, however, is the summary or management summary. Infrequently busy bank managers or investors read the entire business plan.
Get help. Most company founders have a hard time with linguistic precision. Not everyone can explain a difficult context simply and plausibly at the highest level. Just friends and colleagues who read the business plan critically and make suggestions for improvement can greatly help. “Anyone who makes mistakes in the summary, works sloppily, or cannot answer the most important questions has already lost,” says Blasucci.
Plan your first steps. Starting a business is always a risk. Good preparation helps to get through the first few months and years better. Of course, no plan, no matter how detailed, can foresee that. But good planning is always helpful.
Infoniqa partnership with STARTUPS.CH
Infoniqa maintains a partnership with the start-up portal STARTUPS.CH to provide optimal support for young Swiss entrepreneurs. Those who set up their company via STARTUPS.CH benefit twice over: from a wide range of advice and attractive conditions for partner offers – e.g., B. at Infoniqa ONE Start, the business software for start-ups.
The business plan in the established company
«A business plan is something for start-ups. Established companies run by themselves, so an annual budget is enough.» That is the widespread opinion. But: is that true? How often is the budget wrong at the end of the year because it just doesn’t reflect reality? A different approach is worthwhile, especially when changes are imminent: A business plan serves as a guide through the thicket of assumptions, wishes, and dreams. Of course, a business plan should also result in a resilient budget. But not primarily. The business plan for an established company should also consider some additional points that are not relevant to the business plan for start-ups.
Create actual analysis
In the beginning, there is the unvarnished truth: How is business? Why are certain offers not working or not as well as they should? Why are others doing well? With this analysis, you get a realistic picture of your company’s current situation as a starting point for the business plan. You will identify the “pain points,” strengths, and opportunities where you need to start. It is advisable to involve an external moderator who brings a different perspective and questions entrenched arguments.
After the actual analysis, you set the goals. Make goals specific, measurable, appealing, realistic, and timely (SMART). How do you want to survive in the market? Do you want to introduce a new product or service or change an offer? Again, it would help if you did not build castles in the air but remained realistic. It doesn’t hurt to ask your customers about their needs again and again. Once you have set a goal, you should try to break it down into individual milestones. In this way, you keep track of things and can intervene in good time in the event of delays.
Take into account changes in the company.
This only works if you also account for the “how.” Because growth and change affect the sales figures and the entire company, think about where changes have what impact. Following internal areas :
- Are the responsibilities, dependencies, and processes still correct?
- Employees: who will you need in the future, and how do you find these specialists?
- Communication: Often underestimated and subsequently identified as a disruptive factor. Thinking about this in the business plan helps to minimize friction losses.
- Tools: At best, you need a new tool that you can use to monitor and control your project. How much does it cost, and who uses and looks after it?
- Culture: Can the employees support the change with enthusiasm and passion? Do they know enough to understand what is changing and why? Who needs further training, and how much does it cost?
Start-up business plans
The business plan of already established companies requires additional documents that are not yet relevant for start-up business plans. When a company expands or restructures, the following enclosures to the business plan may be necessary:
- Annual accounts with a balance sheet, income statement, and appendices
- Current interim financial report with debtors and creditors
- cash flow statements
- Information about machines, locations, etc. of the company
- Existing contracts of participation, cooperations, licenses, etc.
- tax returns
Optimize business plan and avoid weak points
For the business plan to achieve its goal, it should be coherent, understandable, and unambiguous. Define your target group as precisely as possible. Which formal conventions are important? Completeness is also important: Check whether essential information on the competition, the finances, or the market environment is available. Finally, be careful not to mix hope and reality. Create realistic estimates, for example, for financing and the income statement, but also declare the best (optimistic) and worst variants. That creates transparency.