Writing a Business Plan
Whether you're writing a business plan for the first time or the fifth time, it doesn't have to be hard. In fact, if you write a lean plan or a one-page pitch…
Similar ideas popular now
Writing a business plan can help you seek investment funding or secure a bank loan, as well as create a roadmap or strategic plan for your company or nonprofit. Whatever your reasons are—writing a business plan is proven to help you grow your business faster. In this video, you'll learn about each section of a business plan and what it should include.
Not interested in writing a business plan? Do a sales forecast instead. With regular review, a sales forecast will prove an invaluable tool to help you manage and grow your business easily. Don't Want to Plan? Just Do a Sales Forecast http://articles.bplans.com/dont-want-to-plan-just-do-a-sales-forecast/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=Don%27t%20Want%20to%20Plan%3F%20Just%20Do%20a%20Sales%20Forecast
The traditional business planning process may be broken, but planning is essential. Our complete updated guide to Lean Planning explains why the iterative, flexible process of Lean Planning benefits both new and established businesses. You'll also get a step-by-step walk-through of how to create a Lean Plan for your business, complete with examples. Introducing Lean Planning: How to Plan Less and Grow Faster http://articles.bplans.com/introducing-lean-planning-how-to-plan-less-and-grow-fast
While vital, conducting market research can feel like a huge undertaking. So, here are our favorite resources to help make the process easier—and less intimidating! Market Research: A Curated List of Our Best Resources http://articles.bplans.com/market-research-a-curated-list-of-our-best-resources/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=Market%20Research%3A%20A%20Curated%20List%20of%20Our%20Best%20Resources
You're ready to ditch your office job and become your own boss. But how do you start—and what if you don't have an idea or a plan? If that sounds familiar, this guide is for you. Becoming Your Own Boss: A Bplans Guide http://articles.bplans.com/becoming-your-own-boss-a-bplans-guide/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=Becoming%20Your%20Own%20Boss%3A%20A%20Bplans%20Guide
In short, your business model is how your business will make money. Defining your business model is the final step of the Lean Planning process, and here's how to do it easily. Lean Planning Step 4: Build Your Business Model https://www.liveplan.com/blog/2016/10/lean-planning-step-4-build-your-business-model/
Don't get overwhelmed by an unnecessarily long, complicated business plan. A Lean Plan is faster, flexible, and will remain relevant throughout the life of your business. Here are our essential Lean Planning resources. Lean Planning: A Curated List of Our Best Content http://articles.bplans.com/lean-planning-a-curated-list-of-our-best-content/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=Lean%20Planning%3A%20A%20Curated%20List%20of%20Our%20Best%20Content
Milestones are what you use to convert your business strategy and tactics into action. They're also an essential part of any Lean Plan. Here's how to set (and adhere to) your milestones. Lean Planning Step 3: Make Your Plan Real With Milestones https://www.liveplan.com/blog/2016/09/lean-planning-step-3-make-your-plan-real-with-milestones/
Business planning isn't just a one-time event, and it doesn't have to be overly complicated. We've created a checklist to help make the process easier—no matter what kind of business plan you need. How to Write a Business Plan: Use This Checklist to Keep Yourself on Task http://articles.bplans.com/how-to-write-a-business-plan-use-this-checklist-to-keep-yourself-on-task/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=How%20to%20Write%20a%20Business%20Plan%3A%20Use%2
Your Lean Plan needs strategy, but even a great strategy is useless without tactics. Tactics are the things that you actually do to make your business work. Tactics are your road map—and here's how to develop them. Lean Planning Step 2: Develop Your Business Tactics https://www.liveplan.com/blog/2016/09/lean-planning-step-2-develop-your-business-tactics/
With a completed SWOT analysis, you can develop a strategy to ensure your business's success. Here are our favorite resources on creating a SWOT analysis, including examples, downloads, and interactive challenges. SWOT Analysis: A Curated List of Everything You Need to Know http://articles.bplans.com/swot-analysis-a-curated-list-of-everything-you-need-to-know/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=SWOT%20Analysis%3A%20A%20Curated%20List%20of%20Everything%
Is your idea worth pursuing, or does it need to be refined and improved—or maybe forgotten about entirely? Here's how to find out. Going Beyond the Napkin: How Do You Know If Your Idea Is Any Good? http://articles.bplans.com/going-beyond-napkin-know-idea-good/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=Going%20Beyond%20the%20Napkin%3A%20How%20Do%20You%20Know%20If%20Your%20Idea%20Is%20Any%20Good%3F
Company history in a business plan? It's a good addition to some business plans, but not all. Whether or not you include your company's history in your business plan will depend on your business itself, and who you're writing the plan for. How to Tell Your Company’s History in Your Business Plan http://articles.bplans.com/how-to-tell-your-companys-history-in-your-business-plan/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=How%20to%20Tell%20Your%20Company%27s%20H
No matter how new your business, you do have competition. If you say you don’t have competition, your audience is rolling its collective eyes and dismissing you as naive. So, how do you evaluate your competition and present this information to your team and to outsiders? How to Write the Competition Section of Your Business Plan http://articles.bplans.com/how-to-write-the-competition-section-of-your-business-plan/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=How%20to%20Write%20the%20Competition%20Section%20of%20Your%20Business%20Plan
I’ve been quite vocal with my concern that farming your business plan out is usually a bad idea. A business plan is not a one-time task—it’s an ongoing practice. The writing, formatting, and cosmetics of a business plan are nowhere near as important as its contents (though they’re still important); and its contents should change often. Real companies with real business plans review and revise them often.
In general, a standard business plan includes the market analysis, the marketing plan, and the sales plan. We'll guide you through these. How to Write the Sales and Marketing Section of Your Business Plan http://articles.bplans.com/write-sales-marketing-section-business-plan/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=Bplans&utm_content=How%20to%20Write%20the%20Sales%20and%20Marketing%20Section%20of%20Your%20Business%20Plan
In general, a standard business plan includes three parts of the sales and marketing section. Those are the market analysis, the marketing plan, and the sales plan. Keep it short and simple—just big enough to cover your actual business need. Keep in mind that you don’t have to prove a market if you are developing a plan for internal use, but you do have to do that and a lot more explaining if your plan is going to be used to support an investment proposal or application for a business loan.
If you’re planning a new business, it’s always fun to dream about where you’re going to be in a few years. But, to be successful, you’ve got to build a profitable business. That means making sure that you’re spending less than you’re making—unless you’ve got a big pile of money from investors. Even if you do have lots of cash on hand from investors, your goal is still to turn a profit eventually. All of this means creating and managing your expense budget.
Many experts recommend introducing your business plan with definitions of the problem that your business solves and the solution your business offers. That’s called “problem and solution,” and it’s quite common and quite useful—but it’s also too often an opportunity wasted. Don’t just describe the problem and solution. Make people care.