When is a business plan necessary?

Before taking the plunge, you need to be sure that your project has every chance of success. To do this, you need to check its feasibility with the help of a business plan. Then you may realize that you need financial support, as it's often difficult to bring a project to fruition without a helping hand from the banks.

Your business plan then becomes the essential communication tool for convincing your contacts to believe in your idea and to support you financially in its implementation. Later, developing your business may require finding partners, and you'll need a business plan again. Finally, the day may come when you decide to sell your company, and this will be another opportunity to prepare a business plan to present to future buyers.

Create a business plan to ensure a project's viability

The business plan will enable you to draw up a plan for your project, verifying its feasibility and profitability. To draw it up, you need to adopt a structured approach and carry out a market study.

This involves gathering as much information as possible about the needs and preferences of the market you wish to conquer.

It will focus on the following points:

  • your potential customers and their aspirations
  • your offer and the competition in your target niche
  • your objectives
  • your sales strategy
  • your financial requirements (start-up costs, investments, working capital, etc.)

This market study is essential before you go ahead with your project, but it will also be essential whenever you intend to launch a new product or service.

Draw up a business plan to apply for financial aid

Your market study has shown you that your project is viable, but it has also revealed a financial need that exceeds your own funds. It's time to start looking for financial support. Once you've listed the various possibilities open to you (grants, loans, etc.), you need to go back to your business plan and adapt it to a financing application. A business plan is not presented in the same way when you want to be sure of the viability of your project as when you want to convince a financial institution.

When you're looking for financing, the focus of your study will be on your company's ability to generate sufficient sales and profitability to cover your debt. To do this, you need to highlight your business model, i.e. the way in which you intend to make your objectives a reality. The business model is an integral part of a business plan.

To convince your contact to trust you, you need to consider the following aspects:

  • the different sources of income from your business
  • your distribution channels
  • your pricing policy
  • your sales strategy

This business plan must be drawn up with the utmost rigor to ensure your credibility with financial institutions.

It must therefore include a summary that summarizes :

  • the nature of your business
  • the progress of your project
  • the status you have chosen and the share capital (except in the case of a sole proprietorship)

Business plan

Drawing up a business plan to find partners

You've secured the necessary financing and started your business. Now you'd like to develop it, and to do that you need to find partners.

Once again, abusiness plan is essential when trying to attract partners. This document is necessary right from the outset, as it gives your interviewer a clear idea of what you can offer. This business plan must be perfectly honest, and you must present objectives that are genuinely achievable. There's no point highlighting hypothetical dividend payouts based on improbable results.

Drawing up a business plan to sell your company

Whether you're starting a new business or simply retiring, selling your business is a crucial step that you need to anticipate and prepare for carefully.

A business plan designed for the sale of a business must enable a buyer to be sure that he is buying a company in good working order and ready to face the challenges of the future.

To do this, you need to take stock of your business and gather as much information as possible (business diagnosis, means of production, financial and legal diagnosis...) to identify its strengths and weaknesses. This will give you solid arguments to convince a potential buyer.