Starting a new business takes planning. Though many entrepreneurs might begin a business venture without a proper business plan in hand, once they embark upon the task of creating a successful company, most discover they can't get by without having one.
Writing a business plan can be extremely daunting. Consisting of pages of information (from as few as 10 to as many as 50), business plans include critical analysis of where your company is and where it's headed--analysis that is needed to help you obtain financing, whether it's from an investor, bank or government agency. Even if you're not seeking start-up or additional funding, you should consider writing a business plan to help you set goals for your company's future.
Of course, you don't necessarily need a software program to create a business plan--there are hundreds of how-to books on the subject, or you can hire a professional to create a business plan for you. But if you're a hands-on entrepreneur who likes to be in touch with all aspects of your business, you'll benefit greatly from a business planning software program. You still may want to read a book on the topic, but these programs will make it easier to get all the data down on paper. They include instructions and examples that promise to generate impressive, aesthetically pleasing business plans to assist you in raising capital.
Just as the idea for a new business or venture takes time to germinate, so does the writing of a business plan. It's important to put serious thought and consideration into your plan and to create one that includes all the necessary elements. The process can take days, so be prepared to spend long hours at the keyboard getting your plan right. You don't need to be a professional writer to develop a strong business plan, but you should be able to write one that is clear, concise and easy to read.
This month, we look at three products: Business Plan Pro 2.0, Business HeadStart and Power Business Plans. All run on Windows systems, and Power Business Plans also works on Macs.