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

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
Leadership

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
Presented by
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
Leadership

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
Presented by
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
How to Build an Advisory Board
Starting a Business

How to Build an Advisory Board

Why you should consider building an advisory team alongside your business plan -- and how to get started.
Katherine Duncan
3 Apps to Help You Write a Business Plan
Starting a Business

3 Apps to Help You Write a Business Plan

Helpful apps that guide you from brilliant business idea to an actionable plan.
Kim Lachance Shandrow
Crash Course in Business Plan Competitions
Starting a Business

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.
Michelle Goodman
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.
Kara Ohngren Prior
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