IBDP Business Management

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Updated 24 November 2023

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  • The elements of a business plan
  • Old course (N23)
  • 1.1 Introduction to business management

The elements of a business plan (AO2)"Never start a business just to make money. Start a business to make a difference."- Marie Forleo (b.1975), American entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author“The rich man plans for tomorrow, the poor man for today.”- Chinese Proverb“By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”- Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the USA

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Basic Elements of a Business Plan


A business plan is often required to apply for a bank loan. It should be around five pages long because bank managers and other lenders are very busy people and it may not be possible for them to read longer reports.

Many business plans start with an executive summary which is placed at the beginning of the business plan . It summarizes the information given in the main report of the business plan , highlighting the key points and conclusions. The executive summary of a business plan is usually no longer than one page and can be read within a few minutes to get an overview of the business plan . Hence, the executive summary can help the bank manager or a lending officer to decide whether or not to read the rest of the document.

There is no universally accepted format for writing a business plan , but we can distinguish a few sections that a typical business plan will include. 

Business Overview:

– Name and address of the proposed business (for new businesses); 

– Description of the business activity ;

– Cost of premises and other start-up costs (for new businesses);

– Details of the owner(s) and their past business experience. Are they qualified to open this business?

– Legal entity; the type of business organization (e.g. sole trader, partnership, private limited company) and rationale why this form is the most suitable;

– Quantifiable goals and business objectives of the proposed business or project;

– Benefits of the business to the customers and how the business adds value ;

– Competitive advantage.

Sales and Marketing:

– Market research and test marketing;

– Any unique or distinctive selling point to differentiate itself from rivals;

– Details of the promotional mix used to target customers. Where, when and how often the products will be purchased?

– Branding. What are brand attributes? Details about basic concepts of branding: brand development, brand loyalty, brand awareness and brand recognition;

– The distribution plan detailing where the products will be sold;

– Customer service policy.

The market:

– Brief description of the target market; 

– The expected number of customers and sales forecasting; 

– The nature of the market such as customer profiles and market segmentation. Who are the customers? What do they do? Where are they? What are they looking for? What benefits are they seeking from the business? What are price, quality and service expectations?

– The expected growth of the market in the foreseeable future. What is the market potential? What does the secondary market research say about trends in the industry?

– Competitor analysis (e.g. type of competition, their market share, their strengths and weaknesses, etc.). Who are main competitors? Where do they operate? What products and services do they offer?

– Government regulations.

The product:

– Details of the good(s) and service(s) that are being sold. Prepare a thorough description of products to be sold;

– Supporting evidence showing why customers will pay for the products and services;

– Where and how production will take place (e.g. the equipment and tools that are needed, etc.)? 

– Details of the suppliers of resources such as raw materials or components;

– Costs of production, i.e. the expected costs of operating the business;

– Pricing strategies to be used and why suitable. What is the price range for the main products?

– Proposed sources of finance . How will the business or project be funded?

– The Break-even Analysis . How many products need to be sold in order to break even and start making profit? What is the margin of safety? What is the profit at maximum production capacity?

– Security (financial guarantees) in case the borrower defaults on the loan;

– Cash Flow Forecast and steps to deal with potential cash flow problems;

– Forecasted Profit and Loss Account for at least the first year of trading;

– Forecasted Balance Sheet showing the firm’s financial position;

– A forecasted rate of return for investors of the business venture.

Human Resources:

– Key personnel with their titles, positions and key areas of responsibility;

– The number and job roles of the workers likely to be employed;

– Qualifications of the workers including education, experience and skillset;

– Organizational structure of human resources;

– Details of payment systems (e.g. remuneration such as salary and wage rates, etc.);

– Policies and procedures (e.g. hours of operations, vacation program, performance assessment, training and development, etc.).

Production / Operations:

– Suitable production method ;

– Location of the factories; 

– Location of offices;

– The amount of production workers and their skills;

– Size of the factory and production capacity;

– Equipment required, proposed technology and if automation will be used (e.g. types and number of machines, etc.);

– Leasing or ownership of details and cost estimates;

– Ways to arrange delivery of raw materials;

– Controlling quality techniques (i.e. quality assurance or quality control);

– Environmental compliance.

Many business plans also contain sections with the analysis of internal and external environment of the business, risk assessment and contingency plans to deal with crisis situations or outlining what the entrepreneur will do if things do not go as planned.

Any additional supporting information and data (such as statistics) should appear in an appendix at the end of the business plan . 

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Hi! I am Jerry. I am the owner and Editor-in-Chief of this website. I am experienced Lecturer and Researcher in Business Management, Head of Business and Economics, and IB Examiner for DP Business Management at International Baccalaureate (IB). So, I make business education accessible to everyone in the world by providing high-quality business resources for CEOs, directors, business managers, business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, business journalists, business teachers and business students. Privately, I am 35-years-old. I live with my family in China from where I run a vlog Nie Te Chiny about my family life. MORE »


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IB Business and Management 1.6 Business Plans. Learning Outcomes Analyse the importance of the importance of the information in the business plan to different.

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Presentation on theme: "IB Business and Management 1.6 Business Plans. Learning Outcomes Analyse the importance of the importance of the information in the business plan to different."— Presentation transcript:

IB Business and Management 1.6 Business Plans

Lim Sei cK.  A business plan is a written document that describes a business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial.

elements of a business plan ib bm

Higher Business Management Budgets. What is a Budget? A document showing what the organisation predicts they are going to spend in the future Usually.

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1. Is a challenging task Requires a great amount of work and time Involves numerous steps, which include*: 2 – write a business plan – obtain business.

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© 2012 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. Principles of Business, 8e C H A P T E R 6 SLIDE Becoming an Entrepreneur Small Business.

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Business Planning How to create a Business Plan by Mag. Maria Peer.

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Business Plans.

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BUSINESS PLAN How do you make a business Plan?

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3.1 Sources of Finance Key Outcomes:

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Raising Finance AS Business Studies.

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 A written document that specifies how, where, and to whom a business plans to market its product(s) and/or brand(s).  A small business typically creates.

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Business Aims & Objectives

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Lim Sei cK.  Select One viable idea  Select One idea for contingency  Identify and embed a social responsibility of a business  Write a short.

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Lim Sei cK.  Trade of goods  Trade of services  MAIN objective: Making profit.

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Your Trusted IB Business Notes

1.1 Introduction to Business Management

  • Decision-making company or organization
  • May/may not be for profit
  • Involves the exchange of goods and services
  • Produce goods and/or provide services
  • Exist to satisfy the needs and wants of people, organizations, governments, etc.
  • Enterprise – a group of people that tackles an objective, usually profit
  • Quality of output depends on quality of inputs
  • Amount of money needed to run a business
  • Man-made goods like machines, buildings, vehicles, and equipment needed for business to operate
  • Investment – increasing spending on capital
  • Space where a business operates
  • Raw materials and natural resources that are used in making a product
  • Physical & mental efforts of people to produce products/services
  • Management, organization, and planning of other three factors of production
  • Actions of entrepreneur who shows initiative and takes risks to set up, invest, and run a business
  • Manages the workforce and laborers of the company
  • Deals with recruitment, wages, communication, and motivation of employees
  • In charge of managing the organization’s money and assets
  • Ensures accurate recording and reporting of financial documentation (to comply with legal requirements)
  • Ensure that a company’s products sell
  • Concerned with identifying and satisfying consumers’ needs/wants
  • In charge of promotions, advertisements, etc.
  • In charge of business functions and processes that produce the actual goods
  • Concerned with research & development, delivery, stock management, etc.
  • Involves the harvesting of naturally available resources
  • e.g. mining, agriculture, livestock, drilling, and logging
  • Regulated and protected by the government
  • Fuels (produces inputs for) the other economic sectors
  • Example countries: Vietnam, Philippines, Canada, Dubai
  • Example companies: Philex Mining, Del Monte, Dole
  • Involves manufacturing of raw products to finished or component goods
  • Finished goods – exported or sold to domestic consumers
  • Component goods – sold to companies in the tertiary sector
  • Example countries: China, Scotland, Japan, Italy, USA
  • Example companies: Coca-Cola, Honda, Del Monte
  • Involved with service and retail
  • Includes retail sales, transportation, entertainment, restaurants, media, healthcare, banking, etc.
  • Philippines is a victim of brain drain: where professionals go abroad to look for jobs making it difficult for companies in the tertiary sector to find the employees they need
  • Relies on the primary and secondary sector for inputs
  • Example countries: USA, United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong
  • Example companies: JP Morgan, Convergys, Lotte
  • Involves intellectual activities or innovation services
  • Includes government, education, libraries, scientific research, information technology, etc.
  • When a country moves towards the manufacturing sector as its principal output and employment (primary to secondary)
  • Products become more refined and have more export potential
  • Raises the standard of education
  • Opens better job opportunities
  • Exploits the tertiary sector as the national output of employment
  • Further raises the standard of education
  • Quality of products improve
  • More distributors
  • Less employees and higher wages for employees
  • Can consider turning to robots and machines, as well as outsourcing
  • Easier to find competent employees
  • More income due to higher demand
  • More competition
  • People would rather work for bigger companies
  • Can consider expanding
  • More demand due to more stores
  • Opportunity for a “dampa” system
  • Less laborers
  • Can consider opening a small business or outsource
  • Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business, company, or organization
  • The founder, and usually owner
  • Big risk, big reward
  • Organizes inputs of production into goods and services (outputs)
  • Obtains money, buys the inputs needed and makes decisions.
  • Takes risks and provides the vision for the business idea
  • Assumes large financial risk
  • Provides sufficient resources
  • Intrapreneurship is similar to entrepreneurship but is done in an existing organization
  • Is an employee of the organization
  • Uses resources of company to undertake projects and therefore risks very little
  • Rewarded in the form of a paycheck
  • Does not act autonomously like an entrepreneur as he is dependent on other employees or the organization he works for
  • Profit – positive difference between revenues and costs
  • Benefit human welfare
  • Very fulfilling
  • Businesses often start up by looking for market opportunities (market gaps or niches)
  • Niche markets are where small businesses can easily compete
  • Business idea
  • 4 business inputs (capital, land, labor, and enterprise)
  • Four departments/functional areas
  • No land to establish a business
  • Product may not appeal to your location
  • Lack of manpower
  • Politics or government
  • National Calamities
  • Limited resources
  • Report detailing aims and objectives of a business
  • Planning tool that serves as a blueprint to address the issues of a startup business
  • Meant for investors/banks to help them decide on whether to invest/approve loans
  • Business – name of the business, type of the business, statement of aims and objectives, details of the owner
  • Product – details of goods/services, operations and equipment needed, suppliers, price
  • Market – who you’re selling to, market profile, competition (strengths and weaknesses)
  • Finance – money, start-up costs
  • Personnel – employees and workforce, skills
  • Marketing – marketing mix employed by business

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Guide to the Higher Level IA

Step 1: choosing the title.

You must f ind a current problem/decision facing a real business and produce a business report with a conclusion and recommendations , please remember that this IA project is not going to be written by your supervisor. It's written by you, therefore YOU must pick a subject/question that engages you and the content must be something that is realistically available to you.

Often, students will stress themselves trying to think of the best title, it is important to get the title right because if done right, the paper can write itself. Done wrong, the title can be an anchor and a drag on the entire assessment.

Please note, that although these sample titles do not use the real company name, it is better if you include the name of the business in your IA unless the organisation has specifically requested confidentiality .

Where should Company XYZ open new branches in (a foreign location, a different city/province)?

Should Company XYZ hire an expatriate or a local manager?

What kind of motivation theories can be employed at Company XYZ?

What sources of finance should Company XYZ utilize for expansion?

Should Company XYZ relocate their headquarters or expand their current location and premises?

How can Company XYZ reduce their labour turnover?

elements of a business plan ib bm

Keep it mind that:

Your decision has to involve a real business

You are expected to carry out primary research from the organisation and will require a letter from the business to confirm that they have received your report

You may need to convince the business of the confidentiality of your research. This is assured – only three people will see the data – you, your supervisor and the business itself. A letter of confidentiality is available on request.

Even so, many businesses do not give out accounts and other sensitive documents – be prepared for this.

Your decision/problem has to be current – you cannot take a decision that has already been made by the company and write a report in retrospect.

Your decision has to be answered by you – based on a variety of data that you have collected and business tools that you have applied

Your decision has to be answerable within 2,000 words – don’t choose a ‘big’ decision, keep it simple and straightforward

Step 2: The Research Proposal

This section of the ia is worth 3 marks out of the total of 25. it must be no more than 500 words , this includ es the action plan. the research proposal is intended to be a planning document that you write before you actually start researching for information. it should therefore be written in the future tense ., the research proposal should include the following titled questions:, the research question, the rationale for study, methodology, theoretical framework, action plan, anticipated difficulties, research question.

– Simply state the research question (remember that the entire research proposal must be under 500 words)

– Give an explanation as to why the issue you will be investing is important and worthy of spending time researching. This must be from a business perspective rather than your own personal perspective.

See example below for clarity:

elements of a business plan ib bm

Theoretical Framework - See example (right):

– State which business tool/techniques you are planning on using. For each one explain how it is relevant to your decision and how it will help you.

Suggestions for business tools, theories and concepts:

Marketing Strategies , Price elasticity , Economies of Scale

Product portfolio analysis (BCG)

Product lifecycle and Boston Matrix

Ansoff’s Matrix , Lewin’s force field analysis , Position (Perception) mapping

The SWOT analysis and/or the PESTLE analysis

Cause & Effect (Fishbone) model

Investment appraisal – Payback, ARR, NPV and Ratio Analysis

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Herzberg’s 2 factor theory or other motivational theories

Leadership theories

elements of a business plan ib bm

Methodology - See example ( right ):

– Outline the primary and secondary research methods that you will use for your research. Give specific details and justify why each will aid your decision making.

Primary Research:



Analysis of local competitors

Secondary Research:

Economic data

Financial Reports

Newspaper articles

Market data

Company annual reports

elements of a business plan ib bm

Anticipated Difficulties

– Give a list of possible problems you might encounter and say how you could resolve them. For example, this could be issues of confidentiality meaning that you can’t access information that you need.

Some issues can be revisited once you have completed parts of the IA, simply return to the research proposal and type in what issues you encountered and how you solved them

TAKE NOTE HOWEVER , you MUST write in future-tense as though you have yet to actually encounter the obstacle

See example below:

elements of a business plan ib bm

Source: ValkrieJJ ('19) - kindly permitted this website to use a censored version of his IBDP HL Business Internal Assessment Research Proposal as examples for this unit of the site

– Create a table like the example below. Make sure you fill in target dates for completion and explain any changes in the modification column as you complete each task

elements of a business plan ib bm

Step 3: Data Collection

Just like in every other subject's ia - students must collect data using primary and secondary research methods. your main source of research should be primary research and this is supported by secondary research. examiners in the past have commented upon an over reliance on internet research so you must try to show a broader range of sources . make sure that you have both internal and external sources of information. one of the single biggest mistakes students make is to rely on only one source of data. this makes the data – and your analysis invalid..

Interviews: Plan your interview questions carefully. You must provide a transcript of any interviews that have taken place to include in the appendices so it is best to record the interview as it takes place.

Ensure that your interviewees have consented to having their words be used in your IA and that there will be a transcript of you conversation with them in the appendices

Always cite your source in MLA or APA or (whatever preferred citing style) for the interview properly

Methods of Primary Research:


Make sure that these are kept concise and include closed questions in order to make the results are easy to collate. You could do a paper based survey or an online survey using Google Forms or a website such as www.surveymonkey.com .

Think carefully about your sample size and sampling method.

Link to Unit 4.4 - Market Research & Sampling Methods

(click the button below)

Unit 4.4 - Market Research

Secondary research could include finding out information about:

The business itself


Trends within the market

The external environment (PEST factors)

The issue your research project is concerned with

Methods of Secondary Research:

Step 4: Data Collation

After you have collected the data then you have to begin the task of organising it in your project. this crucially depends on when and how you will collect the data. your teacher will check your data before you start writing up the internal assessment . if there is insufficient data then you may be asked to change your title to something where information is more readily available or to change the title/research question to tailor the research and information that you have already collected in order to make your research suitable for usage., arranging the data:.

Once again no one form of presentation is better than another. However, you must think in terms of standardisation – presentation is much more effective if there is a consistent style. Secondly, you must cite every piece of data you include. This is critical; you will lose marks if you do not. Citing can also be useful as it points to the reliability of your data. At the very worst you could also be accused of plagiarism if you do not cite all the data.

elements of a business plan ib bm

Referencing the Data:

The IB takes referencing the data very seriously indeed. Not just because of the plagiarism issue but because the Bibliography, References and Appendix show the extent of your research. However, be warned the project is not marked by weight – in fact the more ‘padding’ you add the more chance you have of losing marks.

T his is used for material that would otherwise destroy the flow of your argument. E.g. sample questionnaires or company accounts. The IB is not impressed with students who try and beat the word limit by dumping huge tracts of materials in the appendices. The golden rule is only put it there if you have used it and if you don’t need to use it – don’t! You will eventually highlight the information in your appendices that you have referred to in your report.


T his is a list of all the references you have cited in your report. It must be in alphabetical order and only include sources that you have cited in your report

A reference gives full details of the source cited in the work; the parts or elements of the reference should be noted in a consistent order. Use of a recognized style guide will help ensure consistency, and will also ensure that all required elements are included.

A citation in the text links to a full reference in the bibliography. BSM recommends that you use the MLA style of citation. The IB say that you must use a consistent style.

Step 5: Formatting & Writing Your IA

The ib expects you to have created more than one draft of the business report. this is to show that you have modified your work as you go along. after you have submitted your first draft you will be given feedback and advice on how you can improve your report. the ib have a required format for the report. you need to make sure that you include all of the sections outlined and they must also be in the correct order., format of your ia:.

This page should give a clear indication of what is contained in the research project


This section should acknowledge any individual(s) who has made the production of the Internal Assessment and Written Report possible.

Table of Contents

This should include the major headings in the report, beginning with the Executive Summary. Page numbers should be clearly indicated.

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary provides a review of the document as a whole, outlining conclusions drawn and recommendations made. Together with the title, the Executive Summary should provide a clear overview of the document. It is imperative, therefore, that it is explicit yet brief (maximum 200 words).

This should be written last and should be in the PAST TENSE

It is essential that the executive summary include three elements:

the research question

the scope of the research (including the methodology)

the main findings, conclusions and recommendations.


The function of the Introduction is to demonstrate background knowledge about the organization, and set the context of the report.

Also to give a clear outline of the topics under investigation and to outline the rationale for the research.

Research Questions

This is a clear, unambiguous question that indicates the scope of the investigation and requires an answer. A well-devised question is more likely to result in a report that achieves high marks.

The research question should be reviewed at the end of the process and amended if necessary .

Procedure or Methodology

This should be a summary of the primary and secondary research undertaken and the business techniques (theories and decision-making tools) applied. It should also include an assessment of the validity and reliability of the data collected (e.g. partiality, bias and scope) and the methods employed. You should explain any changes made as the work progressed.

Main Results & Findings

The purpose of the analysis of the results section is to clarify what the raw data has revealed. This should include a summary of the data collected and findings, and could, where appropriate, be supported by tables, graphs and statistics, lists.

All tables, graphs, images etc need to be captioned with a label (eg. Figure 1) a title (eg. Key financial data for 2013/14) and a source

This involves interpreting the results and findings and applying the business tools and concepts.

Students often choose to split this into sub sections for each of the concepts/tools they are applying. The discussion should be sequenced and coherent. It should also be carefully referenced.

For each subsection a good structure would be:

Application of the tool/concept

Analysis/Discussion relating to the research question

Evaluation – Conclusions as to the implications for the research question

Critical thinking – identify limitations of the tool/data that has been used

Conclusion & Recommendations

The conclusions and recommendations must follow from the analysis and discussion. Students must state their conclusion and then justify their decision with reference to their analysis. They must not refer to any new information which has not already been discussed earlier in the report.

Recommendations should be precise and there should be practical proposals for action that stem from the conclusions.

It is also necessary to make reference to the limitations of the research done and how this could be addresses by the business.

The report should contain a correctly presented bibliography, acknowledging all sources cited in the analysis and results sections

These should include only relevant information that supports or emphasizes what is discussed in the report. You should be careful not to include inappropriate materials such as lengthy company reports.

Appendices could include photographs, transcripts, articles, financial data, questionnaires

Letter of Authentications

You need to include a letter from the organisation that verifies that you have conducted research at their organisation and that your report was submitted to them

Writing the Introduction:

The aim of the introduction is to give some background to the company and the issue that is being discussed. You are basically explaining why the issue is important and what the aim of the report is.

Writing the Procedure/Methodology:

In this section you need to explain the research that was done. This would include details of both the Primary method and the secondary sources you used. It should be written in the past tense. It should include specific details such as sample size and sampling method etc. This should relate to the proposed research that you outlined in your research proposal. You must identify any weaknesses or limitations of the research was done.

Writing the Results and Findings:

This section should briefly summarise the key findings of your research. This could include graphs, tables and charts and also bullet point lists of key information. You do not need to discuss these as this will be done in the Analysis and evaluation section.

Writing the Analysis & Evaluation:

This is the most significant area in the whole project. Just under 30% of your total marks come in here. It pays to get this bit right, so to help you, consider the following points:

Link the analysis to your research data

Be succinct and ordered

Integrate your data, analysis and evaluation

Avoid relying too heavily on a single source (the business)

Use independent sources

Avoid unsupported generalisations

Be critical – don’t take everything for granted

A good strategy for this section is to split it into sub-sections according to each tool/concept you are applying. In each subsection you should include:

A brief explanation of the tool/concept

Application of the tool to your chosen business (using data where possible rather than just opinion)

An analysis of how this relates to your research question. What does it imply regarding the decision you are trying to make.

You need to show evidence of critical thinking, a good way to do this is to mention limitations of the tool you have used or the data that you used.

Writing the Conclusion & Recommendation

This section must continue on from the previous material. Some points that you may want to bear in mind when writing your conclusion:

It should clearly state the decision you have come to regarding the research question

You should justify your decision with evidence from your analysis

There should be no new material introduced

The conclusions must be consistent with the evidence presented

Don’t ignore evidence because you don’t agree with it.

The recommendation should once again follow on from the conclusion and it should be brief and consistent. It must include the following elements:

A clear recommendation

Unanswered questions should be stated (limitations identified)

Suggestions to resolve these unanswered questions are made (limitations addressed)


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  5. আমি পাগল.....!!🤣😂😜 #youtube_shorts @videolover✨

  6. ٢٧ أكتوبر ٢٠٢٣


  1. Key Elements to Include in Your Daycare Business Plan Template

    Starting a daycare business can be a rewarding venture, but it requires careful planning and organization. One of the most crucial steps in setting up a successful daycare is creating a comprehensive business plan.

  2. Key Elements of a Successful Startup Business Plan: Learn from a Sample PDF

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  3. The Essential Elements of a Sample Disaster Recovery Plan: A Comprehensive Guide

    In today’s digital age, businesses rely heavily on technology to store and process critical data. However, unforeseen events such as natural disasters or cyberattacks can disrupt operations and potentially lead to data loss.

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  5. DP Business Management: The elements of a business plan

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    – Name and address of the proposed business (for new businesses);. – Description of the business activity;. – Cost of premises and other start-

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  9. IB Business Management Toolkit

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  10. IB Business Management Unit 1

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  11. 1.1 Introduction to Business Management

    Management, organization, and planning of other three factors of production · Actions of entrepreneur who shows initiative and takes risks to set

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    startup business. Meant for invest​ors​/banks to help them decide on whether to invest​/ap​prove loans. Elements of a business plan. Business.

  13. BM PPT

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    Source: ValkrieJJ ('19) - kindly permitted this website to use a censored version of his IBDP HL Business Internal Assessment Research Proposal as examples for