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

NBA Great Charles Barkley to Give Tech Startup $25K
Starting a Business

NBA Great Charles Barkley to Give Tech Startup $25K

Barkley's business-plan contest award to help one lucky business owner 'get into the game.'
Jason Fell
Three Questions to Answer Before You Write a Business Plan
Starting a Business

Three Questions to Answer Before You Write a Business Plan

Before you can map out a business plan, you have to make some basic decisions about the direction that you want your company to take.
Tim Berry
The Myth of the Business Plan
Starting a Business

The Myth of the Business Plan

Don't fall prey to analysis by paralysis. Writing a business plan isn't all it's cracked up to be. If you're agonizing over a written plan, your time might be better spent talking to potential customers.
Five Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer
Starting a Business

Five Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer

Business plans don't have to be a lengthy ordeal. But you're more likely to get off to a good start if you think through critical questions about how you'll make money and run the show.
Gwen Moran
How to Estimate Startup Costs
Starting a Business

How to Estimate Startup Costs

Get an idea of how much money you'll need by creating three quick lists and making a few educated guesses.
Tim Berry
A Business Plan Tool That Helps Size Up Your Odds of Success
Starting a Business

A Business Plan Tool That Helps Size Up Your Odds of Success

Enloop pushes the emotional clouds out of the startup process to give entrepreneurs a clear view of their business plan.
Ericka Chickowski
Five Critical Questions Your Business Plan Should Answer
Starting a Business

Five Critical Questions Your Business Plan Should Answer

Answering these questions periodically can help keep long-term goals in mind while you adjust your immediate steps and actions.
Tim Berry
Five Rules for Bootstrapping Success
Starting a Business

Five Rules for Bootstrapping Success

Follow these tips to get your dream business off the ground without seeking outside investors.
What Investors Really Think About Your Business Plan
Starting a Business

What Investors Really Think About Your Business Plan

At our Entrepreneur Magazine Roundtable, financial pros offer tough talk about the business plans of first-time entrepreneurs.
Charles Barkley Wants to Give Your Startup $25,000
Starting a Business

Charles Barkley Wants to Give Your Startup $25,000

The NBA Hall of Famer starts a contest to give an aspiring entrepreneur a financial lift.
Jason Fell
A Better Business Plan Can Lead to New Customers
Starting a Business

A Better Business Plan Can Lead to New Customers

These four steps can help get you on your way to enhancing and expanding your client base.
Tim Berry
How Business Planning Leads to Better Management
Starting a Business

How Business Planning Leads to Better Management

Here are three steps to help get you planning better, and putting those plans in motion.
Tim Berry
A Competition for Your Startup
Starting a Business

A Competition for Your Startup

The Start-Up, Boot-Up business plan competition promises $75,000 to one outstanding start-up.
Mikal E. Belicove