Read our experts’ best tips for writing a good business plan

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2020-08-19 10:49

Business experts Kai Halonen, Ville Tolvanen, Päivi Lahtelin-Laine and Irene Matinpalo at the Business Espoo office.
Business Espoo’s experts Kai Halonen, Ville Tolvanen, Päivi Lahtelin-Laine and Irene Matinpalo provide advice on how to start a business, for example. Photo: Iiro Oura.

We advise prospective entrepreneurs every day, for example on how to write a business plan. You should always draw up a business plan before starting a business. A business plan is a document where you provide information about your business idea, expertise, products and services. You will need a business plan when you for example apply for a start-up grant or seek funding. However, it is also a useful tool for yourself as you develop your business.

What is a good business plan like?

We asked this question from a few experts at our office in A Grid and these are their best tips:

“Remember that you are writing your business plan for potential providers of funding. You have to explain your figures in a written format. You have to be able to show, also in words, that the business you are planning will be profitable.” – Matias

“Be realistic and honest in your business plan. Remember that a company’s net sales are usually quite modest during the first few months.” – Irene

“There are various business plan templates available. We recommend our calculation templates. They are easy to use and definitely correct. Many funding providers also find them reliable.” – Irene

“A good business plan is short and clear. Remember that the reader is not familiar with the topic. Make sure that your plan is based on a solid foundation.” – Kaitsu and Michaël

“A poor business plan is too vague. The entrepreneur does not dare or want to limit the content.” – Matias

“If your plan is well-thought-out, you will be able to turn it into an elevator pitch, for example. It is important to be able to pitch your plan – in other words, tell about your plans verbally. A good elevator pitch is suitable for many situations, not only for a metaphorical elevator ride.” – Ville

“A good elevator pitch is honest, transparent, realistic and feasible. Make sure that you know what your business is about, who your customers are and how you are going to respond to competition. Use clear language, avoid professional jargon.” – Nikke

“Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: Why would a potential customer buy from you?” – Ville

“Write in layman’s terms – the reader may not be familiar with your line of business. Your financial calculations must include sufficient financial buffers, and you also need to make sure you have enough capital to get started.” – Päivi

What is your business plan like? Have you already started writing it?

Read more about writing a business plan on the EnterpriseEspoo website.

These tips were provided by business experts Matias Holmqvist, Päivi Lahtelin-Laine, Irene Matinpalo, Ville Tolvanen and Nikke Vainikka from EnterpriseEspoo and experts Kai Halonen and Michaël Vanamo from the Uusimaa TE Office.