Business plans typically focus on financial goals, such as profit, but they may also target changes in perception and branding by the customer. 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 organisation.

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. A business plan should contain whatever information is needed to decide whether or not to pursue a goal.

Preparing a business plan draws on a wide range of knowledge from many different business disciplines: finance, human resource management, operations management, and marketing to state just a few.