What is a business plan?
A business plan is a communication tool to align understanding and influence stakeholders to make decisions, affirm commitments and to take action.
A business plan is the summary of a business model and total viability of a business opportunity.
A business plan is the summary of the purpose, objectives, strategies, activities, and financial profile of a business entity or other organization.
A business plan is a living document that reflects current status and directs to future state.
Why do I need a business plan?
A business plan is needed whenever you intend to start up, lead, operate, finance, grow, reposition, turnaround, merge, acquire, exit or close a business.
Who is the key audience of a business plan?
The key audience includes all stakeholders of a business such as investors, bankers, board members, management, employees, certain alliance partners, and certain customers.
What are the major elements in a business plan?
The major elements of a business plan are: executive summary, business description, pricing, technology, patents, market, R&D, product development plan, go to market plan, operating plan, personnel plan, financing plan, financial statements and related information, and exit plan.
What are the common pitfalls of a business plan?
Most business plans are too long, incomplete, unconvincing, not compelling and/or out of date.
What is the recommended length of a business plan?
A business plan should be ten (10) pages including a one (1) page executive summary. Significant supporting data should be selectively included as addenda to the business plan.
How long does it take to prepare a professional business plan?
The time to prepare a professional business plan varies depending on the status of business model design, prior strategic thinking, availability of various elements of the business plan including understanding of customers and markets, availability of key data, status of the financial model, availability of key executives involved in the process, and experience of the business plan writer/facilitator.
An experienced business plan consultant can provide an accurate estimate of time required to prepare a revised professional business plan based on a brief look at your current information or business plan draft.
How often do I need to update my business plan?
A business plan should be updated whenever there are significant changes to your strategy, products, customers, competitors, alliance partners, profits, or valuation; significant changes to government regulations or industry structure; or when you are trying to convince a stakeholder to make a decision on partnership, financing, investment or any other material strategic change.
What are resources for creating a business plan?
Get started with general information at Small Business Administration
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