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Vlerick Blog

Business plans: What they are and why you need one

A series of three articles will explain how to write a good business plan. In this first article we will focus on what business plans are and why you need one. The second article will focus on the characteristics of a good business plan. And in the third one, finally, we will discuss the sections to go in it – and what should go into each one… You’ve identified a new business opportunity – and you’re pretty excited about it. But before you start trying to make it a reality, you need to make sure it’s viable. That’s where a business plan comes in.

What makes a good business plan?

This is the second article in a series of two. Whereas the first article focusses on what business plans are and why you need one, this second article elaborates on the characteristics of a good business plan. And in the third one, finally, we will discuss the sections to go in it – and what should go into each one… A business plan isn’t just a document for you. It’s the way you’ll showcase your idea to investors and other stakeholders. So make it specific to the opportunity, and tailor it to your company. No two business plans are the same. But there is best practice you can follow. Good business plans generally share these five characteristics…

Business plans: What to include

So you know you need a business plan and you understand the characteristics of a good plan. Now it’s time to sit down and create one for your organisation. But where to start? When it comes to writing your business plan, there’s no one-size-fits-all. But there are some sections you should definitely include – like an executive summary, details of the opportunity and information about your company.

DBA

“That enforced slow pace is perhaps frustrating, but it’s also the good thing about the DBA programme.”

The challenge facing participants in the Doctorate in Business Administration is not for the fainthearted: working for four years on a doctoral thesis alongside their normal professional activities.  But there is an award waiting at the end of the road: a doctoral diploma and research experience that is hard to match, says DBA Manager Eva Cools.  

Varun’s MBA reignited his passion for technology

After graduating with an engineering degree, Varun Agarwal spent six years in technical roles. But when his job evolved to include more business responsibilities, he decided to explore the corporate world a little further. So he travelled from India to Belgium to embark on Vlerick’s Full-Time MBA. Now he’s a consultant, combining his technical expertise with finely-honed business skills.

"I now realise that I need to go on more programmes"

Chris Veeningen has been working in the financial sector for 20 years, first in the equity department of a bank and then ‘on the other side’, as a corporate financier. As the financial adviser of the Start Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organisation, he wishes to help people with a disadvantage on the labour market. By means of a social profit grant, Chris took the two-day Venture Capital and Private Equity Programme at Vlerick.

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