Elements of a Business Plan
A successful business plan is characterized by several key elements.
1. What is the purpose of writing a business plan?
2. What are the different types of business plans?
3. How will a good plan contribute to the success of your business?
4. Who is interested in reading a business plan?
5. What kind of elements should be included in a business plan?
Most business plans produced each year are utilized by operating corporations looking to contribute to their corporate strategy or long-range plan. Leading advisers commonly urge every business to complete an annual business plan. Small businesses tend to differ because they are more closely in touch with their markets. Instead of commonly writing annual business plans, they use them to start up their companies and attract investors or lenders. These plans are in many ways more complete than a corporate business plan because they share a thorough description of the company and in many cases the resumes of the management team. Business plans are documents meant to persuade because they are typically used to seek funding.
Business planning begins with an environmental assessment, which is a process of analyzing the market and competitors. This assessment is then translated into objectives. After objectives have been stated, alternative actions to reach these goals should be explored. Once you have determined which actions should be taken to meet these objectives, the next step is to calculate all costs and implement a budget strategy. The final step to business planning is benchmarking. This is a way to measure achievements the business has made towards its finances and objectives.
Every business operates under a plan. Corporate plans tend to be adjusted and updated constantly while small business plans are typically more informal. Planning becomes more formal as a company grows in size. An ideal business plan should cover all aspects of the business. It...