The 3 C’s of a Business Plan

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

6 Min Read

3 cs of business plan
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Writing a business plan?

Lean or comprehensive—a business plan is quintessential to successfully launch and grow your business.

However, a business plan won’t hold much weight if it fails to address the 3 Cs of a business plan.

What are those?

Let’s see what these 3 C’s are and how to integrate them into your business plan.

The 3 C’s of a business plan

The concept, customer, and capital are the building blocks of your business plan. Let’s understand what these 3 components mean and what they include in detail.

Concept

The concept is what your business does and what it aims to achieve by clearly articulating the mission statement, objectives, and overall strategies of your business.

It’s not a list of products and services you will offer. It’s much more comprehensive, answering important questions such as:

  • What is the long-term goal of your business, i.e. vision
  • What is the unique selling proposition that sets you apart from the competition?
  • What is your business structure, i.e. sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or partnership?
  • What will be the profit-sharing ratio for the partnership?
  • How will you efficiently provide the products and services?
  • How will you achieve your strategic goals and maintain business sustainability?

Concept, in totality, highlights everything internal and external that explains what and how of your business, and establishes viability.

Customer

The second C—Customer is perhaps the most important business aspect. An in-depth market analysis will help you understand them in detail.

Begin by determining your target audience and their needs. To do so, gather data through surveys, research, and studies and get answers to the following questions:

  • Where is your target customer located?
  • How old is the target customer?
  • What problems do your potential customers face?
  • What do they need in a solution?
  • What are their buying patterns?
  • How much can they spend on the solution?
  • Where will you find your target audience?
  • What keeps them loyal?

The demographic and psychographic evaluation of your target audience will assist in developing your product and marketing strategies. However, this knowledge isn’t enough.

A broader evaluation of the external environment is essential, i.e. the study of competition and the competitive landscape of your business.

Who are the direct and indirect competitors influencing your business? How are they satisfying the needs of your target audience and is there a gap that you can leverage? What is the market size of their products and services? What are their price points? How do they operate?

These insights from competitor analysis will help you draw your competitive advantage and help you enhance your product offerings and business strategies.

Overall, the second C of a business plan—a customer acquaints you with your target audience and prepares you to serve them better.

Capital

An important aspect of a business is determining your startup costs and making provisions for the funding.

For this, you need a detailed financial plan offering insight into the business’s finances, cash position, profitability, and growth over the coming years.

To make capital, the third C of a business plan comprehensive and informative, find answers to the following:

  • How will you make money in your business?
  • How much money is essential to kickstart your business?
  • Where will you acquire the funding from and what will be your repayment plan?
  • Will you have enough cash to pay your operational expenses?
  • How will the purchase of a particular asset or undertaking a certain loan affect your financial situation?
  • How much sales do you expect in the forthcoming years?
  • How much revenue will you generate as a business?
  • When will the business achieve break even?
  • How will the cash situation be in certain unexpected scenarios? i.e. scenario planning
  • How much funding will be required to grow your business at a certain stage?
  • What will be your exit plan?

Well, a business plan needs to explore these financial aspects through appropriate projections and assumptions to attract potential investors and their funding.

Even when funding isn’t the ultimate goal, a financial plan will assist the businesses in ascertaining their financial sustainability and viability.

Integrating the 3 C’s to create a business plan

A business plan must seamlessly integrate the 3 C’s—the concept, customer, and capital to make it successful. Addressing them adequately will enhance the weight of your business plan and make it more useful.

The 3 C’s are quite crucial for your business plan. So, make sure that you avoid these common mistakes.

  • Don’t present your concept vaguely. Be very specific about your offerings and how it solves the market needs.
  • Don’t assume that you know your target audience. Conduct in-depth research through surveys and focus groups to collect data about your target customers.
  • Don’t ignore the competition when studying your target market. Study your direct and indirect competitors and conduct the competitor’s analysis to determine your competitive advantage.
  • Don’t underestimate the expenses or overestimate the revenue by making accurate projections.
  • Avoid making vague assumptions about your funding requirement. Calculate your funding needs and evaluate its impact on your cash flow before making any financial demands.

Now that you know how to incorporate these 3 C’s into your plan efficiently, it would make things a bit easier. But, you still need to create the entire business plan.

Try using a tool like Upmetrics to simplify the planning process. The AI assistance, business plan templates, and a guided builder make business planning a breeze. It’s totally worth it.

Conclusion

The 3 C’s—concept, customer, and capital are fundamental to building a successful business. It will add clarity and focus to your business idea helping you explain it better.

Refer to your existing plans and check whether they address these 3 components effectively. If not, review your plan and fill in the gaps to strengthen your context.

Stop contemplating the planning process. Take the first step and work these 3 C’s that will eventually form the foundation for your business plan.

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About the Author

Upmetrics                                                       
            Team

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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