What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is an official document describing an entrepreneurial project, its operations and financial situation.

How to Draw Up a Business Plan?

The steps involved in drawing up a business plan generally include:

  • Summarizing the project
  • Drawing up a summary of the company’s activities
  • Detailing the marketing strategy to be deployed
  • Explaining the operational plan
  • Putting together a competitive analysis
  • Describing the human resources structure
  • Defining financial forecasts

The document containing the business plan has no specific length; it can be as short or as long as necessary.

What Should a Business Plan Contain?

There is no standard format for writing a business plan. It can contain the following information:

  • Description of the entrepreneurial project
  • Value proposition
  • Project history
  • Organizational structure
  • Explanation of business activities
  • Financial information
  • Market research
  • Marketing strategy
  • Company objectives
  • Sales forecasts

The business plan may change depending on who it is intended for: investors, financial institutions, shareholders, etc.

Why Write a Business Plan?

The advantages of drawing up a business plan before launching a project or a new business include:

  • Gaining a better understanding of objectives and the actions required to achieve them
  • Organizing ideas
  • Increasing credibility
  • Identifying project milestones
  • Setting up a clear timetable
  • Improving the management of budget and resources
  • Identifying potential risks
  • Finding ways to optimize the plan

The business plan gives entrepreneurs a better overview of their project and enables them to present it to stakeholders. It is typically recommended to prepare a business plan for a new business, like a franchise for instance.

What Is the Difference Between a Business Plan and a Strategic Plan?

The purpose of a business plan is to describe how a company generates revenue and operates on a day-to-day basis. It is intended for people outside the company, such as potential investors.

The strategic plan, on the other hand, aims to define the future state of the company and establish the actions to take to get there. It is addressed to team members.

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