A business plan is not a document you create once and store in your bottom drawer. It is a living guide that you should develop as your business grows and changes. Successful businesses review and update their business plan when circumstances change.
Business plans may be internally or externally focused. Externally focused plans target goals that are important to external stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders. They typically have detailed information about the organization or team attempting to reach the goals. With for-profit entities, external stakeholders include investors and customers. External stake-holders of non-profits include donors and the clients of the non-profits services. For government agencies, external stakeholders include tax-payers, higher-level government agencies, and international lending bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, various economic agencies of the United Nations, and development banks.
A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
Effective business planning can be the key to your success. A business plan can help you secure finance, prioritise your efforts and evaluate opportunities. It may initially seem like a lot of work; however a well prepared business plan can save you time and money in the long run.
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