Contadores e Cia
The Business Plan is the result of extensive research and planning: it helps guide the entrepreneur in preparation for entry into a new business, allowing them to expand their horizons. The Business Plan also acts as document that describes the entrepreneur’s vision for the business and assesses its feasibility. This allows for third-party evaluation of the business idea in order to weigh up the chances of success. Once the Business Plan has been created, goals for the project can be set. This allows the entrepreneur to plan financial and economic strategies.
A Business Plan should be created when starting a new business idea, during the development of new business areas or when implementing new strategic activities in a field where the business is already operating. Therefore the business plan becomes a communication tool for obtaining the necessary start-up funding for a new initiative. The Business plan also acts as a versatile presentation tool allowing start-up businesses to communicate their strategic intentions and allowing established businesses to establish goals for growth and pursue new enterprises.
From the entrepreneur’s perspective, the Business Plan is an opportunity to explore all aspects of a new business, examining all the possible consequences of different strategies that may be financial, competitive, productive or commercial in nature.
Furthermore, this analysis is used to determine a first approximation of the human and financial resources necessary for the initiation and development of the new business.
The drafting of a Business Plan also allows the entrepreneur to:
- Make changes to their business idea considering the costs
- Reduce the risks of the investment
- Achieve greater ease of access to sources of financing
- Effectively establish a business culture of motivation and
determination, enabling the business to expand and take on more
A well prepared Business Plan is the document by which potential investors and all those who intend to engage in the entrepreneurial project, including financial institutions such as banks and lenders, will base their investment decision. The Business Plan thus has a number of utility functions for the enterprise. These functions must be highlighted in order to achieve a proper business model.
Creating a Business Plan leads to a better understanding of the environment surrounding the company: it must answer questions about the competition, the positioning of the new enterprise and the target market. Thus, it increases the level of knowledge of the competitive environment. This in turn leads to the entrepreneur clarifying their vision for the business and the objectives to pursue.
The design of the Business Plan involves the evaluation of budgeting and constant monitoring of corporate performance. In the case of both the start-up business and the expansion of an existing business, analysis of financial feasibility and attractiveness of the investment is required. Finally, the drafting of the Business Plan requires the creation of medium to long term strategies for the operation of the business. The process of creating the Business Plan is a strategic planning process. From the new business idea we will proceed with a detailed analysis of the case, highlighting the possible threats from the external environment and opportunities associated with the idea together with all the strengths and weaknesses. It is necessary to keep perspective during the drafting of this document, therefore the process is divided into several phases.
The first questions to be addressed include:
- The dimensions of the project
- The human resources needed for its development
- The economic and financial planning
- The specifications of the project
The Business Plan aims to answer these questions. It is a very useful tool in the hands of the entrepreneur or the management.
Strategic planning then becomes a central focus. It is essential that the Business Plan is not seen as a short-term vision. The Business Plan should be used as a tool for the medium to long term, allowing existing businesses or start-up businesses to explain their strategies and predict possible economic and financial developments.
This creates the foundations for annual operational planning. It serves the firm in the strict sense because on one hand it helps to avoid errors of planning and miss-management. It forces the neo-entrepreneur to clarify their ideas, setting and quantifying objectives and potential difficulties. We conclude by stating that the document that symbolises the new profile of the entrepreneur is the Business Plan. It reduces the subjectivity of the decision-making process and improves external communication.