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What exactly is a business plan? Darned good question!
A business plan is a factual document that compiles about 10,000 key business decisions, some are small decisions and some are huge decisions. A business plan is broken into 5 sections:
1. Executive Summary – provides the overview of the business
2. Marketing Plan – analysis of the market and the strategies to connect with the market
3. Operations Plan – how the business will function day by day. There are 4 types of businesses – service, retail, wholesale and manufacturing (in order of complexity). This section defines the management team, the staff, location, equipment, inventory, risks and risk mitigation, etc.
4. Financial Plan – includes the start up costs, cash flow (budget – projected revenues and expenses), assets and liabilities, financing needs and owners networth statements.
5. Appendix – the supporting documents to the business plan (supplier information, owners resumes, floor plan, lease agreements, construction and equipmnet quotes, etc.)
The business model canvas that we use in this course, is the starting point for developing a full business plan.
A business plan is not a literary document, it is a factual document with lots of point form, charts, graphs, etc. It is the road map for the entrepreneur and the tool used to apply for funding from any source.