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.

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Overcome the uncomfortable and awkward moment of a rejection from a client.

Start With a Simple Business Plan and Grow It as Needed

Begin with a lean document that can guide your company's efforts internally. Add to it later on if investors or bankers need more details.

4 Things Entrepreneurs Should Think About That May Not Be in the Business Plan

Two young women recount the lessons they learned from starting their social media-marketing agency.

7 Key Steps Toward Starting Your Own Business

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5 Tips for Building Adaptivity Into Your Business Model

No startup business plan is so good that it anticipates every twist and change in the market and customer demand. To thrive, anticipate the unknown.

7 Steps to a Finance-Centered Business Plan

If your startup calls for financing to get off the ground, follow this list to impress potential investors and lenders.

5 Easy Tweaks You Can Make to Consistently Land New Customers

People visit your website looking for what you offer. Making them feel welcome is step one to earning loyal new customers.

The Best Time to Visit Your Franchise Headquarters

Some advice for franchisees on how to decide whether a trip to your franchise's home turf makes sense.

How to Anticipate Cash-Flow Problems

Do advance planning to avoid a crash course in the lesson you don't want to learn the hard way.

The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

Sure, you're idea is unique but how businesses survive, or don't, is the same for everybody.

Dress Well and Leave the 'Umms' at Home -- 5 Ways to Ace an Investor Pitch

There’s one thing worse than watching an entrepreneur crumble under a fatal barrage of questions.

How to Build a Business in Just 10 Days

Get a thriving company off the ground with this plan.

How a Family-Owned Firm Can Beat the Odds and Pivot

Use a leadership change as a catalyst for a shift in the business model to keep up with trends.

When Angel Investors Reject Your Plan

If those you've approached for money say no, try to figure out why. Maybe it will lead to some good news.

How to Evaluate Your Startup Like a VC

The are six factors that investors will focus on when evaluating your business. Know them by heart.

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With summer in full swing and the start of the third quarter, it's time to take an honest look at your progress.

What a Teen's Summer Job Can Teach Us About Good Business Practices

Lessons come from everywhere -- even that kid selling ice cream from a boat.

Write a Winning Business Plan With These 8 Key Elements

Before you launch your company, create a document that will serve as its foundation.

Richard Branson on Why Compassion Is a Competitive Advantage

Business used to be a cutthroat world where the only thing that mattered was profit -- but that's changing quickly.

5 Steps for Creating a Long-Term Plan for Your Startup

Having a clear vision of your company’s long-term trajectory is essential to ensuring its success.

Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec on Great Business Pitches and Why Sales Reps Need to Be Chameleons

The serial entrepreneur and investor explains how company plans should be framed around customer needs -- and his sartorial choices.

Facing Startup Uncertainty? Try 2 Different Ways to Plan for the Future.

New business owners often rely on prediction or creation logic -- and sometimes use both.

The 4 Pitfalls Small Businesses Face

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Don't Go Too Lean. On America's Main Street, Business Plans Still Work.

Don't kid yourself. For most new firms launching outside Silicon Valley, developing a startup strategy is essential.
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