Pablo A. Ruz Salmones is the co-founder and CEO of Grupo Ya Quedó, a software development and artificial intelligence (AI) company headquartered in Mexico City. As a computer and business engineer, he leads new partnerships and enterprise client relationships at Grupo Ya Quedó in North America, Africa, and India. Pablo is a regular speaker at global conferences on topics ranging from scaling global businesses and e-commerce to the application and ethics of AI. Pablo is an active member of several business honor organizations around the globe, as well as a published writer. Pablo is a lifelong pianist and composer as well as a concert performer.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am an entrepreneur, a pianist, engineer, and writer. I studied Computer Engineering, as well as Business Engineering at ITAM in Mexico City, as well as other courses at the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA), and at the University of Otago (New Zealand). I’ve given business and technology conferences in the United States and Mexico, and webinars from México to India, Latin America and Nigeria.

What made you choose your specialization in business, technology and music?

Throughout my life, I’ve always had so many interests that choosing a specialization was something that would’ve been unrealistic. It was much better, rather, to find the things that the disciplines I liked the most had in common. As such, I decided to study business first because of its strategic aspect, and then computer engineering because it complemented with the strategy.

Why did you choose to register as a business plan consultant on Kleos Africa?

First, because I met the founder of Kleos, Glory Enyinnaya, at a conference in Chicago, USA. She honored me with an invitation to be a part of the platform, and I accepted immediately. Kleos has given me the opportunity to collaborate with people from Nigeria, and expand my knowledge of business and entrepreneurship around the globle, while at the same time I share my expertise with those I can help, and who want to pursue a career in business.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is not a business, nor should it be taken as one. The main purpose of a business plan is merely to prove that, under certain conditions, an idea and its execution make sense, both financially and operationally speaking.

Why are business plans important?

Unless forced, one does not normally set sail without an idea of where one is going, and the resources one needs and has to get there. A business plan is the starting point, and it sets an ideal route and, as such, something with which to compare the execution and growth of the business. Is it going as planned? What hypothesis do we need to change? What was wrong and how can we fix it? These are some questions that a business plan will help you answer along the way. It will serve as a guide, and it will allow you to show to potential investors what you have taken into consideration for your business, and ensure it makes sense before leaving port.

What are the elements of a good business plan?

A business plan should have all the necessary elements to ensure it is comprehensive, while not inflexible. That is, it needs to provide answers that are proof of a clear strategy and a hint at the tactics and execution. Depending on the industry, some elements may be more important than others. However, the following are a must:

  1. Market Analysis – the main question is whether there is a market for your business – or if you’ll have to create one, which is far more difficult. Sometimes proving there is market for your business is not as hard, but other times it will. That depends largely on whether you are innovating, disrupting, and in which industry and who your business is targetting.
  2. Financial Projections – Once your market analysis is complete, you’ll need to make  sure that there is a way to make a profit from matching your idea to the current market.
  3. Mission, vision, and values. Many people ignore this, or take it as granted. However, if “the first 10 words” of your business do not accurately reflect where you are going, and why, you may end up with a business that adds no value to anyone. That doesn’t mean it won’t be profitable, but from my perspective, if you are not doing it for a reason beyond money, it is not a good business. A good business is good for you, for your family, your clients, your suppliers and society. That requires a vision.

What advice do you have for an entrepreneur who is considering creating a business plan?

Start with an idea. Everything starts with an idea. Most people overestimate the power of an idea, but many others underestimate it. It depends on the idea, and on the person behind it. Don’t let people discourage you. Have a very clear vision on why you want to execute your idea, because on the hard days, that will be what keeps you going. Once you have it, create a plan to reach your dreams. A plan that includes, among other things, a business plan. If you know how to do it, give it a try and have someone take a look at it. If you don’t, find someone who is able to set you on the right track and help you reach your dreams!

Like what you see thus far? Book Pablo A. Ruz Salmones (Grupo Ya Quedó) for your business plan on Kleos Africa today!