Business plans are of many types. They include strategic plans, expansion plans, investment plans, growth plans, operational plans, internal plans, annual plans, feasibility plans, product plans, and many more.
The various types of business plans will always matche the specific business situation. For instance, it is not necessary to add all the background information that is known already, while preparing a plan to use internally and not circulating it to financial institutions or investors. Investors always look for information on the description of the management team, while bankers always look for financial background or history of the company.
The various types of business plans are due to the specific case differences:
Start-up plan is the most standard plan that explains the steps for a developing new business. Start-up plans often include standard topics such as the organisation, product or service offering, market place, business forecasts, strategy, management team, implementation milestones, and financial analysis. Sales forecast, profit and loss statement, cash flow, balance sheet, and probably a few other tables are included in the financial analysis. First year monthly projections are shown in the start-up plan, which usually begins with an abstract and ends with appendix.
Business plans that are not usually intended for external investors, financial institutions, or any other third parties are called Internal plans. A detailed description of the organisation or the management team may not be included in it. Detailed financial projections like budgets and forecasts may or may not get included in Internal plans. Instead of presenting the whole business plan in the form of paragraph text, Internal plans display the main points in the form of bullet points in slides.
Operations plan can be referred to as Internal plan, which is also known as an annual plan. More detailed information on specific dates, implementation milestones, deadlines, and teams and managers responsibilities are given in Operations plan.
A strategic plan usually do not focus on specific responsibilities and detailed dates, rather focuses on setting high priorities and high-level options and is also referred to as an internal plan. Unlike most other internal plans, it includes data in the form of bullet points in slides. Organization or management team descriptions are not included in it. Also, some of the financial projections are not explained in detail and left while preparing strategic plans.
Some business plans focuses on specific areas of the business or a subcategory of the business, and these plans are referred to as a growth plan or an expansion plan or a new product plan. Depending on whether these business plans are linked to new investments or loan applications, they could be classified as internal plans or not. For instance, like a start-up plan developed for investors, an expansion plan that requires new investment would also have detailed description of the company and its management teams background data. These details will also be required for loan applications. But, these descriptions are skipped in an internal business plan, which is used to design the steps for growth or expansion that is funded internally within the organisation. Although, detailed financial projections might not be given, forecast of the sales as well as the expenses for the new business venture is at least included in detail.
A very simple start-up plan is the feasibility plan, which include an abstract, mission statement, market analysis, keys to success, and initial cost analysis, pricing, and projected expenses. Feasibility plans helps to analyse whether it is good to continue with a plan or not, to find if the business plan is worth continuing.