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

5 Tips for Building Adaptivity Into Your Business Model
Business Model

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.
Jan Verleur
7 Steps to a Finance-Centered Business Plan
Business Plans

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.
Adam Toren
5 Easy Tweaks You Can Make to Consistently Land New Customers
Finding Customers

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.
Kimanzi Constable
The Best Time to Visit Your Franchise Headquarters
Franchises

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.
Joel Libava
How to Anticipate Cash-Flow Problems
Cash Flow

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.
Tim Berry
The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business
Startup Mistakes

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.
Robert Tuchman
Dress Well and Leave the 'Umms' at Home -- 5 Ways to Ace an Investor Pitch
Pitching investors

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.
Eric Schiffer
How to Build a Business in Just 10 Days
Starting a Business

How to Build a Business in Just 10 Days

Get a thriving company off the ground with this plan.
Nina Zipkin
How a Family-Owned Firm Can Beat the Odds and Pivot
Family Businesses

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.
Sabrina Parsons
When Angel Investors Reject Your Plan
Angel Investors

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.
Tim Berry
How to Evaluate Your Startup Like a VC
Startups

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.
Steve Tobak
3 Questions Every Business Owner Needs to Ask Themselves In July
Business Plans

3 Questions Every Business Owner Needs to Ask Themselves In July

With summer in full swing and the start of the third quarter, it's time to take an honest look at your progress.
Matthew Toren
What a Teen's Summer Job Can Teach Us About Good Business Practices
Lessons

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.
Jonathan Long
Write a Winning Business Plan With These 8 Key Elements
Business Plans

Write a Winning Business Plan With These 8 Key Elements

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