If you’re ready to start making more formal plans for your business, they will most certainly involve crafting a business plan. But there are far more options for business plan types than you may realise. You can ensure that you choose the right one for your needs by reviewing the different kinds of plans below. But first, a review of the standard and lean plan types.
The Standard Plan
The standard business plan, although far shorter than it used to be is still the most formal and detailed type of business plan there is. The standard business plan is the type of document best used when a lot of information about your business is needed in order to get a bank loan or woo a prospective investor or partner.
The standard plan begins with an executive summary about you and the business. Following this, sections about your company including what it sells, your strategy, milestones, target market, and a financial forecast should be included. Any standard plan should have these detailed sections.
The Lean Plan
The lean business plan is a condensed version of the lengthier standard plan. It doesn’t include any of the detailed descriptions or summaries of the standard plan. The lean plan is ideal for providing information to individuals who already know the details of your business, such as employees and partners.
The lean plan covers business strategy, consisting of the strategy you wish to implement, the steps you will take to take to execute it, and specific details regarding performance measurement, milestones and essential financials like forecasts, budgets and cash flow.
A one page plan is a common document where a detailed ‘pitch’ of your business needs to be given to potential investors, banks or vendors. This document is only one page in length, and summarises your business’s offering, target market, sales forecast and most important milestones. The one page plan can be easily gleaned from an existing standard or lean business plan.
The Strategic Plan
This internal document concentrates mostly on a business strategy and the tactics that will be implemented to achieve business goals. Crafting this sort of plan involves knowing what your business’s strengths and weaknesses are. Although the strategic plan is often used by large corporations with management teams, it can be just as effective for small businesses wanting to ramp up their operations.
Like the one-page plan, the strategic plan can be formulated using information from an existing business plan. However, the assignment of responsibilities as well as a schedule for each milestone will need to be added.
The Feasibility Plan
This type of plan is most beneficial when trying to determine whether a business will work. The feasibility plan usually doesn’t include sections for financial projections, strategy, or other similar sections of a business plan. Instead, the focus is on whether a market exists for a particular product, or on whether a product will be successful if sold.
However, when crafting a feasibility plan, it’s important to remember that this term is used differently by certain groups of people. And so you may need to get additional information to ensure that this is the right plan for you.
Whatever business plan you wish to develop, the best advice is to ensure you are choosing the right one. This can be done by conducting some online research. You may also wish to speak with someone else who developed the same plan to determine if it’s the right one for you. And, as writing a business plan can be tricky, you may also wish to locate some expert advice to writing a helpful and effective plan.