Business Plans

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
Update Your Business Plan to Renew Your Drive and Focus
Business Optimization

Update Your Business Plan to Renew Your Drive and Focus

See why giving this key document an occasional overhaul is a must-do exercise for every company owner.
Moe Kittaneh
Stop Worrying About Everyone Stealing Your Idea
Business Optimization

Stop Worrying About Everyone Stealing Your Idea

Just like shark attacks are extremely rare, so is getting your ideas stolen.
Jessica Alter
10 Tips for Creating a Winning Business Plan in PowerPoint
Business Optimization

10 Tips for Creating a Winning Business Plan in PowerPoint

If you're presenting your business plan in PowerPoint format, read this first.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Skip the Boring Business Plan. Focus on This Strategy Instead.
Business Optimization

Skip the Boring Business Plan. Focus on This Strategy Instead.

Here's a simpler, less time intensive approach that offers more flexibility than the traditional business plan.
Cache Merrill
10 Questions to Answer When Writing Your Mission Statement
Business Optimization

10 Questions to Answer When Writing Your Mission Statement

Read this to see what your mission statement should address and how to put it all together.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
6 Strategies for Presenting Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

6 Strategies for Presenting Your Business Plan

When you're ready to approach people with your finished business plan, these six strategies will help you achieve the results you want.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Pro Tips for Writing About Your Cash Flow in Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

Pro Tips for Writing About Your Cash Flow in Your Business Plan

Get the lowdown on how to prepare the cash flow section of your business plan
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.

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.