The different types of business plans

Without a well-planned business strategy, an individual can’t move forward and establish his career successfully. Suitably verified and validated types of business plans will offer inscrutable guidance to business proprietors to manage their resources and investors and develop through stages, only to end in turning successful in accomplishing the commercial goal. However, while considering business plans,  we think of the starting-a-business kind: about 40 pages of detailed descriptions of every corner of business — past, present, and future — often with a funding request. But that’s just one type of business plan. To find the right plan for your business goal — startup, expansion, new product, self-assessment — you first need to understand the potential benefits and applications of each type. There are varying kinds of business plans and while initiating a business and changing its mode, you need to consider these tyoes of businesss plans, described below –

Internal Versus External

A business plan can be internal or external. The trait refers to the plan’s audience: An internal plan is just for people inside your business, and typically a specific subset of people inside your business, such as the marketing or HR department. Internal plans require less information on company background and may call for a narrower financial view. They’re sometimes more casual in tone than external plans.

An external plan is for people outside your business, too; a business plan that includes a funding request is likely going to be external. An external plan includes full background information on the entire business and full financials and may contain greater detail overall.

Lean Versus Standard

You can also categorize business plans by scope — how deep they go into the subject matter. A lean business plan provides the highlights (maybe 10 pages total), while a standard business plan provides the whole picture (maybe 40 pages total). The trait is often linked to the audience: Most external plans fall into the standard realm, while internal plans can be lean or standard, depending on a company’s needs.

Lean plans can help you track your progress. They forego background and detailed descriptions, instead of focusing on deadlines, budgeting, cash flow, strategy and tactics for implementing strategy and achieving goals. Standard plans provide a comprehensive view of a company and can help you score funding, flesh out strategy details and prepare for the unknown.

Types Of Business Plans

Business plans vary in format and content depending on their purposes. In my experience, some of the more common types of plans include:

Startup Plan
  • Audience: External
  • Depth: Standard
  • Purpose: Development of a blueprint for building a successful business, secure funding

The startup plan’s purpose is to lay out the steps and details of getting a new venture up and running and provide a framework for the successful future of your business; often, its purpose is also to secure funding from outside sources. Startup plans include detailed, comprehensive information related to topics like business background, product or service, market and industry analyses, management bios and responsibilities, full financial details and analysis. types of business plans

Feasibility Plan
  • Audience: Generally internal
  • Depth: Generally lean
  • Purpose: Explore the viability of offering a new product or service

Sometimes called a “feasibility study,” the feasibility plan is less a business plan than a decision-making plan. You would create a feasibility plan if you’re thinking about growing, offering a new product or tapping into a new market; it helps you find out the likelihood of success so you know whether to move forward. A feasibility plan leaves out high-level concerns like strategy, focusing instead on the assessment approach; the plan includes content specific to the proposed growth, including target demographics, market analyses, and capital needs, along with objective standards for assessing feasibility.

Feasibility studies are typically internal, but not always. If a feasibility study is part of a funding request for the new product or service, you’ll have to include more of the standard elements, like company background and full financial data, in addition to the product-/service-specific topics. types of business plans

Growth Plan
  • Audience: Internal or external
  • Depth: Lean or standard
  • Purpose: Create a framework for proposed growth/expansion

The growth plan is like a startup plan for a new segment of your business. Whether internal or external, lean or standard, this tool goes into comprehensive detail on the specific growth at hand, including descriptions of the new venture, financial projections, capital needs, budget analyses, and milestones. An external growth plan will need the usual descriptions of business, background, product, market, and management along with a broader financial view. types of business plans

One-Page Plan
  • Audience: External
  • Depth: Lean
  • Purpose: Give a brief overview of your company and prospects

If the lean plan provides the highlights from the standard plan, then the one-page plan provides the highlights from the lean plan. Also called a “business pitch,” the one-page plan is a snapshot of your business. It’s what you hand to potential vendors, partners, and investors who aren’t ready to read the book version of your company, product, strategy, and outlook. Content includes brief, powerful descriptions of your company, product/service, market, timeline and sales projections. types of business plans

Customizing Your Approach

The business plans listed here can cover most small-business situations; however, the variations are endless, especially with new business-plan viewing and presentation modes like PowerPoint and mobile download. Picking the right business plan for your needs comes down to knowing what you want to achieve for your business and how you want to achieve it. If you choose the right type of plan and put the time into refining it, your business plan can take you well along the path to meeting your goal.