According to the Free Management Library, “A business plan is prepared when a new entity is created or when it embarks on a major initiative such as a new product, service, or program. At its core, a business plan is a combination of plans: marketing, strategic, operational, administrative, and financial. Much more important than the plan document is the planning process itself. “
As in a business, creating the business plan helps the nonprofit to describe how it will implement its mission and how it will achieve its goals and objectives. To create this plan, focus on the following tasks:
- Do a market analysis in the service areas your organization plans to offer
- Research sources of resources needed to carry out the service program
- Create strategies to run and promote your organization
- Assess risks
- Implement an evaluation system for programs and services
In addition to improving an organization’s internal planning, the business plan can be used to capture the key elements of a specific project or new initiative for a non-profit organization.
To help diversify their sources of income, many non-profit organizations have started creating their own sources of income through business initiatives. The classic example is the Girl Scouts and their cookie sale. Every year, each Girl Scout troop sells its cookies, and the proceeds support each troop’s individual programs. Selling products and charging for services offer nonprofits important options for increasing donation income.