With our tips to a successful business plan

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In any case, sweat was put before success - and the business plan before the foundation. Even if your business idea seems great to you, you will only be able to determine whether it really has a hand and a foot when you think it through, analyze it and back it up with figures.

You do this in your business plan. It contains not only the idea, but also your knowledge of the competitive situation, the opportunities and risks, and above all: figures. These are especially important when you are looking for investors for your business.
You will be successful at the bank if you already have capital or collateral. Private financiers are often more flexible and will be carried away by a good idea if the other facts are also solid. The business plan is also crucial for a start-up from unemployment: it must be approved by an expert body so that you can access certain financial benefits.

Business plan
Create business plan (Image: koeln.business)

As you can see, without a business plan, setting up a business can be difficult or even impossible. That's why we've compiled the most important facts about this important document today, so that it will be easier for you to create it.

Which points absolutely belong in a business plan?

1. executive summary
The Executive Summary is written at the very beginning, but only at the end. This is a short and crisp summary that can provide a trained reader with a very good overview.

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2. idea and target group 
What exactly is your idea and, above all, what benefit does it have for your Target groupe? This is the most important question, on which the success of your enterprise essentially depends. Because only what promises a concrete benefit will be able to prevail. In addition, the idea must not be so complicated that it is not understood by the target group. The best way to get to the point is to actually summarize your idea in one sentence. For example, "My shopping service helps the elderly and temporarily immobile get everyday items."

3. competition
No one is alone in the market, and so it may well be that someone before you already had the same or a similar idea. You should differentiate yourself, then your chances are better. Do not try to penetrate an overcrowded competition. Determine the market size and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Where is the market likely to go? What are the barriers to entry and how will you overcome them?

4. targets
This point is not easy for many founders because it seems rather abstract, but it is one of the most important points and must be formulated concretely. Define lYour long-term as well as short- and medium-term goals. This is where the facts and figures come into play, because your targeted sales and profits also take shape here.

5. target achievement
How exactly do you want to achieve your goals? That's the next item on the list. Topics such as cost leadership, differentiation from the competition and niche strategy belong here.

6. marketing
How do you want to draw attention to yourself and your idea? Who is going to support you and what are the costs? Do you need a graphic designer, do you want to have a website created and how many of the planned measures can you take on yourself?

7. organization
Marketing, legal form and taxes belong to this place in your business plan. When you have finished this point, write the summary, which belongs at the very beginning.

The most important tip: After you have founded your company, stick to your business plan! It is your guidepost, which you should always follow. This way, you always have an overview of whether you are achieving your goals and which adjustments you need to make.

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