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

Crash Course in Business Plan Competitions
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Crash Course in Business Plan Competitions

Business-plan competitions can yield more than seed money for your bright idea -- they can also connect you with mentors, collaborators and investors.
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Barbara Corcoran's 6 Pearls of Wisdom for Young Treps
Starting a Business

Barbara Corcoran's 6 Pearls of Wisdom for Young Treps

Ahead of her keynote address at Entrepreneur's annual Growth Conference, here are some of her choicest gems of advice for young entrepreneurs.
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Reworking Your Business Plan? Consider These Tips
Starting a Business

Reworking Your Business Plan? Consider These Tips

If you're looking to run your business better, you'll need the discipline to stick to a plan. Here's how to make better choices from the start.
Tim Berry
Reverse-Engineering Your Business Plan: Success Starts With the End
Starting a Business

Reverse-Engineering Your Business Plan: Success Starts With the End

Focusing on your ultimate goals can help you devise a plan to reach them.
Dave Lavinsky
Writing a Business Plan? Don't Forget About Marketing
Starting a Business

Writing a Business Plan? Don't Forget About Marketing

Executing a solid marketing strategy is essential to any venture's success. Otherwise, your genius may be greeted by crickets.
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Young Entrepreneur's 10 Most Popular Stories of 2012
Starting a Business

Young Entrepreneur's 10 Most Popular Stories of 2012

From inspiring quotes and giant-brand mishaps to tips on starting up and growing a business, here are the stories that became our readers' favorites this year.
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Are You Ready to Launch? Here's How to Find Out
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Are You Ready to Launch? Here's How to Find Out

Veteran venture capitalist Jason Green on the importance of a minimum viable product and assembling a top-notch team.
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Do You Need an MBA for Startup Success?
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Do You Need an MBA for Startup Success?

Student entrepreneur Joseph Draschil on how his education prepared him for running a business, but why he had to look elsewhere for startup help.
How Your Business Plan Might Be Holding You Back
Business Plans

How Your Business Plan Might Be Holding You Back

Use the time you save writing a detailed business plan to move past the planning phase and help your company take flight.
10 Top Reasons Why First-Time Entrepreneurs Fail
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10 Top Reasons Why First-Time Entrepreneurs Fail

You never want to make the same mistake twice, but isn't success sweeter when you don't make any? Here are some reasons why businesses fail and tips for how to avoid it.
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Thinking of Majoring in Entrepreneurship? Read This First
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Thinking of Majoring in Entrepreneurship? Read This First

For many heading to campus who also dream of starting a business one day, majoring in entrepreneurship can help. But it's far from the only major decision you'll need to make along the way.
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7 Paybacks an Alma Mater Can Offer Young Entrepreneurs
Starting a Business

7 Paybacks an Alma Mater Can Offer Young Entrepreneurs

Think university resources are only for students? Here are some ideas for how to best utilize your old school -- even when you're no longer on campus.
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Why Your Business Plan Is Probably Incomplete
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Why Your Business Plan Is Probably Incomplete

In creating a business plan, many entrepreneurs forget to bring along their roadmaps for how they'll accomplish goals. Here are a few can't-miss sights.
Kevin Hiser