The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize students with the commonalities among typical business plan models.
Research a minimum of four typical business plan models.
In a paper of 1200-words:
- Compare and contrast these typical business plan models.
- Describe the strengths and limitations of these models.
- Compare these models to the business plan models in either Microsoft Project or Apple Merlin.
- Select the model that you believe will work best for your assigned CLC Business Plan; explain your rationale for this selection.
Research should be from scholarly, peer-reviewed sources.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Typical Business Plan Models
A business plan is arguably one of the most vital components for any venture regardless of the field. This is especially true considering the highly dynamic and constantly evolving nature of the modern day business environment which make it virtually impossible for a business to survive without proper planning (Brinckmann, Grichnik, & Kapsa, 2010). A good business plan serves as a roadmap for success since it guides stakeholders such as business owners right from the start-up phase and all the way through the growth of the venture.
Through the plans, stakeholders are able to clarify all the aspects of the business including its feasibility and chances of survival in the market. This applies to virtually all types of organizations, healthcare entities included. According to Brandt et al. (2009), a business plan is fundamental in mapping the future of a nurse executive.
There are various types of business plans, each designed to suit certain needs. An important factor to understand in business planning is that there is no one-fits-all business plan. Every venture is unique in its own way and especially so when based on factors such as location, target audience, product, and business model among others.
A business should not rely on the success recipe of another business to ensure its survival in a market. As such, each business should have its unique business plan that takes into account all the unique needs of that specific business. Nonetheless, there are various factors that form part of the bare-minimum requirements for any business plan (Brandt et al., 2009). At the very least, the plan should have a clear description of the business and its diverse needs. Other elements included in business plans include the business’ vision and mission statement, the products and or services offered by the business, the business strategy, marketing strategy, and a competitor analysis among others. Types of business plans considered in this paper include start-up business plan models, internal models, growth plans, and feasibility business plans.
The start-up business plan model applies to new businesses. The plan helps a new venture break out its requirements and the necessary steps through informed and educated guesses (Scarborough & Cornwall, 2016). Sections included in this plan include a company description, the product or service being offered, an evaluation of the market, financial analysis, and the business’ management team (Paige, 2018). This plan is very advantageous for new businesses.
For one, it gives a rough idea of what should be expected in the market and what not to expect. It also forms a major basis for the business offering as it gives insights on the types of product or services that are likely to sell. The financial analysis section offers one a rough picture of the expected cash flows thereby helping one decided on the best route to take. Since it applies to new business and those that are yet to officially open, this type of plan is always open to change, usually for the better. A drawback of this model is that in most cases it is only applicable to small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, it only gives short-term projects and thus cannot be relied on to predict the longevity of a business or its long-term sustainability. The plans are not wide enough to foretell or take into account possible future altercations that can impact the business negatively.
An internal business plan usually targets audiences within a business. At this point, it is important to note that business plans are not only meant by aspiring entrepreneurs. A fully-fledged business can develop a new business plan to help map out its future. Unlike a start-up plan, the internal plan can apply for either an existing or proposed project. Its main aim entails describing the current state of a firm usually in regard to factors such as profitability and operational dynamics (Scarborough & Cornwall, 2016). It also gives information on the marketing strategy and also touches on human resource factors.
Basically, the plan details a map of the firm’s finances, human resources, prospects, and its potential to expand (Paige, 2018). It is very beneficial since it helps in in-house planning where the firm’s management reflects on what they have achieved so far as well as what they would like to achieve. The plan also considers distinct factors among them a firm’s external environment thereby aiding in the development of a new strategy if and when necessary. A drawback of the plan is that it is usually limited to startups and small enterprises that are seeking to expand further.
Similar to the internal plan, a feasibility plan can apply to both start-ups and continuing businesses. The plan’s main aim entails evaluating the viability of a business by considering the potential customers for the products and services being offered as well as the ability of the firm to turn in a profit (Neck & Greene, 2012).
Sections of the plan include, but are not limited to, business opportunity, service/product description, target market, competitive analysis, risks, as well as profitability and break-even analysis. It also includes a recommendations part advising on the feasibility of a project and the following action plan (Paige, 2018). An advantage of this plan is its ability to answer questions on profitability accurately and market acceptance thus giving the stakeholders a chance to develop and follow an educated and well-informed action plan. The feasibility plan also gives a way forward thus setting it apart from other types of business plans. A drawback is that the plan is based on educated guesses at the very best, implying that there are fair chances of its evaluation being wrong.
A growth business plan applies for both internal and external purposes. It gives a detailed description of a firm’s proposed growth and what it will take (McKenzie, 2015). Its main sections include a description of the company and its financial outlook/projections. The information contained in these plans is usually relevant for investors and the business management team.
In most cases, growth plans address specific areas of a business rather than the entire entity and this is what makes them different from other business plans. They are very helpful since they play a large role in guiding a firm through a path of success (Bhasin, 2012). They help businesses get outside investments that are critical for growth and expansion purposes. By extension, these plans oversee long-term profitability and eventual survival of a business. A major weakness of these plans is their inability to address the short-term survival of a firm, a factor that is very critical especially for startups.
The addressed types of business plans are in many ways similar to plans present in Microsoft Project, a software application focusing on the sustainability of projects. The startup business in Microsoft Project addresses issues such as marketing plans and staffing requirements, making it similar to the internal and startup models addressed above. The template provided by MS Project for new business addresses issues such as product sales and profit forecasting, thus making it similar to a feasibility business plan.
Best plan type for implementing an Electronic Medical Record system is the feasibility business plan. For one, implementing the system will be a multistep process that will require me to perform a needs assessment, a readiness assessment, and a workflow analysis (Cresswell, Bates, & Sheikh, 2013). A feasibility plan will address all these through its business opportunity, competitive analysis, risks, and target audience sections. Completing the assessments will also require one to consider both the internal and external environments, both of which are covered in feasibility business plans. Coupling the feasibility plan with a startup business plan will be perfect since the proposed venture is new.
Bhasin, S. (2012). An appropriate change strategy for lean success. Management Decision, 50(3), 439-458. doi:10.1108/00251741211216223
Brandt, J. A., Edwards, D. R., Sullivan, S. C., Zehler, J. K., Grinder, S., & Scott, K. J. (2009). An evidence-based business planning process. Journal of Nursing Administration, 39(12), 511-513. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/jonajournal/pages/default.aspx
Brinckmann, J., Grichnik, D., & Kapsa, D. (2010). Should entrepreneurs plan or just storm the castle? A meta-analysis on contextual factors impacting the business planning–performance relationship in small firms. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(1), 24-40. doi:10.1016/j.jbusvent.2008.10.007
Cresswell, K., Bates, D., & Sheikh, A. (2013). Ten key considerations for the successful implementation and adoption of large-scale health information technology. Electronic Health Records, 9-23. doi:10.1201/b16306-4
McKenzie, D. J. (2015). Identifying and spurring high-growth entrepreneurship: Experimental evidence from a business plan competition. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Neck, H., & Greene, P. (2012). Entrepreneurship education: known worlds and new frontiers. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 40(2), 9-21. doi:10.1109/emr.2012.6210514
Paige, A. (2018, June 30). 6 types of business plans. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/6-types-business-plans-2591.html
Scarborough, N. M., & Cornwall, J. R. (2016). Essentials of entrepreneurship and small business management. Pearson.
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