- Understand different types of business plans
- Business plans can assist you when starting a business and when growing one
- Choosing wisely during the different periods of your business will help you better achieve your goals
While traditional and lean startup plans are the most common options for new business plans, there are multiple different kinds of plans that entrepreneurs can utilize. Business plans aren’t just helpful for starting a business; they can also be a valuable way to plot strategic growth, make internal changes, and otherwise modify an established company.
Plans can be internal or external. Internal plans help you guide your decisions, along with those of any employees, teams, or departments. External plans are meant to be shared with others, and are typically used to seek funding for lenders or investors.
Entrepreneurs can also choose between lean plans and standard ones. Standard plans are longer and more detailed, while lean ones are limited to the most important information.
Learn more about what kind of business plans are available and how they can assist your endeavor:
A startup plan provides guidance for companies before they are formally launched. It charts all the steps necessary to bring your business from a concept to a reality, including what products or services you’ll offer, staffing needs, and a cash flow analysis. This plan can also help you secure financing by demonstrating that your plan is well thought-out and likely to be profitable.
Strategic plans provide a foundational basis for your company, establishing the company’s mission and vision, factors contributing to your business’s success, company goals, strategies for achieving the goals and how to implement them, and deadlines for when to complete this work. This plan should include a SWOT analysis (for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to help guide your decisions.
Feasibility plans are limited to financial matters. The plan helps you determine whether a product, service, or even the company itself can find a market and be profitable. Key components include a target market, capital needs, and how to proceed with developing the idea.
An operations plan looks at the activities needed to meet company objectives, set deadlines, and assess the resources and staff necessary for success. The plan can also serve as an analysis of current operations and plans for the coming year.
Growth plans are usually written when the company cannot meet its expansion goals with existing resources and must instead rely on lenders or investors. It can include projections for expenses and revenues, market research, and the expected returns investors can see. A growth plan can also include information on the company’s achievements to help make a more solid case.
Also known as a one-page plan, this brief plan serves as a pitch to investors. It offers a basic summary of what the company offers, its mission and vision, its target market, and a sales forecast.
Worst case scenario plan
This informal plan serves as a form of risk analysis before pursuing an expansion or other major business decision. The plan envisions worst case scenarios, such as a market downturn, and determines if a company would be able to weather it. The plan can also serve as a contingency plan, providing guidance for an emergency.