In our book Write Your Business Plan, Entrepreneur Media offers an easy, step-by-step guide to creating a plan for your new company. Here's a sneak peek of what you'll find.
Business plans can be divided roughly into four distinct types: miniplans, presentation plans or decks, working plans, and what-if plans. Success depends on customizing your plan to the right audiences and setting.
Miniplans: These tight 5- to 10-page summaries explain who you are and what you plan to accomplish. Short plans may be preferred by busy venture capitalists, customers or suppliers who will scan them quickly, possibly even on their phones.
Presentation Plans: Also called 'decks,' these are often created in PowerPoint for groups such as potential investors and strategic partners. These plans highlight problems you plan to solve and how you'll monetize your solutions in an attractive format.
Working Plans: This plan is used internally, to help run your company, and written with your firm's leadership in mind. Here, presentation is not as key as candor.
What-if Plans: This plan shows bankers or investors that you've thought through the worst-case scenarios your business could face to soothe their fears.
To learn more about tailoring your business plan to your audience, watch this short video.
Related: The 4 Types of Business Plans