Business planning, how to write a business plan?

business plan
Ted Scott
Ted Scott
19 March 2024
10 min

To become a successful businessman, it is not enough to find the money to realize your idea. It is necessary to have a clear course of action, providing for the possibilities of company development and possible market risks. A correct and accurate business plan with calculations will help attract investors. Will give a comprehensive assessment of the company’s capabilities. Structures information about possible markets and sales of products, marketing activities. It will help to identify strengths and weaknesses that can easily be overlooked in the preparation of the project.

Effective planning with LeaderTask

Make daily to-do lists in LeaderTask planner, break them down into subtasks, and create a tree structure for more successful completion of complex tasks. Be sure to engage in workday planning to become more productive in your career and personal life.

Download LeaderTask

The concept of “business plan” can be characterized as a brief but properly executed document, which is a free sample for a budding entrepreneurial activity. The purpose of a business plan is to write the necessary list of actions for opening a company or production at all stages of creation. A business plan should contain an algorithm of step-by-step conduct, taking into account all aspects related to economics and risks. It should look ready, but at the same time it should allow interested parties to deal with its completion and design.

The finished plan should contain both a clear understanding of the concept of the future project and the criteria that will be used to evaluate its success. It should include the layout of the future firm, its name and purpose, and be intended for presentation to investors and banks.

The construction should take into account the sequence of construction and risks, as well as the semantic representation of the main stages of designing the future organization. The method of its construction should be simple, modern and highly specialized in accordance with the format and target audience.

The formation of the plan should take a full month to complete, including calculations, recommendations and risks. It is important to realize that a business plan is a risky document that requires independent study and verification. It should consist of an outline and technology that will help the aspiring entrepreneur assess his options and choose the most appropriate business format.

With practical examples we will understand why you need a business plan, how to write a business plan that will help you achieve success.

Relationship between goals and objectives

The development of the plan is aimed at achieving the company’s internal and external goals. External goals are related to the need for financing, demonstrating potential to investors, attracting attention to the future project. Convincing potential partners of its seriousness and profitability. According to the nature of goal setting, they can be grouped into two groups:

  • investment attraction;
  • lending.

Internal objectives are related to process design, staff training. They include:

  • Development of long-term and short-term development strategy based on previously prepared business plans.
  • Gathering information to make complex decisions.
  • Calculation of rational resource allocation.

Based on the formulated goals, objectives are developed for internal or external audiences.

External environmentInternal environment
For whomPartners, banks, investors.Owner, staff, management.
GoalJustification of investment efficiency, confirmation of its importance and prospects.Developing assignments for employees, communicating everyone’s role in the overall workflow.
Basic informationCalculations justifying the efficiency of investments (indicating profitability, payback, return on investment).List of resources available to the organization. List of project activities. Financial results.
Design requirementsApproved by the addressee. To obtain credit, banks require information in one form, government agencies in another.Formed based on the requirements of the internal regulations.
Expected resultGet funding.Highlight key objectives and ways to achieve the goals.

In order to obtain financing from foreign investors, it is necessary to focus on the international UNIDO standards. Most banking institutions are also oriented to these standards. When obtaining subsidies within the framework of state support, it is necessary to focus on existing financing programs. For example, to support agricultural production, entrepreneurs or unemployed citizens. Each program has its own requirements.

On what principles is built, how to write a business plan

business planning

In order to achieve the planned result, the business plan should be formulated and outlined as transparently and clearly as possible. The following principles should be followed when drafting this document:

  • Adherence to a unified structure. All tasks, instructions, figures, calculations in the business plan should be linked to each other.
  • Continuous course of action. Each new step should be a direct continuation of the previous item. This will help to keep track of statistics. It will simplify the planning of further actions.
  • Adjustments can be made. When it is realized that the developed scenario is not working as it should, it is important to change the direction of movement in time. In case of serious errors or miscalculations, it is possible to completely change the data and then recalculate them.
  • Accurate description of all processes. All qualitative components should be quantified. All sections of the document should be accompanied by appropriate calculations. Once completed, they should be thoroughly double-checked at each stage.

Within the framework of internal and external business planning, certain types of business plans are developed in terms of meaning, which have their own distinctive features.

Varieties of business plans

External environment

To attract investments, external financial resources, the following subtypes of business plans are created:

  • Investment. Its purpose is to convince investors of the profitability of investing funds. It elaborates the options for the development of events within the business project and the required amount of financial investments.
  • Credit. Aimed at obtaining a loan or credit from a banking or financial institution. Demonstrates how profitable the project is. Based on this project, the bank determines the repayment period and interest rate for the loan.
  • Related to the sale of the organization. It specifies the terms of the sale and the prospects for future owners, which should convince them of the feasibility of acquiring the project.

Internal environment

  • Managerial. Reflects the key stages of achieving objectives. The business plan specifies the roles, tasks of employees, relationships and links between them. The creation of this document helps to determine the performance of each employee. Minimizes the occurrence of errors in calculations. It is created at the initial stages of the existence of the organization or in the process of its functioning.
  • Project Program. Calculates the costs of resources and capital for the realization of the idea. It is drawn up when organizing a start-up business project or introducing a new idea into production. For example, development of a new car modification based on an existing model.
  • Target. Created in addition to the company’s main plan.

Standards applied in business planning

how to write a business plan

Before writing a business plan, it is worthwhile to become more familiar with international standards. These are:

  • Standard of investment consulting company BFM Group, based on the maximum number of financial indicators with analysis of their sensitivity to external factors.
  • KPMG Standard. This standard emphasizes marketing and financial performance.
  • TACIS standard. The requirements and structure are similar to the UNIDO standard.

Developing a business plan according to the UNIDO standard: sections and explanations

The international standard is used as the basis for many methodologies, including in the banking industry.

1. Developing a business resume

It is considered a key part of the document. Summarizes information about the company, its goals. Explains the reason why the idea is successful. It acts as a kind of “bait” that attracts the interest and attention of a future investor. Summary describes the main advantages. But, this section is compiled and added to the document after all other articles are finalized.

The content of the section varies according to the stage of development of the organization:

To organize a new enterprise from scratchFor an operating company
A description of the existing experience and the key idea that triggered the start of the project.Goals, mission, essence of the projectCompany Description. A few sentences in the total amount of text.
Market AnalysisInformation on market needs, confirmation of the necessity and relevance of solutions developed for the market.Data relating to the activities of the organization.Year of establishment, founders, market position, location, number of staff.
Opportunities for growthData related to marketing, financial activities in graphical representation
Products or servicesShort description
Prospects for the futureStrategy, development plans

Keep the information in the Executive Summary as short and clear as possible. This page is where potential investors and lenders will start to get to know you and your company, so every word of it should be written in clear and relevant language.

2. Information about the company

For an existing company, this section should include:

  • legal form;
  • Full names of persons managing the project, owners of the company, their financial contributions to the project;
  • location of production, its technical equipment;
  • financial indicators, the amount of required investments.

This article of the business plan also indicates step by step why it is necessary to open and finance this business, what needs of buyers will be satisfied by the developed product or service provided by the company. Name the consumers, organizations, and structures that the company will serve. Describe the factors that guarantee success (good geographical location, little competition, high level of service provision, etc.).

For startups, the “Company Information” section includes current and future costs. Operating companies should include information on revenue for the last several years, net profit, gross profit, and percentage of operating expenses.

3. Market research

This section of the business plan contains information derived from personal knowledge and detailed market analysis. It includes:

  • General analysis of the industry and its development prospects. The volumes, growth rates, features are specified. The main groups of consumers are listed.
  • Study of the degree of market presence. This paragraph should contain the following information:
SpecificsWhat do the organization’s future customers want? What kind of lifestyles do they lead? What trends are present in the market?
VolumeNumber of annual sales in the segment under study? Its projected growth?
Market shareWhat share do we expect to receive in this region? Justify the statement with relevant calculations.
Profit and pricingProjected profits, pricing policy, discounts.
Analysis of competitive sidesIdentifying the best product line or service in the segment under study.

Special attention in this article of the business plan is paid to the peculiarities of the competitive environment:

  • Market share.
  • The importance of this segment to competitors.
  • Barriers to entry (increased project costs, staff shortages).
  • The presence of indirect competitors or extraneous factors that may be an obstacle to market entry.
  • Regulatory Restrictions.

4. Organization and management

Here is detailed information about the management and organizational structure of the company with a description of the activities of each division. What functions each employee performs. What they are responsible for. What salary is paid to each employee.

This article contains data on the advisory board (if any). The legal ownership in the structure of the business plan is described. It is specified who is its owner? Are there co-founders? Partners?

Among the data provided should be mentioned:

  • Name of owners, co-owners.
  • Their shares in the business.
  • Form of ownership.

The information about the management of the company is filled in with:

  • The name of the supervisor, the position held by the supervisor, and the duties of the position.
  • Level of Responsibility.
  • Professional knowledge, including education, skills, information on accomplishments and successes in the position held.
  • Previous employment.
  • Attitudes towards social life.
  • Experience in a supervisory position.

It is worth including important information about the names of the board members, with a breakdown of the level on the board, the degree of connection to the company.

5. Goods and services

The description of the product or service should be presented with an emphasis on its appeal to new or existing customers. The approximate content of the article should include:

  • A description of the future product or service, indicating its competitive advantages in the market.
  • Information about their life cycle, as well as factors that may affect it in the long term.
  • Information on copyrights, patents for the product.
  • Impact on the ecological environment.
  • Performance Characteristics.
  • Packaging Standard.
  • Disposal method.
  • Guarantees on its quality and repairability.

6. Product promotion and sales

This article of the business plan reveals the marketing strategy of the organization. It includes several key subsections:

  • Market Entry.
  • Development. By attracting human resources, acquiring parallel businesses, franchise development. Sales in horizontal and vertical direction, offering the same type of goods to different users and realization of products at different levels.
  • Sales. Organization of the work of the sales department, distributors of the company.
  • Working with the media and advertising.

After the marketing activities are approved, a comprehensive sales strategy is determined, which is formed in two directions:

  • Sales. How will the new product or service be marketed? Is it through your own sales team or by hiring independent representatives? How many salespeople will you have in your department? What will you make them interested in? How will you train your staff? What compensation system will you use to reward your employees?
  • Trade. This is an order of specific actions and prospects. It specifies the contacts of clients directly interested in buying a product or service. The necessary number of cold calls required to “rock” the future buyer audience is calculated. The average number of calls required to make a sale is determined. The amount of the check for the sale and the performance of salespeople.

8. Financial plan

This section of the business plan contains calculations of all the main economic indicators. For ease of perception, they can be grouped into a general table and placed in the “Appendices” section of the business plan.

This is where the data is specified:

  • Income and expenses for several years ahead.
  • Project Timeline.
  • Cash Distribution.
  • Amount of investment.
  • The amount of profit during the first year.
  • Calculation of break-even, profitability.
  • Payback Period.

As attachments to the section, the following shall be provided:

  • Profit and Loss Statements;
  • Type of tax credit.
  • Graphs of changes in financial indicators.

The article also provides information on how the investment funds received will be spent. For debt repayment? Acquisition of resources, material and technical base? To create a revolving fund? Potential risks of project realization are assessed.

Attached as an Appendix to the business plan is an additional set of documents, including required licenses, legal documents, contracts, and other information.

How to turn a business development idea into a step-by-step instruction manual

In order to turn a formal document into a guide to action, you need to make the business project visually clear and understandable. It is convenient to use diagrams and graphs for this purpose. All calculations in the business plan should be accurate and commensurate. If it covers a large time period, for the first year it is better to create monthly forecasts. For the next – quarterly. For the third year, an annual calculation.

Another step on the way to success is the reality, the concreteness of the goals set. They should be achievable and measurable.

To simplify business planning, to develop calculations more accurate, you can use special programs, spreadsheets or online constructors.

LeaderTask: an efficient assistant

Best Calendar Apps

One of the most complex processes in the preparation of a business plan is the formation of a marketing plan and financial strategy. To automate these processes, it is convenient to use the LeaderTask application. The program combines the functions of CRM system, planner and organizer. It closes tasks in a timely manner. Notifies about changes in their status. Provides correct delegation of tasks. Helps to organize effective teamwork within the framework of common tasks. Keeps all important information and data on the work project.

The service includes options for creating daily schedules and task lists, setting standard and regular reminders. It is suitable for working on common and individual projects. Supports the function of adding participants, getting edits from the manager in the corporate online chat.

LeaderTask software synchronizes with any network devices. Supports voice input of tasks. Works offline, without the Internet. Allows you to control work processes anywhere and not get bogged down in the routine of daily tasks.


A competent, professionally drafted business plan is a serious document that proves the reality and effectiveness of an idea. It clearly demonstrates what needs to be done to achieve the set goal. It helps to attract investments and loans for the realization of a business project.

It is not worth wasting time looking for a standard ready-made business plan on the Internet. It should be drawn up independently or with the help of specialists. Only then will the document contain correct data.

The final result of the implementation of the business plan will depend on the thoroughness and scrupulousness of the approach to business planning. Therefore, when performing calculations, analyzing the provided information, it is necessary to repeatedly recalculate and check each point.

Developing a business plan of the enterprise for internal company purposes, it is not necessary to dwell on the design. The main thing is to detail the tasks of each employee on the way to achieving the goal. An investment business plan should be drawn up in accordance with the standards and rules applicable to financial institutions.

Professional Task Planner and Organizer
Download the LeaderTask app and enjoy the simplicity and convenience of planning your tasks.