A business plan is a blueprint for how your business will run and reveals what future direction your business will take. Understandably you will want to be careful who you show your plan to and avoid your competition seeing it.
Having an understanding with third parties when distributing a plan could be enough protection for some businesses, however others who have innovative business practices or products or services may wish to go further and sign a confidentiality agreement with each person to protect their innovations. It may also be a good idea to include some words in your plan asking the reader not to disclose the details of your plan.
Size your business plan to fit your business. Remember that your business plan should be only as big as what you need to run your business.
The planning process helps you learn about the different forces and factors that may affect your success. If you are already in business, it helps you to step back and look at what is working and what you can improve on. Instead of worrying about the future, a business plan helps to give you a sense of control over your business and your livelihood.