Definition: A business plan is a detailed written steps and goals defined to guide a business’ course of action from its initial stages. A business plan provides a complete description and projection of the company as well as its core strategies and expected results.
What Does Business Plan Mean?
The creation of a new organization or a new business requires coherent actions in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Following a business plan allows to link actions and resources to objectives and measurable goals. This plan can be used internally like a roadmap for the owner but also can be a requirement when looking for funding or partners.
A business plan is generally a precise, short document that commonly contains the following sections: executive summary, business description with its products or services, marketing plan, operational plan and financial plan with its forecasted financial statements for the first years of operation, often five to ten years. The initial business plan is later substituted by annual or bi-annual strategic plans.
Mark Tilson is a young professional that wants to start a new business. He has the idea of providing an innovative maintenance service to medium-size manufacturing companies but he needs funds to implement it. Mr. Tilson therefore decided to write a business plan to present the idea to some potential capital partners. He though that the ideas were already clear but soon realized that more analysis and pre-launching work was required.
How many employees the company will have? How the company will market its services? How much money the initial investment requires? How much profit the company is expected to generate at the end of the fifth year of operation? These and other questions must be answered and coherently written in the business plan. Finally, Mr. Tilson improved his ideas, presented the plan and found the required partner.