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A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business—usually a new one—is going to achieve its goals.
Products and services: Here, the company can outline the products and services it will offer, and may also include pricing, product lifespan, and benefits to the consumer.
Other factors that may go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology.
They also act as a means to get people to work with and invest in the business.
Although there are no right or wrong business plans, they can fall into two different categories—traditional or lean startup.
A complete business plan must include a set of financial projections for the business.
These forward-looking projected financial statements are often called pro-forma financial statements or simply the "pro-formas." They include the overall budget, current and projected financing, a market analysis, and its marketing strategy approach.
Financial statements, balance sheets, and other financial information may be included for already-established businesses.
New businesses may include targets for the first few years of the business and any potential investors.
Sometimes, a new business plan is prepared for an established business that is moving in a new direction.
A business plan is a fundamental tool any startup business needs to have in place prior to beginning its operations.