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Writing a business plan: A guide for aspiring entrepreneurs

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the goals, strategies and processes of a company. It serves as a guide for entrepreneurs, guiding them through the process of setting up and running their business.

What purpose does a business plan serve?

The purpose of the business plan is multi-faceted: it helps entrepreneurs to clarify their business idea, identify target markets, understand the competition, attract potential investors or lenders and manage the business effectively. It also serves as a tool for monitoring progress and making necessary adjustments. Essentially, a business plan is a strategic tool that allows entrepreneurs to articulate their vision, plan for success and mitigate the risks associated with starting and running a business.

Die Verlinkung aller Elemente in einem Businessplan

How to structure a business plan?

A good business plan is clear, well-structured and formulated in such a way that it is easy to understand, even for a layperson. It should cover all important aspects such as the business idea, management, products, the competitive situation, investors and the financial situation and should be at least 20 pages long. This article explains the most important steps for creating a business plan using a comprehensive guide.


What information do the individual chapters contain?

The content and importance of the individual chapters and their ideal length obviously differ depending on the business idea. While for a completely new product the focus should be on the product features, customer benefits and feasibility, the focus for products and services that already exist in a similar form should for example be on the various market segments, their position and the differences to other products, . This generally goes hand in hand with the marketing approach.


1. Executif Summary

The executif summary is the first thing investors read and is therefore of utmost importance. This section summarises the key elements of the business plan, including the business idea, target audience, unique selling points, financial projections and strategic direction. It should be concise and compelling to capture the reader's interest and persuade him to read the entire business plan.

2. Founders

The personality and background of the founders play a decisive role in the business plan. This is where you explain who is behind the start-up, what motivated them and what qualifications they bring to the table. It is important to emphasise the founders' success stories and skills in order to gain the trust of investors.

3. Business idea

The business idea is the centrepiece of the company. It should be presented clearly and convincingly, with particular attention paid to its uniqueness and feasibility. Technical details as well as production and sales processes should also be explained in order to deepen the reader's understanding.

4. Target customers

The definition of target customers is crucial for the success of the company. This involves analysing the needs and behavioural patterns of the target group and highlighting the benefits of the offering for customers.

5. Market and competition

A thorough market analysis and competition assessment are essential to determine the company's position in the market. This includes the market size, competitor analysis and current trends as well as the company's positioning in the market. Demonstrate a good understanding of the market as a whole, as well as the different market sectors, and itemise all competitors in the market, or at least in the targeted market sector, and explain exactly how your product or service differs from those currently in the market.

6. Strategy

The strategy describes how the company will enter the market and position itself, as well as the short, medium and long-term goals and how they plan to achieve them. Clearly state how your product compares to others, for example in terms of price and quality. Also show clearly defined targets for clearly defined time periods, e.g. a market share of 15% after 5 years.

7. Marketing

Describe your marketing strategy based on the model of the four P's (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). The product itself has already been described at this point, so what remains is the pricing compared to the competition, the location and the type and budget for promotion.

8. Company

This section covers the details of the business, including the legal form, location and employee structure. Clearly state the legal form under which the company will be run, what the optimal location would be and how you envisage your employee structure in the short and longer term.

9. Financial plan

The financial plan is the key element of the business plan and includes the company's costs, investments, expenses and income. Include an estimate of the profit and loss account as well as cash flow and budgeted balance sheets. Detailed financial planning is crucial for the success of the company and should be supported by experienced experts.

10. SWOT-Analysis

The SWOT analysis identifies the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Try to approach this chapter as objectively as possible and be completely honest with yourself and the reader. Everyone has weaknesses, and all projects carry risks. It is important to clearly identify these and find good solutions for them, which you also describe afterwards.

11. Attachments

The attachments list all documents that support the business plan, including CVs, diplomas and offers.

Free business plan template

In the business plans section, I provide a free template with lots of other tips and advice. Please feel free to download it and use it as a basis for your business plan.

My services in the field of business plans

As you can see, creating a business plan is no easy task! As the business plan looks at pretty much all aspects of a business and you may have never been in contact with one or more of the topics mentioned above, it can only be an advantage to be guided by an experienced expert.

As an experienced financial consultant, I offer support in the creation and revision of business plans. With over nine years of professional experience in the financial sector and extensive expertise in the Luxembourg market, I am here to help you make your business a success. Contact me for a free first consultation and let's work together on your business concept.

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2024 - All rights reserved by Claude Schiltz - Conseil économique
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