Business Plans

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
7 Steps-to-Success for Clothing Industry Start-ups
Starting a Business

7 Steps-to-Success for Clothing Industry Start-ups

Clothing line entrepreneurs should work toward a complete business plan as the business further develops.
Toby Nwazor
Does Your Business Idea Solve a Problem? Does It Fit You Personally? Ask Yourself These Questions Before Committing.
Business Ideas

Does Your Business Idea Solve a Problem? Does It Fit You Personally? Ask Yourself These Questions Before Committing.

Remember that roughly nine out of 10 businesses fail. What puts you into that remaining 10 percent?
Andre Bourque
Your New Business Name Should Be Memorable, Spell-able and Available
Business Name

Your New Business Name Should Be Memorable, Spell-able and Available

Follow these five tips to settle on what is one of the most important aspect of a new company -- its name.
Nellie Akalp
7 Ways to Keep Your Focus on Execution After the Idea
Execution

7 Ways to Keep Your Focus on Execution After the Idea

Are you sure your startup is moving beyond the idea stage to assure long-term business success?
Martin Zwilling
5 Tips for Continuous Strategic Planning
The Grind

5 Tips for Continuous Strategic Planning

Over time, your business plan will change. Here are a few tips to smartly and efficiently update your strategic plan and build team buy-in.
David Chait
8 Big Business Tenets That Don't Work for Startups
Startup Basics

8 Big Business Tenets That Don't Work for Startups

Large companies with existing resources and qualified people have different rules than the little guys for innovative efforts.
Martin Zwilling
6 Things You Don't Realize Are Hurting Your Business
Mistakes

6 Things You Don't Realize Are Hurting Your Business

As an entrepreneur, be wary of these six unseen errors that can hurt -- or even ruin -- your company.
Anna Johansson
Product Development

3 Steps to Bring Your New Electronic Product to Market

Follow these tips to turn your concept of a brilliant new gadget into profit.
John Teel
Sustainable Capitalism Is the Next Big Thing in Investing
Small Business - Big Impact

Sustainable Capitalism Is the Next Big Thing in Investing

Urgent global social needs and unprecedented advancements in technology have made sustainable capitalism a necessary development.
Tx Zhuo
10 Answers That Will Make Your Startup Plan Worthy of Investment
Pitching Investors

10 Answers That Will Make Your Startup Plan Worthy of Investment

Having all the answers when you pitch investors will lead them to ask only one question: ""How soon can I sign up?"
Martin Zwilling
Why Believing Your Own Projections Is Risky Business
Financial Projections

Why Believing Your Own Projections Is Risky Business

A growing number of tech giants have missed targets and have re-evaluated projections. As a result, they've been forced to slow hiring or initiate massive layoffs.
David Mandell
Don't Overlook the Boring Details That Torpedo Flashy Startups
Business Planning

Don't Overlook the Boring Details That Torpedo Flashy Startups

Don't let the glamour and allure of startup culture blind you to the practical prerequisite of a rock-solid business plan.
Daniel Wesley

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.