Typical Business Plan Models
A business plan model explains how a company or an organization would like to make money. A business model answers the questions of how much will be paid, and by whom, and for what. In case the company’s model is a little bit complicated, the business plan explains the same using realistic terms. There are different types of business plan models including the small plans, feasibility plans, lean plans, and standard plans.
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Compared to a formal standard business plan the lean plan is efficient, easier, and fast. The simplicity of the lean business plan depends on the fact that its outline does not include details that require the direct knowledge of employees or partners. The lean business plan also includes milestones, deadlines, and budget reviews hence, the managing team is greatly informed about the activities that take place (Mullins & Komisar, 2009).
A lean business plan is a sketch of activities that can be used by all companies this is because they manage tactics, strategies, dates, deadlines, cash flow, and activities of the organization. The lean business plan has four critical elements that are entailed in it and they help in business management. These elements include the strategies that have been set and they act as reminders for both managers and corporate leaders when it comes to the long-term and the short-term goals. Lean plans are also used to execute the strategies, which might involve marketing decisions in their relation to final goals (Cross & Richey, 2008).
Unlike in the lean plan, an executive summary of the business plan is required to give a clue about the nature of the activities in a standard business plan. Currently, standard business plans are short and they aim to outline the requirements of the planned event. A Standard business plan mainly deals with the financial issues that include the cash flow, the profits and losses, and balance sheets (Fortune & White, 2006). The important part of the plan is the projected cash flow. Projected cash flow is critical since it helps in paying off bills since a business can survive without profits.
Short business plans are one-page outlines that give an overview of the planned activities and their relevance (Cohen, 1995). They summarize the target market, milestones, and the projected sales on a single page. The feasibility plan is only projected and submitted to the people willing to pay some money for it to be effective. A feasibility business plan is the same as the start-up plan. This business plan mainly focuses on the product and its possibility of succeeding once it is introduced in the market. The feasibility plan focuses on whether it will be a ready market or not.
A lean and standard business plan can serve the same purpose except for the fact that in the latter plan, a summary of the executive, the company, and the product description must be included. Also, a detailed analysis of the market and the primary strategy, tactics, and management team must be fully described. The lean plan can act as an excellent draft for the standard plan (Cohen, 1995). Depending on the business requirements, any type of plan can be submitted to a bank in case of a loan request by potential investors, employees, and allies. All business plans give an overview of the organization’s plan projections.
Strengths and Limitations of These Business Models
The one-page business it is a cheap and easy business plan that just highlights the company’s plans. It is submitted to any investors for them to have an overview of what they will be committing their capital. The one-page business plan is very limiting since it does not give detailed information on the company’s market or the managerial tactics, strategies, dates, deadlines, cash flow, and activities of the organization.
In case financial details are required, the standard business plan is used since it covers in detail the profits and losses, the flow of the cash, and the balance sheet. Standard plans are big and they rely on executive summaries to give a good overview of the plan. Unlike the normal models of business planning, the Microsoft project is a template. As long as a user is computer literate, he/she only spends a little time when creating the schedules.
Compare these Models to the Business Plan Models in Microsoft Project
Compared to the other models of business planning, Microsoft project is used in planning accurately with the view of helping in identifying a loophole that might occur or has occurred. For the other methods once the program has been written, at most it can be reviewed twice in a year, and therefore a lot of damages might have occurred before the review. Microsoft Project has a dynamic model whereby it is called the forecast schedule. The originals program should be static no updates should be made unless renegotiation takes place. Maintaining the forecast programs is highly required, or else the forecast scheduling will stop functioning (Zsidisin, 2005).
Failure to update the schedule will lead to losses in the dynamism of the project model and this would be detrimental to progress. In case, any changes are made or any data is keyed entering new information, recalculating, and forecasting of the dates are continuous and therefore this helps in identifying any gaps in performance. Furthermore, Microsoft Project facilitates a comparison between the original schedule and any alternative methods on how to reduce the gaps in performance will be looked into.
The Microsoft project enhances the projects by ensuring schedule tracking. The forecast programs make a potential problem very visible and therefore address it by constantly fixing the poor performances on time or as early as possible. Therefore, this gives the management a better opportunity of getting projects done on time. Changing the course of the project is also up to the project managers, but action must be taken. Failure to update schedules promotes the loss of the dynamic project model. In the case of problems, the model enables one to use the what-if business plans to cover up for the slippage.
Select the Model that You Believe Will Work Best for a CLC
The What-If business plans are the most viable option for the CLC because it focuses on both the internal and the external performances. The internal plan of activities focuses on the intermediate goals and it should lead to the development of a new service within the collaborative learning community (Mabert, Soni, & Venkataramanan, 2003). The What-if approach will prevent the CLC from losing its meaning since it is on the verge of doing so. Therefore, even if the initial plan in CLC changes, its overall objective remains the same. Consequently, the business focuses on its goal, which is to work together, share the leadership mantle, and enhance co-learning and co-evolving.
Cohen, W. (1995). Model business plans for product businesses. New York: Wiley.
Cross, W. & Richey, A. (2008). The Prentice-Hall encyclopedia of model business plans. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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Fortune, J., & White, D. (2006). Framing of project critical success factors by a systems model. International Journal of Project Management, 24(1), 53-65.
Mabert, V. A., Soni, A., & Venkataramanan, M. A. (2003). Enterprise resource planning: Managing the implementation process. European Journal of Operational Research, 146(2), 302-314.
Mullins, J. & Komisar, R. (2009). Getting to plan B. Boston: Harvard Business Press.
Zsidisin, G. A. (2005). An institutional theory perspective of business continuity planning for purchasing and supply management. International Journal of Production Research, 43(16), 3401-3420.