6 key elements of a succesfull business plan

Developing a business plan is not an easy task. It demands a great deal of thought before sitting down in front a blank sheet and beginning to write. In addition, the difficulty is increased because there isn't an established standard on its content.

In any case, by analyzing successful business plans, we can set out a minimum needs on which to adapt the plan build to our business case. These common sections should be:

  1. Executive summary: It is the presentation letter of the plan, an extract of the description and distinguishing characteristics of the business. It is also necessary to briefly state the objectives, the investment required, the necessary resources and expected revenues. Although it is the first section, it should be written last.
  2. Concept, analysis and business definition: Firstly, we must analyze the internal and external context in which the business idea must be developed. Starting with a SWOT analysis (analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), the project's mission and vision, differentiating characteristics and competitive advantages are written. It is also essential to detail the objectives to be pursued (remembering that they must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely - SMART) and the strategies proposed to achieve them.
  3. Market study: This deals with collecting and analyzing data and information about potential customers, competition and market characteristics. Sales and marketing definition strategies play a special role in its composition. The readers should get an idea, as close as possible, of the commercial viability of the proposed activity.
  4. Technical project: This describes the physical requirements of the production process or service. It describes the legal structure (companies and individuals), the necessary human resources and infrastructure, equipment and necessary technology. All of this with an extensive analysis of associated costs.
  5. Financial aspects: This section details the following aspects of the plan:
  • Investment analysis: This is a key aspect for the viability of the plan and it must include the set-up investment required and the sources of funding.
  • Income and outgoing projection: Realistically, these are required for the time the plan is projected should be detailed. Here it is fundamental to determine the break-even point where the income is equal to the costs; i.e., it is the point of activity where there are neither gains nor losses.
  • Financial study: A calculation of the investment recuperation period and of the return of the business (ROI Return of Investment) is developed. It’s about showing that the project is profitable.

Keep in mind that with the elaboration of a solid business plan, you will have laid the groundwork for the success of your company, but from then on the work begins. Sometimes, even if the planning has been excellent, businesses fail (you can read more in our post '5 Causes that can ruin your business'). All plans must establish a methodology for its monitoring, with review points and control indicators (KPI or key performance indicators).

What is a coworking space

When we talk about a coworking space, we refer to a collective and flexible workspace connected to the internet where different people develop business projects and share experiences and synergies. In this way, a co-working space is just that; a space; until it doesn’t has a sufficient number of coworkers interacting with each other.

As you will see later, the concept that best identifies a coworking space is that of a business community, being the physical space the "home" where that community interacts and relates.

According to the specialist magazine Deskmag, the coworking market continues growing at a high rate and more than one million people will be working in coworking spaces in 2017.

The coworking spaces have different membership models as a way of becoming a member of the community. Depending on this membership, you may have the right to use the space and services in different ways.

  • Access membership. This is the simplest form of participation in the coworking community with limited access to its business lounges, connection with the community to offer or exchange services and participation in events. In short, this is the more economical way of access to the coworking community that will allow you to participate in their common spaces, exchange experiences with other coworkers and introduce yourself in that world without a greater economic commitment. People use the space to have a coffee or eat home-cooked food in a more appropriate environment than a café.
  • Hot Desk. These are flexible use desks, not exclusively dedicated to a particular coworker but can be used by members of the community based on the order of arrival and availability. If you have a laptop or tablet and just need internet connectivity this is your best option. Keep in mind you can access a space for an hourly, resolting in a more affordable membership fee
  • Dedicated desk. This consists of private access for each member to the same desk every day. If you are a ‘animal of habit’ or need to leave materials securely between sessions, this may be your best option. This membership usually has a higher cost than the hot desktop since you will have a dedicated workstation.
  • Private office. If you need some privacy in your day to day, having a workspace just for you and sharing with the business community common services is the best option. In addition, this is a very interesting alternative to renting a traditional office because you will share the expenses without harming the user experience. In addition, you can also share knowledge and experiences with other members. Typically, these spaces allow you to accommodate teams of people working on the same project in a single private office and have a monthly credit system.
  • Virtual Office. This allow you to have the opportunity to have a commercial address and use the postal address on your business cards or website. You can also receive your parcels and have a professional call answering service. In any case, it can be an excellent complement to your professional performance and can be combined with any of the above membership models.

In short, whatever your need, you will always find a co-working space to suit the way you are and the nature of your business. Keep in mind that, beyond a workspace, you must find a business community where your ideas grow.