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 to Excite Readers With Your Business Plan's Product Section. (Yes, Seriously.)
Business Circle

How to Excite Readers With Your Business Plan's Product Section. (Yes, Seriously.)

Product descriptions can be as dry as toast--or as exciting as a roller coaster ride. Here's how to craft one that keeps people reading.
Risky Business: 6 Potential Pitfalls of Writing a Business Plan
Business Circle

Risky Business: 6 Potential Pitfalls of Writing a Business Plan

There is a downside to putting your business plan on paper. Learn the risks and learn how to protect your interests.
How to Determine the Goals and Objectives of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

How to Determine the Goals and Objectives of Your Business Plan

A business plan is only as good as the goals and objectives it outlines. Here's how to determine what those are.
Put Building Strategic Relationships at the Heart of Your Business Plan for 2015
Relationship building

Put Building Strategic Relationships at the Heart of Your Business Plan for 2015

The best way to make friends with the people who can help you is to think about how you can help them.
Eddy Ricci
What to Include in Your Business Plan
Business Plans

What to Include in Your Business Plan

Here's what your business plan should contain, how long it should be and what it should look like.
The 4 Types of Business Plans
Business Plans

The 4 Types of Business Plans

Learn which of these four business plan formats best fits your needs.
Do You Need to Write a Formal Business Plan?
Starting a Business

Do You Need to Write a Formal Business Plan?

There is one big factor that determines whether you should put the time and effort into crafting a plan.
Doug and Polly White
5 Reasons to Write a Business Plan
Business Plans

5 Reasons to Write a Business Plan

There are any number of reasons why you need to create a business plan, including starting a business, seeking funding and more.
The One-Week Road Test to See If You're Entrepreneurial Material
Leadership

The One-Week Road Test to See If You're Entrepreneurial Material

You're brimming with excitement and dying to take a spin in your newly imagined role as a business owner launching a business. Here's the five-pronged course you must pass.
Robert Tuchman
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The 5 Things You Need to Land Venture Capital
Business Plans

The 5 Things You Need to Land Venture Capital

Find out what VCs look for before investing in a new company.
Everything You Need to Know About Attracting Venture Capitalists
Business Plans

Everything You Need to Know About Attracting Venture Capitalists

A primer on the types of financing venture capitalists provide and what they look for in a company.
Success Will Never Come to Entrepreneurs Who Do These 10 Things
Success Strategies

Success Will Never Come to Entrepreneurs Who Do These 10 Things

There will always be winners and losers. Make sure you don't end up the latter.
Jonathan Long
The Navy SEAL's 10-Step Approach for Creating the Ultimate Business Plan
Starting a Business

The Navy SEAL's 10-Step Approach for Creating the Ultimate Business Plan

Similar to mission planning in special operations, there are myriad unknown factors that entrepreneurs must consider before they unleash a new product or service.
Jeff Boss
How to Find an Angel Investor
Business Plans

How to Find an Angel Investor

Angel investors used to be hard to find, but that's no longer true.