A business plan can be seen as a collection of sub-plans including a marketing plan, financial plan, production plan, and human resource plan. The business plan has many forms. There is however a format that is typical:

  1. Executive summary which explains the basic business model and gives a rationale for the strategy
  2. Background which gives ashort history of company and provides background details such as age of company, number of employees, annual sales figures, location of facilities, and forms of ownership
  3. Background of key personnel including owners, senior managers, managing partners, head scientists and researchers
  4. Marketing elements including the macroenvironment, competitive environment, industry, customer priorities, product strategy, pricing strategy, promotion strategy, distribution strategy
  5. Production and manufacturing including a description of all processes, production facility requirements (size, layout, capacity, location), inventory requirements, equipment requirements, supply chain requirements and fixed cost allocation
  6. Finance details including source of funds, existing loans and liabilities, projected sales and costs, break even analysis, expected return, and monthly pro-forma cash flow statement
  7. Finally, human resource needs such as assigned responsibilities, training required, skills required, union issues (if any), compensation, skills availability, and new hiring