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

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.
Marsha Friedman
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.
Diana Ransom
Are You Ready to Launch? Here's How to Find Out
Starting a Business

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.
Jason Green
Do You Need an MBA for Startup Success?
Starting a Business

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
Starting a Business

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.
Martin Zwilling
Thinking of Majoring in Entrepreneurship? Read This First
Starting a Business

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.
Adam Toren
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.
Martin Zwilling
Why Your Business Plan Is Probably Incomplete
Starting a Business

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
Should You Create Your Business Plan on Pinterest?
Starting a Business

Should You Create Your Business Plan on Pinterest?

The social sharing pinboard isn't just for recipes and animal photos, it can help you build a vision for your business.
Tim Berry
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Business-Plan Competitions
Starting a Business

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Business-Plan Competitions

For startups seeking critical seed money, business-plan competitions can be both a blessing and a curse.
Matt Villano
From Starving Artist to Young Entrepreneur: Conor McCreedy on Making Creativity Pay
Starting a Business

From Starving Artist to Young Entrepreneur: Conor McCreedy on Making Creativity Pay

From artists to chefs to designers, making money is still considered taboo. But when you want to make it big in fashionable industries, being able to earn a buck is often key.
3 Reasons to Skip the Business Plan
Starting a Business

3 Reasons to Skip the Business Plan

Starting a business is like a prizefight, you can project a path but the road is still full of surprise punches.