Contents of a business plan: This is what you need to pay attention to

For ALG 1 and ALG 2 recipients, founders and existing companies.
Here you will find our checklist for you and your business plan, so that you can convince your bank or other institutions.
We are convinced that successful business plans require a lot of experience and a lot of work.

Business plan contents

You cannot simply have a business plan created in a generator with great chances of success with the bank or other institutions – the promise that it will be so easy is usually not kept.

In our experience, successful business plans involve a lot of experience or a lot of work. Below we have compiled a checklist for you, so that you have something easier on the way to your personal business plan:

Checklist for your business plan
01

Business Plan Outline

02

Executive Summary

03

Who founds

04

Company concept

05

Market and competitors

06

Marketing and sales


07

Organization and employees

08

Legal form

09

Opportunities and risks

10

Financial plan

11

Documents


01
Business Plan Outline

There is no prescribed or recommended structuring of a business concept. The structure of your business plan should always be clear and logical and correspond to the main interests of the addressee. Banks and investors, for example, are more interested in the financial plan with capital requirement plan and profitability forecast. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) is particularly interested in your profitability plan, your entrepreneurial personality and the long-term prospects for success.

02
Executive Summary

For an initial overview of what the business idea is all about, a business plan begins with a brief summary. This explains the idea in an easily understandable summary. The summary also includes the most important key data on goals, capital requirements, planned investments, USP, founding team, market, opportunities and risks of the first few years. The summary should be written at the end, when everything else is already finished.

03
Who is founding?

This section of the business plan introduces the founding person or persons. All information relevant to the business idea is presented here:

  • Founder personality: education, experience, qualifications
  • Branchenkenntnisse
  • Industry knowledge
  • Personal and other professional requirements
  • particular strengths and their benefits
  • personal and professional deficits and their compensation
04
Your business concept

Whether it’s a product or service, this part of the business plan is where you explain the purpose and user benefits of your venture. Among other things, this is about:

  • what makes your business idea so special.
  • what is your USP, i.e. your unique selling proposition.
  • where exactly you currently stand in the development.
  • what exactly is already there and what is still missing.
  • what your short-term and medium-term goals are.
  • from when you want to start marketing.
05
Market and competitors

Potential funders also want information about your location and its advantages and disadvantages. Who exactly are your customers? Do you already have customers? Who are your current and, if applicable, future competitors and how are they positioned? In this context, it is also important to know what weaknesses you see in your competitors and how you can exploit these weaknesses for the success of your company. What is needed here is precise knowledge of the industry and an objective assessment of how your own company can integrate successfully into the existing market.

06
Your marketing and sales

No success without marketing. Marketing already starts with pricing. This also requires a deeper knowledge of the industry. This section also explains in detail the benefits of the business idea.
There are 4 classic marketing instruments, the so-called “four P’s”: Product, Price, Place, Promotion. In German, one speaks somewhat more awkwardly of product policy, price policy, sales policy and communication policy. In addition to classic marketing, you should also present an equally convincing online marketing concept. Online marketing includes your own website or store, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEO).

07
Organization and employees

This part of the business plan is dedicated to the people involved and the proposed business. This includes profile-type information such as:

  • persons involved from the managing director to employees
  • Date of incorporation and legal form
  • planned or already decided cooperations
  • possible licenses, patents, contracts
08
Legal form

This section deals with the legal form and the reasons for choosing this legal form. The shareholder structure and the distribution of company shares are also explained. Whether GbR, GmbH, uGmbH or UG. We will be happy to discuss with you which legal form is right for you.

In most cases, more than one legal form comes into consideration. We support you in choosing the right legal form:

  • AG: Joint stock company
  • Sole proprietorship
  • e. K., e. Kfm. or e. Kfr.: registered businessman or registered businesswoman
  • GbR: partnership under civil law
  • GmbH: Limited liability company
  • GmbH & Co KG: Limited Liability Company & Compagnie Limited Partnership
  • KG: Limited partnership
  • OHG: General partnership
  • UG: Entrepreneurial company (limited liability)
09
Opportunities and risks

What are the 3 biggest opportunities that can have a positive impact on your company and what are the risks? With a SWOT analysis you present opportunities and threats, strengths and weaknesses.

10
Financial plan

In addition to the equity ratio and the borrowing requirement, you compare planned costs – including borrowing costs – with planned sales here. Analysis tools are the income statement, the profitability statement and the capital requirement plan. No particular structure is prescribed. At the end of this chapter, you will see an example of the structure of a finance plan.

Determining the numbers for a coherent, bankable financial plan is complex, especially for the inexperienced. At the same time, the financial plan is especially important to potential lenders. Investors and lenders want a comprehensible rationale for how much capital you need and whether you can repay on time. Experienced financiers can often tell at a glance whether the information is plausible and the estimates realistic. Banks also look closely. They are particularly interested in your debt service capacity. This is the liquidity used to pay your loan debts on time. It takes precise capital requirements planning to know what amounts to expect in this regard. This is the only way to minimize the risk of liquidity problems in advance.

Example of how to build a bankable financial plan:

  • Sales planning: Here you estimate how many products or services you will sell in different time spans of weeks, months and years. The basis is the price calculation from the business plan.
  • Operating or running costs incl. wages and marketing costs: Variable and fixed costs are listed here. Variables, i.e. costs dependent on sales, are, for example, material and production costs. Fixed costs or operating costs are rents, wages and salaries, and marketing costs.
  • Profitability and liquidity statement: Supplements the income statement, for example, with the expenses for start-up and for investments as well as for such as contribution margin and gross profit. It is used to present the most important key figures of the operating business over the course of the year.
  • Investments and financing: Here, the origin of funds and the use of funds are compared. It is important to be familiar with the different funding products. With some, you may only use up to 50,000 euros for working capital, with others 100%.
11
Documents

As already mentioned, various appendices are attached to the business plan. Depending on the state of affairs, these can also be drafts:

  • Curriculum vitae in tabular form
  • Shareholders’ agreement
  • Lease agreement
  • Supporting documents for collateral
  • if available: Cooperation agreements, leasing contracts, expert opinions, licenses, patents …

You want a start-up grant from the employment agency, subsidies for business start-ups or a bank loan? For this, you need a business plan that is convincing in terms of content and form. This is exactly the kind of business plan we create for you – free of charge with the state AVGS subsidy. Or with 50% subsidy with consultant support (BAFA). In addition to the services in terms of the activation and placement voucher, we can also provide the expert opinion (FKS).


A professional business plan is the foundation of your venture.

We support you professionally and from the very beginning. So that your company starts more successfully.