What is your future business plan

For many startups, creating is theirs Business plan an enormous amount of time and a lack of knowledge of the structure, structure and content can reduce the initially innovative business idea. Most founders fail in the first few years - not least because possible planning deficiencies were not taken into account. We will help you to find a good introduction to the subject and show you how to use the key elements of a business plan collate briefly and concisely in the smallest of spaces.

What is a business plan and what is it used for?

The business plan describes the structured and conceptual elaboration of your business idea. Among other things, it describes:

  • the Strategy of your business idea

  • the target group and how you want to achieve them (marketing and sales)

  • the Competitive situation

  • the financial plan

The Business plan summarizes the idea, goals, measures and the financing of your business start-up together. It forms the guideline for your company and is the basis for all further planning. By critically examining your concept, you ensure that future obstacles can be anticipated and eliminated.

In addition, a carefully prepared business plan is a prerequisite for convincing banks, investors and business partners of your project.

Structure of a business plan: You should work out this information

With the business plan you check all relevant areas of your company concept. In addition, you reduce the economic risk by checking your idea for its practical feasibility and profitability.

So that the business plan can be used as a guide for future strategic and operational measures, you should work out the following points:

1) business idea

At the beginning of the document you should explain what exactly you are planning:

2) Industry and competition analysis

In this part, you dedicate yourself to your competition in detail. For example, they explain which other companies already exist in the industry, what distinguishes them and what makes them successful.

3) target audience

In this section, develop your ideal persona. Collect traits, interests, and problems to create a clear picture of your target audience.

4) schedule

Now summarize when and how the market entry should take place. If necessary, break the plan down into phases.

5) Marketing

No company survives long if it has no customers. Therefore, your planned marketing initiatives should also find their way into the business plan.

6) Finance

Here you list the costs your company will face and the income you can expect. From this you can deduce how much money you need from investors. Don't forget to show what exactly the financial support will be used for later and when you expect to break even.

This information forms the absolute basis of a business plan. A presentation of the founders and management level of your company is also welcome. This gives outsiders an overview of what knowledge and skills you bring with you. You can also devote your own chapters to your vision and the precise internal organization of your company.

In particular, if you want to convince funders with your business plan, it can be worth adding a SWOT analysis to it. You will critically analyze the opportunities and risks of your business idea and proactively uncover weaknesses and possible problems. You then offer solution ideas. In this way, you signal to the outside world that you have dealt intensively with the market and are well prepared for all eventualities.

How extensive should a business plan be?

The exact length of your business plan depends on your business idea, the industry and your goals. In general: Describe all important information as long as necessary, but as briefly as possible.

Bear in mind that investors, banks and business partners usually have little time to deal with your ideas. You don't want to bore readers or strain their patience with lengthy explanations. However, you should be able to obtain comprehensive information about your project, because only then can you make an informed decision as to whether it is worth supporting you.

Therefore, always write clearly and precisely. As a rule, a finished business plan consists of 10 to 50 pages.

The short form of the business plan: template

In some cases it can be worthwhile to deviate from the classic form of the business plan and to produce a much shorter version. If you are new to writing business plans, a compact summary of the core information on one or two pages can serve as the basis for later detailed elaboration.

Another advantage of a short business plan outline: It gives you a quick and easy overview of all success-relevant factors and makes it easier for you to make strategic decisions. Busy business partners or financiers can also grasp the most important information at a glance and assess whether they want to deal more thoroughly with your business idea.

You can download our simple template for a compact, quickly created business plan here.

A good business plan can be the basis for your success

In your business plan you record all the information that is important for your company, from the business idea to your drive and considerations about the market to the concrete implementation. This creates a basis for all decisions that you will have to make in the future. In addition, you give outsiders the opportunity to understand your business model exactly and to support you either financially or otherwise.

A good business plan can make the difference between the success and failure of your company. Take enough time to create it and work with the utmost care. Even if it initially means work: You will still benefit from a good business plan in many months or years.

Cover picture: BartekSzewczyk / getty images

Originally published September 3, 2020, updated 09 October 2020

Recommend this article: