A business plan can serve many purposes. So what is a business plan? Its primary use is to demonstrate direction of the business as to attract funding. Its secondary purpose is to provide the management of the business a way to track progress and direction. Depending on the on the author and audience of the plan, a different approach should be taken. Length is non-standard. There are one page business plans for very successful businesses, there are 180 page business plan for very basic operations. In short, the business plan should cover everything that is required to meet its own goals.
A business plan for funding should focus on the respective talents of management, and financial milestones of the operation. It should project 3–5 years and should contain the basic high level segments including but not limited to: executive summary, company structure, product description, market and industry analysis, marketing plan, management overview and a financial plan.
Some business plans that are created for more internal purposes may also include internal and external analysis through a SWOT and TOWS analysis, competitors analysis, and internal operation guidelines and procedural plans. A business plan can be anything that describes the business but generally when it's asked for, this is what is being asked of you.
Other types of hybrid plans exist. Marketing plans are very similar to business plans except they focus on the acquisition of customers, market penetration, segment strategy, demographics and psychographics, and finally the financial projections are usually geared specifically around strictly the marketing budget.
At MasterPlans, we write your business plan based on the criteria of what purpose it needs to serve, and who will be reading it. Any plan that doesn't address these two core issues cannot possible have the desired affect. Contact us for more information on starting your own business plan.
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Work Her Way by Carolyn Kepcher Carolyn Kepcher of The Apprentice fame has used MasterPlans on two occasions.
Skout Natural by Jason and Denny Pastega Skout Natural received a $200,000 bank loan. Trailbars are flying off the shelf.
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Conductor by Seth Besmertnik and Jeremy Duboys Conductor received $2,600,000 in Venture Capital and expanded to 70 people.