A business plan is not just an intellectual exercise. This is really a management tool and a responsible step at the stage of implementing your business project. Especially when you need to communicate about your project with external stakeholders (partners, investors, bankers). Here we give you a detailed overview of why a software startup business plan is important and how developing one can help you succeed.
What Is A Business Plan?
When a startup requires financial backing from a bank or investors, the founders must create a thorough business plan. The money that must be utilized to accomplish the company idea must be specified in the business plan. It should include information about the strategy, the market position, the planned actions, and the projected financial needs. The business plan essentially fixes the idea, planned actions, and goals. It is also directed to potential partners and investors for information, and must, in particular, advise these parties about the company’s prospects and hazards.
A new firm does not necessarily necessitate the creation of a business plan. Here are some more reasons to establish a business plan:
- The need for investment in new products;
- Development of the company’s activities, its expansion;
- A takeover of the company;
- Succession planning, restructuring;
- Cooperation with partners or advisors;
- Request for financing through credit or leasing.
Namely, for starting a business in the IT field, a business plan is extremely important, since the competition is quite high, and the number of startups is growing every day.
What Should A Business Plan Contain?
A business plan generally deals with four key areas. The format or order in which the information is presented may vary, but the basic details are generally the same. The first one is the company profile. This section provides an overview of the current business or business project. It usually includes some important steps which you will find below.
Describe your company briefly, including what it does and where it is situated. Indicate if this is a new venture, an extension of an existing venture, or an acquisition.
Goods and services
Provide a detailed description of your product or service. In particular, it should list unique features and costs and explain how the project will be implemented.
A value proposition
Explain what keeps your customers coming back to your business. You may need to test your argument with a customer survey or focus group.
Owners, management team, and key personnel
Describe the education, skills, training, knowledge, and experience that you and your team bring to the service of the company to achieve its goals.
Writing A Business Plan: Basic Rules
Give yourself time
All composite factors are related to each other and influence each other. The path to a neat business plan is all the more difficult.
Keep it short
When creating a business strategy, keep the readers in mind at all times. Nobody wants to read a 200-page work in which all the technical features of a fantastic solution are meticulously set out. More than 20 pages should suffice. The resume, on the other hand, is crucial. Busy bankers and investors almost seldom have time to read the complete company plan. In the executive summary, they want to see the important points expressed succinctly, clearly, and rationally. Also, pay attention to the wording. A good business plan must not only show credible data, but it must also be written in the proper language, formatted properly, and properly linked.
Ask for help
When it comes to linguistic correctness, most company owners suffer. Not everyone can express complicated concepts concerning facts in a straightforward and accessible manner while still using exquisite language. In this scenario, hiring a professional is money well spent. Friends or coworkers who study the business plan critically and give ideas for changes may be quite beneficial.
Plan your first steps
Starting a business is always difficult. Good preparation aids in overcoming the initial months and years. Unforeseen occurrences and shocks will occur without fail, and no business strategy, no matter how precise, will be able to forecast them. However, proper planning is always beneficial.
What Is The Startup’s Business Model?
The business model of your startup will depend on the type of product and service you sell, the industry you operate in, your cost structure, etc.
Startups have more complex business models to understand, so they need to be explained in detail. In the case of a co-working business plan, everyone knows what co-working is and how this type of business works. A restaurant business plan does not need to describe the business model. For a startup that will have a very specific business model, everything is different.
Typically, in a business plan, you summarize the economic model of your future company using the Business Model Canvas.
This tool allows you to quickly understand the details of your project, including the pricing model, cost structure, key partners, etc.
The business plan, tailored to the startup, includes the Canvas business model for the sector.
How Do Present The Segments Of The Startup Market?
Market segmentation is the process of dividing a set of customers into segments of individuals who have common characteristics.
You will need to separate the profiles that can use your services or buy your products.
What is the interest of the segments? This exercise provides an opportunity to structure your client presentation in your business plan. Then it will reach your customers with more power (by dividing the offer and different messages of your startup according to segments, for example).
Possible market segments that your startup can target are sellers and individuals (if I’m creating a marketplace), companies that need computer hardware, or people who want to shop online (if you are creating an e-commerce store).
Therefore, the formation of a business plan at the start of your startup will help you from the very beginning to identify the right vector for the development of your idea and to implement it successfully.