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How To Write a Business Plan

Business Plans

Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide

This guide to writing a business plan will outline the most important parts and what should be included in an effective plan.

Need a Business Plan Template? Here Is Apple's 1981 Plan for the Mac.

If you want to write a business plan, Apple's plans for the Macintosh can help.

How to Write a Business Plan

Now that you understand why you need a business plan and you've spent some time doing your homework gathering the information you need to create one, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get everything down on paper.

How 2 Entrepreneurs Wrote Their Business Plan on a Napkin at a Bar (and Why the Plan Worked)

The ZinePak co-founders had a simple strategy, and they stuck to it.

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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.

For any entrepreneur planning to start a business, knowing the steps that go into how to write a business plan is a helpful way to clarify what service or products the company provides, 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.