The Business Plan

The Business Plan is a crucial aspect of any startup. If you are starting a company it is essential to create a good business plan to pitch your company. It conveys the company goal to investors and it is impossible to be taken seriously without a business plan. Nobody wants to invest in some random idea, they want to invest in a plan. Otherwise they would just be giving away money to play around with.

From Entrepreneur.com:

A business plan is a written description of your business's future. That's all there is to it—a document that desribes what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.

This will outline the basic parts of a business plan and the different approaches to take toward making one. Here is a vast number of business plan resources if this list isn't enough.

A typical business plan runs 15-20 pages and includes the following key sections
1. Executive summary
2. Business description
3. Market strategies
4. Competitive analysis
5. Design and development plan
6. Operations and management plan
7. Financial factors

There are three types of plans (per entrepreneur.com)

  • The Miniplan. A miniplan may consist of one to 10 pages and should include at least cursory attention to such key matters as business concept, financing needs, marketing plan and financial statements, especially cash flow, income projection and balance sheet. It's a great way to quickly test a business concept or measure the interest of a potential partner or minor investor. It can also serve as a valuable prelude to a full-length plan later on.
  • The Working Plan. A working plan is a tool to be used to operate your business. It has to be long on detail but may be short on presentation. As with a miniplan, you can probably afford a somewhat higher degree of candor and informality when preparing a working plan.
  • The Presentation Plan. If you take a working plan, with its low stress on cosmetics and impression, and twist the knob to boost the amount of attention paid to its looks, you'll wind up with a presentation plan. This plan is suitable for showing to bankers, investors and others outside the company.

Business Plan Resources

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