Business Plans

Family Business: The Pros and Cons of Getting Funding From Loved Ones
Business Optimization

Family Business: The Pros and Cons of Getting Funding From Loved Ones

If you're thinking about getting friends and family to loan you money to fund your business, read this first.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
The Entrepreneur's Simple Guide to Business Concepts
Business Optimization

The Entrepreneur's Simple Guide to Business Concepts

Here are quick phrases to help clarify and solidify terms that many people get confused.
Jim Joseph
How to Find the Purpose of Your Business Plan
Business Optimization

How to Find the Purpose of Your Business Plan

Deciding how you intend to use your business plan is an important part of preparing to write it.
The Staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
5 Tips on Planning Amid Rapid Change
Business Optimization

5 Tips on Planning Amid Rapid Change

As the pace of business shifts quickens, forecasting can become even more vital.
Tim Berry
The 5 Elements of Success With an IPO and Beyond
Business Optimization

The 5 Elements of Success With an IPO and Beyond

Taking your company public is about more than bringing in a lot of new funds. For one thing, it won't really be your company anymore.
Rob Hull
7 Ways to Shift Your Perspective About the Dreaded 'No' in Sales
Business Optimization

7 Ways to Shift Your Perspective About the Dreaded 'No' in Sales

Overcome the uncomfortable and awkward moment of a rejection from a client.
Sherrie Campbell
Business Optimization

Start With a Simple Business Plan and Grow It as Needed

Begin with a lean document that can guide your company's efforts internally. Add to it later on if investors or bankers need more details.
Tim Berry
Create a Personal Business Plan That You'll Really Use
Business Optimization

Create a Personal Business Plan That You'll Really Use

Develop a customized tool that will serve to focus you on your most important objectives. Write it in user-friendly prose so you'll check it weekly.
Marty Fukuda
7 Key Steps Toward Starting Your Own Business
Business Optimization

7 Key Steps Toward Starting Your Own Business

It's easy to become overwhelmed in the early stages of launching a company. Try these steps to guide you along the way.
Sujan Patel
These Schools Offer the Most Cash for Business Plan Competitions
Business Optimization

These Schools Offer the Most Cash for Business Plan Competitions

Having students engage in business plan competitions is an important component of any entrepreneurship program. These U.S. graduate level programs award the most cash.
The Princeton Review Staff
7 Steps to a Finance-Centered Business Plan
Business Optimization

7 Steps to a Finance-Centered Business Plan

If your startup calls for financing to get off the ground, follow this list to impress potential investors and lenders.
Adam Toren
The Best Time to Visit Your Franchise Headquarters
Business Optimization

The Best Time to Visit Your Franchise Headquarters

Some advice for franchisees on how to decide whether a trip to your franchise's home turf makes sense.
Joel Libava
How to Anticipate Cash-Flow Problems
Business Optimization

How to Anticipate Cash-Flow Problems

Do advance planning to avoid a crash course in the lesson you don't want to learn the hard way.
Tim Berry
The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business
Business Optimization

The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business

Sure, you're idea is unique but how businesses survive, or don't, is the same for everybody.
Robert Tuchman

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.