Have you spent countless days, even nights with your business idea? You are convinced that it’s competitive? And now you’re ready to finally take that step to self-employment and enjoy your self-determined professional life? Before you can really get going, there is still one more thing to do: draw up the business plan. Swiss Life answers the key questions on the subject and supports founders with a risk check and advice.

After you have carefully defined your business idea, the next thing to do is create a business plan. What exactly is a business plan? How do you put one together? And why is it so important for your start-up?

What is a business plan?

In a nutshell, you can say: the business plan is nothing more than a well-thought-out, written business concept. The main benefit of creating a business plan is clarity. You gain an overview of your business project and use it to put your plans into practice. The business plan also ensures a certain level of security as you establish the opportunities and risks of your business idea.

Why do I need a business plan?

  • For your orientation

The business plan is the best way to work through your business idea and, at least theoretically, put it to the test. It gives you a structure and helps you focus on the market. Who is your target group? Who are your competitors? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks of your business idea? Important questions to consider when starting up a business.

  • For potential investors, banks or capital providers

Is your business plan logically structured and is it convincing due to a good business model with a well-designed financial plan? If so, you have a good chance of obtaining financial support in implementing your business idea.

  • For potential customers, partners and suppliers

If you want to convince customers or suppliers with your business idea, you must be able to inspire them. To do that you need a well thought-out concept and answers to all the questions they may have about your business idea.

The Swiss Life risk check

Have you thought of everything? Use the Swiss Life risk check to establish whether you still have any gaps in your future provisions. Then you’ll have nothing stopping you from a self-determined future as a company founder.

What is the content of a business plan?

It includes the strategy, the market situation, the planned measures and the financial requirements. The structure or breakdown should be logically put together and answer the following basic questions about your business idea: Where do I stand today? Where do I want to go? How do I get there? How does my business idea add value?

You could structure your business plan as follows:

  1. Summary of the business idea and the vision
  2. Company description incl. legal form and owner
  3. Organisation chart with employees and management
  4. Description of the offer: your products and services
  5. Market analysis with assessment of sales figures, description of competitors and competitor analysis
  6. Sales promotion with target group analysis, advertising and pricing policy
  7. Analysis of business risks
  8. Description of infrastructure
  9. Rough schedule with pending goals

As a general rule, keep your business plan as precise and short as possible and substantiate it with charts.

Where can I have my business plan drawn up?

There are countless online providers who can draw you up a business plan for a fee. If you prefer to do it yourself, the IFJ (Institute for Young Entrepreneurs) has a unique BusinessPlan Tool, which makes it very easy and clear to draw up the business plan through real-life samples and tips.

Don't forget as a founder: risk protection

There is a lot to think about when drawing up a business plan, not least your insurance and pension provision. An accident or illness could be the end of your business idea. Good risk protection is thus indispensable when starting a business.

Professional risk advice

Would you like a risk expert to review your individual situation? We will be happy to advise you. Whether in the comfort of your home, at our offices or by convenient video chat – the decision is yours.

Image Source: iStock, sanjeri

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