What Is a Business Plan?


Quick Answer

A business plan is a document that outlines a product, service or business concept and helps convince people of the value of the company providing them. A business plan is an essential tool used to communicate the vision of the proposed business.

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What Is a Business Plan?
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Full Answer

A business plan provides text, charts and tables with detailed information about a company, including the company's mission and vision statements, market analysis, financial projections, funding requirements and debt levels. A good business plan should also include relevant company information, growth statistics and current products or services offered.

It is also important to include the voice of the customer in the business plan by detailing the value proposition, or what sets the company apart from others in the marketplace. Explaining the value of the proposed service or product answers the question, "What's in it for me?" The business plan allows stakeholders, who are often investors or venture capitalists, to envision the future of the company and understand the return on their investment. Value could mean something different to each person reading the business plan, however. Delivering excellent customer service, providing a product or service at a low cost or providing expedited service are common themes in driving value to customers.

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