A business plan for strong roots and future growth
If you are reading this website, you have probably been putting a lot of thought into your business concept, and are now seeking financing.
It is also possible that your business is already established, but need some support to finance its growth.
Whether you are looking to start or grow a business, you will need a business plan to demonstrate the sustainability and profitability of your project.
Your business plan: An essential tool for success
A business plan is a roadmap, a dashboard and a visitation card:
- It's a map that indicates your starting point, your destination and the journey in between
- It's a dashboard that highlights every aspect of your business, and indicates what is required to stay the course
- It's a visitation card that will help you obtain the financing you need and the support of external collaborators
A detailed business plan is essential to the success and growth of your business, as it allows you and potential collaborators to both recognize its competitive advantages and set realistic objectives. It is a crucial element to starting a business – regardless of whether your situation is that of the transfer or buyout of an existing company, or the purchase of a franchise.
Drafting an effective, useful and convincing business plan
Your business plan must introduce your vision and objectives in a clear, comprehensive and realistic manner.
This document must address the following:
- Who you are, who your partners are
- The purpose of your business
- Your market and competitive advantage
- Your business model
- Your marketing strategies
- The management of your operations
- Profits and losses (P&L, or sales and expenses) objectives
- Your timeline
- Your financing needs, now and in the future
- Your digital strategy
You must also provide precise and detailed information regarding the multiple facets of your business, including:
- Your business or project history/background
- Market research facts and data
- Realistic projections
- A list of partners and shareholders
- A list of management personnel and their respective competencies
- A description of your installations and equipment
- A list of your main suppliers
- Financial statements for the past three years, if the business already exists
- Detail regarding venture capital and guarantees
- Research and development information
- Pertinent details on the legal structure of your business
For more information on drafting a business plan, we invite you to visit the Canada Business Network website, where you will find advice on the content and structure of a business plan, as well as links to precious resources.
Our objective: Your success
At National Bank, our objective is to support your success. That's why we invite you to contact our experts.
They will study your business plan, and ask you to present your business, projects and needs. They could also ask you to further explain certain aspects of your business plan.
All with one goal in mind: help you establish your business, and allow it to grow on solid foundations to ensure your success.
The marketing plan
As one of the key elements of your business plan, your marketing plan is your roadmap to the promotion of your business, product or service. Even with the best idea or product on the market, if you cannot promote your company or products, and attract enough customers, you will likely not be able to succeed.
Here are some elements to consider:
- Your target market
- Your pricing structure
- Your distribution channels (how do you deliver your product(s) to customers?)
- The promotion or marketing of your offering
- How you set yourself apart from the competition
Your marketing strategy should not only take into consideration the initial development of a market for your products and services, but it must also seek to tap into new opportunities, and evolve over the mid and long term.
As a business plan varies depending on the unique situation of each business, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your marketing plan. Your strategy and promotional mix will vary according to your needs and budget.
In order to prepare your marketing plan and, ultimately, your business plan, don't underestimate the importance of market research. It will help you assess the competition, and could help you determine if there is in fact a market for your product or service. It could also help you define niche markets and opportunities that you may not have initially thought of.
There are numerous resources at your disposal to help you with your market research, including: