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A business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved.It also describes the nature of the business, background information on the organization, the organization's financial projections, and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve the stated targets.
An internal operational plan is a detailed plan describing planning details that are needed by management but may not be of interest to external stakeholders.
Such plans have a somewhat higher degree of candor and informality than the version targeted at external stakeholders and others.
Banks are quite concerned about defaults, so a business plan for a bank loan will build a convincing case for the organization's ability to repay the loan.
Venture capitalists are primarily concerned about initial investment, feasibility, and exit valuation.
With for-profit entities, external stakeholders include investors and customers, for government agencies, external stakeholders are the 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.
Internally-focused business plans target intermediate goals required to reach the external goals.In its entirety, this document serves as a road map that provides direction to the business.Business plans may be internally or externally focused.A pitch deck is a slide show and oral presentation that is meant to trigger discussion and interest potential investors in reading the written presentation.The content of the presentation is usually limited to the executive summary and a few key graphs showing financial trends and key decision making benchmarks.They may cover the development of a new product, a new service, a new IT system, a restructuring of finance, the refurbishing of a factory or a restructuring of the organization.An internally-focused business plan is often developed in conjunction with a balanced scorecard or a list of critical success factors.Operational plans describe the goals of an internal organization, working group or department. The content and format of the business plan is determined by the goals and audience.For example, a business plan for a non-profit might discuss the fit between the business plan and the organization's mission.It is called an elevator pitch as it is supposed to be content that can be explained to someone else quickly in an elevator.The elevator pitch should be between 30 and 60 seconds.