03 dec Tips on how to transform your idea into an award-winning business plan
Now that the deadline for participating in the Idea Stage has passed, it is time to turn your one-pager into a real business plan. Writing a business plan might seem intimidating and a heavy time-consuming task. However, we have tried to make the process of writing a business plan as convenient as possible and divided the plan into four different sections. Writing a business plan is a great way to reflect on the key activities and helps you to run your company with a more cohesive vision.
Below you will find the four different sections of which your plan will consist if you are participating in the Philips Innovation Award, and some tips and tricks to create a successful business plan. If you participated in the Idea Stage, make sure to use the feedback on your executive summary.
In the section ‘Innovation’ you will provide a description and solution of the problem you are aiming to solve. In addition, you have to give an overview of your Unique Selling Points (USPs) and the scalability of your product/service. Finally, the ‘Innovation’ section includes an optional pitch video where you can show an elevator pitch of your idea.
Tip 1: Tell a story – you want people to get excited about your business, so take your readers on hand by focusing on storytelling. If you can deliver a clear brand narrative, readers of your plan will be more engaged and it could increase the value of your company’s product or service.
The ‘Team’ section allows you to introduce you and your team members and show what core competencies you have secured in your team.
Tip 2: Do not underestimate the importance of a good team – make sure to know which skills are needed to run your business. Do not only focus on one specific quality, but make sure your team includes a wide range of skills. If you would like to learn more, please read our article about team dynamics
In the ‘Market’ section you will have to perform a market analysis. In addition, you will analyze your customers and your key risks. Furthermore, a go-to-market strategy also needs to be described.
Tip 3: Perform both primary and secondary market research – you have identified a problem and solution to solve that problem, but you will need to make sure that there are enough potential customers to run your business. There are several websites, databases and industry reports that provide information about market size, growth potential and industry trends (e.g. Statista).
The final section sheds light on your financials. Here you have to give a summary of your revenue model, the number of customers you are able to address and your largest fixed and variable costs. Moreover, you can insert charts of your revenue streams, cost structure, financial forecast and a capitalization table.
Tip 4: Be realistic – of course, assumptions about costs and revenues need to be made, but try to back up your claims with realistic arguments and reasoning, preferably backed-up by a source, in order to not overestimate your financials.