How is a business plan structured and what goes into it?

Every business plan is based on a uniform structure. The structure is always the same:

  • A beautifully designed cover page sets the mood for the business plan that follows.
  • A detailed, linked table of contents makes it easier to navigate through the business plan.
  • The text section deals with your business idea and examines all relevant topics for the foundation.
  • The financial section contains all the calculations for your business planning.
  • The appendix offers space for further information on the business idea.


Contents of the business plan by chapter:

Cover page

Create a meaningful cover page

Table of contents

Link your table of contents

Executive Summary

Written at the end and appended to the beginning

Product / Service

Describe your product or service offering in detail.

Company and management

Introduce your company and your founding team

Industry, market and competition

Explain the market potential and the competition

Marketing and distribution

Develop corporate communications and sales opportunities

Performance and financial planning

Calculate accurately and comprehensibly


Add CVs, tables, sketches,... to your business plan.


Detailed business plan template for our users!

What must be considered when creating a business plan?

Before you start creating your business plan, you should not only think about your business idea, but also consider the following points:


Think about who you are addressing your business plan to. Depending on who the plan is for, different priorities with detailed information are to be set.


Brevity is the soul of wit! Therefore, keep the business plan as short and precise as possible. The whole plan should not be more than 20 to 30 DIN A4 pages (excluding appendices).


A business plan is an active document. The business plan starts off as an idea and then develops step-by-step into an overarching concept. You should always revise your business plan whenever essential basic assumptions or parameters change. It’s also a good idea to number the subject areas and record all cross-references in order to be able to effectively carry out the necessary corrections again and again without losing the overview.


The business plan should impress the reader with its clarity. Since it is not usually read in your presence, you must use clear and unambiguous wording. It should also be understandable, especially for technical laypeople. Good structuring into individual subject areas makes it easier for the reader to find their way around quickly.


Clearly distinguish between facts and plans in your statements. All forecasts should be supported by figures and references. The data should also be well researched.


All the information is to be recorded truthfully and in accordance with the principles of commercial prudence.


Also, make sure that there are no contradictions between the sub-plans. In particular, the figures used in the different plans must be well thought out and coordinated.


If possible, create the business plan yourself. You can of course consult an experienced management consultant in order to ensure your plan is in proper market-oriented form. This person then takes on the role of moderator. Ultimately, you will have to answer questions from your business partners and financiers.


Tables, CVs, technical descriptions, contracts and similar documents belong in the appendix, which is presented separately from the actual business plan itself.

Layout & structure

The optics of the business plan must also be convincing. Pay particular attention therefore to ensuring there is a logical table of contents, page numbering, good use of illustrations and graphics, a legible font size and a uniform layout and design.
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