A finished business plan serves as an operating tool to help you
manage your business and work toward its success. It allows you to
put nebulous thoughts into concrete form. It is the difference
between those who merely have an idea and those who make money on
one. And it is the most important step you can take towards making
your dream of owning a business a reality.
Regardless of what you've been told by friends and associates, writing a business plan is necessary for success. How much capital will you need to start the venture? What legal form will the business take? How long will it be before the business breaks even? What is it about your business that will make it succeed? Inquiring minds want to know-especially bankers, venture capitalists and any other sources you approach for start-up funding and expansion capital. Although there are many different structures for a business plan, they all contain the following elements: