At this point, you may be tempted to skip writing a business plan altogether, viewing it as an unnecessary exercise in jumping_through_the_hoops, suggested by some old business professor who probably never held down a "real" job anyway. Maybe it's okay as an assignment for an MBA class, but it would be just too confining and irrelevant for today's fast_paced business environment. Anyway, you're ready! You've thought about this business venture for a long time and talked it over with friends and everybody agrees it's a great idea. Best to strike while the iron is hot!
There are many reasons for utilizing such a document. Is the final document going to be about implementing a decision already having been reached or is it about analysis and recommendations for a newly proposed activity. As noted above, a finished document may be for internal or external purposes. Externally they are often used to solicit funding for a start_up or joint venture. Whatever the purpose, do not confuse effort with say, a marketing or a production plan.