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How to Write a Business Plan 101

This guide to writing a business plan will outline the most important parts and what should be included in an effective plan.

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A is a written description of your business's , a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your , you've written a plan, or at least the germ of one.

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Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities. And you want to get to there, a point in the future (usually three to five years out), at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and increased assets. Your plan shows how you will get from here to there.

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