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Business plans chart important thinking for both management and potential investors

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Business plans can be relatively simple documents for a very small start-up or a long and complex presentation of ideas and finances for larger organisations. They should also be ‘works in progress’ in the sense that they chart predicted advances in growth and are always subject to modification. Even the most successful, evolving organisations usually maintain an annual business plan as a road map of where they plan to go in the year ahead. And, in a sense, public company’s annual reports to stockholders are business plans for stockholders that detail where organisations have succeeded or failed in the past twelve months and where they plan to be during the coming year.


For business managers who are just launching their organisations and actively seeking investors or bank financing, business plans are critical to success. Competent sales people know that they must be fully informed about their company’s products in order to motivate buyers. The same is true for businesses that wish to motivate investors or lenders to provide crucial financial support that the organisation needs to grow and prosper. (, 2007).


Business plans can be highly detailed or simple


Most business plans contain seven primary sections where information is presented in a logical fashion. Each section can be simple or extremely complex, depending upon the type and size of the organisation that it describes. These include and contain:


Executive Summary

This executive summary informs the reader about what the business wants. This is a very-important section and should appear immediately following the title page. In most cases, the executive summary is broken down to business concept, financial data, financial needs, current business position and major achievements.


Market Analysis

The market analysis describes what the organization’s business is; it’s competition and any things that give the company a competitive edge in the marketplace.


Company Description

This section contains information about the company’s management, employees and mission. Plans for personnel growth are also presented.


Organization & Management

The people who manage the company and its key departments and divisions are described in this section of business plans.


Marketing & Sales

The marketing and sales section describes how the organisation markets and sells its products or services to customers and provides details about advertising, public relations and publicity activities. If the sales force is sizeable, it is normally described in terms of locations and number of employees in different offices. This is a very-important part of all business plans.


Product Line(s)

The section on product lines can be simple or complex depending upon how extensive the organisation’s product offerings are. Products are described in terms of technology and features and benefits provided to users.


Financial Information

Here is where the company presents details about its current financial state. In larger firms, his section may contain numerous graphs and charts to support the text. Company auditors (CPAs) and banks are generally listed here too for credibility.


Funding Solicitation

If the organisation is actively seeking funding for growth and expansion, this is where the need is described along with details of how any loan or investor proceeds will be utilised.



Just as at the end of a book, the appendix breaks down each and every section into its sub-parts for easy reader location.


The above represents a rough guide to preparing business plans. Complete details and even templates are readily available for download from Internet websites. (, 2007).


References (2007) “Small Business Planner”

Available from: plan/writeabusinessplan

Accessed: 10-24-07 (2007) “Elements of a Business Plan”

Available from: businessplans/article/38308.html

Accessed: 10-24-07

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