business plan

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Business Plan

A formal statement of what a business wants to accomplish and how it intends to accomplish it. A business plan includes a vision statement, which is a brief summary of the company's goals (usually some variation of "to make money by creating a superior product"). It also includes details of the products the company makes or intends to make, how it will sell them, and how much they will cost. A business plan nearly always includes a budget. Such plans are important to investors, who want to know how their money is supposed to be used, and to management to help keep a company on track.

business plan

a detailed statement of the objectives, proposed operations, resource requirements, financial forecasts etc. of a completely new business or an established business which is being developed further. It is particularly important to draw up such a plan not only to ensure that the owners/ managers of the business themselves understand clearly what is required to make a success of the venture but also that external parties, in particular providers of capital and loan facilities, can evaluate the viability of what is being attempted.

There is no set formula for a business plan but typical elements would include:

* name, address, products and objectives of the business; what product is to be supplied

* market analysis – customer needs, competitors, size of market etc. and proposed marketing/competitive strategy

* operations analysis – production, purchasing, selling etc.

* financial analysis – profit and loss forecasts, cash flow forecasts, capital expenditure requirements

* management information/business controls – recording procedures, monitoring progress. See BUSINESS STRATEGY.

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