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. 

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News and Articles About Business Plans

Good Entrepreneurs Borrow, Great Ones Steal
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Good Entrepreneurs Borrow, Great Ones Steal

Fabrice Grinda expands on International Idea Arbitrage and how to execute existing ideas in emerging markets.
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How to Turn Your Business Idea into a Business Model
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How to Turn Your Business Idea into a Business Model

Once you have a business idea, it's time to get to the real work of getting it off the ground and running. Here are three ways to get started.
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How and Why Business Plans Have Changed
Starting a Business

How and Why Business Plans Have Changed

The fundamentals of business plan writing remain the same, but there are some crucial changes these days that you should keep in mind when crafting your plan.
Tim Berry
10 Questions to Ask if You Want to Create a Winning Business Plan
Starting a Business

10 Questions to Ask if You Want to Create a Winning Business Plan

Throw out everything you know about a business plan. These are the questions you need to ask to sell your idea to investors.
Arlene Weintraub
Crocs: From Footwear Fad to Billion-Dollar Company
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Crocs: From Footwear Fad to Billion-Dollar Company

This iconic shoemaker bounced back after the recession by revamping its product lines and distribution channel.
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Why Your Business Could Be Failing Even If You Hit Your Numbers
Finance

Why Your Business Could Be Failing Even If You Hit Your Numbers

More than half of businesses that meet their income forecasts fail. Here's why and what steps you can take to make sure your business forecasts are financially sound.
Matt Garrett
A Plucky Startup Ditches 'Coin Piggy' Roots and Finds Its Mission
Starting a Business

A Plucky Startup Ditches 'Coin Piggy' Roots and Finds Its Mission

GoFundMe, a popular crowdfunding site, went through several iterations before it found its niche helping individuals rally around personal causes.
Sarah Max
Numbers You Need to Know to Grow Your Business
Growth Strategies

Numbers You Need to Know to Grow Your Business

Managing your business well means measuring your progress regularly. Here are five ways to better keep track of your numbers to help boost your bottom line.
Dave Lavinsky
3 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan
Starting a Business

3 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

Operating as a lean startup has its advantages, but you still need a roadmap to success. That's where your business plan comes in.
Colleen DeBaise
How to Build a Lean and Efficient Business Plan
Starting a Business

How to Build a Lean and Efficient Business Plan

Your business plan must be ready to accommodate rapid changes so that your company can follow suit. Here are five ways to make your business plan as lean and effective as possible.
Tim Berry
College Entrepreneurs to Compete for Big Money Prizes at Rice University
Starting a Business

College Entrepreneurs to Compete for Big Money Prizes at Rice University

One of the largest -- and richest -- business plan competitions in the country kicks off today.
Dinah Wisenberg Brin
Why Employees Need a Say in Your Business Planning
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Why Employees Need a Say in Your Business Planning

When employees help set your company's goals, they'll be more committed to seeing them through. Here are some strategies to better engage employees in business planning.
Dave Lavinsky
When Is the Best Time to Write Your Business Plan?
Starting a Business

When Is the Best Time to Write Your Business Plan?

You don't need to drop everything to put together a business plan. Instead, it should be a constant work-in-progress. Here's how.
Tim Berry
10 Questions to Ask Before Quitting Your Job to Start a Business
Starting a Business

10 Questions to Ask Before Quitting Your Job to Start a Business

How do you know when the time is right to make the leap?
Alina Dizik