Definition of a Business Plan

The literature on the topic business plans is awash with information and offers a lot of definitions.. Essentially these definitions have all the same meanings. Abrams & Barrow (2005) define the business plan as a roadmap to the company’s targeted destination. Ideally, it enables the entrepreneur to get from the basic business concepts to a healthy, successful business.

Barringer (2009) describe it as a “written document that carefully explains every internal and external aspects of a new venture” (Barringer, 2009, p. 1)

The format of the business plan

We can distinct three main factors throughout literature from which the BP structure will manly depend. To begin with, the format of the business plan will mainly depend on the purpose for which the BP is elaborated. For instance Barringer (2008) states that a BP established for a start-up company to investigate the feasibility of the venture may somewhat differ from that of a business in expansion that wants to evaluate the accomplishment of the business goals. For example, a start-up firm will not be able to dwell much about the company’s history or past successes.

Further, Mason and Stark (2004) argue that whether the entrepreneur is pursuing capital from a bank, a business angel or even a venture capitalist, the format of the business plan should be adapted accordingly.

So we can conclude that depending on the firm’s level of development or on what purpose the business plan serves, i.e. to raise capital or for internal purposes, the emphasis on the topics will be different and the format of BP will vary accordingly.

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