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

Struggling to Define Your Business Goals? Ask Yourself These Questions.
Business Plans

Struggling to Define Your Business Goals? Ask Yourself These Questions.

Comfort food may have launched McDonald's, but strategic planning turned it into a multinational corporation.
Tanya Benedicto Klich
First Steps: Writing the Executive Summary of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Executive Summary of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the executive summary for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Management Section of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Management Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the management section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Product Section of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Product Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the product section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Industry Section of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Industry Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the industry section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Marketing Section of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Marketing Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the marketing section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Operations Section of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Operations Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the operations section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Financials Section of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Financials Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the financials section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Your Business Plan Must-Haves
Business Plans

Your Business Plan Must-Haves

Seasoned business pros reveal exactly why your business plan is critical for success and which parts matter most.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
One Business Plan, Four Different Ways
Business Plans

One Business Plan, Four Different Ways

Audience and setting is essential to writing an effective plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Startup Business Forecasts Are Not Black Magic, Just Smart Business
Business Plans

Startup Business Forecasts Are Not Black Magic, Just Smart Business

You need these projections to set internal goals and milestones, and to measure your progress toward reasonable success objectives.
Martin Zwilling
How to Excite Readers With Your Business Plan's Product Section. (Yes, Seriously.)
Business Plans

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.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Risky Business: 6 Potential Pitfalls of Writing a Business Plan
Business Plans

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.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.