Typical structure for a business plan for a start up venture Cost and revenue estimates are central to any business plan for deciding the viability of the planned venture.
But costs are often underestimated and revenues overestimated resulting in later cost overruns, revenue shortfalls, and possibly non-viability.
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.
During the dot-com bubble 1997-2001 this was a problem for many technology start-ups.
Reference class forecasting has been developed to reduce the risks of cost overruns and revenue shortfalls and thus generate more accurate business plans.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.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.Externally-focused plans draft goals that are important to outside stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders.These plans typically have detailed information about the organization or the team making effort to reach its goals.Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with third parties, non-compete agreements, conflicts of interest, privacy concerns, and the protection of one's trade secrets may severely limit the audience to which one might show the business plan.Alternatively, they may require each party receiving the business plan to sign a contract accepting special clauses and conditions.