What is a Business Plan

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A business plan is an official declaration of an assortment of business objectives along with major guidelines to achieve them. A business plan includes details like the company's profile, top management, functional area, team work and so on.

The business objectives generally concentrate on fiscal targets such as production or generation of capital. The business plan of government or non-profit organisations concentrates more on the structural format which is the basis of their tax-exempt standing and optimising profits.

Business plan also aims at increasing clientele, changing outlook and branding strategy as a part of its marketing plan.

Presentation Structure of Business Plan The structure of a business plan relies heavily on its presentation. Hence, it is vital for new business and even established business to prepare at least two to three business plans. The different presentation structures of a business plan are mentioned as under:
  • Executive summary: A five-minute synopsis of the business plan. It is a brainteaser to stimulate the awareness of prospective businessmen and clients.

  • Slide show: It is a visually attractive presentation format presented with oral recitation of the business plan. It is meant to prompt dialogue and also increase awareness of the prospective investors. The text of the presentation is generally restrained to the short summary and some major statistical figures indicating the fiscal trends and major decision-making yardsticks. If a new product is in the pipeline and there is ample time for promotion, then an exhibition of the product may also be entailed in the plan.

  • Written presentation: This format of presentation is generally for external shareholders. It provides a comprehensive, qualitative written and visually stimulating format.

  • Functional plan: An all-inclusive functional plan for the in-house users is prepared by the administration but may not at the same time attract the attention of the external shareholders. Such business plans have a greater level of truthfulness and familiarity than the presentation aimed at external shareholders.

Plan-Format for starting a new Business

Mentioned below are the guidelines on how to prepare a business plan for a new business, arranged in sequential order:
  • Title page
  • Content Tables
  • Executive synopsis
  • Business account and relevant details
  • Commercial ambiance assessment
  • Sectoral backdrop
  • Market Assessment and its key players
  • Competitive study
  • Promotional plan
  • Functional Plan
  • Administrative summary
  • Fiscal Summary and objectives
  • Add-ons and landmarks
  • Conclusions

Uses of a Business Plan

Public contributions: A prospective investor can assess the possibilities of investing in the firm after going through the business plan that outlines details of public offerings.

Helps in generating capital: Fund-raising is the basic objective of a business plan as it is associated with the success or failure of the firm.

Total quality management:Targeted at enhancing knowledge in all managerial processes, TQM is the chief aim of the business plan. It is widely used in manufacturing, BPO, nuclear science and service industries.

Calculated planning: the business plan presents the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and STEER analysis (Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory) of the firm which helps in defining its future plans as well as in vital decision making.

In education sector: Business plans are used in educational institutions to teach fiscal theories. 

Last Updated on 4/18/2015