Strategy illustration Strategy theory

Creating and evaluating your business plan

A business plan is a description of a business and its plans for the next one to three years. It explains what the business does (or will do if it's a new business); it suggests who will buy the product or service and why; it provides financial forecasts demonstrating overall viability; and indicates the finance available and explains the financial requirements.

A simple business plan should be clearly set out under the following headings:

1. Contents page

2. Details about the owner

3. A description of the business

4. An outline of the market

5. Advertising and promotion

6. Premises and equipment

7. How the business is organised

8. A guide to how much it costs to produce the product or service

9. Details of the how the finance will be raised

10. A outline of cash flow in the first year

11. Plans for future expansion.

Business plan

Business plans are particularly important for new start up businesses, because they provide a framework for the owner to work to. Also if the owner wishes to raise finance from a bank or other lender then it will be essential to provide a clear business plan, so that the bank can feel confident in making a loan.

For larger organisations - the business plan is typically called the 'corporate strategy' based on the American Word Corporation (business) and the term strategy (plan).

The business plan sets out the means by which an organisation will achieve its business objectives. Without a clear plan a business will have little sense of direction.


Supporting Documents

These downloads will help to put strategy theory into context using real world examples from real businesses.

Using sponsorship to increase brand awareness
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Discover how Infiniti used strategy theory to thrive in the automotive industry by downloading our premium case study.

The use of social media in promotion
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Find out how National Trust used strategy theory to succeed in the non-profit industry by downloading our premium case study.

Sponsorship as part of the marketing mix
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Learn how Ford employed strategy theory to prosper in the automotive industry by downloading our premium case study.

Protecting the marketing mix through intellectual property rights
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Learn how Intellectual Property Office applied strategy theory to prosper in the public sector industry by downloading our premium case study.

Meeting customers' needs in growth markets - online gaming
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Discover how BT used strategy theory to succeed in the telecommunications industry by downloading our premium case study.