Lesson 1: Steps to create a business plan

A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operational plans of a business.

It serves as a roadmap, guiding entrepreneurs in starting a new business or expanding an existing one. The business plan communicates the vision, mission, and objectives of the venture to stakeholders, such as investors, lenders, and team members.

Creating a business plan can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an essential step for:

  – Starting a new business with a clear direction and actionable strategies.

  – Expanding an existing business to ensure sustained growth and profitability.

  – Obtaining funding from investors or financial institutions to support the business’s endeavors.

Tailoring the business plan to specific needs and goals:

  – Each business plan should be customized to suit the unique requirements of the venture.

  – The format and content may vary based on the type of business, industry, and funding requirements.

  – A well-crafted business plan showcases the business’s potential and persuades stakeholders to support its success.

With this overview, we can now delve into the key elements that a business plan should include to effectively communicate the vision and strategies of the business.

Sustainability in the Business Plan

A green business plan prioritizes sustainability and environmental responsibility.

  • Minimizing environmental footprint (e.g., carbon emissions, energy, water).
  • Utilizing renewable resources and eco-friendly materials.
  • Implementing waste reduction and recycling strategies.
  • Promoting social responsibility and ethical practices.
  • Fostering green innovation and research.
  • Defining specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) sustainability objectives.
  • Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track progress and ensure continuous improvement.
  • Demonstrating accountability by providing clear and transparent reporting on sustainability efforts and outcomes.
  • Openly sharing information on environmental practices, initiatives, and their impact on the environment.

Green Business Plan Impact

The inclusion of sustainability in a business plan demonstrates commitment to eco-friendly practices and positive environmental impact.

1) Attracts Like-Minded Stakeholders:

  • Attracts environmentally conscious customers who prioritize eco-friendly products and services.
  • Appeals to socially responsible investors and partners who support sustainable initiatives.

2) Positions the Business as a Leader in Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurship:

  • Differentiates the business from competitors by highlighting its strong environmental commitment.
  • Establishes the business as a progressive leader in sustainability within the industry.

3) Contributes to a Greener and More Sustainable Future:

  • The collective impact of green businesses helps address pressing environmental challenges.
  • Promotes a culture of sustainability, influencing other businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices.

The following slides will be discussing the key sections of a business plan. Elements of sustainability may be integrated within the sections of the business plan. Alternatively, it is possible to dedicate an individual section for sustainability.

Executive Summary

  • The executive summary is a concise introduction to your business plan, capturing the essence of your venture.
  • It highlights the fundamental aspects of the plan, such as the business idea, target market, competition, revenue projections, and funding requirements.
  • By presenting a compelling snapshot of your business, it aims to pique the interest of potential investors or stakeholders, encouraging them to explore the plan further.
  • Keep it concise, engaging, and focused on the key points that make your business concept stand out.

Company Description


  • The company description provides an in-depth overview of your organization, offering insights into its mission, history, and offerings.
  • Clearly articulate your company’s mission statement, which communicates its purpose and long-term goals.
  • Share a brief history of the company’s formation, highlighting significant milestones and achievements that have contributed to its growth.
  • Describe the products or services your company provides, emphasizing their unique features and benefits to customers.
  • Mention the legal structure of the company (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation) to provide clarity on its operating model.

Market Analysis

  • The market analysis section delves into a comprehensive study of your target market, competitors, and industry trends.
  • Clearly define your target audience, including their demographics, preferences, and specific needs that your business seeks to address.
  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors, identifying key players in the market, their strengths, weaknesses, and strategies.
  • Highlight relevant industry trends and opportunities that present potential for growth and success for your business.
  • Showcase your unique selling proposition (USP) – the distinctive aspect of your products or services that sets them apart in the market.

Management and Organization

  • The management and organization section introduces the key individuals responsible for driving your business forward.
  • Present the management team with their names, titles, and roles, emphasizing their relevant experience and qualifications.
  • Clearly outline the organizational structure, including reporting lines and the key responsibilities of team members.
  • Mention any strategic partnerships, collaborations, or advisors that contribute to the overall strength of your business.
  • Emphasize the collective expertise and cohesive collaboration of your team, showcasing how it positions your business for success.

Products and Services

  • Describe the products and services offered in detail, highlighting their unique features and benefits to customers.
  • Clearly state the pricing structure, including any special offers or discounts, and how it compares to competitors.
  • Outline the delivery methods, whether it’s through physical stores, e-commerce platforms, or distribution partners.
  • Mention any patents or trademarks associated with the products or services, emphasizing their competitive advantage and intellectual property protection.

Marketing and Sales

  • Present a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy to reach the target audience effectively.
  • Describe the marketing efforts planned, such as advertising, social media, content marketing, and SEO.
  • Identify the sales channels to be used, whether direct sales, distributors, or online platforms.
  • Explain how the business plans to create brand awareness and build customer loyalty.
  • Showcase any unique selling propositions (USPs) or promotions that will entice customers to choose your products or services.

Financial Projections

  • Provide detailed financial projections for the next three to five years to demonstrate the business’s financial health and growth potential.
  • Present revenue forecasts, taking into account market demand, pricing, and expected sales volume.
  • Outline anticipated expenses, including production costs, marketing expenses, and operational costs.
  • Present cash flow projections, indicating how money flows in and out of the business over time.
  • Include profit and loss (P&L) statements, showing the expected profitability of the business.
  • Clearly state any funding requirements, explaining how the funds will be used to support the business’s growth.


  • Include relevant supporting documents that complement the business plan.
  • Attach resumes or bios of key team members, emphasizing their qualifications and relevant experience.
  • Add letters of intent from potential partners or customers, showcasing interest and commitment to collaboration.
  • Include market research data and reports that validate market demand and support the business’s growth projections.
  • If applicable, attach legal documents related to patents, trademarks, or other intellectual property protection.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the National Agency and Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.