Business Plan

Drawing up your first business plan is a task that is both exciting and complex. Your business project is coming together with more clarity, but maybe not all the details have been worked out. Maybe you still have questions and information to find. Writing a business plan for your company is precisely the opportunity to identify the gaps in your strategic planning. The business plan remains a reference document for the company, and it will evolve with your business project.


The value of a good business plan

Your business plan will be used to rally investors, lenders, business partners, financiers, shareholders, etc. around your project. It will also be useful to you when the time comes to apply for grants or join government programs.

An effective, relevant, and comprehensive plan lets you establish your credibility and that of your business project with these third parties. Even more importantly, writing a business plan is an essential exercise in reflection and strategic planning. It will help you implement your ideas and identify—from this stage—findings regarding the next actions to be taken.

Business plan: the essential elements to include

There isn’t just one way to put the outlines of your business project down on paper. The templates may vary, and ideally, they are tailored to the specifics of your project. That said, certain elements are essential in order to present a clear image of your project to your partners. Think about including them.

Example of a business plan structure.

  • Summary:
    • Summary of the project;
  • Project:
    • Presentation of the company;
    • Mission or mandate;
    • Short-, medium, and long-term objectives;
    • Products or services offered;
  • Sponsors:
    • Curriculum vitæ;
    • Personal balance sheet;
    • Organizational structure;
    • Legal form;
  • Market:
    • Identification of the target customers;
    • Qualitative and quantitative assessment of the potential market;
    • Evaluation of the competition;
    • Pricing strategy;
    • Advertising and promotion strategy;
    • Marketing strategy;
  • Operations:
    • Production;
    • Procurement (potential suppliers);
    • Development;
    • Labour requirements;
  • Financial forecasts:
    • Financial requirements (startup expenses and project cost);
    • Sources of funding;
    • Projected financial statements
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Business plan writing guides