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Business Plan Competitions

How to successfully enter a business plan competition

Your idea…

What is your idea? Which products and services do you want to sell? 

What is your unique selling proposition? What is innovative about your product/service? Describe it clearly.

What is your business about?

Describe in clear sentences what is your business about. Have in mind to describe it to people, who do not know your business idea yet. They must get a broad understanding on your business idea… Get the focus clear! 

Executive summary

The summary shall describe exactly what the basics from the business-plan are. The entrepreneur must define the aims exactly. The business plan will be developed for you and the deciders. One creditor, investor or executive manager shall be getting to know the most important things about the business. Give the most important information for your business plan. Be precise and short!

Scheduling

You have to plan and think. If you want to successfully enter a business plan for a competition, you must plan this professionally. In the beginning there is only the business idea. Your planning has to develop the business idea into a marketable enterprise concept.

Detailed planning leads to success. What are the necessary next steps?

Market & competition

Think about your market and the competitors. What is your market of your product or service? Do you have (too much) competitors? How is your position?

Marketing & sales

How do you want to sell your products and services successfully? Describe your marketing strategy (4 p’s).

Money

Think about money! A sales forecast is just as important as turnover-planning. You need a costs budget and a cost calculation. Additional think about calculation and price and do your financial planning! Have in mind that your capital needs accounting! Create a Profit and Loss Account (P&L) and a Liquidity planning. Especially important is a plan-balance sheet and a annual financial statement.

Think about your ideas with the focus of SWOT

In the business plan is it important to at least estimate the chances and risks for the success or failure of your business. How probable is it that the assumptions and the forecast will be real in the economic competition? How high do you estimate the economic risks for your enterprise? Create a best-case and worst-case scenario for your business plan.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the opportunities and treats of your business idea? How do you want to change the risks in chances? 

Don’t do it alone.

Maybe it is easier to set up a business plan with another person or a team. Discussing our ideas with others makes us see the weak points of our plan, so that it becomes better in quality. You can also share time resources in separating your research (e.g. on market and competitors, on financing possibilities, on marketing strategies), discuss your research results together in order to have a clear picture of your business. Writing a business plan with others is challenging, but also easier as you can share your resources and expertise and more fun of course. 

Get help and guidance.

Contact your local Growth Hub at your university or any department with startup counseling. They might guide you on how a business plan should look like and what are important aspects for the selection process (evaluation criteria) in a business plan competition. 

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