The business plan is a document in which a new commercial project focused on a good, a service, or a company as a whole is proposed.
Through the content of the business plan, the company tries to evaluate the characteristics of this project for its subsequent presentation.
In the business plan the environment of the company is studied, analyzing and evaluating the possible results if the objectives set in the project were achieved. For this, it is important that the business plan contains on its pages the various variables that make up its objectives and the resources that will be necessary to dedicate to them to start its operation and to achieve those objectives.
Therefore, this document is written prior to making an investment or starting a business. It collects the successive steps or stages necessary for its development and achievement of the defined goals. In this sense, it is common for entrepreneurs to develop one in order to plan their line to follow in the future.
Manual to develop a business plan
Components of a business plan
If we refer to the composition of the plan, the following points of analysis can generally be found:
- Company overview.
- Products or services and how they are produced.
- Description of the business model.
- Cash flow statements. Detailing all possible income and expenses.
- Financial projections and estimates of the aforementioned income and expenses, as well as other factors.
- Identification of the executive management and management team.
Within the guidelines that are marked within the plan, the different alternatives that the business to start up can be found. All with the idea of studying its economic or technical viability. That is to say, it is asked if the achievement of objectives is possible from a financial point of view, if this work will translate into benefits in a certain time and if the company has sufficient means to start it.
Developing a business plan is essential when launching a new product or service or when seeking new business goals. This is because said plan is made known to seek external financing or so that it has the necessary approval of the company executives at the time of starting the project. For this reason, the plan must offer a solid and well-detailed image of what is proposed in it.
Structure of the business plan
A good business plan must be complete and fully cover the main aspects and factors that make up the project to be analyzed in detail. It should also be properly organized for quick and easy consultation. It collects the operation of several areas of the company that we can summarize in:
- Structure of the administration of the company: Statutes, administrators of the company and their functions.
- Legal and commercial structure: Constitution of the company, commercial and fiscal procedures.
- Economic structure of the company: Environment, market, object of the activity and competition.
- Marketing plan: Indicates how the firm intends to carry out its sales efforts.
- Sales planning: Estimates, sales systems and collection and payment management.
- Human resource management: Selection, training, coordination and salary policies.
- Financial and accounting plan: Valuation of investments and projects, cash flow management, management of capital stock and liabilities.
We must not confuse it with the marketing plan
A common mistake when defining the business plan is to confuse it with the marketing plan. However, the marketing plan is only one aspect of the business plan. Basically, the business plan is the global planning document of the company about its operation in a period of time or in a specific job or service.
For its part, the marketing plan is one of the parts that make up the total, or business plan. While the business plan shows a broader or more general vision, the marketing plan focuses on the strategies and efforts to generate sales and income.