Create a successful business plan & write it correctly

Businessplan richtig schreiben für Arbeitsagentur, Banken, Investoren, Jobcenter

Anyone who wants to start a business usually has to create a business plan. However, many aspiring founders stumble over one or more mistakes when writing a business plan. To prevent this from happening to you, you should pay attention to some basic things. With these tips, you will multiply your chances of starting your business successfully thanks to an approved business plan.

1. writing a business plan: What you must pay attention to beforehand

A basic no-go is the preparation of a standard business plan, which you can easily find on the Internet. Not only that such designs are anything but individual and therefore most likely unsuccessful: As a rule, such providers only want your data so that they can then offer you the support of various consultants for your start-up. Be careful about the content you communicate in your business plan. If business secrets are okay for yourself in one copy, investors without a confidentiality agreement should rather not find out about it. Therefore, internalize that there are two types of business plans, non-public and public. But there are other aspects that you should have in mind before creating them.

2. create a business plan: Keep the addressee in focus

Before starting, it is essential to be aware of who you are going to write the business plan for. Since there are many potential readers of your business plan, you should not underestimate this point. Depending on whether you are writing the plan for your landlord or if you want to apply for subsidies, the criteria may differ considerably. Be clear if

  • an investor
  • your landlord
  • the job center
  • the Federal Employment Agency or
  • a bank

the addressee of your business plan - or even yourself. Depending on the purpose, you have to create your business plan according to specific requirements. The result may appeal to credit institutions, but will not have the desired effect on the Federal Employment Agency.

Further information: The fastest way to a finished business plan

You are currently receiving benefits and would like to start your own business? The job center usually wants to see a convincing business plan. But be careful: You have to write the business plan in such a way that it addresses the topics relevant to the job center. There is a lot of room for error here, which in the worst case can lead to a rejection. What the job center wants to see in the business plan and how you can create a convincing business plan, you will learn here: Writing a Business Plan for the Job Center.

3. get your business plan in shape

In addition to the question of the addressee of your business plan, its form also plays an important role. On the one hand, there is a classic variant in which you divide your content into different chapters. A dozen sections can already come together. On the other hand, many founders opt for a canvas business plan. This form dates back to 2004, when Alexander Osterwalder was looking for a suitable method to visualize business ideas. Here, you present your ideas on a single, albeit large, sheet of paper. Clarity is the major strength here. A third possible form is particularly useful if you want a loan from a bank. Many banks appreciate this form of loan application, because the probability of completeness of all important facts is very high. The decision for or against a certain form of your business plan should ideally be made in consultation with your advisor.

4. Structure the content of your business plan

A business plan is such an important document that you should give it a clear structure. Clarify how your plan should be structured and what its scope should be. It is also extremely important that your business plan is fully developed. If something is missing, this will minimize your chances of success in obtaining approval. The addressee is irrelevant in this respect: completeness is a must that banks, landlords, investors and the job center all pay attention to. Therefore, find out thoroughly when your business plan is actually complete. A checklist, which can be as long as one or two pages, can help. This is the only way to avoid time-consuming reworking or even immediate rejection.

Writing a business plan: This is how it works

After you have thought about the addressee, the form and the structure of your business plan, you can finally create your business plan. You should divide it into three parts:

  • Financial plan
  • Lyrical part
  • attachments

These three sections build on each other and ideally answer any questions the reader may have about your business idea.

5. present important figures in the financial plan

When you start a business, you ideally want to make profits in the short term, or at least in the medium and long term. In this respect, the "bare figures" are much more than just an empty phrase. If your calculations are not convincing, you have a problem. For this reason, the first part of the business plan is particularly important. In it, you show the addressee your business model. Depending on the type and size of your business, you will need to include between 12 and 20 tables.

All the costs that you will incur are indispensable. These are obvious expenses such as your working capital, financing costs and investments. Don't forget to include your personal expenses as well. Add to this your targeted sales, which you present in your sales plan. In addition, you integrate further plans into the figures section of your business plan, for example, for capacity utilization and personnel. However, this depends on your business idea.

From the cost and sales plan, you create a profitability plan that combines your profits and losses. It tells the reader how profitable your business will be according to the business plan and when you can expect profits.

A liquidity plan should also be included.

Banks, investors and other addressees are also interested in your total capital requirements, to which you should add your available financing resources, such as

  • funding programs
  • loans
  • own funds
  • or private investments by friends and family members.

Readers will learn how much money you need to start and how much of it you already have. Remember to calculate all of this for a 36-month period.

6. explain your financial plan in the lyrical part

The "bare numbers" are the starting point for the second section of your business plan. In the lyrical part, you sort of reveal what is behind your financial plan explanations. Without more information about yourself and your product, no reader can interpret your numbers section. In the lyrical part, therefore, reveal who you are, what you sell, and why you will be successful with your business. In this bullet point, you should refer to

  • you as a person
  • your product/service
  • the organization of your company
  • your marketing plan
  • the market and your competitors
  • and your target group.

Explain everything in as much detail as possible in about 20 to 30 pages.

7. prove your suitability in the appendix

The third part is about proving your financial plan and written explanations. Therefore, do not go too far out on a limb in the first two bullet points if you cannot prove the validity of your statements. Therefore, include as many documents in the appendix as you have available. "Classics" such as your references, your resume and certificates can be supplemented with

  • tax documents
  • Rental, employment and other contracts
  • business registrations

and, if applicable, applications. These are forms with which you provide certain information, such as about your creditworthiness. Communicate intensively with your advisor to ensure that the annex section is as complete as the rest of the business plan.

8. create a business plan: Where is the trend going?

You already know: If you have to write a business plan, inform yourself well about the addressee. This also includes knowing whether they require one of the three forms presented. More and more often it can be observed that banks are satisfied with filling in their own forms. In these cases, you can usually do without the lyrical part and the financial plan. And: There are clearly recognizable tendencies, which increasingly prove the creation of a business plan online in special portals. In Germany, which will probably remain too bureaucratic and under-digitized for years to come, this seems unusual. Other nations such as Estonia, where citizens even vote online, are less astonished.

You can find more useful tips and information about founding, financing and business development at the x-group.

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a.hausmannCreate business plan & write it correctly