5 business writing tips for your Step-by-Step Plan and Startup Visa application

One of the requirements of the Startup Visa application is a Step-by-Step Plan. It is the main document for IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) to understand the benefits and relevance of your business idea to the Dutch sector.

There are a number of things that you need to include in your Step-by-Step Plan. You can see the list here.

Clear and strong Step-by-Step Plan can represent your best form to IND; it can influence and convince IND to believe in your idea, communicate important messages effectively, and sometimes even lead to inspire people beyond IND (e.g. your startup facilitator).

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when writing your Step-by-Step Plan.

1. Know your audience and purpose

To communicate effectively, you have to know your readers. Are they familiar with your subject? Are they likely to resist your message? Are they old or young, highly educated or not?

Remember the old saying: A message aimed at everyone often appeals to no one.

You want to convince IND and RVO about the opportunities of your business idea in the Netherlands. In this case, you must assume that are not familiar at all with your business idea.

Your business idea may seem obvious to you, but not to others. Make sure your document includes the answers to the Five W’s and an H: Who, what, where, when, why and how.

Think like a reporter.

2. Avoid flowery language. Stick to the point.

Flowery language can come off as wordy and can also make your meaning vague.

Be concise and straightforward. Avoid unnecessary jargon if it's not specific to the content. Jargon can sound like a lot of fancy words, or noise, with no meaning.

Focus on the points and purpose of your writing. Avoid redundancy.

3. Keep it tight

Short sentences, short paragraphs and short documents have a better chance of capturing readers’ attention.

  • Don’t disguise your verbs as verb/noun pairs. Don’t “make a decision” or “carry out an improvement.” Just “decide” or “improve.”

  • Cut windy phrases. Why say “We are in the process of upgrading our IT systems” when you can simply say “We are upgrading our IT systems”?

4. Get active

Putting sentences in active voice is a quick way to brighten your writing.

For example: "XYZ Corp. will provide rebates on all new purchases" is a stronger sentence than 'Rebates will be provided on all new purchases'.

Sentences in active voice are often shorter and usually clearer than those in passive voice, and inspire more trust in readers. Everyone wants to know who is doing what.

5. Proofread

Spell checkers are useful tools, but they’re far from perfect. They’ll rarely alert you when you’ve used an actual word in the wrong context.

Proofread your documents before printing them or hitting “send.”

Looking for support in developing your Step-by-Step Plan for the Startup Visa application?

Business writing skills are fundamental to get your Step-by-Step Plan right for your Startup Visa application. The Step-by-Step Plan is the main document that the IND will use to judge your business idea, so make it as crystal clear as possible.

Looking for support in the business writing of your Step-by-Step Plan?

Shape of Green Business is here to guide you. We pay attention to clearly explain the key building blocks of your business idea and to put them in the right and simple words on paper for maximum comprehension by the IND.

We can guide you throughout the business development process and ensure that you only answer the critical questions without wasting time.

We can help you developing your Step-by-Step Plan. We can provide you the template, structure and guidance for the content of your Step-by-Step Plan.

Want to know more? Get your FREE 30-minutes chat now.