As a budding entrepreneur, it’s critical to create a business plan that includes not only your vision and goals, but also the steps and resources needed to achieve them. The business plan is the foundation of your business and serves as a guide to keep you on track and convince investors of your idea. To help you with this, we have listed here 10 contents that should definitely be included in your business plan if you want to be successful.
1. Executive summary
The executive summary is the first impression investors get of your business plan. In a way, it is the flagship of your company and should therefore be designed very carefully and convincingly. A well-written executive summary can help investors read on and take a closer look at your business plan. Here are some points to keep in mind when writing your executive summary:
- Short and concise: As a rule, an executive summary should not be longer than 2-3 pages. It is important that you focus on the most important points and do not get lost in details. Investors often have little time and want to get a quick overview of your business model.
- Summary of Key Points: The executive summary should summarize the most important points of your business plan. This includes in particular your idea, the target group, the market analysis, the competition, the marketing and sales strategy as well as the financial planning. If possible, you should also mention initial successes or milestones.
- Clear presentation of your unique selling propositions: Investors want to know what makes your company unique and what advantages it has over the competition. Therefore, clearly highlight what sets your company apart from others and why it offers special added value.
- Authentic and convincing: An executive summary should not only be a list of facts, but also give an authentic impression of you and your team. Investors want to support people they are convinced of. Therefore, show that you are passionate about what you do and have a clear vision for your company.
- Professional design: A well-designed executive summary makes a professional impression and shows investors that you have made an effort. Therefore, pay attention to a clear structure, an appealing look and error-free grammar and spelling.
Overall, the executive summary is a critical component of your business plan and should be carefully crafted. A convincing executive summary can help investors see your company as promising and secure you funding.
2. Company description
The company description is an important part of your business plan and gives investors an overview of your company. Here you should give a detailed description of your company and provide all important information for investors. A well-structured business description can help investors to better understand your business and to better assess the chances for an investment. Here are some points you should consider when creating your company description:
- Legal form: In the company description, you should specify the legal form of your company. This includes, for example, a GmbH, an AG or a sole proprietorship. Investors want to know what legal form your company has and what effects this has on liability and taxation.
- Founding date: In your company description, also state the founding date of your company. Investors want to know how long your company has been on the market and what milestones you have achieved in the past.
- Business purpose: The business purpose describes what products or services your company offers. Here you should clearly state what needs your products or services meet and what added value they offer to your customers.
- Corporate philosophy: In the corporate philosophy, you should describe what values and goals your company pursues. Investors want to know what your company stands for and what its long-term goals are.
- Corporate strategy: In the corporate strategy, you should describe how you want to set up your company and which strategies you want to pursue in order to be successful. This includes, for example, your marketing and sales strategy as well as your financial and growth strategy.
- Information about the founders and the management team: Investors want to know who is behind the company and what experience and expertise you and your management team bring to the table. Therefore, provide information about your education, professional experience, and past successes.
- Financing: In the company description, also provide information on how you plan to finance your company. This includes, for example, equity capital, borrowed capital and subsidies.
In summary, the company description is an important part of your business plan that gives investors an overview of your company. A well-structured and detailed business description can help investors see your business as promising and secure funding for you.
3. Market analysis
A good market analysis is an indispensable part of your business plan. It helps you to determine the market potential of your idea and to better assess the opportunities and risks of your business model. A thorough market analysis is of particular importance to convince investors of your company’s merits. Here are some points you should consider when preparing your market analysis:
- Target group definition: In the market analysis, you should define your target group precisely. This includes, for example, demographic characteristics such as age, gender and income, but also behavioral patterns such as consumer behavior or media use. Investors want to know which customers you want to address and which needs you want to fulfill.
- Market analysis: A thorough market analysis also includes an analysis of the market. Here you should describe what trends and developments are taking place in the market and what market position you want to take. A SWOT analysis can help to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business model.
- Competitive analysis: A competitive analysis is crucial to understand the competitive situation in the market. Here you should analyze your most important competitors and identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as their unique selling propositions and pricing strategies. This will help you better position your own products and services and differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Market opportunities and risks: In the market analysis, you should also identify potential market opportunities and risks. These include, for example, changes in the competitive environment, regulatory changes or changing customer needs. Investors want to know what opportunities and risks your business model entails and how you intend to respond to them.
- Marketing and sales strategy: A good market analysis also helps you to optimize your marketing and sales strategies. Here you should describe which marketing and sales channels you want to use and how you can best reach your target group.
In summary, the market analysis is a crucial part of your business plan. A thorough market analysis will help you determine the market potential of your idea and better assess the opportunities and risks of your business model. A well thought-out and carefully prepared market analysis can help investors see your business as promising and secure you funding.
4. Marketing and sales strategy
An effective marketing and sales strategy is crucial to the success of your business. Only if you manage to successfully market and sell your products or services can you be successful in the long term. In this section of your business plan, you should therefore describe your marketing and sales strategy in detail. Here are some points you should consider:
- Target group: A successful marketing and sales strategy begins with a precise definition of your target group. This includes demographic characteristics, interests, needs and buying behavior. Investors want to know who your target group is and how you can best address them.
- Marketing mix: In the marketing mix, you should describe which instruments you intend to use to market your products or services. These include, for example, product, price, distribution and communication policies. A clear positioning of your brand and consistent communication are crucial here.
- Distribution Channels: In this section, you should describe which sales channels you plan to use to bring your products or services to customers. These include, for example, direct sales through your own sales outlets or indirect sales through retail partners or online marketplaces. Investors want to know how you plan to get your products or services to customers and how you will keep an eye on costs.
- Pricing strategy: The pricing strategy describes how you position your products or services in terms of price. Here you should describe how you determine the optimal price for your target group and which pricing strategy you want to pursue. A clear pricing strategy is crucial for your success.
- Success control: A successful marketing and sales strategy requires permanent success control. In this section, you should describe which KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you use to monitor success and how you continuously evaluate and optimize them.
In summary, an effective marketing and sales strategy is critical to the success of your business. Investors want to know how you plan to successfully market and sell your products or services and what strategies you intend to pursue to achieve this. A clear definition of your target group, a consistent positioning of your brand as well as a permanent success control are of particular importance.
5. Product or service description
The description of your products or services is undoubtedly one of the most important sections in your business plan. Here you have the opportunity to describe your product or service in detail and explain why it stands out from the competition. In this section, you should focus on the needs and problems of your target audience and show how your offering meets them. Here are some points to keep in mind when writing your product or service description:
- Benefit argumentation: In the product or service description, you should focus on the benefits of your offer for your target group. This includes, for example, saving time, reducing costs or improving the quality of life. Investors want to know what specific benefits your offer has for the target group and how you communicate them.
- Unique selling propositions: To stand out from the competition, it is important to have clear unique selling points. Here you should describe which features distinguish your product or service from other offerings on the market. A clear differentiation from the competition and a clear positioning are of particular importance.
- Technology and Innovation: If your product or service is technology-based, you should elaborate on the technology you are using and the innovations you have incorporated into your offering. Investors want to know what technology you are using and how you are making sure it is up to date.
- Product development: In this section, you should also discuss product development. This includes, for example, the development phases, the costs, the resources that are needed and the planned steps for the future. Investors want to know how you will ensure that your offering remains competitive in the long term and what innovations you plan for the future.
- Product life cycle: The product life cycle describes how the product or service develops over time. This includes, for example, launch, growth, maturity and saturation phases, and eventual liquidation. In this section, you should describe how you keep track of the product lifecycle and what strategies you plan to pursue for this.
In summary, describing your products or services is a critical part of your business plan. Investors want to know what your product or service is all about, what benefits it has for the target audience, and how you will ensure that it remains competitive. A clear value proposition, unique selling propositions, technology and innovation, product development, and product life cycle are key aspects to highlight in your product or service description. A compelling and detailed product or service description can help attract the interest of potential investors and customers.
In addition, you should also address the costs and pricing of your offering in this section. This includes, for example, production costs, distribution costs and pricing strategy. Investors want to know what costs your offering incurs and how you plan to cover them through optimal pricing. Careful costing and a smart pricing strategy are critical to the success of your business.
Another important aspect in the product or service description is the planned scalability of your business model. Here you should describe how you will ensure that your offering remains scalable in the future and how you plan to expand it to new markets and target groups. Investors want to know how you plan to develop your offering and what your long-term goals are.
In summary, the description of your products or services is a key component of your business plan. A compelling description can help attract the interest of potential investors and customers. A detailed description of the costs, pricing and scalability of your business model is critical to your success.
6. Financial planning
Financial planning is not only one of the most important parts of the business plan, but also a crucial factor for the success of your business. Detailed financial planning helps to evaluate the potential of your business and gives you an overview of the financial requirements of your business model. Therefore, in this section, you should create a comprehensive revenue and cost forecast and show your investment and financing plans. Here are some points to consider when creating your financial plan:
- Sales forecast: The sales forecast provides information about how much sales you would like to achieve in the coming years. You should make realistic assumptions and calculate them based on your market analysis and your target group definition. Investors want to know how you will achieve your sales targets and what growth strategies you will pursue to achieve them.
- Cost forecast: In the cost forecast, you should consider all cost factors that are relevant for your business. These include, for example, personnel costs, material costs, rental and energy costs, as well as marketing and sales costs. A detailed cost forecast helps to evaluate the profitability of your business model and to identify potential savings.
- Investment planning: In the investment planning, you should describe which investments you want to make in the coming years and what impact they will have on your business. This includes, for example, investments in machinery and equipment, in research and development or in the development of new sales channels. Clear investment planning helps to keep your business competitive in the long term and to promote growth.
- Financing plan: In the financing plan, you should describe how you want to finance your business and which financing options you are considering. These include, for example, self-financing, taking out loans or the participation of investors. Investors want to know what financing options you have and what strategies you want to pursue for this.
- Liquidity planning: Liquidity planning provides information about the means of payment you will need in the coming years and how you will ensure that your company remains solvent. Smart liquidity planning helps to avoid financial bottlenecks and ensure stable business development.
In summary, solid financial planning is a key component of your business plan and a decisive factor for the success of your company. A detailed sales and cost forecast, a clear investment and financing plan as well as a precise liquidity plan are the central aspects that you should consider in your financial planning. Investors want to see that you have your finances under control and that your business strategies are based on solid financial foundations.
7. resource requirements
Resource planning is very important in your business plan. Here you should list in detail which resources you need to successfully start and build up your business. Careful resource planning helps you to get an overview of your needs and to identify possible risks or bottlenecks at an early stage.
Some of the necessary resources that should be listed in your business plan include infrastructure needed, equipment, software, employees, and suppliers. Here are some items to consider when creating your resource plan:
- Infrastructure: Infrastructure includes all the physical elements you need to start and build your business. This includes, for example, the necessary premises, the furnishings and all the technical and operational equipment required for operation.
- Equipment: Equipment includes all the necessary devices and equipment you need to run your business. This includes, for example, office equipment, production machinery, or vehicles if you operate a delivery service, for example.
- Software: Software includes all the applications and programs you need to run your business effectively and efficiently. This includes, for example, accounting software, customer management tools or marketing software.
- Employees: Employees are an essential part of your business. In this section you should specify how many employees you need, what positions need to be filled and what qualifications the employees should have. In addition, you should also create a cost forecast for the employees.
- Suppliers: Suppliers are an important partner in your business and can be critical to its success. In this section, you should specify which suppliers you need, what services they provide, and what contracts or agreements you want to enter into with them.
In summary, resource planning is an important part of your business plan that helps you get an overview of the resources you need and identify potential risks or bottlenecks early on. A detailed list of the required infrastructure, equipment, software, employees and suppliers can help to successfully start and build your business.
8. management and personnel planning
Careful management and staff planning is another important part of your business plan. This involves describing your management team and staff, as well as creating an organizational structure and staffing requirements plan. Effective management and workforce planning is an important factor in the success of your business, as it ensures that the right people with the required skills and experience are placed in the right positions.
In the management and personnel planning, you should describe your organizational structure. This includes the hierarchy and structure of your company as well as the responsibilities and tasks of the various managers and departments. Investors want to see that your organizational structure is clearly defined and coherent in order to evaluate your company’s potential.
Another important aspect is your management team. Here you should describe who will have key roles in the company, what their experience and skills are, and how they will contribute to the company’s success. Investors want to make sure you have an experienced, qualified, and dedicated management team that has the potential to lead your company to success.
Workforce planning is another important aspect of management and workforce planning. Here you should specify how many employees you need, what positions need to be filled and what qualifications the employees should have. Investors want to see that you have a clear and realistic workforce plan that will ensure you hire the right people to help your business reach its full potential.
In summary, effective management and workforce planning is an important part of your business plan. A clear organizational structure, an experienced management team and smart workforce planning are the key aspects you should consider. With careful and thoughtful management and workforce planning, you can gain the trust of potential investors and lay the foundation for your company’s success.
9. Risk management
Effective risk management is an important part of your business plan. This is about identifying all potential risks that could affect your business and developing strategies to minimize or avoid those risks.
In the risk analysis, you should list all potential risks that could affect your company. These include, for example, economic risks, such as the uncertainty of market developments, as well as legal or political risks that may arise from legal regulations, taxes or political decisions. Environmental risks, such as natural disasters or technical breakdowns, should also be considered.
It is important that you not only identify potential risks, but also develop measures to minimize or avoid them. This includes, for example, strategies for risk distribution, insurance or emergency plans. It is crucial that you are able to react quickly and effectively to unforeseen events and minimize damage.
Investors place great value on sophisticated risk management and want to see that you are able to identify risks and take appropriate action. With careful and thoughtful risk analysis and management, you can gain the trust of potential investors and lay the foundation for your company’s success.
In summary, risk management is an important part of your business plan. Comprehensive risk analysis and management helps you identify potential risks, develop appropriate measures to minimize or avoid them, and respond quickly and effectively to unforeseen events. With a thorough risk assessment and mature risk management, you can gain the trust of potential investors and lay the foundation for your company’s success.
A well thought-out schedule is another important part of your business plan. Here you should show all the necessary steps and the time frame for the implementation of your idea. A realistic timetable not only gives you an overview of the time frame for implementing your idea, but also helps you to focus on concrete goals and identify potential bottlenecks and delays early on.
When creating your schedule, you should first define all the steps necessary to implement your idea. This includes, for example, product development, the creation of marketing and sales strategies, or the acquisition of customers and investors. These steps should then be provided with realistic time frames and milestones in a schedule.
A well-designed timeline helps investors evaluate the feasibility of your business plan. With a clear and realistic timeline, you can show that you have a realistic understanding of the requirements and challenges of your business plan and that you are able to achieve realistic goals.
In summary, a realistic timeline is an important part of your business plan. A detailed list of all necessary steps and the creation of milestones will give you an overview of the time frame for the implementation of your idea. Investors like to see that you have a realistic timeline and can achieve your goals within the given time frame. With a well thought-out schedule, you can gain the trust of potential investors and lay the foundation for your company’s success.
You should consider the following points when creating a schedule:
- Identification of all necessary steps
- Setting realistic time frames for each step
- Definition of milestones to track progress and identify delays at an early stage
- Allow for buffer time to accommodate unforeseen events and respond to potential bottlenecks or delays.
Als angehender Unternehmer ist es entscheidend, einen Business Plan zu erstellen, der nicht nur deine Vision und Ziele, sondern auch die dafür notwendigen Schritte und Ressourcen beinhaltet. Der Business Plan ist das Fundament deines Unternehmens und dient als Leitfaden, um dich auf Kurs zu halten und Investoren von deiner Idee zu überzeugen. Um dir dabei zu helfen, haben wir hier 10 Inhalte aufgelistet, die unbedingt in deinem Business Plan enthalten sein sollten, wenn du erfolgreich sein willst.