Business Plans

11 Unexpected Things to Include With Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

11 Unexpected Things to Include With Your Business Plan

Not all information fits logically into your business plan. Here's how to include the extra bits that are key to your business.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
How to Highlight Your Product's Most Compelling Characteristics
Business Optimization

How to Highlight Your Product's Most Compelling Characteristics

Product descriptions can be as dry as toast – but they shouldn't be.
Tanya Benedicto Klich
How Smart Startups Survive Investor Due Diligence
Business Optimization

How Smart Startups Survive Investor Due Diligence

This mysterious and dreaded process can kill the whole deal.
Martin Zwilling
How to Identify Your Competitive Strengths for Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

How to Identify Your Competitive Strengths for Your Business Plan

If you don't know what gives your new business an edge in the marketplace, here's how to figure out your unique strengths and tell others about them.
Entrepreneur Staff
Choosing a Lender? Watch Out for These Costly Traps.
Business Optimization

Choosing a Lender? Watch Out for These Costly Traps.

Eager entrepreneurs in search of startup capital should be especially wary of unnecessary services during the small-business loan process.
Ami Kassar
The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Business Plan
Business Optimization

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Business Plan

These instructions will help you craft the best business plan possible, one section at a time.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Enlist Advisors for Your Startup Wisely
Business Optimization

Enlist Advisors for Your Startup Wisely

Your fledgling outfit needs help. Still this is no excuse for treating experts in a slipshod fashion.
Karen Mishra
Struggling to Define Your Business Goals? Ask Yourself These Questions.
Business Optimization

Struggling to Define Your Business Goals? Ask Yourself These Questions.

Comfort food may have launched McDonald's, but strategic planning turned it into a multinational corporation.
Tanya Benedicto Klich
First Steps: Writing the Executive Summary of Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

First Steps: Writing the Executive Summary of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the executive summary for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Management Section of Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

First Steps: Writing the Management Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the management section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Product Section of Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

First Steps: Writing the Product Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the product section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Industry Section of Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

First Steps: Writing the Industry Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the industry section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Marketing Section of Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

First Steps: Writing the Marketing Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the marketing section for your business plan.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
First Steps: Writing the Operations Section of Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

First Steps: Writing the Operations Section of Your Business Plan

This quick guide offers tips that will help you create the operations section for 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.