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What is a Business Plan?

Nicole Madison
Updated Jan 20, 2024
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A business plan is a document used to detail plans for a start-up or existing business. This document is used to describe business goals and strategies, as well as provide a blueprint of financing and marketing plans. Essentially, it provides detailed information about where a company is going and how it will get there. Many experts consider such a plan critical to the success of a business.

Often, a business plan is required when seeking a business loan or investment capital. Investors and loan officials need to know what a business owner hopes to accomplish and the steps he or she plans to take to meet goals. Business plans help those in the position to loan money determine whether or not a business is likely to succeed, based on information provided by the owner or owners. A company backed by a well-thought-out plan is a better loan or investment risk than one with a thrown together or incomplete plan.

Business plans aren't just useful for obtaining financing. A carefully considered plan can serve as a veritable road map to success for the business owner and company employees. It can help all involved stay on task while striving to achieve goals. Furthermore, this type of plan may be reviewed and revised when necessary, allowing those operating a business to keep the strategies that work, eliminate those that don't, and change objectives as the business evolves.

When preparing a business plan, it is vital to put maximum effort into researching every aspect of your venture. You'll need to include detailed information about everything from the basics of your product or service to how you intend to manage daily operations. If you plan to seek outside financing, you'll need to make your plan both informative and captivating. By doing so, you'll be able to keep loan officers or investors interested long enough to read the bulk of your plan and, hopefully, decide to provide the financing you need.

Your business plan should provide a detailed description of your business, including the products or services you plan to offer, as well as expected expenditures and profits. If you have products to sell, you'll need to include information about the manufacture of those products. A detailed description of the market for your products or services, along with competition comparisons, should be provided as well. You'll also need to include your plans for development, distribution, staffing, funding, and more.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By Sunny27 — On Aug 30, 2010

Sneakers41- You know I have heard of SCORE. They also offer business plan templates to make it easier for you to develop your business plan.

Business plans help you create a road map to where you are going, but they also increase the likelihood that a bank will lend you money.

The bank is interested in the business plan financials.

By sneakers41 — On Aug 30, 2010

Comfyshoes- Writing a business plan seems difficult but there are many places that you can go for free advice.

For example, SCORE is a nonprofit organization that is made up of retired business executives that counsel business owners regarding business plans, marketing strategies, and increasing revenue.

Many of these executives get paired up with business owners of the same sector. If a Score representative was an owner of a successful home based business, he or she will be paired up with a new business owner seeking the expertise in a home based business.

Often, there are numerous workshops that provide free business guidance to a new entrepreneur.

By comfyshoes — On Aug 30, 2010

Anon19132- I do not know the answer to your question, but I do know that long-term employees are vital to any business.

A start up business plan is important in order to insure the success of any new business. A business plan outline needs to include the projected expenses and the forecasted revenue projections.

A good strategic business plan needs to include information regarding break even points as well as a clearly defined target market.

The marketing business plan needs to include how you will attain clients for your new business. It includes determining advertising markets and required expenditures and frequency of proposed advertising.

Promotions also should be included in this aspect of the business plan. Will there be promotional items available as giveaways, or will there be a significant grand opening promotion? This is something to consider in the marketing plan.

By anon19132 — On Oct 06, 2008

what are employee's long-term business priorities ?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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