What are your milestones

Define milestones for your business start-up in the business plan

Development milestones: your project planning

Business registration or entry in the commercial register are certainly the formal start of business activity for most companies. However, true to the motto "Beyond the horizon, it goes on", completely different aspects and milestones become the focus of project planning when starting a business. And so the central question is: when will you actually launch your offer on the market? There can often be weeks or even months between this point in time and the creation of the business plan, as the following examples should illustrate:

  • Restaurant: You want to open a restaurant - then the topics of location search, furnishing and purchasing of goods, hiring the right employees, etc. are often on the agenda before you can start.
  • Website and online shop: You certainly already have the idea for the website and online shop, but the finished design and programming as well as legal issues such as the creation of the general terms and conditions etc. will only take place in the coming months.

Set milestones

Your business plan represents the planning of your entrepreneurial activity for the next few years - so milestone planning is also part of it. This makes it clear to the reader which steps or milestones are pending and helps you with project planning.

1. Which development milestones are relevant for you?

  • Registration of property rights
  • Formal steps such as registering and registering the company
  • Renting the location as well as expansion and furnishing
  • Hiring of staff
  • Completion of research and development projects - when will the prototype be marketable?
  • Development of website, corporate identity and design
  • By when are any necessary financing rounds completed?
  • First delivery of goods
  • Start of the marketing campaigns
  • Opening of the shop, the restaurant etc.

2. Who is responsible for the individual milestones?

  • As part of project planning, it is also important to define responsibilities for the milestones. You should make a clear assignment, especially if you are part of the founding team and provide service providers with individual tasks. This makes it clear who has to do what. Of course, this also simplifies the control of compliance with the milestones.

3. By when should the goals and milestones be achieved?

  • Time is money - especially when starting a business. Money can only be earned once the market has been launched. Indicate by when the individual development milestones should be implemented - and of course by whom.

Project planning with scenarios

Point out the critical milestones and phases in the project planning and also create a scenario for the worst case - if milestones cannot be met. In this way, you can assess what financial resources will be required until the sales start. You can also create alternatives and take precautions if development milestones cannot be implemented as planned.

However, your milestone planning should also go beyond the start of sales. Show specific goals - derived from your short- and medium-term goals. Plot significant events and milestones on the timeline. This gives the reader an impression of the planned corporate development. And for you too, the milestones are important dates to work towards.

After the milestones

You have now also completed the last chapter in the "Business Organization" section. In the Finance chapter, you transfer the milestones to financial planning. But before that, you devote yourself to the comprehensive topic of law and taxes.

Author: Für-Gründer.de editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.