A well-written business plan is important for every start-up business. Banks and other financial institutions will be requiring a complete business plan that thoroughly describes your line of business in the event you decide to take out a loan to augment capital. Or to meet the financial requirements of your business.
1. The purpose of your business
In the first chapter you can immediately grab attention. So try to describe your business goal in one clear sentence. With this you immediately give a good description of the purpose of your company. Why are you starting this company? For whom? What do you think you can achieve with that? The main purpose of this first point is simply: how do you arouse the reader’s interest? Short but sweet. That is the common thread throughout your entire business plan
Also know who you write for, banks or private investors usually don’t have a lot of time to read comprehensive business plans extensively. The more concrete your business plan, the greater the chance that it will ultimately be looked at carefully. Good to keep in mind: the ideal length is around twenty pages.
2. Find your client
In this section you describe the current situation of your future customers and / or clients in the region. What problems do they encounter? How are they dealing with this at the moment? Click on ‘Preview’ to see what this looks like in practice.
Example of a current situation. Of course, you must be able to substantiate these claims with the right facts, for example from Statistics Netherlands. Or take a look at Figures and Trends at Rabobank. Here you will find up-to-date information about, for example, the opportunities, threats, and perspectives about your industry.
3. Your added value
The title actually indicates it: here you tell about what your product or service adds to the customer. What will you do to offer these customers and / or clients a good alternative to the current situation? And is this financially feasible?
Keep a few things in mind here:
- Make sure you describe these issues clearly.
- Do not avoid potential obstacles.
Therefore always state briefly which problems you may encounter and how you expect to be able to circumvent or solve them.
4. How relevant is your company?
You use this part of the business plan to convince the reader that this is an excellent time to start the business. Support your story again with accurate data about the developments of the last years in your industry and region. Which developments make your company relevant now?
5. From market research to the marketing plan
No business plan is complete without the results of market research. As an entrepreneur, you have to know how your market works and you want to stay informed of the latest developments in the sector.
Added value of your product or service
Just like a potential investor, the customer will soon have to be convinced of the added value of your product or service. A marketing plan helps you gain more insight into your market, with which you can then sketch a clear profile of the target group via the marketing mix. Then take a look at the possibilities of drawing up SWOT analysis.
6. The competition
Here you write about the established companies in your field and region with whom you will soon be competing. In this competition analysis, also briefly indicate to each competitor what your company will do differently (and better).
7. The product
In this section, you can describe your product or service in detail. What is the goal? How is the product made? For example, would you like to write or translate web texts for companies from Dutch to English or Russian?
Describe step by step how you will proceed exactly and what the costs will be.
Is a possible second correction included in the price or do you charge extra hours for this? And what about copyright, for example?
If you want to start manufacturing, importing or exporting products with your company, this is the place to explain the exact import or production process in clear terms.
8. Business model
The business model helps you display certain aspects of a company. From the expected turnover, price, potential customers, target groups, the maximum size of the assignment or job that you can take on, and the sales model. This is a way to visually represent the aspects of your business model.
9. Sole trader or large team?
Are you going to set up a sole trader? Then you just have to put your own name here. But when you start a business together with others, you have to record this on paper:
- Who are the founders?
- Who are responsible for operational management?
- If relevant, who are the management board?
10. Financial information
Finally, the business plan must also include financial obligations. For example: Making a realistic estimate of the cash flow. A profit and loss account, the balance, what you can offer the acquired investor financially, and when do you think you will reach the break-even point?