Understanding different business plans

As many business owners know, the type of business plan one uses is determined largely by the target audience and the venture type. The length of the plan, its details and the mode of presentation are considerations a business owner may use in an effort to ensure success.

There are four types of business plans, and each may be used for different purposes. For instance, a long, detailed plan may be unsuitable for an overview destined to be quickly downloaded and reviewed. Conversely, an investor may require more detail. A shortened version of a standard business plan covers the material but limits itself to highlights.

The presentation plan is another way to convey the project’s highlights with the addition of supporting graphics. It is important to use visually appealing, organized graphics and to add comments that augment what is displayed. Engaging the viewer and making room for questions supports this format. A working plan describes how the business operates and offers a more informal approach. Since it is used primarily as an internal plan, it may omit some information such as executive resumes or information the presenter feels is unnecessary or sensitive.

The what-if plan is a way to document how the business will overcome hurdles. It allows for a multi-faceted approach that takes potential problems or expansion into account. This is welcome by investors since it shows the business focus is not limited or static. Presenting this alongside a standard business plan may be beneficial.

An attorney may provide guidance in structuring a new business plan to meet the owner’s needs. This plan can be important for generating interest with investors and determining how the venture functions. Legal help during the planning process may offer peace of mind in issues of compliance and protection from unnecessary litigation.

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