Business Planning – Successful Companies Have Clear Plans
Businesses growing or decreasing in size, entering a new market or developing a new product or service must consider a wide range of complex factors to minimize risk and increase probability of success!
Business plans are decision-making tools that represent all aspects of business. The planning process defines vision and strategy alongside sub-plans to cover marketing, finance, operations, human resources as well as a legal.
Formats For Different Audiences
The format of a business plan depends on its presentation context. It is common for businesses, especially start-ups to have three or four formats for the same business plan:
- An “Elevator Pitch” is a one minute summary of the business plan’s executive summary. This is often used as a teaser to awaken the interest of potential financiers, customers, or strategic partners.
- A “Pitch Deck” with oral narrative – a hopeful, entertaining slide show and oral narrative that is meant to trigger discussion and interest potential investors in reading the written presentation. The content of the presentation is usually limited to the executive summary and a few key graphs showing financial trends and key decision making benchmarks. If a new product is being proposed and time permits, a demonstration of the product may also be included.
- A written presentation for external stakeholders – a detailed, well written, and pleasingly formatted plan targeted at external stakeholders.
- An internal operational plan – a detailed plan describing planning details that are needed by management but may not be of interest to external stakeholders. Such plans have a somewhat higher degree of candour and informality than the version targeted at external stakeholders and others.