Build and maintain a business plan

Stay in control despite so many dimensions one has to consider. Collect pieces from every angle. Create fexible summaries to test your audience with.

Writing a business plan is a multi-faceted task

Francis wants to rejunevate an old restaurant in a rural area. He wants to write a short document to convince partners to join and fund his project.

Writing a business plan involves so much data and so many reading angles. Some say it’s more about preparing than writing, i.e. clear ideas bring easy writing.

There is not intrisic hierarchy between topics

Francis starts with top level tools such as the Business Model Canvas and good old sticky notes. Pinning things on the wall helps clarifying the picture.

Then he picks a plan and starts writing.

Here comes the diffilulty, because everything is connected! Resource plan requires finance, finance is substantiated by revenue, which is connected to competitive advantage, itself linked to product roadmap, which in turn relies on having the right resources.

So he goes round and round, copying, editing, pasting, multiple versions, changing the order of arguments, looking for more data, etc. Usual stuff, indeed.

But how can we not loose sight of bigger picture?

As soon as we pick a plan, we engage into a linear story telling exercise. Good. That’s the goal. But very soon we need to go back to assumptions, notes and data.

So we copy and paste from notes to document. Back and forth. Or we switch order, change terms, hunt for more data.

Sooner or later, notes and document start diverging. We have several versions because we wanted to test presentation options. Or because we are writing for different audiences. We took some elements off and stored them away for future use, but cannot find them anymore. Files are all over the place. Our strategic notes become obsolete because we’re working on another file.

In short, Francis stuggles to focus while keeping the bigger picture in sight.

Dive into the detail while staying on top of things!

With Qinaps, you are re-assured that every piece of information is captured, developed and expanded into complete and deliverable Workbooks. Quiclky iterate re-arranging content. Let’s see how to in practice.

Pick a plan of your choice

Using Qinaps, Francis starts with our Business Plan template.

It includes a Business Model Canvas. This is a good start, because he knows everything can be re-used later.

Any other plan can be imported and quickly turned into a network of meaningful elements (this is another topic).

Flip between detail and global in no time

With Qinaps, a map is the network of blocks. Each block carries a rich text editor, with many more features than a traditional editor!

As such, Francis can quickly go from “value proposition” to “customer relationships” and back. But this is just the beginning 😉 Read more…

Try various renderings

Best stories follow an attractive sequence.

Using the document composer feature of Qinaps, Francis selects blocks, assemble them into a linear document, tries several sequences and structure for maximal impact. All from the same text blocks. No need to copy and paste.

Build detail. Keep assumptions & notes in sight.

Now that a global picture is set, Francis moves into details. This image shows how he explored connections between operations, value proposition and finance.

Using Qinaps viewpoint feature, Francis was able to see just what was needed to his specific focus.

Use and reuse!

Some content may be required in several places, either in the same document, or across several documents. For instance, Francis may want to mention a short description of his target market, both in the executive summary, and in the go-to-market section.

Using Qinaps inclusion feature, he was able to write once and reuse many times, being assured there will be consistency going on.

Job done. Until next version ?

Finally Francis got his business plan out. He shared it with a few friends for comments (see Qinaps share feature). Eventually sent it to and got lots of observations… Back to the workbench, he updates a few blocks, reworks ordering, et voilà! He gets a new version, while previous one is securely stored.

Image credits: Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels