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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]

  • 1 Elements of A Business Plan [2]
  • 2 Types of Business Plans [3]
  • 3 Components of a Good Business Plan [4]
  • 4 The Need For A Business Plan [5]
  • 5 The Audience for Business Plans [6]
  • 6 Who Needs a Business Plan [7]
  • 7 Common Business Plan Mistakes [8]
  • 8 Business Plan Vs. Strategic Plan [9]
  • 9 Benefits of a Good Business Plan [10]
  • 10 See Also
  • 11 References
  • 12 Further Reading

Elements of A Business Plan [2]

There are four common elements to an excellent business plan.

Four Key Elements of A Business Plan

  • An explanation of why your company is relevant and the need are you addressing
  • A description of corporate priorities and the processes to achieve them.
  • An overview of the various resources, including the people that will be needed, to deliver what’s expected by the customer.
  • A description of the state of your market and its important trends.
  • A detailed description of your customers.
  • A description of your current competitors and their advantages. Which ones will you displace?
  • A description of your products, how they compete with other brands, and why they are needed.
  • An explanation of why customers will pay a fair economic value for your product or service. This element is conspicuously absent from some of today’s most expensive unicorns. Companies such as Uber and Tesla are losing massive amounts of money on rapidly growing sales because these companies may not be selling their services/products for fair economic value. Of course, sales grow rapidly when customers can buy your services/products for far less than their fair economic values!
  • Conservative
  • Each scenario should have realistic and achievable sales, margins, expenses, and profits on monthly, quarterly, and annual bases. Again, these elements appear to be conspicuously absent from some of today’s most expensive unicorns.

Types of Business Plans [3]

  • One-Page Business Plan: A one-page business plan is exactly what it sounds like: a quick summary of your business delivered on a single page. No, this doesn’t mean a very small font size and cramming tons of information onto a single page — it means that the business is described in very concise language that is direct and to-the-point. A one-page business plan can serve two purposes. First, it can be a great tool to introduce the business to outsiders, such as potential investors. Since investors have very little time to read detailed business plans, a simple one-page plan is often a better approach to get that first meeting. Later in the process, a more detailed plan will be needed, but the one-page plan is great for getting in the door. This simple plan format is also great for early-stage companies that just want to sketch out their idea in broad strokes. Think of the one-page business plan as an expanded version of jotting your idea down on a napkin. Keeping the business idea on one page makes it easy to see the entire concept at a glance and quickly refine concepts as new ideas come up. Learn more about how to create a one-page business plan.
  • The Lean Business Plan: A Lean Plan is more detailed than a one-page plan and includes more financial information, but it’s not as long as a traditional business plan. Lean Plans are more likely to be used internally as tools for strategic planning and growth. The Lean Business Plan dispenses with the formalities that are needed when presenting a plan externally for a loan or investment and focuses almost exclusively on business strategy, tactics, milestones, metrics, budgets, and forecasts. These lean business plans skip sections like company history and management team since everyone in the company almost certainly knows this information. You don’t do an exit strategy section of your business plan if you’re not writing for investors and therefore you aren’t concerned with an exit. The simplest lean business plan uses bullet points to define strategy, tactics, concrete specific dates and tasks, and essential numbers including projected sales, spending, and cash flow. It’s just five to 10 pages when printed. And few Lean Plans need printing. Leave them on the computer. Review and revise them at least once a month. The first Lean Plan takes just a few hours to do (or less), and a monthly review and revision can take only an hour or two per month. Lean business plans are management tools used to guide the growth of both startups and existing businesses. They help business owners think through strategic decisions and measure progress towards goals.
  • External Business Plan (a.k.a the standard business plan document): External business plans, the formal business plan documents, are designed to be read by outsiders to provide information about a business. The most common use of a full business plan is to convince investors to fund a business, and the second most common is to support a loan application. Occasionally this type of business plan is also used to recruit or train or absorb key employees, but that is much less common. A formal business plan document is an extension of the internal business plan, or the Lean Plan. It’s mostly a snapshot of the internal plan as it existed at a certain time. But while the an internal plan is short on polish and formality, a formal business plan document should be very well-presented, with more attention to detail in the language and format. See example business plans in our sample plan library to give you an idea of what the finished product might look like. In addition, an external plan details how potential funds are going to be used. Investors don’t just hand over cash with no strings attached—they want to understand how their funds will be used and what the expected return on their investment is. Finally, external plans put a strong emphasis on the team that is building the company. Investors invest in people rather than ideas, so it’s critical to include biographies of key team members and how their background and experience is going to help grow the company.

Components of a Good Business Plan [4]

The 10 components of a business plan are as follows:

  • Executive Summary: The executive summary should appear first in your business plan. It should summarize what you expect your business to accomplish. Since it’s meant to highlight what you intend to discuss in the rest of the plan, the Small Business Administration suggests that you write this section last. A good executive summary is compelling. It reveals the company’s mission statement , along with a short description of its products and services. It might also be a good idea to briefly explain why you’re starting your company and include details about your experience in the industry you’re entering.
  • Company Description: The next section that should appear in your business plan is a company description. It’s best to include key information about your business, your goals and the customers you plan to serve. Your company description should also discuss how your business will stand out from others in the industry and how the products and services you’re providing will be helpful to your target audience.
  • Market Analysis : Ideally, your market analysis will show that you know the ins and outs of the industry and the specific market you’re planning to enter. In that section, you’ll need to use data and statistics to talk about where the market has been, where it’s expected to go and how your company will fit into it. In addition, you’ll have to provide details about the consumers you’ll be marketing to, such as their income levels.
  • Competitive Analysis : good business plan will present a clear comparison of your business to your direct and indirect competitors. You’ll need to show that you know their strengths and weaknesses and you know how your business will stack up. If there are any issues that could prevent you from jumping into the market, like high upfront costs, it’s best to say so. This information will go in your market analysis section.
  • Description of Management and Organization: Following your market analysis, your business plan will outline the way that your organization will be set up. You’ll introduce your company managers and summarize their skills and primary job responsibilities. If you want to, you can create a diagram that maps out your chain of command. Don’t forget to indicate whether your business will operate as a partnership, a sole proprietorship or a business with a different ownership structure. If you have a board of directors, you’ll need to identify the members.
  • Breakdown of Your Products and Services: If you didn’t incorporate enough facts about your products and services into your company description (since that section is meant to be an overview), it might be a good idea to include extra information about them in a separate section. Whoever’s reading this portion of your business plan should know exactly what you’re planning to create and sell, how long your products are supposed to last and how they’ll meet an existing need. It’s a good idea to mention your suppliers, too. If you know how much it’ll cost to make your products and how much money you’re hoping to bring in, those are great details to add. You’ll need to list anything related to patents and copyright concerns as well.
  • Marketing Plan : In your business plan, it’s important to describe how you intend to get your products and services in front of potential clients. That’s what marketing is all about. As you pinpoint the steps you’re going to take to promote your products, you’ll need to mention the budget you’ll need to implement your strategies.
  • Sales Strategy : How will you sell the products you’re building? That’s the most important question you’ll answer when you discuss your sales strategy. It’s best to be as specific as possible. It’s a good idea to throw in the number of sales reps you’re planning to hire and how you’ll go about finding them and bringing them on board. You can also include sales targets.
  • Request for Funding: If you need funding, you can devote an entire section to talking about the amount of money you need and how you plan to use the capital you’re trying to raise. If you’ll need extra cash in a year or two to complete a certain project, that’s something that’s important to disclose.
  • Financial Projections: In the final section of your business plan, you’ll reveal the financial goals and expectations that you’ve set based on market research. You’ll report your anticipated revenue for the first 12 months and your annual projected earnings for the second, third, fourth and fifth years of business.

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 .

  • Financial Validation: With regards to financial validation, your business plan gives a strong indication, to both you and outside funding sources, as to whether your venture will be financially successful. Your financial projections, if completed properly (more on this below), allow financing sources to calculate whether you’ll be able to repay your loan or provide an appropriate Return on Investment. Importantly, the written sections of your business plan support your financial projections. For instance, the Industry Analysis section must prove that your market size is large enough to support your success. And your Marketing Plan section must show that you’ll be employing promotional tactics that allow you to attract customers at a reasonable cost.
  • Serves as a Roadmap: In particular, the Operations Plan section of your business plan lays out your action plan. It details the key accomplishments and milestones you have established and when you expect to complete this. The roadmap gives you and your team a clear path to follow. It keeps you focused and improves your odds of reaching the goals you’ve set.

The Audience for Business Plans [6]

Business plans may be internally or externally focused. Externally-focused plans draft goals that are important to outside stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders. These plans typically have detailed information about the organization or the team making effort to reach its goals. With for-profit entities, external stakeholders include investors and customers, for non-profits, external stakeholders refer to donors and clients, for government agencies, external stakeholders are the tax-payers, higher-level government agencies, and international lending bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, various economic agencies of the United Nations, and development banks. Internally-focused business plans target intermediate goals required to reach the external goals. They may cover the development of a new product, a new service, a new IT system, a restructuring of finance, the refurbishing of a factory or a restructuring of the organization. An internally-focused business plan is often developed in conjunction with a balanced scorecard or a list of critical success factors. This allows success of the plan to be measured using non-financial measures. Business plans that identify and target internal goals, but provide only general guidance on how they will be met are called strategic plans. Operational plans describe the goals of an internal organization, working group or department. Project plans, sometimes known as project frameworks, describe the goals of a particular project. They may also address the project's place within the organization's larger strategic goals.

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.

  • Startups: The classic business plan writer is an entrepreneur seeking funds to help start a new venture. Many, many great companies had their starts on paper, in the form of a plan that was used to convince investors to put up the capital necessary to get them under way. Most books on business planning seem to be aimed at these startup business owners. There's one good reason for that: As the least experienced of the potential plan writers, they're probably most appreciative of the guidance. However, it's a mistake to think that only cash-starved startups need business plans. Business owners find plans useful at all stages of their companies' existence, whether they're seeking financing or trying to figure out how to invest a surplus.
  • Established firms seeking help: Not all business plans are written by starry-eyed entrepreneurs. Many are written by and for companies that are long past the startup stage. WalkerGroup/Designs, for instance, was already well-established as a designer of stores for major retailers when founder Ken Walker got the idea of trademarking and licensing to apparel makers and others the symbols 01-01-00 as a sort of numeric shorthand for the approaching millennium. Before beginning the arduous and costly task of trademarking it worldwide, Walker used a business plan complete with sales forecasts to convince big retailers it would be a good idea to promise to carry the 01-01-00 goods. It helped make the new venture a winner long before the big day arrived. "As a result of the retail support up front," Walker says, "we had over 45 licensees running the gamut of product lines almost from the beginning." These middle-stage enterprises may draft plans to help them find funding for growth just as the startups do, although the amounts they seek may be larger and the investors more willing. They may feel the need for a written plan to help manage an already rapidly growing business. Or a plan may be seen as a valuable tool to be used to convey the mission and prospects of the business to customers, suppliers or others.

Common Business Plan Mistakes [8]

  • Not bothering to write one: This is far and away the most common error. Entrepreneurs are doers so it's natural that they want to get on with things and get them done – especially when they have an idea that they’re excited about buzzing around in their heads. But who hasn’t heard the adage "He who fails to plan plans to fail?" And that's the fate of almost every business someone starts without a business plan; failure. So yes, you need to write a business plan.
  • Not being clear about the purpose of your business plan: A business plan is essentially a solution to a problem, the problem being how you are going to turn your vision of a successful business into a reality. So why are you preparing a business plan? Is it to persuade a potential lender to give you a business loan? Attract investors? Figure out if your new business idea could actually be turned into a viable business? Serve as a blueprint for your successful startup? The purpose of your business plan will affect everything from the amount of research you have to go through what the form of the finished plan will look like. If all you want to do is find out if a business idea is a good one that might be worth working up a business plan about, use these five questions to tell if your business plan idea is worth it.
  • Not having a clear business model: A successful business has to make a profit. It's astonishing how many people who start small businesses don't seem to grasp this basic fact or are incredibly skilled at ignoring it. lanning to sell something is not a business model; a business model is a plan for generating revenue over and above your expenses. You can make the best mousetrap in the world, but if it costs you $90 to make each one and people are only willing to pay $10 for one, there’s no point to doing it as a business. By all means, if it provides you with personal satisfaction and you feel the cost is fair, do it. Otherwise, forget about it and move on to a business idea that does have profit potential. Professional and service businesses can be real dead-end traps if you don't have a clear business model set up.
  • Not doing enough research: Not doing enough research to do the job is another common business plan mistake. Your business plan is only going to be as good as the research you put into it. To answer the central question of "Will this work?" you have to find the answers to a whole cluster of other questions, from "What are the current trends in this industry?" to "How will this business counter what its competitors are doing?" And the more complete the answers to the questions, the better prepared you'll be to either start your new business or shelve the idea and move on. Every section of the business plan will need research except for the Executive Summary. Fortunately, a lot of the required research can be done online, but there’s no getting around the fact that writing a business plan is a lot of work.
  • Ignoring market realities: You and what you want to do are only one half of the equation of starting a successful business. The market is the other. You can have the best product or service in the entire world for sale but it doesn't matter if no one is willing to buy it. That is one bedrock, non-negotiable market reality. So it's crucial that you market test your product or service before you try to base a business on selling it. If you want to sell products, try selling them at local venues, such as farmers’ or flea markets and local trade shows, selling small batches online through eBay or Etsy, using focus groups to gauge interest, or giving out free samples and gathering people's feedback about them. If you want to sell services, surveys of potential interest or focus groups can work well. Do-It-Yourself Market Research explains how you can do your own market research, including tips for designing surveys and questionnaires. The competition is another market reality that has to be adequately dealt with in your business plan. It's not enough to just point out who they are; you need to examine what the competition is doing and explain specifically how you’re going to counter what they're doing to win market share. You have to make sure you take into account all the competition. Don't just think of those competitors operating exactly the same kind of businesses; think laterally, too, to be sure you identify all competitors. For instance, a prospective flower shop is not just competing against other flower shops in a particular area; it’s also competing with all the other local businesses that sell flowers, including grocery stores and big-box retailers and online flower sellers. That doesn't mean you have to list every potential competitor in your business plan and explain how you’re going to win the contest with them, but you do have to list and explain how you’re going to deal with the potential threat of each type of competition at least.
  • the income statement
  • the cash flow projection
  • the balance sheet

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.

  • The first is not being realistic about their expenses. People often leave out expenses entirely or underestimate the cost of particular expenses. Meticulous research will prevent this mistake.
  • The second is being overly optimistic about your new business's prospects. You're hoping your new business will do well. You wouldn't choose to start it otherwise, but you mustn't let your optimism lead you to create overly rosy cash flow projections.
  • Setting your business plan aside after you've written it: If you write a business plan, use it to get a loan and never look at it again, you're wasting most of its value. A business plan is just that; a plan for how your new business is going to succeed. Treat it as your new business's first planning document and as you move through the startup period and beyond, edit and add to it as necessary. A pair of good first additions to your business plan is the Vision Statement and the Mission Statement ; creating these will solidify your goals and make sure you don't get sidetracked. Your original business plan will also be a useful reference document when you’re doing the ongoing business planning running a successful business requires. For instance, see Quick-Start Planning for Small Businesses for instructions on how to create an action plan for your small business.
  • Not Every Business Plan is Worth Finishing: When you're writing a business plan, the answer to the central question, "Will this work?" is not always positive. And that's fine. It means the business plan is doing its job of showing you whether or not a business idea is worth doing and saving you potentially huge amounts of money and time. Usually, this discovery occurs during the course of working through a business plan, not at the end. And that's the time to quit developing that particular plan. If you discover, for instance, that the market for your proposed product is saturated while you're working on the Competitive Analysis section of the business plan, there's no point in carrying on and going to the trouble of preparing financials – your time is much better spent coming up with another business idea that may be more workable. Perseverance and determination are great traits for entrepreneurs to possess – until they turn into foolish persistence and keep you from accomplishing what you could be accomplishing. That can be the worst business plan mistake of all.

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.

  • See the Whole Business: Business planning done right connects the dots in your business so you get a better picture of the whole. Strategy is supposed to relate to tactics with strategic alignment. Does that show up in your plan? Do your sales connect to your sales and marketing expenses? Are your products right for your target market? Are you covering costs including long-term fixed costs, product development, and working capital needs as well? Take a step back and look at the larger picture.
  • Strategic Focus: Startups and small business need to focus on their special identities, their target markets, and their products or services tailored to match.
  • Set Priorities: You can’t do everything. Business planning helps you keep track of the right things, and the most important things. Allocate your time, effort, and resources strategically.
  • Manage Change: With good planning process you regularly review assumptions, track progress, and catch new developments so you can adjust. Plan vs. actual analysis is a dashboard, and adjusting the plan is steering.
  • Develop Accountability: Good planning process sets expectations and tracks results. It’s a tool for regular review of what’s expected and what happened. Good work shows up. Disappointments show up too. A well-run monthly plan review with plan vs. actual included becomes an impromptu review of tasks and accomplishments.
  • Manage Cash: Good business planning connects the dots in cash flow. Sometimes just watching profits is enough. But when sales on account, physical products, purchasing assets, or repaying debts are involved, cash flow takes planning and management. Profitable businesses suffer when slow-paying clients or too much inventory constipate cash flow. A plan helps you see the problem and adjust to it.
  • Strategic Alignment : Does your day-to-day work fit with your main business tactics? Do those tactics match your strategy? If so, you have strategic alignment. If not, the business planning will bring up the hidden mismatches. For example, if you run a gourmet restaurant that has a drive-through window, you’re out of alignment.
  • Milestones: Good business planning sets milestones you can work towards. These are key goals you want to achieve, like reaching a defined sales level, hiring that sales manager, or opening the new location. We’re human. We work better when we have visible goals we can work towards.
  • Metrics: Put your performance indicators and numbers to track into a business plan where you can see them monthly in the plan review meeting. Figure out the numbers that matter. Sales and expenses usually do, but there are also calls, trips, seminars, web traffic, conversion rates, returns, and so forth. Use your business planning to define and track the key metrics.
  • Realistic Regular Reminders to Keep onTtrack: We all want to do everything for our customers, but sometimes we need to push back to maintain quality and strategic focus. It’s hard, during the heat of the everyday routine, to remember the priorities and focus. The business planning process becomes a regular reminder.
  • IT Strategic Plan
  • ↑ Definition - What Does Business Plan Mean? Investopedia
  • ↑ Four Key Elements of A Business Plan Toptal
  • ↑ Overview of Three Common Types of Business Plans
  • ↑ What are the 10 components of a business plan? SmartAsset
  • ↑ Why do you need a business plan? GrowThink
  • ↑ The Audience for Business Plans Wikipedia
  • ↑ Who Needs a Business Plan? Entrepreneur
  • ↑ The Most Common Business Plan Mistakes the balance
  • ↑ Business Plan Vs. Strategic Plan Social Impact Architects
  • ↑ What are the Benefits of a Good Business Plan? Tim Berry

Further Reading

  • How To Build A Billion Dollar Business Plan: 10 Top Points Alan Hall
  • The Undeniable Importance of a Business Plan SEAN HEBERLING, CFA
  • 10 Benefits of Business Planning for all Businesses Evanston Chamber of Commerce
  • If You Can Write a Grant, You CAN Write a Business Plan Suzanne Smith
  • Search Search Please fill out this field.

What Is a Business Plan?

Understanding business plans, how to write a business plan, common elements of a business plan, how often should a business plan be updated, the bottom line, 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.

business plan definizione wikipedia

A business plan is a document that details a company's goals and how it intends to achieve them. Business plans can be of benefit to both startups and well-established companies. For startups, a business plan can be essential for winning over potential lenders and investors. Established businesses can find one useful for staying on track and not losing sight of their goals. This article explains what an effective business plan needs to include and how to write one.

Key Takeaways

  • A business plan is a document describing a company's business activities and how it plans to achieve its goals.
  • Startup companies use business plans to get off the ground and attract outside investors.
  • For established companies, a business plan can help keep the executive team focused on and working toward the company's short- and long-term objectives.
  • There is no single format that a business plan must follow, but there are certain key elements that most companies will want to include.

Investopedia / Ryan Oakley

Any new business should have a business plan in place prior to beginning operations. In fact, banks and venture capital firms often want to see a business plan before they'll consider making a loan or providing capital to new businesses.

Even if a business isn't looking to raise additional money, a business plan can help it focus on its goals. A 2017 Harvard Business Review article reported that, "Entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical nonplanning entrepreneurs."

Ideally, a business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically to reflect any goals that have been achieved or that may have changed. An established business that has decided to move in a new direction might create an entirely new business plan for itself.

There are numerous benefits to creating (and sticking to) a well-conceived business plan. These include being able to think through ideas before investing too much money in them and highlighting any potential obstacles to success. A company might also share its business plan with trusted outsiders to get their objective feedback. In addition, a business plan can help keep a company's executive team on the same page about strategic action items and priorities.

Business plans, even among competitors in the same industry, are rarely identical. However, they often have some of the same basic elements, as we describe below.

While it's a good idea to provide as much detail as necessary, it's also important that a business plan be concise enough to hold a reader's attention to the end.

While there are any number of templates that you can use to write a business plan, it's best to try to avoid producing a generic-looking one. Let your plan reflect the unique personality of your business.

Many business plans use some combination of the sections below, with varying levels of detail, depending on the company.

The length of a business plan can vary greatly from business to business. Regardless, it's best to fit the basic information into a 15- to 25-page document. Other crucial elements that take up a lot of space—such as applications for patents—can be referenced in the main document and attached as appendices.

These are some of the most common elements in many business plans:

  • Executive summary: This section introduces the company and includes its mission statement along with relevant information about the company's leadership, employees, operations, and locations.
  • Products and services: Here, the company should describe the products and services it offers or plans to introduce. That might include details on pricing, product lifespan, and unique benefits to the consumer. Other factors that could go into this section include production and manufacturing processes, any relevant patents the company may have, as well as proprietary technology . Information about research and development (R&D) can also be included here.
  • Market analysis: A company needs to have a good handle on the current state of its industry and the existing competition. This section should explain where the company fits in, what types of customers it plans to target, and how easy or difficult it may be to take market share from incumbents.
  • Marketing strategy: This section can describe how the company plans to attract and keep customers, including any anticipated advertising and marketing campaigns. It should also describe the distribution channel or channels it will use to get its products or services to consumers.
  • Financial plans and projections: Established businesses can include financial statements, balance sheets, and other relevant financial information. New businesses can provide financial targets and estimates for the first few years. Your plan might also include any funding requests you're making.

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

2 Types of Business Plans

Business plans can take many forms, but they are sometimes divided into two basic categories: traditional and lean startup. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , the traditional business plan is the more common of the two.

  • Traditional business plans : These plans tend to be much longer than lean startup plans and contain considerably more detail. As a result they require more work on the part of the business, but they can also be more persuasive (and reassuring) to potential investors.
  • Lean startup business plans : These use an abbreviated structure that highlights key elements. These business plans are short—as short as one page—and provide only the most basic detail. If a company wants to use this kind of plan, it should be prepared to provide more detail if an investor or a lender requests it.

Why Do Business Plans Fail?

A business plan is not a surefire recipe for success. The plan may have been unrealistic in its assumptions and projections to begin with. Markets and the overall economy might change in ways that couldn't have been foreseen. A competitor might introduce a revolutionary new product or service. All of this calls for building some flexibility into your plan, so you can pivot to a new course if needed.

How frequently a business plan needs to be revised will depend on the nature of the business. A well-established business might want to review its plan once a year and make changes if necessary. A new or fast-growing business in a fiercely competitive market might want to revise it more often, such as quarterly.

What Does a Lean Startup Business Plan Include?

The lean startup business plan is an option when a company prefers to give a quick explanation of its business. For example, a brand-new company may feel that it doesn't have a lot of information to provide yet.

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

A business plan can be useful to companies of all kinds. But as a company grows and the world around it changes, so too should its business plan. So don't think of your business plan as carved in granite but as a living document designed to evolve with your business.

Harvard Business Review. " Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed ."

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write Your Business Plan ."

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Business Plan vs Business Model 

business plan vs business model

  • Dott.ssa Francesca Rizzi
  • Ottobre 23, 2022
  • Digital & Marketing , Management

Se si digita su Google la parola Startup, tra i primi risultati escono due parole: business plan, che, secondo Wikipedia, significa “una rappresentazione degli obiettivi e del modello di business di un’attività d’impresa. È utilizzato sia per la gestione aziendale sia per la comunicazione verso potenziali finanziatori.”  Poiché le startup, per loro stessa natura, si basano sull’afflusso di capitali da parte di finanziatori, sembrerebbe che il business plan sia uno strumento indispensabile per lo startupper.

Ma è davvero così? Secondo Giulio Ardenghi, host del blog, la definizione di business plan in ambito startup cambia e diventa: “il business plan “simula” il finanziamento reale della vostra impresa, cercando di prevedere cosa accadrà quando l’impresa sarà effettivamente realizzata”.

Simula, appunto. Ma nella realtà? 

Nella realtà il business plan spesso non sopravvive al primo contatto con gli attori del mondo esterno alla startup: si tratti di consumatori, canali di vendita, fornitori, investitori. La ragione è legata al fatto che il business plan è quinquennale e un arco temporale così lungo per fare previsioni, nel campo delle startup, è impensabile. 

Di fatti, su un mercato in continua evoluzione, credere che un piano di così lungo respiro possa rivelarsi fondato è pura fantascienza. Quello che si potrebbe fare, in caso, è testarlo e aggiornarlo di continuo. Per evitare di fare ciò, quello che è successo è che tutte le startup sono passate dal Business plan al Business model, la cui essenza è: definire il modo attraverso il quale l’impresa veicola valore ai consumatori, convince i clienti a pagare per il valore acquisito, e converte quei pagamenti in profitto. 

Mentre il business plan serve per ottenere soldi dagli investitori, il business Model si concentra sul come averli dal cliente finale; è quindi orientato su quello che vuole il cliente e sulla struttura e il percorso produttivo che l’azienda deve adottare per essere in grado di darglielo. Un luminare in questo campo è Alexandre Osterwalder, giornalista economico nonché fondatore del Business Model Canvas: uno strumento strategico concepito per descrivere la logica con la quale un’organizzazione crea, distribuisce e cattura valore. 

All’atto pratico, il CANVAS si configura come un gigantesco foglio di planning. Una volta stampato e appeso al muro, ci si attaccano post-it, facilmente ricollocabili in base alle necessità operative. Nel suo approccio originario, le fasi del CANVAS sono 5: 

  • MOBILITAZIONE: la fase in cui la startup predispone il team e gli strumenti necessari;
  • COMPRENSIONE: Si individuano e analizzano gli elementi che saranno necessari alla progettazione, quali esigenze dei clienti, trend del mercato, pareri degli esperti, ecc;
  • PROGETTAZIONE: si generano e testano, mettendoli a confronto, diversi prototipi o modelli di business, fino a selezionare il più valido;
  • IMPLEMENTAZIONE: è la fase in cui si entra concretamente nel mercato; il prototipo o modello di business non è più posto a confronto con gli altri modelli teorici, bensì con le concrete reazioni del nostro target;
  • GESTIONE: si lavora per adattare il prototipo alla concreta domanda del mercato, in base alle risposte ricevute nel corso della fase precedente.

Detto questo, è evidente che il business Model debba precedere il business plan. 

È attraverso il primo che si stabilisce cosa fare, come farlo e per quale target di clientela. E solo in seguito che sarà possibile teorizzare, su basi concrete, tempi e capitali necessari a portare a compimento gli obiettivi fissati. In altre parole, compilare il business plan prima del business Model sarebbe come uscire a fare la spesa per una cena che stiamo organizzando senza aver guardato prima cosa abbiamo nel frigo o senza sapere chi invitare. Se non sappiamo chi dovremmo cucinare, quello di stabilire un budget operativo diviene un esercizio di pura retorica; mentre sul mercato delle startup, occorre essere ferocemente concreti e non sprecare energie o risorse inutilmente. Bisogna decidere chi, stabilire cosa e quando, progettare come.

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Cos’è il Business Model e i 12 tipi più diffusi

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Cos’è il Business Model e i 12 tipi più diffusi

Il Business Model è il metodo con cui una startup o azienda pianifica di generare entrate , banalmente come rende disponibile il prodotto o servizio che produce. L’obiettivo è quello di stabilire un modello di business sostenibile , ovvero che ai costi corrispondono delle entrate maggiori.

Esistono numerosi modelli di business e in questo articolo imparerai:

  • quanto sia importante definirne uno;
  • come scegliere il modello di business adatto alla tua startup;
  • a conoscere tutti i tipi di business model a tua disposizione.

Iniziamo subito!

Indice dei contenuti

Cos’è un Business Model

Un business model è il metodo con cui decidi di supportare la redditività della tua startup , fornendo indicazioni su come operi, come guadagni e come intendi raggiungere i tuoi obiettivi generando valore per i clienti.

Tutti i processi e le politiche aziendali che una startup adotta e segue fanno parte del modello di business.

Per stabilire un modello valido bisognerebbe conoscere chi è il tuo cliente , quale valore puoi generare, come vuoi estrarre questo valore e come puoi farlo mantenendo i costi ragionevoli .

Pertanto, un business model è una descrizione di come la tua startup crea, consegna e acquisisce valore per sé e per il cliente.

Un modello di business è composto da tre parti:

  • tutto ciò che riguarda la progettazione e produzione del tuo prodotto;
  • tutto ciò che riguarda la vendita del prodotto, dalla ricerca dei clienti giusti alla distribuzione;
  • tutto ciò che riguarda il modo in cui il cliente pagherà e il modo in cui tu guadagnerai.

L’importanza di un business model

Business model

Il Business Model funge da modello della tua startup e definisce una tabella di marcia per il suo successo (o fallimento, abbiamo scritto un articolo proprio per ridurre il rischio di fallimento di una startup ) in quanto spiega come crea e acquisisce valore attraverso le decisioni e i processi di cui è composta.

In precedenza, quando i competitor sul mercato non erano molti, gli imprenditori erano soliti avviare un’attività e il suo modello si evolveva da solo nel tempo.

Tuttavia, con l’aumentare del numero di attori sul mercato, lo sviluppo di un modello di business è diventato una necessità per decidere in che modo operare, connettersi con i clienti e differenziarsi sul mercato.

Vale a dire, il business model fornisce la motivazione per i clienti di scegliere la tua offerta rispetto alle altre disponibili. Facebook è diventato così popolare perché ha aiutato il mondo a connettersi e chattare ( modello operativo ) senza chiedere nemmeno un centesimo in cambio ( modello di entrate ).

Come scegliere il giusto business model per la tua startup

come scegliere il business model

Prima di poter aprire una startup ci sono diverse domande che devi porti proprio per definire il giusto business model che deciderai di implementare.

Le risposte ti daranno un migliore senso dell’orientamento e ti aiuteranno a determinare l’approccio giusto.

Ecco quindi gli aspetti cruciali che devi prendere in considerazione mentre decidi il tuo modello di business.

Il tuo target di mercato

Prima di proseguire alla scelta del business model, devi verificare se la tua idea ha effettivamente un potenziale mercato .

Cerca il tuo mercato di riferimento per ottenere una portata dei tuoi possibili clienti tramite il TAM SAM e SOM e assicurati che ci sia un’esigenza che il tuo prodotto o servizio può soddisfare misurando il Product Market Fit .

Se troppe poche persone sono interessate a ciò che hai da offrire, o le persone non vogliono ciò che stai offrendo, è meglio tornare sui propri passi e fare qualche modifica.

La concorrenza

Quando vuoi stabilire un business model per entrare in un mercato specifico, è di vitale importanza capire con chi dovrai confrontarti, ovvero i tuoi futuri competitor .

Controlla, tramite l’ analisi dei competitor , quante persone stanno già facendo quello che vuoi fare e quanto successo stanno avendo. Quindi pensa a:

  • cosa puoi fare di meglio?
  • come puoi aggiungere più valore?
  • cosa farà risaltare la tua startup?
  • quale business model stanno utilizzando i competitor?

Avere un pò di concorrenza è in realtà una buona notizia . Dimostra che la tua idea ha valore e che c’è davvero una domanda per il tipo di prodotto che stai pianificando di creare e potrebbe anche fornirti qualche spunto su come implementare il tuo business model, offrendone un nuovo tipo o ispirandoti a quello di successo della concorrenza.

Tuttavia, è meglio evitare mercati saturi , in quanto può essere estremamente difficile e piuttosto costoso combattere per ogni singolo cliente.

I potenziali clienti

Anche se non sei ancora in pieno regime e non puoi fare affidamento sui dati, per stabilire il giusto business model devi cercare di creare un’immagine del tuo cliente tipo .

Pensa a chi esattamente che vuoi servire, ai loro dati demografici, gli interessi, i problemi principali che devono affrontare e i loro obiettivi. In questo può esserti d’aiuto la fase e il processo di customer discovery .

Una volta che hai un’immagine più chiara di chi sono i tuoi potenziali clienti, è molto più facile capire come affrontare al meglio il tuo mercato di riferimento e con quale business model farlo.

La creazione di un avatar del cliente ti aiuterà anche a definire la tua brand strategy e scegliere i giusti canali e le strategie di marketing , nonché il tono di voce che utilizzerai quando cercherai di comunicare il tuo messaggio.

Flussi di entrate

L’idea innovativa che ti ha fatto decidere di avviare la tua startup sarà la tua principale fonte di entrate.

Tuttavia, per decidere quale business model usare dovresti anche considerare quali altre possibilità ci sono per aumentare le entrate. Ad esempio, potresti includere altri prodotti che puoi offrire come upsell e cross-sell . O forse puoi aggiungere prodotti di affiliazione alle tue offerte e generare entrate aggiuntive attraverso le commissioni.

Insomma per definire il tuo modello di business non concentrarti solo sulla vendita di un prodotto o servizio, esplora tutte le diverse opzioni e prova a guadagnare denaro da più flussi.

Ricorda inoltre che non è necessario decidere tutto subito, puoi anche valutare di cambiare una volta che sei sul mercato, facendo ciò che in gergo viene chiamato Pivot .

Cosa sei in grado di offrire al mercato?

Un’altra domanda a cui devi rispondere quando scegli il tuo business model è la seguente: “quanto valore ottiene un potenziale cliente adottando la tua soluzione?” Pensa in termini di impatto che avrà sulla loro vita.

Li aiuta finalmente a risolvere un problema con cui hanno lottato per anni? Consentirà loro di avvicinarsi maggiormente al raggiungimento di uno obiettivo? Se ti concentri solo su quale business model sarà più redditizio per te trascurando il cliente , non andrai molto lontano.

I clienti sono la linfa vitale di ogni startup e i loro desideri e bisogni devono essere al centro di ogni tua attività. Comprendere i desideri dei tuoi clienti ti aiuterà a determinare il modo migliore per affrontare la vendita e quale prezzo saranno disposti a pagare.

Si tratta semplicemente di capire quanto costa un problema specifico al tuo pubblico e quanto sono disposti a pagare per trovare una soluzione.

Punta sempre a dare un valore maggiore al prezzo che stai chiedendo. Se i clienti si sentono come se stessero ottenendo un sacco di valore rispetto al loro investimento, la tua attività prospererà rapidamente e il tuo business model sarà di successo.

12 tipologie di business model

tipi di business model

Abbiamo capito quando definire un business model efficace e corretto sia essenziale per chiunque abbia voglia di fare startup. Ma quali sono i tipi di business model?

Ecco i 12 tipi di business model più diffusi :


Marketplace, software as a service (saas): modello basato sulle iscrizioni, pay as you go, noleggio o leasing, franchising, affiliazione, modello basato sulle inserzioni.

Vediamoli nel dettaglio.

Quando la maggior parte delle persone pensa a un “business”, immagina un’azienda che vende prodotti o servizi. Questo significa che il business model da loro scelto è quello transazionale.

Il business model transazionale consiste nel classica vendita di un servizio o prodotto in un negozio oppure su un e-commerce. Banalmente in questo casi i ricavi derivano dalle transazioni che avvengono tramite l’acquisto di ciò che tu vendi.

Questo modello è in realtà abbastanza ampio e può comprendere uno o più altri modelli di business. Il vantaggio principale è la flessibilità , o meglio, la mancanza di restrizioni. Puoi creare qualsiasi prodotto tu abbia voglia e decidere come promuoverlo.

Lo svantaggio principale di questo modello è il tempo, i soldi e l’energia necessari per far funzionare questo modello di business a pieno regime. La creazione del prodotto è un processo impegnativo , come lo è anche la costruzione di un marchio e la creazione di una strategia di marketing efficace.

Tuttavia, se eseguito correttamente, questo modello di business ha un enorme potenziale e può generare un sostanziale ritorno sull’investimento.

Questo business model è tipico nei negozi fisici e negli e-commerce .

Un modello di business basato sul marketplace consiste nell’ottenere ricavi tramite la intermediazione tra due parti. Si tratta di fare l’intermediario tra un utente e un’altro utente, o tra un’azienda e un’altra azienda, trattenendo una percentuale di ricavi per ogni transazione.

Devi offrire la possibilità di vendere sul tuo marketplace a numerosi venditori che poi competono tra loro per fornire il loro prodotto o servizio a prezzi competitivi.

Se decidi di applicare un business model come quello del marketplace devi costruire il tuo marchio su fattori come fiducia, trasparenza e qualità.

Il classico esempio lo sono eBay e Amazon Marketplace, ma anche Airbnb o Uber.

Il business model basato sulle iscrizione viene generalmente utilizzato da startup di software o basate su app . Per questo motivo si chiama anche Software as a Service (software come servizio).

Anziché offrire il tuo proprio prodotto come un acquisto unico, puoi utilizzare questo modello per ricevere pagamenti mensili .

Il vantaggio principale di questo modello è l’acquisizione e la fidelizzazione dei clienti che rispetto ad altri modelli di business è più semplice.

Invece di richiedere un sostanziale investimento iniziale, questo modello facilita la decisione di acquisto con un costo iniziale relativamente basso. La maggior parte delle persone accetta più facilmente di pagare 5€ al mese rispetto a 50€ subito.

Per quanto riguarda invece la fidelizzazione dei clienti, se questi apprezzano il servizio che stai fornendo, non avrai bisogno di fare altro per convincerli a rinnovare l’abbonamento.

Un possibile svantaggio di questo modello è la necessità di fornire un prodotto o un servizio di qualità che offra ai clienti esattamente ciò di cui hanno bisogno ed è inoltre necessario che ci sia una vasta base di clienti per generare costantemente entrate.

Un esempio di questo modello di business è Netflix.

Il business model Freemium consiste nell’offrire un prodotto gratuito , rendendo altre funzionalità aggiuntive esclusive per gli utenti premium (per coloro che pagano insomma).

E’ importante offrire un prodotto principale che sia gratuito ma che abbia anche funzionalità limitate , solo passando alla versione premium si sbloccano gli altri vantaggi .

Ad esempio, Vimeo ti consente di caricare video sulla loro piattaforma gratuitamente ma limita la quantità di dati che puoi caricare settimanalmente. Forniscono anche 4 diversi piani a pagamento che aumentano significativamente questi limiti e aggiunge funzionalità al servizio.

Il fascino di questo modello di business è che i clienti possono vedere e sperimentare il servizio gratuitamente , senza alcun rischio. Quindi, molte più persone saranno propense a scoprire cosa hai da offrire.

Devi però essere estremamente persuasivo . Convincili che i vantaggi di passare a un utente premium sono enormi e ne vale la pena. Devi trovare l’equilibrio perfetto tra ciò che fornirai gratuitamente e ciò che renderai disponibile solo ai clienti paganti.

Un esempio di questo modello di business è Spotify.

Il business model “Pay As You Go” consiste nel far pagare al cliente il servizio in base all’utilizzo che ne fa. Maggiore e più prolungato è l’uso, maggiore sarà anche il prezzo.

Il vantaggio di questo modello di business è la possibilità di far pagare al cliente solo quello che usa, personalizzando l’offerta e dandogli modo di usare il prodotto come e quando vuole in base alle sue esigenze e possibilità.

L’altro lato della medaglia di questo business model è che se il consumo aumenta troppo, di conseguenza aumentano anche i costi e questo potrebbe essere un deterrente per un uso prolungato. Insomma, il cliente decide di non usare il prodotto per non aumentare il pagamento.

Questo metodo è usato per esempio da Amazon per i suoi servizi Cloud “Web Services” oppure dai servizi di Car Sharing dove si paga in base all’utilizzo del mezzo di trasporto.

Il business model di leasing è basato sul noleggio di prodotti o servizi molto costosi ottenendo ricavi sugli interessi con margini elevati.

Questo modello di business è adatto a quelle startup che offrono beni che non tutti possono permettersi in quanto troppo costosi .

GoCar in Malesia per esempio usa questo business model.

Un franchising è un business model in cui si da’ la possibilità ad una terza parte di usare il tuo marchio  e il modello di vendita. In questo modello di business esiste una relazione legale e commerciale tra tu che sei il proprietario della marchio e l’individuo che decide di usarlo (l’affiliato). In altre parole, l’affiliato è autorizzato a utilizzare il nome commerciale e i sistemi operativi rispettando il modello imposto.

In cambio dei diritti di utilizzo del modello – per vendere il prodotto o il servizio e ricevere formazione, supporto e istruzioni operative – l’affiliato paga una franchigia (nota come royalty). L’affiliato deve anche firmare un contratto (accordo di franchising) che accetta di operare in conformità con i termini specificati nel contratto.

Un franchising agisce essenzialmente come una singola filiale della startup.

Per esempio MiScusi e McDonalds usano questo modello di business.

Il business model del broker sfrutta la distanza fisica tra i venditori e i loro clienti. Si basa sul fornire una piattaforma in cui acquirenti e venditori possono entrare in contatto, facilitando le loro interazioni. La società gestisce le loro transazioni e garantisce la sicurezza .

Le entrate in questo modello di business sono generate applicando piccole commissioni alle transazioni.

L’esempio più noto è PayPal che consente a due parti di trasferire definire in modo sicuro, ovunque si trovino nel mondo.

La creazione di una community può essere anch’essa un business model. Magari non l’unico ma sicuramente non trascurabile.

Creando un community generi prima di tutto un senso di appartenenza all’interno della stessa e fiducia e valore a chi guarda da fuori.

In questo business model il guadagno deriva da un abbonamento o da un pagamento una tantum che l’interessato deve pagare per entrare nel gruppo.

Un altro popolare modello di business sul Web è il modello dell’affiliazione. Funziona promuovendo collegamenti a prodotti pertinenti, riscuotendo commissioni sulle vendite e può persino lavorare in combinazione con annunci o separatamente.

Uno dei vantaggi più evidenti di questo business model è che generalmente genera più ricavi rispetto ai modelli basati sulla pubblicità. D’altro canto se decidi di usare questo modello per la tua startup, ricorda che la quantità di denaro che guadagni è limitata alla grandezza del tuo settore, ai tipi di prodotti che vendi e al tuo pubblico.

Il modello di business basato sulle inserzioni pone le sue fondamenta sull’idea di fornire un prodotto o un servizio gratuito e fare affidamento solo sulle entrate pubblicitarie .

Sebbene in alcuni casi è estremamente efficace, per avere successo e iniziare a guadagnare abbastanza con questo modello di business, devi avere una vasta base di clienti o pubblico .

In sostanza, i profitti in questo modello provengono da inserzioni pubblicitarie fornite da altre aziende o marchi. Questo può avvenire sotto forma di clic o visualizzazioni fornite o inserendo i loro annunci sul tuo sito Web.

La linea di fondo qui è: più persone riesci a raggiungere, maggiori saranno i tuoi profitti. Un chiaro esempio è YouTube che gran parte dei suoi ricavi li ottiene mostrando gli spot prima del video, mantenendo così un servizio gratuito .

Il business model basato sulle donazioni prevede che gli utenti contribuiscano al valore fornito e che siano loro a decidere quanto il tuo servizio valga .

Questo modello di business viene spesso combinato con altri modelli di business e di entrate per creare una soluzione definitiva per l’utente e un giusto guadagno per la tua startup.

Per esempio Wikipedia ha un modello di business basato sulle donazioni.

Con questo esempio abbiamo finito la nostra lista.

Ricordati che la scelta del giusto modello di business è un processo e deve essere fatto con la giusta attenzione .

Adesso però hai gli strumenti per prendere questa decisione.

Se vuoi scoprire come scegliere il modello di business migliore per la tua azienda, ti consigliamo le nostre nuove risorse formative.

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What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

AJ Beltis

Published: June 07, 2023

In an era where more than 20% of small enterprises fail in their first year, having a clear, defined, and well-thought-out business plan is a crucial first step for setting up a business for long-term success.

Business plan graphic with business owner, lightbulb, and pens to symbolize coming up with ideas and writing a business plan.

Business plans are a required tool for all entrepreneurs, business owners, business acquirers, and even business school students. But … what exactly is a business plan?


In this post, we'll explain what a business plan is, the reasons why you'd need one, identify different types of business plans, and what you should include in yours.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a documented strategy for a business that highlights its goals and its plans for achieving them. It outlines a company's go-to-market plan, financial projections, market research, business purpose, and mission statement. Key staff who are responsible for achieving the goals may also be included in the business plan along with a timeline.

The business plan is an undeniably critical component to getting any company off the ground. It's key to securing financing, documenting your business model, outlining your financial projections, and turning that nugget of a business idea into a reality.

What is a business plan used for?

The purpose of a business plan is three-fold: It summarizes the organization’s strategy in order to execute it long term, secures financing from investors, and helps forecast future business demands.

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Working on your business plan? Try using our Business Plan Template . Pre-filled with the sections a great business plan needs, the template will give aspiring entrepreneurs a feel for what a business plan is, what should be in it, and how it can be used to establish and grow a business from the ground up.

Purposes of a Business Plan

Chances are, someone drafting a business plan will be doing so for one or more of the following reasons:

1. Securing financing from investors.

Since its contents revolve around how businesses succeed, break even, and turn a profit, a business plan is used as a tool for sourcing capital. This document is an entrepreneur's way of showing potential investors or lenders how their capital will be put to work and how it will help the business thrive.

All banks, investors, and venture capital firms will want to see a business plan before handing over their money, and investors typically expect a 10% ROI or more from the capital they invest in a business.

Therefore, these investors need to know if — and when — they'll be making their money back (and then some). Additionally, they'll want to read about the process and strategy for how the business will reach those financial goals, which is where the context provided by sales, marketing, and operations plans come into play.

2. Documenting a company's strategy and goals.

A business plan should leave no stone unturned.

Business plans can span dozens or even hundreds of pages, affording their drafters the opportunity to explain what a business' goals are and how the business will achieve them.

To show potential investors that they've addressed every question and thought through every possible scenario, entrepreneurs should thoroughly explain their marketing, sales, and operations strategies — from acquiring a physical location for the business to explaining a tactical approach for marketing penetration.

These explanations should ultimately lead to a business' break-even point supported by a sales forecast and financial projections, with the business plan writer being able to speak to the why behind anything outlined in the plan.

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Fill out the form to access your free business plan., 3. legitimizing a business idea..

Everyone's got a great idea for a company — until they put pen to paper and realize that it's not exactly feasible.

A business plan is an aspiring entrepreneur's way to prove that a business idea is actually worth pursuing.

As entrepreneurs document their go-to-market process, capital needs, and expected return on investment, entrepreneurs likely come across a few hiccups that will make them second guess their strategies and metrics — and that's exactly what the business plan is for.

It ensures an entrepreneur's ducks are in a row before bringing their business idea to the world and reassures the readers that whoever wrote the plan is serious about the idea, having put hours into thinking of the business idea, fleshing out growth tactics, and calculating financial projections.

4. Getting an A in your business class.

Speaking from personal experience, there's a chance you're here to get business plan ideas for your Business 101 class project.

If that's the case, might we suggest checking out this post on How to Write a Business Plan — providing a section-by-section guide on creating your plan?

What does a business plan need to include?

  • Business Plan Subtitle
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • The Business Opportunity
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Target Market
  • Marketing Plan
  • Financial Summary
  • Funding Requirements

1. Business Plan Subtitle

Every great business plan starts with a captivating title and subtitle. You’ll want to make it clear that the document is, in fact, a business plan, but the subtitle can help tell the story of your business in just a short sentence.

2. Executive Summary

Although this is the last part of the business plan that you’ll write, it’s the first section (and maybe the only section) that stakeholders will read. The executive summary of a business plan sets the stage for the rest of the document. It includes your company’s mission or vision statement, value proposition, and long-term goals.

3. Company Description

This brief part of your business plan will detail your business name, years in operation, key offerings, and positioning statement. You might even add core values or a short history of the company. The company description’s role in a business plan is to introduce your business to the reader in a compelling and concise way.

4. The Business Opportunity

The business opportunity should convince investors that your organization meets the needs of the market in a way that no other company can. This section explains the specific problem your business solves within the marketplace and how it solves them. It will include your value proposition as well as some high-level information about your target market.


5. Competitive Analysis

Just about every industry has more than one player in the market. Even if your business owns the majority of the market share in your industry or your business concept is the first of its kind, you still have competition. In the competitive analysis section, you’ll take an objective look at the industry landscape to determine where your business fits. A SWOT analysis is an organized way to format this section.

6. Target Market

Who are the core customers of your business and why? The target market portion of your business plan outlines this in detail. The target market should explain the demographics, psychographics, behavioristics, and geographics of the ideal customer.

7. Marketing Plan

Marketing is expansive, and it’ll be tempting to cover every type of marketing possible, but a brief overview of how you’ll market your unique value proposition to your target audience, followed by a tactical plan will suffice.

Think broadly and narrow down from there: Will you focus on a slow-and-steady play where you make an upfront investment in organic customer acquisition? Or will you generate lots of quick customers using a pay-to-play advertising strategy? This kind of information should guide the marketing plan section of your business plan.

8. Financial Summary

Money doesn’t grow on trees and even the most digital, sustainable businesses have expenses. Outlining a financial summary of where your business is currently and where you’d like it to be in the future will substantiate this section. Consider including any monetary information that will give potential investors a glimpse into the financial health of your business. Assets, liabilities, expenses, debt, investments, revenue, and more are all useful adds here.

So, you’ve outlined some great goals, the business opportunity is valid, and the industry is ready for what you have to offer. Who’s responsible for turning all this high-level talk into results? The "team" section of your business plan answers that question by providing an overview of the roles responsible for each goal. Don’t worry if you don’t have every team member on board yet, knowing what roles to hire for is helpful as you seek funding from investors.

10. Funding Requirements

Remember that one of the goals of a business plan is to secure funding from investors, so you’ll need to include funding requirements you’d like them to fulfill. The amount your business needs, for what reasons, and for how long will meet the requirement for this section.

Types of Business Plans

  • Startup Business Plan
  • Feasibility Business Plan
  • Internal Business Plan
  • Strategic Business Plan
  • Business Acquisition Plan
  • Business Repositioning Plan
  • Expansion or Growth Business Plan

There’s no one size fits all business plan as there are several types of businesses in the market today. From startups with just one founder to historic household names that need to stay competitive, every type of business needs a business plan that’s tailored to its needs. Below are a few of the most common types of business plans.

For even more examples, check out these sample business plans to help you write your own .

1. Startup Business Plan


As one of the most common types of business plans, a startup business plan is for new business ideas. This plan lays the foundation for the eventual success of a business.

The biggest challenge with the startup business plan is that it’s written completely from scratch. Startup business plans often reference existing industry data. They also explain unique business strategies and go-to-market plans.

Because startup business plans expand on an original idea, the contents will vary by the top priority goals.

For example, say a startup is looking for funding. If capital is a priority, this business plan might focus more on financial projections than marketing or company culture.

2. Feasibility Business Plan


This type of business plan focuses on a single essential aspect of the business — the product or service. It may be part of a startup business plan or a standalone plan for an existing organization. This comprehensive plan may include:

  • A detailed product description
  • Market analysis
  • Technology needs
  • Production needs
  • Financial sources
  • Production operations

According to CBInsights research, 35% of startups fail because of a lack of market need. Another 10% fail because of mistimed products.

Some businesses will complete a feasibility study to explore ideas and narrow product plans to the best choice. They conduct these studies before completing the feasibility business plan. Then the feasibility plan centers on that one product or service.

3. Internal Business Plan


Internal business plans help leaders communicate company goals, strategy, and performance. This helps the business align and work toward objectives more effectively.

Besides the typical elements in a startup business plan, an internal business plan may also include:

  • Department-specific budgets
  • Target demographic analysis
  • Market size and share of voice analysis
  • Action plans
  • Sustainability plans

Most external-facing business plans focus on raising capital and support for a business. But an internal business plan helps keep the business mission consistent in the face of change.

4. Strategic Business Plan


Strategic business plans focus on long-term objectives for your business. They usually cover the first three to five years of operations. This is different from the typical startup business plan which focuses on the first one to three years. The audience for this plan is also primarily internal stakeholders.

These types of business plans may include:

  • Relevant data and analysis
  • Assessments of company resources
  • Vision and mission statements

It's important to remember that, while many businesses create a strategic plan before launching, some business owners just jump in. So, this business plan can add value by outlining how your business plans to reach specific goals. This type of planning can also help a business anticipate future challenges.

5. Business Acquisition Plan


Investors use business plans to acquire existing businesses, too — not just new businesses.

A business acquisition plan may include costs, schedules, or management requirements. This data will come from an acquisition strategy.

A business plan for an existing company will explain:

  • How an acquisition will change its operating model
  • What will stay the same under new ownership
  • Why things will change or stay the same
  • Acquisition planning documentation
  • Timelines for acquisition

Additionally, the business plan should speak to the current state of the business and why it's up for sale.

For example, if someone is purchasing a failing business, the business plan should explain why the business is being purchased. It should also include:

  • What the new owner will do to turn the business around
  • Historic business metrics
  • Sales projections after the acquisition
  • Justification for those projections

6. Business Repositioning Plan

businessplan_6 (1)

When a business wants to avoid acquisition, reposition its brand, or try something new, CEOs or owners will develop a business repositioning plan.

This plan will:

  • Acknowledge the current state of the company.
  • State a vision for the future of the company.
  • Explain why the business needs to reposition itself.
  • Outline a process for how the company will adjust.

Companies planning for a business reposition often do so — proactively or retroactively — due to a shift in market trends and customer needs.

For example, shoe brand AllBirds plans to refocus its brand on core customers and shift its go-to-market strategy. These decisions are a reaction to lackluster sales following product changes and other missteps.

7. Expansion or Growth Business Plan

When your business is ready to expand, a growth business plan creates a useful structure for reaching specific targets.

For example, a successful business expanding into another location can use a growth business plan. This is because it may also mean the business needs to focus on a new target market or generate more capital.

This type of plan usually covers the next year or two of growth. It often references current sales, revenue, and successes. It may also include:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Growth opportunity studies
  • Financial goals and plans
  • Marketing plans
  • Capability planning

These types of business plans will vary by business, but they can help businesses quickly rally around new priorities to drive growth.

Getting Started With Your Business Plan

At the end of the day, a business plan is simply an explanation of a business idea and why it will be successful. The more detail and thought you put into it, the more successful your plan — and the business it outlines — will be.

When writing your business plan, you’ll benefit from extensive research, feedback from your team or board of directors, and a solid template to organize your thoughts. If you need one of these, download HubSpot's Free Business Plan Template below to get started.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.


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Guida 2023 alla creazione del business plan con esempi e software., il business plan.

La nuova guida completa 2023 per fare il business plan. Seguila e riuscirai a realizzare da solo il tuo piano industriale e realizzare la tua idea imprenditoriale. Un business plan comprende di base 10 elementi: la panoramica, il sommario esecutivo; descrizione generale dell'azienda; l'opportunità; industria e mercato; la tua strategia; Il gruppo; un piano di marketing; piano operativo; piano finanziario. Un piano aziendale non renderà automaticamente un successo la tua iniziativa, ma ti aiuterà a evitare alcune cause comuni di fallimento aziendale, tra cui la sottocapitalizzazione o la mancanza di un mercato adeguato.

> Come fare un Business Plan per Startup > Guida alle Startup Innovative

Tutte le risposte sul business plan:

  • - Cos'è un Business Plan
  • - A cosa serve il Business Plan
  • - Perché fare un Business Plan
  • - Quando fare un Business Plan
  • - Cosa inserire nel Business Plan
  • - Come fare un Business Plan
  • - Esempi di Business Plan
  • - Business Plan PDF
  • - Software Business Plan Gratuito

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Nuovo software "business plan excel", compra e scaricalo subito: 90€ scopri il software "business plan excel", cos'è un business plan.

Il "business plan" è un documento che sintetizza i contenuti e le caratteristiche di un progetto imprenditoriale (business idea). Viene utilizzato sia per la pianificazione e gestione aziendale che per la comunicazione esterna, in particolare verso potenziali finanziatori o investitori. Da Wikipedia , l'enciclopedia libera. > Cos'è un Business Plan

cos'è un business plan


Il business plan è fondamentale per l'avvio di una nuova impresa, lo sviluppo di un business o la realizzazione di un nuovo progetto. Serve per valutare, sotto tutti gli aspetti aziendali (patrimoniali, economici, finanziari) la bontà dell'iniziativa e in particolare la capacità di generare utili per il sostentamento dell'azienda stessa.

a cosa serve il business plan


La principale ragione per realizzare un business plan è perché ci viene chiesto dall'esterno: per accedere a finanziamenti di terzi o entrate in c/capitale, per usufruire di un contributo statale. Tutti ottimi motivi! Non dimentichiamoci però che il business plan è utile e può fornire indicazioni lungo tutta la vita dell'azienda (a prescindere da nuovi assetti finanziari/patrimoniali).

perchè fare il business plan


Il business plan è necessario per accedere a finanziamenti da parte di privati (banche) e contributi a fondo perduto (comunitari, statali, regionali, ...). Non solo: l'entrata di un nuovo socio può giustificare la realizzazione di un business plan.

quando fare il business plan


Il business plan è di fatto uno standard a livello internazionale ed è composto da 10 elementi base. In ogni sezione è opportuno inserire tutte le informazioni specifiche del progetto che si intende realizzare. Non esiste un business plan generico uguale per tutti, per il semplice motivo che ogni azienda è diversa da tutte le altre.

> Cosa inserire nel business plan - Guida 2023

I 10 elementi che compongono il business plan:

  • - un sommario - executive summary
  • - descrizione del progetto
  • - presentazione generale dell'azienda
  • - opportunità
  • - industria e mercato
  • - strategia
  • - team aziendale
  • - piano di marketing
  • - piano operativo
  • - piano finanziario


Il business plan è composto di fatto da una sezione descrittiva supportata da elementi numerici con le proiezioni di bilancio. Quindi è essenziale utilizzare un software per la parte numerica: Excel è un ottimo strumento per realizzare il business plan.

> Video come fare un Business Plan (YouTube) > Come fare un Business Plan

Video business plan


Di esempi di business plan ce ne sono tanti (per startup, aziende di produzione, aziende commerciali, servizi ,...).

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Qui puoi trovare esempi di business plan realizzati per aziende di produzione nel campo della:

  • - Business Plan Azienda Agricola
  • - Esempio Business Plan settore Plastica
  • - Business Plan per Ristorante .


Tutte le Risposte alle Domande più Frequenti (FAQ) sul Business Plan per la realizzazione del tuo Piano Industriale.

> Leggi le FAQ sul Business Plan

Se stai iniziando a capire come fare il Business Plan, qui puoi trovare le risposte alle domande più frequenti:

  • - business plan
  • - bilancio di previsione
  • - programmazione aziendale


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Versione in Italiano. Semplice da utilizzare



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