If you are determined to create your business, the first step is to develop a good business idea, where the entrepreneurial idea is the fruit of intuition applied to the observation of the reality that surrounds us.
It may be considered fully developed when it defines:
- the product or service intended to be sold;
- the customer groups for which it is intended;
- the resources needed to produce and sell.
The second step to be taken, once the idea of enterprise has been developed, is to formulate a project that will make it possible to verify its feasibility. Therefore, In the various stages of defining your idea, the Business Plan is a tool that can be helpful for the following reasons:
- learning, which will drive the research of information, analysis and reflection, is essential to define in a clear, realistic and coherent way your business project;
- assessment of the degree of risk of the idea, which brings out the risks associated with starting up the business;
- communication and presentation of the entrepreneurial project, in all its parts in order to convince those who read it of the quality of your project;
- monitoring of the evolution of the activities of the enterprise through the analysis of the deviations between what is budgeted and what has actually been realised.
The business plan is a process based on the following topics:
- the definition of your business idea implies an in-depth analysis of the product or service to be realised;
- the study of the environment in which you will operate, analysing the so-called "macro-environment", which is composed of: demographic aspects and social context, regulatory aspects and political situation, characteristics of the local community and of the cultural context;
- the study of clients and competitors;
- the definition of the winning characteristics of products serves to identify the aspects that differentiate them from competitors and to better meet the needs of customers;
- the marketing plan is functional to make decisions that you will develop in specific operational plans and that concern the following aspects: what to sell, at what price, how to sell it and how to communicate;
- the production plan allows you to define the technical plan of your business initiative. It shall take into account the resources required by the company to produce the goods or services;
- you need the organisational plan to understand how to organise the work within your company and which rules to apply in order to regulate the relationships between the people who work for you, so as to achieve more easily the objectives of your company;
- the investment plan: the investments are those expenses that you necessarily have to bear to start your business and are divided into two categories: tangible fixed assets, such as land, buildings, plants, machinery and intangible fixed assets, such as: trademarks, patents, costs of setting up the company;
- the financial needs and sources of financing represent the need to have capital to support your business initiative, to address the necessary investments and operating costs;
- the economic and financial plan are designed as a result of the strategic choices and operational plans developed in your business plan.
By filling out your plan you will get a realistic, brief and easily readable document that will allow you to submit your business idea to potential partners and investors, so you’ll understand if your idea really has the right potential to be realised.
In order to realise the project in a company financial resources are necessary. The latter are divided into:
- the risk capital, which shall not be compulsorily refunded;
- the debt capital, which is loaned by third parties for a variable period (short, medium and long term) and must therefore be refunded.
Once the project has been completed and the feasibility of the business idea has been verified, it is necessary to present your project to potential partners and financiers. In addition to the business plan, the elevator pitch is a valid method for the presentation of your business initiative, which consists in preparing a brief, clear and convincing presentation that can be made in a few minutes. To be successful, the elevator pitch must be focused on the theme, exposed as a narrative, elaborated with a simple language, concluded in an exceptional way.
After the necessary capital has been raised, the final step remains to be taken: the start-up of the new enterprise. The beginning is the moment in which the new economic entity that will realise the enterprise is born; the necessary investments are made to set up the corporate structure provided for in the business plan, the production of products or services is started, the first sales are made etc.
Finally, once the company is started it is good to take control actions. The Management Control is an important tool to guide the company towards the basic objectives of the management itself, as established in the strategic planning, in an effective and efficient way. For example, the monitoring object may include projects or orders, products, customers, functional areas, processes, geographical areas.
For further information, please consult the annexes and the following thematic dedicated websites:
We also propose a series of other resources with which you can study and learn about how to plan the best start for your business.
Video-classes on Business Plan by the Bocconi University
Guidelines for the preparation of the business plan by the Working Group Corporate Finance Area of the CNDCEC
Getting into business by the CCIAA of Northern Sardinia
Microsoft Excel program to compose the economic-financial part.