Online Technical Writing:
A business plan is a document used to start a new business or get funding for a business that is changing in some significant way. Business plans are important documents for business partners who need to agree upon and document their plans, government officials who may need to approve aspects of the plan, and of course potential investors such as banks or private individuals who may decide to fund the business or its expansion.
See the business plans overview for an introduction to their contents and organization.
Business Plans and Writing Courses
If you are enrolled in a course associated with this page, you are in a writing course, not a business course. Our focus is on good writing, well-designed documents, documents that accomplish their purpose, and documents that meet common expectations as to their content, organization, and format. A business plan is obviously an important application of writing and one that may contain substantial technical information about the business operations or products. That's why it's a good option for the final project in a technical- writing course.
You can write a business plan if you actually are trying to start a business or if you'd merely like to do some constructive daydreaming about a business you'd like to start. Beware, however, if you are just playing around with the business-startup notion: the business plan you write for this course must be every bit as serious, realistic, specific, factual, well-researched, and well-thought-out as a business plan for a real situation.
Scope of Business Plans
Business plans can be very large documents containing information that you may have no way of getting. Work with your instructor to reach an agreement on the scope of the business plan you write. Remember too that your instructor is probably not a professional business-startup consultant and probably won't be able to help you on the finer points of planning a business.
Resources for Business Plans
Here are some additional resources on business plans:
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