Business Plans

7 Keys to a Compelling Executive Summary That Wins Over Investors
Investors

7 Keys to a Compelling Executive Summary That Wins Over Investors

Few investors these days have the time or patience to read a full business plan. Your two-page document should include these fields.
Martin Zwilling
How to Find Your Inventory Sweet Spot
Starting a Business

How to Find Your Inventory Sweet Spot

You are what you sell, so we'll help you learn to match the needs and wants of your customers to the right goods and prices.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Creating a Road Map to Business Success
Starting a Business

Creating a Road Map to Business Success

Plan carefully for business success -- from your first idea to the moment you open your doors.
Jeremy Bloom
6 Policies Your Retail Business Needs to Succeed
Starting a Business

6 Policies Your Retail Business Needs to Succeed

It's details like these that can make you a success or doom you to failure.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Use These 3 Analysis Tools to Prepare a Killer Business Plan
Business Plans

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
How to Find the Right Location for Your Store
Starting a Business

How to Find the Right Location for Your Store

Location is key to a successful retail operation. Get the facts on how to decide where to base your business.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
Look Ahead to These 4 Business Plan Milestones
Business Plans

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
Elevator Pitch

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 Plans

Don't Make These 6 Business Plan Mistakes

Far more businesses fail than succeed. It all starts with the right plan.
Nina Zipkin
6 Reasons to Update Your Business Plan
Business Plans

6 Reasons to Update Your Business Plan

Revise your business plan so it grows with your company and your goals.
Nina Zipkin
5 Ways to Simplify Your Business Plan and Almost Anything Else
Lifestyle

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 Plans

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
Revenue

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 Pincers for Crushing Your Competition
Competitive Advantages

4 Pincers for Crushing Your Competition

A Chicago packaging company shows how commitment to its employees and customers has fueled astronomical growth.
Peter S. Cohan

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.