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Internally focused business plans target intermediate goals required to reach the external goals.
Preparing a business plan draws on a wide range of knowledge from many different business disciplines: finance, human resource management, intellectual property management, supply chain management, operations management, and marketing, among others.
It can be helpful to view the business plan as a collection of sub-plans, one for each of the main business disciplines.
External stake-holders of non-profits include donors and the clients of the non-profit's services.
In the case of government agencies, external stakeholders would include tax-payers, higher-level government agencies, and international lending bodies such as the IMF, the world bank, various economic agencies of the UN, and development banks.
They typically have detailed information about the organization or team attempting to reach the goals.
In the case of for-profit entities, external stakeholders would include investors and customers.
Business plans that identify and target internal goals, but provide only general guidance on how they will be met are called strategic plans.
Operational plans describe the goals of an internal organization, working group or department.
The format of a business plan depends on its presentation context.
It is not uncommon for businesses, especially start-ups to have three or four formats for the same business plan: Cost and revenue estimates are central to any business plan for deciding the viability of the planned venture.