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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.
These business plans are short—as short as one page—and have very little detail.
If a company uses this kind of plan, they should expect to provide more detail if an investor or lender requests it.
Business plans help companies identify their objectives and remain on track.
They can help companies start and manage themselves, and to help grow after they're up and running.
These tend to be much longer and require a lot more work.
Lean startup business plans, on the other hand, use a standard structure even though they aren't as common in the business world.According to the Small Business Administration, the traditional business plan is the most common.They are standard, with much more detail in each section.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.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.