Business Plans

Often the first act of entrepreneurship is formalizing a business plan for a prospective company. Business plans, which serve as something of a roadmap for how a founder will turn an idea into a full-fledged business, typically include information like an executive summary, a market analysis and financial projections.

Business plans can be vital for entrepreneurs and business owners interested in lining up a bank loan or attracting other stakeholders such as investors. And though a plan may change over time, entrepreneurs and owners often say the process of mapping out how a company will operate and who its customers will be is invaluable.

Still, as the lean startup trend has taken root in recent years, debate has arisen over whether entrepreneurs actually need business plans. Many investors and others within the entrepreneurial community suggest that in a startup, time is of the essence. And since a business plan -- and often the business itself -- will surely change anyway and it might be of little use to put in the effort. According to some, it's better to simply go and do, and then based on an owner's progress, raise funding later, should that be necessary. 

Today's Most Read

News and Articles About Business Plans

How Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies With My Dad Taught Me to Analyze Business
Startup Basics

How Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies With My Dad Taught Me to Analyze Business

As my father and I enjoyed a snack, he provided me with a simple lesson I have never forgotten.
Stephen Key
4 Essential Considerations of a Bank-Friendly Business Plan
Business Plans

4 Essential Considerations of a Bank-Friendly Business Plan

Your business plan is not an academic exercise or a hoop to jump through, it's a living document that shows investors, advisors and business partners that you are serious about making your dream reality.
David Nilssen
6 Critical Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer
Starting a Business

6 Critical Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer

If you want to lay the groundwork for a stable business and attract investors, make sure you're hitting these points.
Larry Alton
The Essential Ingredients to Startup Success
Success Strategies

The Essential Ingredients to Startup Success

If you are just beginning your first business venture, no matter where you are in your life, here are my first steps to get you going.
Lewis Howes
The One Simple Tool for Transforming Your Relationship With Investors
Investor Relations

The One Simple Tool for Transforming Your Relationship With Investors

Creating a MAP will take no more than an hour of your time every month and will keep the lines of communication open, ensuring relationships with investors remain strong, and ultimately helping early-stage startups succeed.
Will Ford
8 Reasons to Update Your Business Plan Right Now
Business Plans

8 Reasons to Update Your Business Plan Right Now

Writing your business plan isn't a one-time event. Here's why it's critical to update it from time to time.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
5 Questions to Ask About Your Financial Model to Add Real Value To Your Startup
Finance

5 Questions to Ask About Your Financial Model to Add Real Value To Your Startup

For maximum value with the least effort, focus on only the "what ifs" that are the highest priority in your mind for your own startup.
Martin Zwilling
Add This Dimension to a Traditional Business Analysis for a Fuller Marketing Plan
Marketing

Add This Dimension to a Traditional Business Analysis for a Fuller Marketing Plan

Typically, you look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from a product perspective. Here's what you should also be doing.
Jim Joseph
How to Use Your Business Plan as a Benchmark for Performance
Business Plans

How to Use Your Business Plan as a Benchmark for Performance

Don't just file your business plan away in a drawer once you've launched. Instead, use it to keep tabs on how you're doing.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
4 Reasons Why Nobody Can Write Your Business Plan Better Than You
Business Plans

4 Reasons Why Nobody Can Write Your Business Plan Better Than You

Consultants and editors can polish your plan but only you can infuse it with the passion that drives your dream.
John Boitnott
Update Your Business Plan to Renew Your Drive and Focus
Business Plans

Update Your Business Plan to Renew Your Drive and Focus

See why giving this key document an occasional overhaul is a must-do exercise for every company owner.
Moe Kittaneh
Stop Worrying About Everyone Stealing Your Idea
Business Ideas

Stop Worrying About Everyone Stealing Your Idea

Just like shark attacks are extremely rare, so is getting your ideas stolen.
Jessica Alter
10 Tips for Creating a Winning Business Plan in PowerPoint
Business Plans

10 Tips for Creating a Winning Business Plan in PowerPoint

If you're presenting your business plan in PowerPoint format, read this first.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Skip the Boring Business Plan. Focus on This Strategy Instead.
Business Plans

Skip the Boring Business Plan. Focus on This Strategy Instead.

Here's a simpler, less time intensive approach that offers more flexibility than the traditional business plan.
Cache Merrill