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* Background information
* A marketing plan
* An operational plan
* A financial plan
- A discussion of the* decision making criteria* that should be used to approve the plan.
Some of these content areas may be more or less important depending
on the kind of business plan. There is no fixed content for a business
plan. Rather the content and format of the business plan is determined
by the goals and audience. A business plan should contain whatever
information is needed to decide whether or not to pursue a goal.
The content outline that Diva referenced is excellent. I'll add that investors need to see at a glance -- i.e., within about 20 seconds: (1) what business/industry you're involved in, (2) how much money you're looking for, (3) how much they're going to make, (4) when and how they'll get that money and exit the deal, (5) what your "edge" or "big idea" is that virtually guarantees all that will happen as planned, and (6) who you are and what you've done that would give them a reason to believe that you know what you're doing. Hope that helps. Best wishes.