Mrs Kesseli, why does a company need a business plan?

First and foremost, a business plan helps to gain clarity about your own company and business model. It also serves as a basis for getting potential investors interested in your business idea. In the initial phase, start-ups are often financed by “family, friends and fools” who know the founders personally and believe in the project. However, if start-ups aim to convince professional investors or lenders of their idea, they must present in their business plan how they intend to finance their business and how they will achieve future growth.

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What points are essential to include in a business plan?

Ideally, the business plan should provide an accurate picture of the business idea and its realisation in the market. Potential customers must be able to clearly understand the benefits they can expect from the product or service and the company's unique selling proposition (USP). It should also clearly illustrate the positioning, i.e. the customers and regions targeted and the strategy for developing business activities in the future. The analysis should also include information about the competitive situation as well as the structure, trends and particularities of the market in which the company operates. The business plan should also provide an insight into the production, procurement and sales processes. Last but not least, the financing strategy is a key element.


Business plan template

A step-by-step guide for presenting your business idea

Does a business plan need to include information on management and the board of directors?

Information on the professional background, experience and successes of the management, the board of directors and any advisors is of particular importance. The composition of the board of directors has a significant impact on business development. For a company to prosper, it needs the right people. Consequently, these criteria should always be duly taken into account in the business plan.

Basically, the more concise and shorter, the better.
Bettina Kesseli

How detailed should the individual points be described?

Basically, the more concise and shorter, the better. The target group must understand the business model, but not every last technical detail. The maxim is: preferably less text, but easily understandable throughout. A clear structure and well-organised tables and graphics are helpful tools for explaining the business plan clearly to others.

Which business plans get a good response?

A business plan should be exciting, almost like a good book. The content should make people want to read the entire business plan. Conveying the information in a clearly understandable and concise manner is essential for achieving the desired results. A realistic estimation also helps to score points. Even if young entrepreneurs are convinced of their idea and are positive about the future, they are well advised to remain realistic. Above all, this includes creating future forecasts based on various scenarios and clear and transparent hypotheses.

Should several scenarios be considered in the business plan?

It undoubtedly makes sense to make an optimistic and a cautious forecast and to outline a realistic middle ground. This type of approach also helps the company itself, as it provides a good basis for measuring its own results. This point is also easily overlooked.

What do investors pay particular attention to?

They want to see both revenue figures and a forecast of earnings and cash flow for the next three to five years. They also look at the results of previous years and the current financial year. A balance sheet and the current financing situation are just as important. The consistency of the data presented has a significant influence on the credibility and appeal that a company conveys to potential investors. In order to increase the likelihood that an initial assessment by an investor will be favourable, it is important to present a clear picture of the USP, a competent and experienced team and a realistic market analysis (including an analysis of the competition) in addition to the financial information.

Where can start-ups get help with creating a business plan?

There are numerous consulting and fiduciary firms as well as start-up organisations that support young companies in developing a business plan. UBS also offers a lot of information and services for founders. However, this task cannot and should not be completely delegated, as it harbours the elementary opportunity to systematically and purposefully focus on the individual company.

We are not only your bank, we are your sparring partner

Our advisors support you not only in financial topics. With the help of our extensive network, we can also offer you solutions for other questions relating to your company.

Whatever’s on your mind, talk to us.

You don’t have a UBS contact yet? Then get in touch with us.

Bettina Kesseli

Head Remote Sales & Advice CIC DE 

Bettina Kesseli has been advising and supporting business customers for more than 25 years. Your value proposition: “Our task is to give entrepreneurs the impetus they need to master their business even more successfully.”

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