Writing A Business Plan – Business Plan Contents

Developing A Business Plan: The Most Important Business Plan Contents

Making a business plan goes beyond the Executive Summary, the market analysis and the market entry strategy/marketing plan. The following contents are also generally important. In fact, they are absolutely essential to the question of how to write a business plan.

USPs (see below, first item)
Vision
Mission
Products And Services
Figures And Operations
Location And Staff
Management Team And Organisation

Business Plan Contents: Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

For the startup to be successful it is really important that the enterprise is able to differentiate itself from the incumbent companies as well as from competitors that might be entering the market of the company after it was founded.

Unique selling propositions might mean many different things, the following are the most common:

  • Special education of the founder
  • The company has special patents / technology
  • Special product niche or marketing techniques
  • Government ties or exclusive partnerships
  • Any other special knowledge, for example markets / regions

 

Note the words “special”, “exclusive” etc. that appear in all these points- they are really key! Whatever unique selling propositions you come up with you explain it thoroughly in the business plan as the USPs are one of the most important factors of success for your business concept.

Business Plan Contents: Vision

Business_Plan_contents_1_2The entrepreneur’s vision helps a company to focus on trends and megatrends and to enhance the prospects of success. Although not every company can constantly create new visions, it is important to set concrete business objectives as part of the business plan and update them regularly.

A vision describes the continually increasing value for the customer. It will help elevate the public image and status of the company, especially if you include sustainability or social issues. Finally, the vision should serve the identification and motivation of the staff and substantiate clients’ expectations.

More Business Plan Components: Mission

The Mission Statement is a leading business plan component. It formulates the concrete business goal to be reached in two to three years. The strategy describes the methods utilized to reach these goals.

Business Plan Contents: Products And Services

Business_Plan_contents_5_2Your portfolio includes the services and products and indicates the unique selling points. These two business plan components are also called the “focus” and USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

A key part of any business plan guide is that it can help companies which are already active on the market attract investors to diversify its portfolio or start operating on new markets. Highlighting expertise and experience is of paramount importance. At the same time, the innovation of the product also needs to be emphasized.

Photos of marketable products can be added at this point. If the product is not ready to launch yet, you should at least include some plans to give the potential investor insight. Services, however, can be easily featured and represented on graphs.

Technological innovation makes it possible to develop existing business models with view to the new communication and information demands of the target groups.
Think about what new products or services can be developed in the areas of TV production, digital design, PR and communication management, media, sports and event management, and music production. This way you can get free PR with your offer.

Explaining to the client and (previously) to the investor what your industry-specific know-how and your ideas for innovation are based on should be at the core of the business model presentation.

Business Plan Component Figures And Operations

Business_Plan_contents_3_2The main question of every investor is, “Could this product or service generate profit?” The first step is to bring the production costs in line with the market prices. You must show exactly where and how the product is produced or how and where the service is performed. If you ask us, your best bet is a good financial plan. Let us make a professional financial plan for you or make one yourself with our financial plan templates.

In addition, a business plan should include specific information about the following items: resources, product quality, storage and logistics. Try to manufacture the most important ingredients or components of a product yourself. The aim of this is to minimize dependence arising from having to purchase individual components.
The principle that one’s negotiating power must be enhanced by means of minimal dependencies lies at the core of the corporate strategies of successful companies and corporations around the world. Red thread thinking should permeate all business plan components.

Be as exact about the projected expenses as possible. Consider the labor costs, the cost of materials, as well as the overhead rate.
The answers to the following questions are of paramount importance in terms of preparing the different business plan components:

  • Quality: Explain what measures you are taking to ensure consistent and stable quality.
  • Capacity: Provide data on production capacity, staffing needs and fixed costs.
  • Start-up costs: What kind of starting capital do you need? What are the initial investments that you expect?
  • Suppliers: Are there any suppliers, on whom you’re dependant? Are purchase prices stable or subject to change due to fluctuations in raw material prices, whereby you’ll need to calculate the risk premium?
  • Environmental protection: Does you business comply with legal or regulatory requirements?

Business Plan Element Location And Staff

Business_Plan_contents_4_2The location is a critical part of the business plan, especially for all gastronomy or retail stores. Generally this item is not to be underestimated. If you want to attract walk-in customers, you need a convenient position, whereas land prices and subsidies play a major role in production. Explain in detail why you have decided on the respective location.

There are two key issues in the service sector: where the service is provided and how you want to hire staff. The skills needed to guarantee and deliver consistently high quality are a key point. You should present your idea for a new service in great detail.

If you are planning to launch a new product, you have to convince the other party of its qualities and prospects. Do not neglect to provide facts about the product.
You must answer the following questions in this part of the business plan:

  • Is it possible to patent your product or have you already done so?
  • Are there any legal barriers you need to consider or do you need to obtain approval?
  • To what extent do you have to rely on resources such as equipment, materials, and space or human resources in terms of the manufacturing process and delivery of services?
  • Do your employees need to have specific skills?
  • What is the scope of services that your company aims to provide? What is the maximum capacity?
  • How much are the production costs? What are the production costs for the service?
  • Is it possible and practical to manufacture products in stock? Is additional storage space needed? How can this be accomplished? In what volumes would it be feasible to do?
  • Is it necessary to enter into partnerships in terms of purchases or sales?
  • What makes your service concept stand out?
  • Do your competitors offer similar products? Describe them.
  • Can you pinpoint the demands of your target group? To what extent would customers benefit from your products or services compared to those of your competitors?

Very Important Business Plan Contents: Management Team And Organisation

Business_Plan_contents_6_2A successful start-up is substantially dependent on the founders, because even the best idea cannot be put into practice without a good management team. Having a good team helps to facilitate the financing as well.

Many investors look at the section “Management Team” immediately after the Executive Summary in the business plan. You must introduce yourself and the rest of the management team in advance. Often business plans include an extensive description of the product or service, but only sparse information about the heads of the company. Potential investors want to know with whom they’ll be doing business.  Often the personal impression of the team is central to whether you’ll get a “Yes” or a “No” to your proposition.

Now that you’ve read this article, do you want to know more about how to make a business plan? We at BrainHive would be very happy to create your business plan for you and to assist you in all matters related to the start-up.