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Business plan

A business plan is a summary of how a business owner, manager, or entrepreneur intends to organize a commercial endeavor and implement activities necessary and sufficient for the venture to succeed. It is a written explanation of the companies business model.

Business plans are used internally for management and planning and are also used to convince outsiders such as banks or venture capitalists to invest money into a venture.

A business plan can be seen as a collection of sub-plans including a marketing plan, financial plan, production plan, and human resource plan. The business plan has many forms. There is however a format that is typical:

  • Executive summary
    • explains the basic business model
    • gives rationale for the strategy
  • Background
    • gives short history of company (unless it is a new company)
    • provides background details such as:
      • age of company
      • number of employees
      • annual sales figures
      • location of facilities
      • form of ownership including
        • sole proprietor
        • Partnership
        • entrepreneurial startup
        • private corporate startup
        • publicly traded corporation.
        • public utility
        • Non Profit Organization
    • background of key personnel including
      • owners
      • senior managers
      • head scientists and researchers
  • Marketing
  • Production and manufacturing
    • describe all processes
    • production facility requirements - size, layout, capacity, location
    • inventory requirements - raw materials inventory, finnished goods inventory, wharehouse space requirements
    • equipment requirements
    • supply chain requirements
    • fixed cost allocation
  • Finance
    • source of funds
    • expected return
    • break even analysis
    • monthly pro-forma cash flow statement
    • existing loans and liabilities
  • Human resources
    • assign responsibilities
    • training required
    • skills required
    • union issues
    • compensation
    • skills availability
    • new hiring

Specialized sections such as product research and development, legal strategies, marketing research, or inter-company collaberations, are added to deal with unique features or characterics of the business or its markets.

see also: marketing plan, strategic management

List of Marketing TopicsList of Management Topics
List of Economics TopicsList of Accounting Topics
List of Finance TopicsList of Economists

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