Business plan is typically seen as a tool to describe and present your business model.

The business plan is a formal, written set of goals, the process those goals will be attained by, and the reasons the goals are important. In addition, it generally includes background and historical information on the organization itself – including key people and team members.

Using a business plan can be beneficial to businesses at any level: as a startup, adding a new department or for a business seeking additional funding and investors. Regular use of the business plan lets a business owner have clear indication of the direction and progress of the business, as well as it gives as a measuring tool an immediate verification of the success or failure to reach the business goals.

In general, a business plan can vary based on the intended audience:

  • External audience: A business seeking start-up capital or investments may gear their plan towards the economic and financial gains the company hopes to make, as well as including the potential benefit for investors.
  • Internal audience: A business plan that is for internal use may focus on the development of a new product or service; give specific information about attaining a corporate goal or about managing a new division of the company.

A typical business plan will have a format similar to the following:

  • Cover page and table of contents
  • Summary of key executives and business principals
  • Corporate mission statement
  • Description of the business
  • Summary of the industry background
  • Analysis of business competitors
  • Analysis of the market
  • Marketing plan
  • Operation plan
  • Financial plan
  • Milestones and benchmarks

Business plans include specific information about the company, and are organized into an easily read format that can be given to potential investors, clients and shareholders. A business plan can be presented via a power point presentation, a bound booklet or published to a corporate website. Depending on the usage and the intended end users, the plan can be as exhaustive or as simple as necessary.

For more details please read: How to write a good business plan?