What is a business plan? A business plan sets out the method for running a specific activity over a specific future period. Why are business plans needed? Business plans are needed essentially for the four following reasons: 1. A formal, explicit document of the planning process; 2. A request for finances; 3. A framework for approval; 4. A tool for operational business management.
Everyone has prepared a business plan. Well, should that read, everyone should have prepared a business plan? My thinking is that these tend only to be prepared when they are needed, rather than as a useful business tool for all senior management. My top five ingredients are: 1. Understand what a business plan is; 2. Understand what you intend to use it for; 3. Identify and implement the critical steps to achieving a successful business plan; 4. Understand what needs to be included in the plan; 5. Be aware of gaps or weaknesses in your plan.