In its entirety, this document serves as a road map that provides direction to the business.Business plans may be internally or externally focused.
Typical structure for a business plan for a start up venture Cost and revenue estimates are central to any business plan for deciding the viability of the planned venture.
But costs are often underestimated and revenues overestimated resulting in later cost overruns, revenue shortfalls, and possibly non-viability.
This situation is complicated by the fact that many venture capitalists will refuse to sign an NDA before looking at a business plan, lest it put them in the untenable position of looking at two independently developed look-alike business plans, both claiming originality.
In such situations, one may need to develop two versions of the business plan: a stripped-down plan that can be used to develop a relationship and a detailed plan that is only shown when investors have sufficient interest and trust to sign a Non-disclosure agreement.
A business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved.
It also describes the nature of the business, background information on the organization, the organization's financial projections, and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve the stated targets.
If a new product is being proposed and time permits, a demonstration of the product may be included.
A written presentation for external stakeholders is a detailed, well written, and pleasingly formatted plan targeted at external stakeholders.
Externally-focused plans draft goals that are important to outside stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders.
These plans typically have detailed information about the organization or the team making effort to reach its goals.