Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Financials Section of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

First Steps: Writing the Financials Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the financials section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Your Business Plan Must-Haves
Business Plans

Your Business Plan Must-Haves

Seasoned business pros reveal exactly why your business plan is critical for success and which parts matter most.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
One Business Plan, Four Different Ways
Business Plans

One Business Plan, Four Different Ways

Audience and setting is essential to writing an effective plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Startup Business Forecasts Are Not Black Magic, Just Smart Business
Business Plans

Startup Business Forecasts Are Not Black Magic, Just Smart Business

You need these projections to set internal goals and milestones, and to measure your progress toward reasonable success objectives.
Martin Zwilling
How to Excite Readers With Your Business Plan's Product Section. (Yes, Seriously.)
Business Plans

How to Excite Readers With Your Business Plan's Product Section. (Yes, Seriously.)

Product descriptions can be as dry as toast--or as exciting as a roller coaster ride. Here's how to craft one that keeps people reading.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Risky Business: 6 Potential Pitfalls of Writing a Business Plan
Business Plans

Risky Business: 6 Potential Pitfalls of Writing a Business Plan

There is a downside to putting your business plan on paper. Learn the risks and learn how to protect your interests.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
How to Determine the Goals and Objectives of Your Business Plan
Business Plans

How to Determine the Goals and Objectives of Your Business Plan

A business plan is only as good as the goals and objectives it outlines. Here's how to determine what those are.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Put Building Strategic Relationships at the Heart of Your Business Plan for 2015
Relationship Building

Put Building Strategic Relationships at the Heart of Your Business Plan for 2015

The best way to make friends with the people who can help you is to think about how you can help them.
Eddy Ricci
What to Include in Your Business Plan
Business Plans

What to Include in Your Business Plan

Here's what your business plan should contain, how long it should be and what it should look like.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
The 4 Types of Business Plans
Business Plans

The 4 Types of Business Plans

Learn which of these four business plan formats best fits your needs.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Do You Need to Write a Formal Business Plan?
Starting a Business

Do You Need to Write a Formal Business Plan?

There is one big factor that determines whether you should put the time and effort into crafting a plan.
Doug and Polly White
5 Reasons to Write a Business Plan
Business Plans

5 Reasons to Write a Business Plan

There are any number of reasons why you need to create a business plan, including starting a business, seeking funding and more.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
The One-Week Road Test to See If You're Entrepreneurial Material
Leadership Qualities

The One-Week Road Test to See If You're Entrepreneurial Material

You're brimming with excitement and dying to take a spin in your newly imagined role as a business owner launching a business. Here's the five-pronged course you must pass.
Robert Tuchman

For any entrepreneur planning to start a business, writing a business plan is a helpful way to clarify what service or products the company provides, as well as your business goals and how to to reach them. Business plans are considered a mandatory step for entrepreneurs seeking funding from venture capitalists or banks.  

What to include: Business plans vary in length -- anywhere from 20 to 50 pages -- but typically cover the same topics, such as: Cover Page (essential contact information); Executive Summary (what your business does and what market need it solves); Company Overview (profile of company and successes); Industry Analysis (details about the market); Customer Analysis (who are the customers); Competitive Analysis (identify key competitors); Marketing Plan (your brand and how do you plan on getting it in front of customers); Operations Plan (daily and yearly operational processes for success); Management Team (identify key company personnel); and Financial Plans (revenue projections for three to five years).      

Helpful resources: For guidance on how to write a business plan, read “Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide” and Write Your Business Plan from the staff of Entrepreneur Media.