BUSINESS PLAN


Business plan
A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.
Business plans may also target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, taxpayer, or larger community. When the existing business is to assume a major change or when planning a new venture, a 3 to 5 year business plan is required, since investors will look for their annual return in that timeframe.
Business plans may be internally or externally focused. Externally focused plans target goals that are important to external stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders. They typically have detailed information about the organization or team attempting to reach the goals. With for-profit entities, external stakeholders include investors and customers. External stake-holders of non-profits include donors and the clients of the non-profit’s services. For government agencies, external stakeholders include tax-payers, higher-level government agencies, and international lending bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, various economic agencies of the United Nations, and development banks.
Internally focused business plans target intermediate goals required to reach the external goals. They may cover the development of a new product, a new service, a new IT system, a restructuring of finance, the refurbishing of a factory or a restructuring of the organization. An internal business plan is often developed in conjunction with a balanced scorecard or a list of critical success factors. 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.
Operational plans describe the goals of an internal organization, working group or department. Project plans, sometimes known as project frameworks, describe the goals of a particular project. They may also address the project’s place within the organization’s larger strategic goals.
Content
Business plans are decision-making tools. 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 represents all aspects of business planning process declaring vision and strategy alongside sub-plans to cover marketing, finance, operations, human resources as well as a legal plan, when required. A business plan is a summary of those disciplinary plans.
For example, a business plan for a non-profit might discuss the fit between the business plan and the organization’s mission. Banks are quite concerned about defaults, so a business plan for a bank loan will build a convincing case for the organization’s ability to repay the loan. Venture capitalists are primarily concerned about initial investment, feasibility, and exit valuation. A business plan for a project requiring equity financing will need to explain why current resources, upcoming growth opportunities, and sustainable competitive advantage will lead to a high exit valuation.
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.
“… a good business plan can help to make a good business credible, understandable, and attractive to someone who is unfamiliar with the business. Writing a good business plan can’t guarantee success, but it can go a long way toward reducing the odds of failure.”

Presentation formats
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 “elevator pitch” – a three minute summary of the business plan’s executive summary. This is often used as a teaser to awaken the interest of potential funders, customers, or strategic partners.
• a pitch deck with oral narrative – a hopeful, entertaining slide show and oral narrative that is meant to trigger discussion and interest potential investors in reading the written presentation. The content of the presentation is usually limited to the executive summary and a few key graphs showing financial trends and key decision making benchmarks. If a new product is being proposed and time permits, a demonstration of the product may also be included.
• a written presentation for external stakeholders – a detailed, well written, and pleasingly formatted plan targeted at external stakeholders.
• an internal operational plan – 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.
Typical structure for a business plan for a start up venture
• cover page and table of contents
• executive summary
• business description
• business environment analysis
• SWOT analysis
• industry background
• competitor analysis
• market analysis
• marketing plan
• operations plan
• management summary
• financial plan
• attachments and milestones
Typical questions addressed by a business plan for a start up venture
• What problem does the company’s product or service solve? What niche will it fill?
• What is the company’s solution to the problem?
• Who are the company’s customers, and how will the company market and sell its products to them?
• What is the size of the market for this solution?
• What is the business model for the business (how will it make money)?
• Who are the competitors and how will the company maintain a competitive advantage?
• How does the company plan to manage its operations as it grows?
• Who will run the company and what makes them qualified to do so?
• What are the risks and threats confronting the business, and what can be done to mitigate them?
• What are the company’s capital and resource requirements?
• What are the company’s historical and projected financial statements?
Satires
The business plan is the subject of many satires. Satires are used both to express cynicism about business plans and as an educational tool to improve the quality of business plans. For example,
• Five Criteria for a successful business plan in biotech[uses Dilbert comic strips to remind people of what not to do when researching and writing a business plan for a biotech start-up. Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert, is an MBA graduate (U.C. Berkeley) who sees humor as a critical tool that can improve the behavior of businesses and their managers.[11] He has written numerous critiques of business practices, including business planning. The website Dilbert.com – Games has a mission statement generator that satirizes the wording often found in mission statements. His book The Dilbert Principle – A Cubicle’s Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions discusses the foibles of management and their plans as depicted in the Dilbert comic strips by Scott Adams.
• In the article “South Park’s” Investing Lesson, The Motley Fool columnist “Fool on the Hill” uses the Underpants Gnomes to illustrate the fallacy of focusing on goals without a clear implementation strategy. The Underpants Gnomes episode satirizes the business plans of the Dot-com era.

WEDDING


WEDDING
A wedding is the ceremony where people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of wedding vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or leader. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony.
A number of cultures have adopted the traditional Western custom of the white wedding, in which a bride wears a white wedding dress and veil. This tradition was popularized through the wedding of Queen Victoria. Some say Victoria’s choice of a white gown may have simply been a sign of extravagance, but may have also been influenced by the values she held which emphasized sexual purity.[1] Within the modern ‘white wedding’ tradition, a white dress and veil are unusual choices for a woman’s second or subsequent wedding. The notion that a white gown might symbolize sexual purity has been long abandoned, and is criticized by etiquette writers like Judith Martin as distasteful.
The use of a wedding ring has long been part of religious weddings in Europe and America, but the origin of the tradition is unclear. One possibility is the Roman belief in the Vena Amoris, which was believed to be a blood vessel that ran from the fourth finger (ring finger) directly to the heart, thus when a couple wore rings on this finger their hearts were connected. Historians like Vicki Howard point out that belief in the “ancient” quality of the practice are most likely a modern invention. “Double ring” ceremonies are also a modern practice, a groom’s wedding band not appearing in the United States until the early 20th century.
The wedding is often followed by a reception or wedding breakfast, in which the rituals may include speeches from the groom, best man, father of the bride and possibly the bride, the newlyweds first dance as a couple, and the cutting of an elegant wedding cake.
Religious aspects of weddings
Most religions recognize a lifelong union with established ceremonies and rituals. Some religions permit polygamous marriages or same-sex marriages.
Many Christian faiths emphasize the raising of children as a priority in a marriage. In Judaism, marriage is so important that remaining unmarried is deemed unnatural. Islam also recommends marriage highly; among other things, it helps in the pursuit of spiritual perfection. The Bahá’í Faith sees marriage as a foundation of the structure of society, and considers it both a physical and spiritual bond that endures into the afterlife. Hinduism sees marriage as a sacred duty that entails both religious and social obligations. By contrast, Buddhism does not encourage or discourage marriage, although it does teach how one might live a happily married life and emphasizes that marital vows are not to be taken lightly.
Different religions have different beliefs as regards the breakup of marriage. For example, the Roman Catholic Church believes that marriage is a sacrament and a valid marriage between two baptized persons cannot be broken by any other means than death. This means that civil divorcés cannot remarry in a Catholic marriage while their spouse is alive. In the area of nullity, religions and the state often apply different rules. A couple, for example, may begin the process to have their marriage annulled by the Catholic Church only after they are no longer married in the eyes of the civil authority.

Customs associated with various religions and cultures

Christian customs

Most Christian churches give some form of blessing to a marriage; the wedding ceremony typically includes some sort of pledge by the community to support the couple’s relationship. A church wedding is a ceremony presided over by a Christian priest or pastor. Ceremonies are based on reference to God, and are frequently embodied into other church ceremonies such as Mass.
Customs may vary widely between denominations. In the Roman Catholic Church “Holy Matrimony” is considered to be one of the seven sacraments, in this case one that the spouses bestow upon each other in front of a priest and members of the community as witnesses. As with all sacraments, it is seen as having been instituted by Jesus himself (see Gospel of Matthew 19:1-2, Catechism of the Catholic Church §1614-1615). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is one of the Mysteries, and is seen as an ordination and a martyrdom. The wedding ceremony of Saint Thomas Christians, an ethnoreligious group of Christians in India incorporate elements from Hindu, Jewish and Christian weddings.
Jewish customs
A traditional Jewish wedding usually follows this format:
• Before the ceremony, the couple formalize a written ketubah (marriage contract), specifying the obligations of husband to the wife and contingencies in case of divorce. The ketubah is signed by two witnesses and later read under the chuppah.
• The couple is married under a wedding canopy (chuppah), signifying their new home together. The chuppah can be made from a piece of cloth or other material attached to four poles, or a prayer shawl (tallit) held over the couple by four family members or friends.
• The couple is accompanied to the chuppah by both sets of parents, and stands under the chuppah along with other family members if desired.
• Seven blessings are recited, blessing the bride and groom and their new home.
• The couple sip from a glass of wine.
• The groom will step on the glass to crush it, usually with his right foot, ostensibly in remembrance of the fall of the Second Temple.
• At some weddings the couple may declare that each is sanctified to the other, and/or repeat other vows, and exchange rings.
o In Orthodox and traditional Jewish weddings, the bride does not speak under the chuppah and only she receives a ring. The groom recites “Harei at mekudeshet li k’dat Moshe V’Yisrael”- “behold you are [thus] sanctified to me by the law of Moses and Israel” as he places the ring on the bride’s right index finger. The bride’s silence and acceptance of the ring signify her agreement to the marriage. This part of the ceremony is called kiddushin. The groom’s giving an object of value to the bride is necessary for the wedding to be valid.

Taking the bride to the mikveh, Georgia, early 20th century
o In more egalitarian weddings, the bride responds verbally, often giving the groom a ring in return. A common response is “ani l’dodi, v’dodi li” (I am my beloved’s, my beloved is mine)
• In Orthodox weddings, the groom then says:
“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth.
If I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem in my highest joy.”
• The ceremony ends with the groom breaking a glass underfoot.
• The couple spend their first moments as man and wife in seclusion (apart from the wedding guests, and with no other person present). This cheder yichud – “the room of seclusion (or ‘oneness’)” halachically strengthens the marriage bond, since unmarried women are traditionally not alone with an unrelated male.
• The ceremony is followed by a seudat mitzvah, the wedding meal, as well as music and dancing.
• At the conclusion of the wedding meal, Birkat Hamazon (Grace After Meals) is recited, as well as the seven wedding blessings.
In more observant communities, the couple will celebrate for seven more days, called the Sheva Brachot (seven blessings) during which the seven wedding blessings are recited at every large gathering during this time.

Muslim cultures
A wedding is always a happy time for families to celebrate. In the Muslim world, there are colorful, cultural variations from place to place.
According to the Quran, a married Muslim couple, both husband and wife act as each other’s protector and comforter and therefore only meant “for each other”.
All Muslim marriages have to be declared publicly and are never be undertaken in secret. For many Muslims, it is the ceremony that counts as the actual wedding alongside a confirmation of that wedding in a registry office according to fiqh, in Islam a wedding is also viewed as a legal contract particularly in Islamic jurisprudences. However, most Muslim cultures separate both the institutions of the mosque and marriage, no religious official is necessary, but very often an Imam presides and performs the ceremony, he may deliver a short sermon.
In Islam, polygyny is allowed with certain religious restrictions, despite that an overwhelming majority of Muslims traditionally practice monogamy.
It is forbidden in Islam for parents or anyone else: to force, coerce, or trick either man or woman into a marriage that is contrary to the individual will of any one of the couple. It is also necessary for all marriages commence with the best of intentions.
Wedding types
Below are several types and styles of weddings. A wedding may include several of these aspects.
Civil wedding
A civil wedding is a ceremony presided over by a local civil authority, such as an elected or appointed judge, Justice of the Peace or the mayor of a locality. Civil wedding ceremonies may use references to God or a deity (except in UK law), but generally no references to a particular religion or denomination. They can be either elaborate or simple. Many civil wedding ceremonies take place in local town or city halls or courthouses in judges’ chambers.
Destination wedding
Not to be confused with an elopement, a destination wedding is one in which a wedding is hosted, often in a vacation-like setting, at a location to which most of the invited guests must travel and often stay for several days. This could be a beach ceremony in the tropics, a lavish event in a metropolitan resort, or a simple ceremony at the home of a geographically distant friend or relative. During the recession of 2009, destination weddings continued to see growth compared to traditional weddings, as the typically smaller size results in lower costs.
Double wedding
A double wedding is a double ceremony where two affianced couples rendezvous for two simultaneous or consecutive weddings. Typically, a fiancé with a sibling who is also engaged, or four close friends in which both couples within the friendship are engaged might plan a double wedding where both couples legally marry.
Elopement
Elopement is the act of getting married, often unexpectedly, without inviting guests to the wedding. In some cases a small group of family and/or friends may be present, while in others, the engaged couple may marry without the consent and/or knowledge of parents or others. While the couple may or may not be widely known to be engaged prior to the elopement, the wedding itself is generally a surprise to those who are later informed of its occurrence.
Jewish wedding
A Jewish wedding is a wedding ceremony that follows Jewish law and traditions.
Mass wedding
A collective or mass wedding is a single ceremony where numerous couples are married simultaneously.
Military wedding
A military wedding is a ceremony conducted in a military chapel and may involve a Saber Arch. In most military weddings the bride, groom, or both will wear a military dress uniform in lieu of civilian formal wear. Some retired military personnel who marry after their service has ended may opt for a military wedding.
Vow renewal wedding
A wedding vow renewal is a ceremony in which a married couple renews or reaffirms their wedding vows. Typically, this ceremony is held to commemorate a milestone wedding anniversary. It may also be held to recreate the marriage ceremony in the presence of family and friends, especially in the case of an earlier elopement.
Same-sex wedding

A same-sex wedding is a ceremony in which two people of the same sex are married. This event may be legally documented as a marriage or another legally recognized partnership such as a civil union. Where such partnerships are not legally recognized, the wedding may be a religious or symbolic ceremony designed to provide an opportunity to make the same public declarations and celebration with friends and family that any other type of wedding may afford. These are often referred to as “commitment ceremonies.”
Officiants at same-sex weddings may be religiously ordained. Some religions and branches of religions, including Quakers, Unitarians, Ethical Culture, Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Reformed Catholic Church, and Buddhist organizations like Soka Gakkai perform and recognize same-sex marriages, even if the government of their geographic area may not.
Shotgun wedding
A shotgun wedding is a wedding in which the groom is reluctant to marry the bride, however, is strongly encouraged to do so to avoid family, societal or legal repercussions. In many cases, the bride is pregnant before the wedding and the family of the bride, most commonly the bride’s father, insists that the groom marry the bride before the pregnancy becomes obvious.
Weekend wedding
A weekend wedding is a wedding in which couples and their guests celebrate over the course of an entire weekend. Special activities, such as spa treatments and golf tournaments may be scheduled into the wedding itinerary. Lodging usually is at the same facility as the wedding and couples often host a Sunday brunch for the weekend’s finale.
White wedding
A white wedding is a term for a traditional formal or semi-formal Western wedding. This term refers to the color of the wedding dress, which became popular after Queen Victoria wore a pure white gown when she married Prince Albert, and many were quick to copy her choice. At the time, the color white to many symbolized both extravagance and sexual purity, and had become the color for use by girls of the royal court.