Company formation, choosing a legal address, market-entry, acquiring your first customers, embarking on a growth journey, setting pricing policies, human resource needs, and much more... If you're an enthusiastic and innovative entrepreneur, all these topics you may need to bring your business idea to life are likely simmering in the back of your mind. However, not everything may go as planned. Without setting timelines in advance, you could lag in realising your business idea, struggle to overcome obstacles that come your way, and may not be able to capitalise on opportunities as needed. This is precisely where the importance of writing a business plan comes into play before bringing the Startup to life. As Unusual Companies, specializing in company formation in the Netherlands, expanding businesses in the Netherlands, and applying for the Netherlands Startup Visa, in this article, we will explain why you need a Business Plan. We will also provide Business Plan writing tips and a step-by-step guide to writing a Startup Business Plan.

Why is writing a Business Plan important?

Many entrepreneurs know from personal experience that starting is half the battle, and planning is a critical part of the success journey. Scientific research on this subject indicates that the same is true for companies. For example, a study conducted with more than 11,000 companies proves that planning increases performance. Another study reveals that 30% of businesses with a Company Growth Plan grow faster. It also indicated that 7 of 10 fast-growing companies have a solid Business Plan.

Detailed Business Plans help accelerate the growth journey of Startups on the verge of building a brand new business model and revenue method, assisting them in being prepared for opportunities such as competitor analysis, growth strategies, job descriptions, roles, and responsibilities serve as guides for businesses on how to navigate one-year, three-year, and five-year processes. Additionally, entrepreneurs must write a Business Plan, especially those aiming to bring their Startup idea to life in a different country and seeking benefits from startup funds, government incentives, and special tax advantages for Startups.

Business Plan Writing Tips: How to Write a Business Plan for a Startup

We prepared the Business Plan Writing Guide to assist entrepreneurs in any field to create the perfect Business Plan to lay a foundation for future growth. The Guide will also answer the following question, ”What should a business plan draft include?”

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What should your Business Plan include for the Netherlands Startup Visa application?

Preparing a Business Plan is not only necessary for entrepreneurs to strategise the next steps for their business, but it is also an important requirement in the application process for the Dutch Startup Visa.

The Dutch government expects the following information to be included in the Business Plan:

  • Company Structure
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Legal Structure of the Business
  • Employee Information
  • Purpose of the Company
  • Description of the product/ service and why it is innovative
  • Description of the development activities related to the establishment of the company
  • Detailed business development activities planned for the first 12 months
  • Detailed marketing plan and market analysis

1. Product/ Service Description

The starting point of a Business Plan template should include descriptions of the products and services you will offer. In this section, you must first identify the consumers' problem and summarise which problem your Business Plan solves and how. By explaining your products and services, you should only clarify your field of activity and the innovation you bring to your sector in the eyes of investors and governments.

2. Conduct Market Research

Market research is an indispensable step in the Business Plan preparation process. Market research helps determine which aspects of the product or service are competitive. It is also important to measure most of the market in which you will operate as a Startup by performing a Competitor Analysis. Knowing your competitors closely is critical in determining how they differ and where they are lacking. The more you increase your market dominance, the stronger your chances of success in the market.

3. List Competitive Advantages of the Business Idea

Once the product/ service has been explained and market research has been conducted, it is time to indicate how the product/ service can be differentiated from others in the market. It is important to remember when establishing a Startup, your business idea doesn’t have to be 100% unique from existing business models. But to achieve success, you need innovations that will improve existing processes. These innovations are your competitive advantages. Do not forget to emphasise your competitive aspects with data to explain how unique your idea is.

4. Determine the Marketing, Sales, Market Entry and Operation Strategies

It is important to plan all of the details of your products and services in operational terms as detailed as possible. Determine how you will explain to the end user the aspects that make you stand out compared to the competition, how you will carry out the operations of your planned activities, and what strategy you will follow regarding sales.

5. Decide on Metrics and Initiate Financial Planning

Financial planning is a reality that you must inevitably face to turn your Startup into a profitable company. You should act according to your initial capital, plan financial investment rounds, take government incentives into account, and make a realistic estimate of the period in which you will reach profitability. Entrepreneurs often "burn money" in their first months, and reaching profitability takes time. Shortening this time depends on measuring success with the right metrics and good financial planning.

6. Define your Team, Roles and Responsibilities

You can't be everywhere simultaneously, and you can't do everything! Even if you are passionate about your Startup idea, you need people in other areas of expertise. Your Co-Founder may not always be enough, either. Find strong teammates in critical business areas such as business development, finance and marketing. Identify the positions that may be required in the future and find the steps to enable you to grow with the right human resources at the right time. Including these details in your business plan draft is important in convincing authorities and investors interested in your project.

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Unusual Companies is with you in the Startup establishment process!

As Unusual Companies, which specializes in company establishment in the Netherlands, Dutch Startup Visa Consultancy and Startup Business Acceleration, we offer consultancy services for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. We cover all the needs of Startup entrepreneurs, including guidance in the Startup Visa Application process, assisting in Business Plan writing, assuring all legal requirements are met during the company establishment process, and many more. We are with you every step of the way to turn your Startup into a flourishing Dutch business. Contact Unusual Companies today to start the journey.