Business Plans

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
How I Got To Pitch Mark Cuban My Business Idea Without Ever Going on 'Shark Tank'
Business Plans

How I Got To Pitch Mark Cuban My Business Idea Without Ever Going on 'Shark Tank'

If you're in college, think about the many college business-plan competitions out there. Not in college? There are competitions for you, too.
Alicia Glenn
6 Things Your Investors Are Thinking While Listening to Your Pitch
Pitching Investors

6 Things Your Investors Are Thinking While Listening to Your Pitch

Prepare for your pitch with the mind of an investor. Being prepared for all their questions and concerns will help seal the deal.
Rehan Ijaz
7 Flaws in Your Business Plan You Need to Fix
Business Plans

7 Flaws in Your Business Plan You Need to Fix

Individually, these seven flaws won't destroy your business, but cumulatively . . . watch out.
Jayson DeMers
5 Business Lessons I Learned From Surfing
Leadership

5 Business Lessons I Learned From Surfing

Like surfers wait for the right wave, business leaders wait for the right opportunities.
Phil La Duke

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.