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Business Plan

A business plan is a written document that describes in detail how a business — usually a new one — is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint. Business plans are important to allow a company to lay out its goals and attract investment. They are also a way for companies to keep themselves on track going forward. Although they're especially useful for new companies, every company should have a business plan. Ideally, a company would revisit the plan periodically to see if goals have been met or have changed and evolved. Sometimes, a new business plan is prepared for an established business that is moving in a new direction. [1]

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There are four common elements to an excellent business plan.

Four Key Elements of A Business Plan

Types of Business Plans [3]

Components of a Good Business Plan [4]

The 10 components of a business plan are as follows:

The Need For A Business Plan [5]

A business plan is important in that it serves two core purposes; it provides 1) financial validation and 2) serves as a roadmap .

The Audience for Business Plans [6]

Who needs a business plan [7].

About the only person who doesn't need a business plan is one who's not going into business. You don't need a plan to start a hobby or to moonlight from your regular job. But anybody beginning or extending a venture that will consume significant resources of money, energy or time, and that is expected to return a profit, should take the time to draft some kind of plan.

Common Business Plan Mistakes [8]

To do this, you need to figure out how much money you need to start and operate your business and make educated guesses about how much money your new business will bring during its first year of operation. There are two common mistakes people make when they're tackling this section of the business plan.

Business Plan Vs. Strategic Plan [9]

The truth is that strategic plans and business plans are more alike than different and can be combined together to create social sector genius. Business plans and pitches are more popular in the social sector than ever before, but this does not mean that strategic plans are not equally needed. In fact, a strategic business plan is a nice hybrid between the two. As the graphic below suggests, they have very similar recipes.

Business Plan Vs Strategic Plan.png

The foundation of a strategic plan is vision, mission and values of an organization – all of which can be directly connected to an organization’s market, customer and fit. Both of these foundations serve as the “true north” for the organization, but they can and should be modified as the environment changes. The process between creating a strategic plan and a business plan are also remarkably similar. You start with an internal and external scan, or research, to gather insights on the best direction for the organization. Those insights become the basis for an organization’s strategy, which is value creation for a business and impact for a social sector organization. In both cases, value and impact must be coupled with sustainability through a strong business model or fundraising plan. Then, strategy is followed by execution, which can be set via goals, KPIs (key performance indicators) and an action plan, which are often tracked in a dashboard. A business plan takes execution to the next level of detail and dictates the resources needed to be successful, e.g., personnel, operations. However, the outcome associated with each planning process is different. A strategic plan charts the long-term direction of an organization, while a business plan tests the feasibility of a business or organization and builds a roadmap for implementation. Taken together, a business plan and strategic plan communicate the same thing – confidence in the future direction. So, the hybrid strategic business plan communicates not only your vision for the future, but also how you plan to get there. It combines hopes and dreams with reality.

Benefits of a Good Business Plan [10]

Here are the top ten benefits of a good business plan.

Further Reading

What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, elements of a business plan, special considerations.

Business Plan: What It Is, What's Included, and How To Write One

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

what is a business plan wikipedia

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

A business plan is a document that defines in detail a company's objectives and how it plans to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written road map for the firm from marketing , financial, and operational standpoints. Both startups and established companies use business plans.

A business plan is an important document aimed at a company's external and internal audiences. For instance, a business plan is used to attract investment before a company has established a proven track record. It can also help to secure lending from financial institutions.

Furthermore, a business plan can serve to keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and on target for meeting established goals.

Although they're especially useful for new businesses, every company should have a business plan. Ideally, the plan is reviewed and updated periodically to reflect goals that have been met or have changed. Sometimes, a new business plan is created for an established business that has decided to move in a new direction.

Key Takeaways

Want Funding? You Need a Business Plan

A business plan is a fundamental document that any new business should have in place prior to beginning operations. Indeed, banks and venture capital firms often require a viable business plan before considering whether they'll provide capital to new businesses.

Operating without a business plan usually is not a good idea. In fact, very few companies are able to last very long without one. There are benefits to creating (and sticking to) a good business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and working through potential obstacles to success.

A good business plan should outline all the projected costs and possible pitfalls of each decision a company makes. Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they can have the same basic elements, such as an executive summary of the business and detailed descriptions of its operations, products and services, and financial projections. A plan also states how the business intends to achieve its goals.

While it's a good idea to give as much detail as possible, it's also important that a plan be concise to keep a reader's attention to the end.

A well-considered and well-written business plan can be of enormous value to a company. While there are templates that you can use to write a business plan, try to avoid producing a generic result. The plan should include an overview and, if possible, details of the industry of which the business will be a part. It should explain how the business will distinguish itself from its competitors.

Start with the essential structure: an executive summary, company description, market analysis, product or service description, marketing strategy, financial projections, and appendix (which include documents and data that support the main sections). These sections or elements of a business plan are outlined below.

When you write your business plan, you don’t have to strictly follow a particular business plan outline or template. Use only those sections that make the most sense for your particular business and its needs.

Traditional business plans use some combination of the sections below. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making. Regardless, try to keep the main body of your plan to around 15-25 pages.

The length of a business plan varies greatly from business to business. Consider fitting the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Then, other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and included as appendices.

As mentioned above, no two business plans are the same. Nonetheless, they tend to have the same elements. Below are some of the common and key parts of a business plan.

Unique Business Plans Help

The best business plans aren't generic ones created from easily accessed templates. A company should entice readers with a plan that demonstrates its singularity and potential for success.

Types of Business Plans

Business plans help companies identify their objectives and remain on track to meet goals. They can help companies start, manage themselves, and grow once up and running. They also act as a means to attract lenders and investors.

Although there is no right or wrong business plan, they can fall into two different categories—traditional or lean startup. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the most common. It contains a lot of detail in each section. These tend to be longer than the lean startup plan and require more work.

Lean startup business plans, on the other hand, use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans aren't as common in the business world because they're short—as short as one page—and lack detail. If a company uses this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or lender requests it.

Financial Projections

A complete business plan must include a set of financial projections for the business. These forward-looking financial statements are often called pro-forma financial statements or simply the " pro-formas ." They include an overall budget, current and projected financing needs, a market analysis, and the company's marketing strategy.

Other Considerations for a Business Plan

A major reason for a business plan is to give owners a clear picture of objectives, goals, resources, potential costs, and drawbacks of certain business decisions. A business plan should help them modify their structures before implementing their ideas. It also allows owners to project the type of financing required to get their businesses up and running.

If there are any especially interesting aspects of the business, they should be highlighted and used to attract financing, if needed. For example, Tesla Motors' electric car business essentially began only as a business plan.

Importantly, a business plan shouldn't be a static document. As a business grows and changes, so too should the business plan. An annual review of the company and its plan allows an entrepreneur or group of owners to update the plan, based on successes, setbacks, and other new information. It provides an opportunity to size up the plan's ability to help the company grow.

Think of the business plan as a living document that evolves with your business.

A business plan is a document created by a company that describes the company's goals, operations, industry standing, marketing objectives, and financial projections. The information it contains can be a helpful guide in running the company. What's more, it can be a valuable tool to attract investors and obtain financing from financial institutions.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

Even if you have a good business plan, your company can still fail, especially if you do not stick to the plan! Having strong leadership with focus on the plan is always a good strategy. Even when following the plan, if you had poor assumptions going into your projections, you can be caught with cash flow shortages and out of control budgets. Markets and the economy can also change. Without flexibility built in to your business plan, you may be unable to pivot to a new course as needed.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers a quick explanation of its business. The company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide since it's just getting started.

Sections can include: a value proposition, a company's major activities and advantages, resources such as staff, intellectual property, and capital, a list of partnerships, customer segments, and revenue sources.

Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

Retirement Savings Accounts

Business Essentials

How to Start a Business

Tech Companies

Initial Coin Offerings


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How to Write a Business Plan

Last Updated: October 30, 2022 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Keila Hill-Trawick, CPA . Keila Hill-Trawick is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and owner at Little Fish Accounting, a CPA firm for small businesses in Washington, District of Columbia. With over 15 years of experience in accounting, Keila specializes in advising freelancers, solopreneurs, and small businesses in reaching their financial goals through tax preparation, financial accounting, bookkeeping, small business tax, financial advisory, and personal tax planning services. Keila spent over a decade in the government and private sector before founding Little Fish Accounting. She holds a BS in Accounting from Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business and an MBA from Mercer University - Stetson School of Business and Economics. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 83 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,290,612 times.

If you’re interested in starting your own business, by now you probably know that writing a business plan is one of the first steps. But what should a business plan include? How detailed should it be? Do you need to do research first? Don’t worry—below we’ll answer all of your questions and walk you through putting together your first business plan from start to finish!

Doing Your Homework

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Structuring Your Business

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Writing the Business Plan

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Sample Business Plans

what is a business plan wikipedia

Expert Q&A

what is a business plan wikipedia

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Write a Business Plan for a Small Business

About This Article

Keila Hill-Trawick, CPA

To write a business plan, start with an executive summary that lays out your grand vision for your business. Follow that with a section that describes what products and services your company will offer. Then, write a marketing section where you detail how you're going to inform people about your business. You'll also want to include a section on your business model and how it will operate. Finally, conclude your business plan by letting investors know what you need from them. For help with doing research for your business plan, read the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Business Plan

what is a business plan wikipedia

A generic business plan

A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team as well as how the clinical engineering team will attempt to reach those set goals. When an existing department plan is to assume a major change or when planning a new venture, a 3 year business plan is required, so corporate suite (C_Suite) can look for their annual return in that time frame.


The following format of a clinical engineering business plan depends on these 5 key factors:

1. Department History 2. What direction are we going 3. Where we are today 4. Short/Long term goals 5. How we will obtain these goals 6. S trengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities, and T hreats (SWOT) 7. Needs Analysis 8. This and Next years Proposals 9. Summary

1. Department History

Staffing before 2010 was a full time manager and three full time technicians. The staffing was reduced to two technicians, with one acting as a lead technician and no management oversight. There was very little management functions at first as preparation for an JCAHO/AAAHC in 2010 because the previous manager was able to effectively manage that function. Zero discrepancies were found. Management functions have decreased since 2010 and the shop is unable to meet peer standards.

This increase in management time currently takes up a minimum of 80% of the current lead technician’s time to include reports, regular meetings, hazard alerts and recall monitoring and tracking, planning equipment and replacement, educating staff on the safe and effective use of equipment, investigating device failures and near misses, technology assessment to control costs, and ensure hospital/clinic compliance with full accreditation as well as local self-inspection standards. The clinical engineering department has also expanded its responsibilities in handling more high equipment in-house by reducing contracts and an increased high dollar equipment inventory due to hospital expansion, such as MRI, CT, U/S, Sterilization, etc. yet the Biomedical Equipment Repair department staffing has not changed in over three years. This has put a considerable strain [i.e. ensuring timely completion of PM’s, adequate manpower for repairs, inability to take vacation, inability to attend advanced medical device training or continuing education especially with the constant change in technology, low morale, etc.] upon the department.

Actual FTE available hours to repair and maintain equipment have decreased while equipment inventory has increased by approximately 500 pieces of equipment from 2010 to present. The following Business Plan is a proposal from the Clinical Engineering Department to re-engineer itself and to provide the information and guidance to help make an effective decision for the facility.

2. Where/What Is Direction Of Clinical Engineering Field?

The Clinical Engineering field has been and continues to move in the direction of operating as a business within a business. It is our goal to offer a total service package oriented to meeting our customers’ needs and expanding their expectation by superior customer service. Services provided by maintaining an adequate maintenance staff will ensure the facility is able to accomplish the medical mission and to take care of the military community and its beneficiaries. This goal is accomplished by offering services in the following areas, but not limited to:

Expanding from fix/repair to technical service/support management

Regulatory Management

C. Electronic Product Radiation Control (MRI & Ultrasound) J. Radiological Health (Medical Imaging) H. Medical Devices (CT, Fluoro, & Bone Density)

Other Standards Management

College of American Pathology

Hazardous Product Recall

Equipment Management

Vendor Management

Non-Clinical Systems

3. Identify Where We Are Today

We currently perform maintenance on following equipment but not limited to:


In addition to direct repair and maintenance, we perform the following equipment management services:

To provide comprehensive equipment maintenance, repairs and management services at a low cost with high customer satisfaction and to expand service on the following equipment types:

5. How Do We Obtain our Goal?

1. Justification to obtain additional staffing

2. Capital Asset Management Program Partnership

3. Expand level of in-house experience and further reduce cost by

4. Expand Relationships within Clinic

5. Develop New Biomedical Organization Chart

what is a business plan wikipedia

An organizational chart by ACCE

An organizational chart (often called organization chart, org chart, or org name)) is a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions/jobs.

6. S.W.O.T. Analysis





7. Needs Analysis

Labor hour standards for Clinical Engineering are typically two hours per piece of equipment per technician per year. The typical Clinical Engineering technician will perform maintenance 70% of his/her time based on 2080 hours per year. The other 30% is vacation, sick time off, training, and other in-house administrative duties. This calculates to 1376 available hours spent maintaining equipment per technician per year. Currently, we have approximately 1615 pieces of equipment in inventory plus we maintain uninterruptable power supplies, blood pressure cuffs, electronic thermometers, wall suction units, otoscopes, instrument/medication carts, battery chargers, digital cameras, and flow meters. These are all non-inventory controlled items. This projects out to approximately 500 labor hours per year.

Current staffing would show available hours to perform maintenance at 5458 hours, short fall of 1000 hours. An additional 400 hours of labor time would be utilized to perform maintenance on Radiology [MRI, CT, and Mammo] and Ultrasound Equipment (see figures in projected FTE break down in next section).

what is a business plan wikipedia

A generic business plan FTE staffing chart

This brings the FTE total to approximately 3.9.

Annual Hours

Direct labor hours.

Schedule=2946 hours Unschedul=2012 hours Non-inventory=500 hours Total Available Hours=5458 hours  

Indirect labor Hours

work week / year=2080 hours SLH=360 hours

Productivity multiplier=0.8 actual hours worked=1376 hours

# FTEs requirement


This FTE value aligns with other Clinical Engineering peer departments or bases within the Air Force (see peer figures extracted from AFMLO device inventory search and August 2013 Authorized versus Assignment listing. Those FTE values are in next section).

8. This Years Proposal

An additional FTE to handle basic Radiology/Ultrasound and general Biomedical Equipment would help offset the additional workload that the MERC used to perform and maintain compliance standards.

Maintenance Costs

We recommend moving toward first look contracts that would be utilized to assist us in moving to perform in-house maintenance on diagnostic Radiology and Ultrasound equipment. This contract type will enable us to cancel or to allow the expiration of all our full-service contracts and have maintenance performed on a first look basis. This would allow us to fund x1 qualified technician as stated in “Staffing” and gradually assume responsibility for the maintenance in-house while acquiring experience related to deployments and instilling customer confidence. This alternative would allow the facility to function in a more self-reliant manner since time and materials is a very high risk on Radiology and Ultrasound equipment and can fluctuate up or down by as much as 30%.

The second benefit is that all maintenance costs are then located in one budget and managed between Clinical Engineering.

Training Costs: Remain the same. Schools for X-ray and Biomed help reduce contracts.

9. Next Years Proposal

New FTE to absorb workload from increased workload and expansion by imaging specialist into MRI, CT, Ultrasound, and Mammo units. Additional 400 hours, possibly could also handle bone density scanner with maintenance in-house.

Training Costs

School for CT will have to be funded since course already paid for locally to help cancel contracts.

10. Summary

The Clinical Engineering Department is a value added multifaceted, multi-talented group. Dedicated to providing a safe environment with high customer service for a very low cost. The main weakness we have is our lack of manpower.

An additional FTE would save money and keep us in compliance. Our main strengths are our technical ability, our desire to take on new challenges and to successfully and safely accomplish the mission. This has been evident in our obtaining schooling on MRI and CT and begin providing maintenance on these devices in-house. Only two clinics, Tyndall AFB and Luke AFB, have these similar modalities as well as the number of like devices and are able to be successfully compliant.

Cost of maintaining equipment will increase dramatically over the next five years as devices become more sophisticated. Our approach in obtaining training and maintaining these devices in-house will save the facility between $550,000 - $750,000 over the next five years.

Our recommendation is to utilize a capping contract to cap maintenance costs and to increase our staffing by providing an additional biomedical repair technician to augment the department in ensuring all clinic equipment is properly maintained and to provide more “hand” to assist with the overall PM’s and maintenance of our high tech/high cost Radiological equipment. The capping puts all maintenance contract costs into one budget while the technician allows for in-house maintenance as well as decreases equipment down time waiting for vendors to arrive on-site. It also provides for an increased utilization of equipment.

As the facility’s expert consultants on medical equipment; an additional technician would allow us to offer a well-rounded experienced department capable of supporting this clinic virtually free from outside services.

what is a business plan wikipedia

business plan

English [ edit ]

Pronunciation [ edit ].

Noun [ edit ]

business plan ( plural business plans )

Related terms [ edit ]

Descendants [ edit ]

Translations [ edit ], polish [ edit ], etymology [ edit ].

Unadapted borrowing from English business plan .

business plan   m   inan

Declension [ edit ]

Further reading [ edit ].

what is a business plan wikipedia


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