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An externally targeted business plan should list all legal concerns and financial liabilities that might negatively affect investors.
Writing a good business plan can’t guarantee success, but it can go a long way toward reducing the odds of failure." The format of a business plan depends on its presentation context.
It is common for businesses, especially start-ups, to have three or four formats for the same business plan.
An internal operational plan is a detailed plan describing planning details that are needed by management but may not be of interest to external stakeholders.
Such plans have a somewhat higher degree of candor and informality than the version targeted at external stakeholders and others.
Operational plans describe the goals of an internal organization, working group or department. The content and format of the business plan is determined by the goals and audience.
For example, a business plan for a non-profit might discuss the fit between the business plan and the organization's mission.
This allows success of the plan to be measured using non-financial measures.
Business plans that identify and target internal goals, but provide only general guidance on how they will be met are called strategic plans.
An "elevator pitch" is a short summary of the plan's executive summary.
This is often used as a teaser to awaken the interest of potential investors, customers, or strategic partners.