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Preparing a business plan draws on a wide range of knowledge from many different business disciplines: The format of a business plan depends on its presentation context. It is common for businesses, especially start-ups, to have three or four formats for the same business plan. This is often used as a teaser to awaken the interest of potential investors, customers, or strategic partners. It is called an elevator pitch as it is supposed to be content that can be explained to someone else quickly in an elevator.
The elevator pitch should be between 30 and 60 seconds. A pitch deck is a slide show and oral presentation that is meant to trigger discussion and interest potential investors in reading the written presentation. The content of the presentation is usually limited to the executive summary and a few key graphs showing financial trends and key decision making benchmarks. If a new product is being proposed and time permits, a demonstration of the product may be included.
A written presentation for external stakeholders is a detailed, well written, and pleasingly formatted plan targeted at external stakeholders. An internal operational plan is a detailed plan describing planning details that are needed by management but may not be of interest to external stakeholders. Such plans have a somewhat higher degree of candor and informality than the version targeted at external stakeholders and others.
Typical structure for a business plan for a start up venture . Typical questions addressed by a business plan for a start up venture . Cost and revenue estimates are central to any business plan for deciding the viability of the planned venture. But costs are often underestimated and revenues overestimated resulting in later cost overruns, revenue shortfalls, and possibly non-viability.
During the dot-com bubble this was a problem for many technology start-ups. Reference class forecasting has been developed to reduce the risks of cost overruns and revenue shortfalls and thus generate more accurate business plans. An externally targeted business plan should list all legal concerns and financial liabilities that might negatively affect investors.
Depending on the amount of funds being raised and the audience to whom the plan is presented, failure to do this may have severe legal consequences. Alternatively, they may require each party receiving the business plan to sign a contract accepting special clauses and conditions. This situation is complicated by the fact that many venture capitalists will refuse to sign an NDA before looking at a business plan, lest it put them in the untenable position of looking at two independently developed look-alike business plans, both claiming originality.
In such situations one may need to develop two versions of the business plan: Traditionally business plans have been highly confidential and quite limited in audience. The business plan itself is generally regarded as secret. An open business plan is a business plan with unlimited audience.
The business plan is typically web published and made available to all. In the free software and open source business model, trade secrets, copyright and patents can no longer be used as effective locking mechanisms to provide sustainable advantages to a particular business and therefore a secret business plan is less relevant in those models. The business goals may be defined both for non-profit or for-profit organizations. For-profit business plans typically focus on financial goals, such as profit or creation of wealth.
Non-profit, as well as government agency business plans tend to focus on the "organizational mission" which is the basis for their governmental status or their non-profit, tax-exempt status, respectively—although non-profits may also focus on optimizing revenue.
The primary difference between profit and non-profit organizations is that "for-profit" organizations look to maximize wealth versus non-profit organizations, which look to provide a greater good to society. In non-profit organizations, creative tensions may develop in the effort to balance mission with "margin" or revenue.
The business plan is the subject of many satires. Satires are used both to express cynicism about business plans and as an educational tool to improve the quality of business plans. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a .
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