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

Richard Branson on Why Compassion Is a Competitive Advantage
Doing Good

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.
Richard Branson
5 Steps for Creating a Long-Term Plan for Your Startup
Business Plans

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

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.
Robert Herjavec
Presented by
Facing Startup Uncertainty? Try 2 Different Ways to Plan for the Future.
business Planning

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.
Peter S. Cohan
The 4 Pitfalls Small Businesses Face
Mistakes

The 4 Pitfalls Small Businesses Face

Launching and running a company is no walk in the park. Be aware of these challenges before you jump into starting a business.
JT Ripton
Don't Go Too Lean. On America's Main Street, Business Plans Still Work.
Business Plans

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.
Sabrina Parsons
Your Mission Statement May Be Utterly Useless or a Gold Mine
Mission Statement

Your Mission Statement May Be Utterly Useless or a Gold Mine

Make yours meaningful by defining goals and specific strategies for customers, the enterprise and owners. Or skip one if there's no business purpose for it.
Tim Berry
Delivered by
What Happens to Your Business If You Die?
Retirement

What Happens to Your Business If You Die?

What happens when you want to retire and stop running your business? Here are a few tidbits of advice on how to keep your company growing, even when you are no longer the boss.
Melanie Spring
The Lie Entrepreneurs Tell Themselves and Others
Starting a Business

The Lie Entrepreneurs Tell Themselves and Others

Entrepreneurs often seem like they are so put together – their plan is on target, they are doing amazing and life couldn't be better. But many times that couldn't be further from the truth. And that is okay.
Tom Kulzer
How Do I Build a Business Plan? (Infographic)
Business Plans

How Do I Build a Business Plan? (Infographic)

Take a look at this infographic for tips on how to write a great business plan.
Nina Zipkin
Is Your Business Plan Missing This Vital Ingredient?
Business Plans

Is Your Business Plan Missing This Vital Ingredient?

Here are five steps to take to maximize your chances of startup success.
Stacey Alcorn
Don't Be a 'Pividiot.' Follow These Tips.
Growth Strategies

Don't Be a 'Pividiot.' Follow These Tips.

Constantly changing directions can harm your business. So how do you know when it's a good time to pivot?
Matthew Toren
Lessons From the Boston Red Sox That Can Help Your Business in the New Year
Leadership

Lessons From the Boston Red Sox That Can Help Your Business in the New Year

As 2014 approaches, consider these three important lessons gleaned from the World Series baseball champions.
Trevor Turnbull
Presented by
When Planning for the Future, Keep Your Past in Perspective
Growth Strategies

When Planning for the Future, Keep Your Past in Perspective

In order to grow and improve your startup, it helps to take a close look at hidden and existing assets.
Debra Kaye