Developing a Business Plan

The information contained in this site is of general nature and should not be acted upon in your specific situation without further details and/or professional assistance

A business plan is the written product of the business planning process.  It addresses and integrates:

bulletWhere an organization is today
bulletWhat the key market, technological, management, financial, and other conditions are
bulletWhat the goals of the organization are
bulletHow the organization realistically expects to achieve those goals

The scope of a business plan may be:

  1. Organization-wide “road map”
  1. Operating guidance for a department or function
  1. Feasibility for proposed project or activity

The objectives of a sound business plan include:

bulletDevelopment of Ideas about how the organization should operate in the future (a plan)
bulletTo provide operating guidelines and to serve as a measurement tool against which actual performance can be assessed over time (benchmark)
bulletTo be able to communicate with outsiders (donors, funders, lenders) what the organization plans to do – possibly with help from them


Methodology for developing a Business Plan for a Not-for-profit organization

bulletEstablishment (re-establishment) of Mission
bulletCompetitive analysis
bulletDefinition of objectives
bulletGoal setting
bulletAction plan development
bulletDrafting the Plan document
bulletImplementation and follow-up

The format of a business plan is not fixed and will vary between organizations and based on the purpose of the business plan  The principal element of a sound business plan for not-for-profits, however, would generally include the following:

bulletCover Sheet
bulletExecutive Summary
bulletTable of Contents
bulletMajor Assumptions
bulletHistory Section
bulletThe Mission
bulletDefinition of the Organization
bulletDefinition of the Market
bulletDescription of What is to Be Provided
bulletManagement Structure
bulletStrategies, Objectives, Goals & Tactics
bulletFinancial Data

Reference Sources that may be helpful may be found at "Resources"


bulletBe brief
bulletDo not make vague or unsubstantiated statements
bulletBe realistic with estimates, forecasts and assessing market and other potentials
bulletBe sure that objectives are clear
bulletAvoid erroneous perceptions from the past

Fraser, Culbreth & Company may be able to assist you in developing a business plan for your organization. Contact Info



Mission-Based Management, Leading Your Not-for-Profit in the 21st Century (2000), By Peter C. Brinckerhoff

Total Business Planning - Third Edition, By E. James Burton

The Ernst & Young Business Planning Guide (1987), By Eric Siegel, Loren Schultz, Brian R. Ford and David C. Carney

The Coppers & Lybrand Guide to Growing Your Business (1988), By Seymore Jones, M. Bruce Cohen and Victor V. Coppola


     http://www.ctcnet.org/ch9b.htm#top CTC (Preparing a business plan.htm)

    http://www.urbancultures.ca/aboutvms/plan.htm VMS Business Plans 2001-2004


    http://sbinformation.about.com/msub6.htm?once=true&PM=ss12_sbinformation Links-Small bus 

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(c)2001-06 Fraser CPA - Last Updated 05/01/2006

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