The Definitive Business Plan
The Definitive Business Plan
The Definitive Business Plan
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Planning – Plan Contents

The previous pages should have helped you define carefully why you are writing the business plan. Now sketch out the list of contents. The main objective here is to lead your readers logically to the required conclusion. You want them to run through the plan and put it down nodding sagely and thinking that they will back you and your business activities.

There is no hard and fast order for the contents. The suggested list of contents below provides a sample. The list is taken from The Definitive Business Plan – and the book follows broadly the order suggested by the list. This is convenient because it accords closely with the planning process itself. You do not have to follow this order. For example, in a start-up situation you might want to describe the product and market first and save discussion of the business organization until later. The only essential requirement is that you avoid repetition and that your readers know where to find the information they need.

Six key pages are illustrated here:

Six key pages from your business plan

Business Plan – Contents

Preliminary details

  • Contact information
  • Document control
  • Professional advisers
  • Definitions

Executive summary

Current situation

  • Basic corporate information
  • Vision, mission, values
  • History
  • Business organization
  • Products and services
  • Core competencies

External environment

  • The economy
  • Market analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Competitive advantages

Strategy and plans


  • Business strategy
  • Operating plan

Financial analysis

  • Breakeven analysis
  • Sales projections
  • Capital spending
  • Operating costs
  • Profit & loss account
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow and funding requirements

Risk analysis

  • Overview
  • SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Limiting factors
  • Critical success factors
  • Alternative scenarios
  • Specific risks and their solutions



  • A. Current Projects
  • B. Detailed financial data
  • C. Biographies for the top management

From The Definitive Business Plan, Page 42

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