Business Plans

Use These 3 Analysis Tools to Prepare a Killer Business Plan
Business Optimization

Use These 3 Analysis Tools to Prepare a Killer Business Plan

Writing a business plan doesn't have to be agonizing -- there can be some fun in doing it.
Jeff Boss
Look Ahead to These 4 Business Plan Milestones
Business Optimization

Look Ahead to These 4 Business Plan Milestones

Know what you're working toward.
Nina Zipkin
6 Reasons Why Your Elevator Pitch Isn't Working
Business Optimization

6 Reasons Why Your Elevator Pitch Isn't Working

You've only got about 30 seconds to land a great first impression, and your elevator pitch is the best tool to get the job done.
Jayson DeMers
Don't Make These 6 Business Plan Mistakes
Business Optimization

Don't Make These 6 Business Plan Mistakes

Far more businesses fail than succeed. It all starts with the right plan.
Nina Zipkin
5 Ways to Simplify Your Business Plan and Almost Anything Else
Business Optimization

5 Ways to Simplify Your Business Plan and Almost Anything Else

Smart people can understand something that is complicated but brilliant people can make it simple.
Larry Alton
Does Your Business Plan Answer These 6 Questions?
Business Optimization

Does Your Business Plan Answer These 6 Questions?

Answering a few key questions can make business plan writing a little easier.
Nina Zipkin
Why Startups Should Consider 'The Bakery Model' When Starting Out
Business Optimization

Why Startups Should Consider 'The Bakery Model' When Starting Out

This strategy focuses more on generating revenue from the get-go, rather than relying on capital from outside investors.
Zeev Farbman
4 Essential Considerations of a Bank-Friendly Business Plan
Business Optimization

4 Essential Considerations of a Bank-Friendly Business Plan

Your business plan is not an academic exercise or a hoop to jump through, it's a living document that shows investors, advisors and business partners that you are serious about making your dream reality.
David Nilssen
6 Critical Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer
Business Optimization

6 Critical Questions Your Business Plan Must Answer

If you want to lay the groundwork for a stable business and attract investors, make sure you're hitting these points.
Larry Alton
The Essential Ingredients to Startup Success
Business Optimization

The Essential Ingredients to Startup Success

If you are just beginning your first business venture, no matter where you are in your life, here are my first steps to get you going.
Lewis Howes
The One Simple Tool for Transforming Your Relationship With Investors
Business Optimization

The One Simple Tool for Transforming Your Relationship With Investors

Creating a MAP will take no more than an hour of your time every month and will keep the lines of communication open, ensuring relationships with investors remain strong, and ultimately helping early-stage startups succeed.
Will Ford
8 Reasons to Update Your Business Plan Right Now
Business Optimization

8 Reasons to Update Your Business Plan Right Now

Writing your business plan isn't a one-time event. Here's why it's critical to update it from time to time.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
How to Use Your Business Plan as a Benchmark for Performance
Business Optimization

How to Use Your Business Plan as a Benchmark for Performance

Don't just file your business plan away in a drawer once you've launched. Instead, use it to keep tabs on how you're doing.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
4 Reasons Why Nobody Can Write Your Business Plan Better Than You
Business Optimization

4 Reasons Why Nobody Can Write Your Business Plan Better Than You

Consultants and editors can polish your plan but only you can infuse it with the passion that drives your dream.
John Boitnott

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.