The BrainHive Business Plan Questionnaire: The Information We Need
The following is the actual questionnaire we use to extract the needed information from our clients to create their business plan set. You can use the information contained in this blog post to both prepare yourself for our briefing or to write down for yourself all the relevant points. You will find that it will make the work of writing your own plan much easier.
Business Plan Questionnaire
Please complete this questionnaire to your best knowledge. The better the questionnaire is filled out, the better the business plan will become. If you can’t answer a question, simply leave the question blank.
Important: Please be sure to provide us with all relevant information available to you at this point BEFORE we begin drafting the first draft. Subsequent transmissions, which lead to complex changes in the draft, are evaluated as a correction loop (the number of included corrective loops and costs for additional loops can be found in the information brochure).
If you have problems filling out the questionnaire, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you would like us to assist you over the phone, or if you would like to submit your answers in the form of an audio message, we can do this for a small fee (PS: This additional service is free of charge for ENTERPRISE customers).
Founder’s Experience: Did you already establish a company in the past or are/were you owner of a company? If yes, please specify information on this company (location, website, founding date, registered capital amount of the current staff, products and annual sales volume, etc.). If you never founded or owned a business, leave out this question.
What is the business idea? What’s its name, legal form, amount of equity / registered capital, if required debt / equity financing, and location of headquarters / other business sites? How did you get the idea and why are you qualified to realize it? What is the objective of the business plan (finding financing & partners, competition or grant application etc.)?
What are the company’s vision and strategic goals? Where will the company stand in 5-10 years?
Please give relevant details about all your products/services (eg for trade: product features, sales/purchase prices, necessity for special certifications; for services: Pricing models, service process). Be sure to emphasize the main products/services.
If you have several items of business, what is the most important item and its key business objective?
If you operate in international trade: In which country do you buy your goods and in which country do you sell them? Are you familiar with the relevant duty tariffs and possible quality certification requirements? If so, please specify.
Do you already have a website? If so, what is the URL?
Does your company have certain advantages not available to competitors (unique selling propositions)?
Where do you see the biggest risks for your company (eg market, politics/law, currency, operational risks, etc.)?
Do you already know how you will set up the operational procedures for your company (software, logistics/form of transport, insurance, communication with clients/ suppliers, etc.)? Please specify below.
Who are your customers/who is your target audience? Name existing customer contacts or groups of customers if possible with website and any additional information. If you have already signed agreements or contracts, be sure to mention it. Please list existing client companies and/or companies identified as potential clients below:
Who are your suppliers? Where are they located? What is their market position (turnover, age, size, products, etc.)? Name existing contacts including website and any additional information. If you have already signed agreements or contracts, be sure to mention it.
Do you have other contacts (eg active relationships to industry associations, media contacts, logistics companies, etc.)? Name the existing contacts with website and any additional information. If you have already signed agreements or contracts, be sure to mention it.
Type of Cooper-ation
Do you have a specific idea of how to organize your marketing/sales? If yes, please specify. What sales channels and marketing strategies are to be used? Do you already know trade shows, magazines or internet platforms that you could use for your marketing? Will you register a brand name or logo?
Enter details about trade shows, magazines or internet platforms here:
Type of Marketing Tool
What online sales and marketing tools will you use? What forms of online payment have you considered? Will you market your products via eCommerce platforms such as Ebay or Amazon? Please specify in detail (webdesign software/firm to be used, hosting, names of additional service providers, etc.).
Do you know your competitors? If yes, please specify. If possible, please fill in their accurate names and websites. You can mention their strengths and/or weaknesses in the comments column.
Have you already analyzed your market? If you have relevant specific figures (such as market volume growth, market survey data, average customer spending, etc.), please specify. Also insert any available diagrams.
What is the approximate turnover in the first three years?
Apart from the registered capital, do you have any additional capital or assets available to the company? Will you need outside financing and if so, how much and from what sources? Please specify.
What infrastructure (office, warehouse, dropshipper, IT-Equipment, Software, tools/machinery, automobiles, etc.) will you need for your business and in what quantity? Do you know the amount of investment needed and have you estimated your monthly fix costs? Please specify.
How many employees will be employed in each year (in total)?
Job Title (separate with comma)
What exact tasks will your employees carry out?
If you have particular skills or qualifications that you have not indicated on your CV, please specify them here (eg computer skills, soft skills, etc.).
The better and the more comprehensive the basis of information from which we start out, the better the business plan will become. If there are any other pieces of information you think relevant for the business plan, please specify them here.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FINANCIAL PART OF THE BUSINESS PLAN
Note: For many founders, the following questions are difficult to answer. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us with any information, we will use your other information as well as our professional intuition and experience to determine the necessary figures. If your enter numbers that would NOT lead to a viable financial plan, we will adjust the figures accordingly to create a viable financial plan.
After completion of the draft delivery, you have the possibility to comment on our calculations and to ask for corrections within the scope of the correction loop. In addition, you receive the open Excel financial plan (as soon as the final invoice has been paid) and can then automatically change numbers. Please note, however, that your wishes / own changes may lead to a lower probability of success, since we determine the numbers in such a way that your calculation is maximally plausible and sustainable.
If you need the business plan for an existing company, current financial statements and annual reports from your tax consultant will be sufficient to prepare the financial plan. In any case, make sure that if you want to have a special aspect in the financial plan handled in any specific way, please let us know.
What employees do you hire and what do they earn?
To be hired when?
Monthly net salary?
NOTE: You can add additional rows to the table by right-clicking à Insert à Insert rows below
Does your company have intercompany assets or do you want to purchase specific assets (initial investments)?
Name of Asset
E.g. Vehicles, real estate, computers, but also IP, like for example patents
Do you have special depreciation (degressive / progressive) requirements for individual assets?
If you have other liquid / semi-liquid funds that you would like to introduce / activate, in addition to your equity and the targeted debt, e.g. shares or other capital stock?
Do you have special preferences / information on the maturities / repayment rates / interest rates of foreign deposits and loans? Tell us both planned and existing debt capital conditions.
In the case of equity financing: Do you have any special preferences / information regarding your valuation and the intended sale of the company shares?
Do you have information on your variable cost rates? If you can break them up, e.g. in transport, packaging, duties etc., please give us the percentage value of the respective cost type. If you cannot find the value as a standard value as averages, because you have different product / service lines, please copy the table for each division.
Division: Main product / service
Type of Cost
Amount as a Percentage of Sales
E.g. purchase cost, packaging, duties, sub-contracted labor
Do you have any information on your operational and marketing-related fixed costs (please enter marketing in the second table, see the following page). If you can break these up, please give us the amount of the monthly expenses of the respective cost type in the first fiscal year, otherwise you can also give us a general budget. If you can estimate an annual cost growth as part of business development, this is also helpful.
OPERATIONS FIXED COSTS
Type of Cost
Amount / Month
Annual growth of cost (%)
E.g. Telephone, rent, additional costs, insurance, postage etc.
MARKETING FIXED COSTS
Type of Cost
Amount / Month
Annual growth of cost (%)
E.g. Print ads, internet ads, promotional gifts, sponsorship, etc.
Do you have any special preferences regarding inventory management and / or payment destination setting?
Do you have any special preferences for setting the break-even point?
Do you have any other preferences / wishes that we should consider when designing the financial plan?
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