Building your business plan is a crucial step in every business project. However, the approach is far from obvious and leaves many entrepreneurs perplexed. To simplify the process and offer a resolutely operational vision of the business plan, the SaaS Supernova application relies on a different approach from traditional tools. Thus, it focuses above all on the validation of the economic model to ensure in a few minutes the viability of the project. Accessible since June 2020, it has already been able to mark its difference and be adopted by support structures as well as project leaders. To understand Supernova’s philosophy, BORDEAUX Business met Nicolas CABANEL, co-founder of the application and its method.
Supernova is designed to be a simple and smart application. It is intended to validate its hypotheses in a few minutes. The business plan can then be completed and shared with your banker or partners in less than an hour. Thanks to a readable approach to information, the application popularizes financial management, at all stages of the life of the project.
In a year and a half, Supernova has largely captured its customers since 7000 business plans have already been made on the application. Approved by the entrepreneurs themselves, the tool then quickly found a buyer in the major structures ofentrepreneurial support. Supernova is now available to companies supported by BGE, 40 branches in France and 150,000 business plans per year; as well as by the CMA Occitanie and its 13 branches.
Business plan, understanding standards
There is no fixed method to make a business plan. You can start with a market study,a competitive analysis, a swot approach, model your economic model, make a financial forecast, etc.
In addition, this part is often subcontracted to a chartered accountant. Which then uses cumbersome and accessible accounting tools on its own to provide accurate financial projections. Problem: the entrepreneur has difficulty in impregnating himself and therefore defending it in front of his banker. Even more so when it is necessary to modify a hypothesis, and to verify that the business model still holds.
Supernova is therefore positioning itself as an alternative to traditional methods. The application takes the opposite view, starting first by determining the economic model, in a clear, readable and immediately exploitable way by the business manager.
Finding your business model above all
Supernova therefore manages the financial side first. From the outset, the application wants the entrepreneur to find his business model and understand it before tackling the editorial. Thus, he guides him step by step to determine realistic sales objectives to defend to investors. Choice of field of activity, definition of the offer, estimation of financial needs…
The application is connected to data from INSEE’s Esane database. In this way, it gives direct recommendations on the average selling price according to the envisaged offer or the items of expenditure to be expected for example. The entrepreneur is therefore not alone to build his project. He relies on precise data, market figures for a first confrontation of his project with reality. This method therefore makes it possible to verify the viability of the economic model, as well as to make proposals adapted to each sector of activity.
Supernova also builds business plans by imposing precise rules. First, the business model must be simple, that is, it must fit on a page. He must also be pessimistic to ensure that the business can operate, even in the worst-case scenario. Then, it must be pragmatic by confronting the market. Finally, it must be exhaustive so as not to forget anything, to think about all the items of expenditure.
The target, the market research, the added value are then easier to achieve. On the other hand, these steps are also the subject of proposals resulting from the practices of other companies on the market.
Market research, empiricism and data
As for the importance to be given to market research, it all depends on the fields of activity. For Nicolas CABANEL, it does not necessarily have to be a priority. In many cases, common sense and empiricism prove to be more reliable.
For example, if you want to open a car dealership, you will choose to settle on the same street as your competitors. If it is a pizzeria, we will choose a busy street far from its competitors. On the other hand, a craftsman will probably prefer to work quietly or in pedestrian streets. The construction of the business plan is also done by confronting its concept with the market, to see if its product pleases. In this way, one can start a business with as little investment as possible. Start with a testing period. Finally, it comes down to adopting a start-up,product/market fit approach. Enough to get proof that the product is of interest.
This approach is indeed more delicate in the industry, for example. This is a sector where work takes longer, but which also has more resources. R&D ends in pure loss 9 times out of 10. So it is important to quickly confront the market, to choose as quickly as possible the projects to abandon and those on which to invest.
Take Airbus as an example. They build planes but they sold them before. They had a firm order book before investing millions in production.
To the extent that a company is built day after day, the business plan cannot be fixed. On the contrary, it is built and reselled at several times. Even at the launch of the company, it is built in several stages.
First, the entrepreneur sets up a quick business plan to validate his project. It starts from its idea of concept, product, service. He gets an estimate of the costs, the cash receipts, and plays common sense to modulate the project in order to find the viable formula.
Then he confronts his company with the market before making large investments. For example, for Supernova, it was necessary to collect qualitative feedback from customers. Then readjust the business plan, review the selling price and the number of sales to be made to remain profitable. As well as define the investments to be made and the methods of financing: webmarketing, fundraising…
The business plan is therefore destined to evolve. It is a management and arbitration tool that follows the development of the company and the vagaries of the market.
Currently, Supernova is taking its place on the French market. However, the company’s ambitions are universal because the business plan method applies in all countries. Nicolas CABANEL therefore plans to make Supernova the global standard for the business plan.
It intends to initially finalize its establishment on the French market before attacking the international market. For the moment, in a year and a half, the company has acquired a solid reputation and credibility in the eyes of customers and support structures. He is now working on the strategy to be adopted to accelerate development and pool funds to match their ambitions.