Business Plans

3 Reasons Former Inmates Make Great Entrepreneurs
prison

3 Reasons Former Inmates Make Great Entrepreneurs

Starting a business is a great option for ex-offenders. Here are 3 reasons why.
Brian Hamilton
Why You Need to Set Sales Goals
Sales Strategies

Why You Need to Set Sales Goals

Whether you're a doctor, a retail specialist or an accountant, you need a business plan with sales goals.
Tracy Byrnes
Use This Secret Military Trick to Tell if Someone Is Lying
Psychology

Use This Secret Military Trick to Tell if Someone Is Lying

Forget what you've seen in the movies, former Green Beret Sergeant Major (Retired) Karl Erickson explains the tactics that work on the battlefield and in the office.
Dan Bova
7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan
Make More Happen

7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan

Your business plan is how investors and potential partners see that you know everything you can about your industry.
John Rampton
4 Considerations for Entrepreneurs in the Minimum Wage Debate
Minimum Wage

4 Considerations for Entrepreneurs in the Minimum Wage Debate

If you're a small-business owner who hopes the fuss will die down after November -- it won't.
David Nilssen
Why Mark Zuckerberg Can't Shut Up About Facebook While Tim Cook Thinks Apple Needs Secrets
Facebook

Why Mark Zuckerberg Can't Shut Up About Facebook While Tim Cook Thinks Apple Needs Secrets

When Facebook makes big changes, they can bring harm to marginalized communities, or force people to confront traumatic memories.
Matt Weinberger
Plan How to Take Your Product to Market, Not Just to Potential Investors.
Business Plans

Plan How to Take Your Product to Market, Not Just to Potential Investors.

Too little planning is bad but, sometimes, so is too much investment money.
Ray Zinn
Retention Tactics That Fuel Sales Growth
Growth Strategies

Retention Tactics That Fuel Sales Growth

Starting with a plan to minimize customer attrition allows the rest of your marketing to grow the business.
Shaun Buck
Traction Is What Investors Are Looking for When You Present Your Plan
Business Model

Traction Is What Investors Are Looking for When You Present Your Plan

Investors will not be interested in your product until you can show them that a big market is getting interested.
Ash Maurya
3 Ridiculously Easy Steps You Can Take To Re-Energize Your Business
Growth Strategies

3 Ridiculously Easy Steps You Can Take To Re-Energize Your Business

The most effective business approach may be to personally reach out to people, talk to them and offer solutions that have value.
Matt Fore
You Can't Thrive When Your Strategy Is Merely to Survive
Strategy

You Can't Thrive When Your Strategy Is Merely to Survive

The natural impulse is to hunker down when the economy slows, but tough times are uniquely suited for boldly setting your brand apart.
Daniel Newman
3 Ways to Grow a Multi-Million Dollar Drop Shipping Business
Ecommerce

3 Ways to Grow a Multi-Million Dollar Drop Shipping Business

Begin with these drop shipping basics and everything will soon fall into place.
Nathan Resnick
How to Build a Business When You Can't Quit Your Job
Starting a Business

How to Build a Business When You Can't Quit Your Job

Starting a business is scary, and quitting a job that pays the bills is risky. Here's advice on how to mitigate the risk.
Larry Alton
To Become a Better Businessperson, First Become a Better Person
Business

To Become a Better Businessperson, First Become a Better Person

To give your best to your business, you have to be in a good place personally first.
Tyler Leslie

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.