Writing a business plan for your small business is key in getting your new venture off on the right foot. Lenders won't even consider your request for a loan without a written business plan in hand. And, preparing a business plan forces entrepreneurs to consider every aspect of their company's operations -- from inventory requirements to how many employees they'll need to hire.
So just what should you put in your business plan? How do you gather all that data and compile it into one cohesive document? Use these articles and resources to help write your business plan and make it a success.
Design Your Plan to Fit Your Business - Is that business plan template right for you? Find out what should go into the design of your business plan.
Business Plan Elements Part 1 and Part 2 - The first step in writing your business plan is knowing what parts a good business plan includes.
Business Plan Basics - Learn the basics of why you should write one and what the key elements are.
Business Plan Maintenance - Once your plan is written, it shouldn't be filed away forever. Here's how to make your business plan keep working for years down the road.
Determining the Size of Your Market - If your business is in a new market, figuring out the potential size of that market is difficult. This formula can help.
Analyzing Customers - Learn about the Customer Analysis section of a business plan: who your target customer is, demographics data, and more.
Two Types of Executive Summaries - Typically, the first part of your business plan is the Executive Summary. Just how long should it be, and what information should it include?
Common Mistakes - Here are seven common mistakes that people make in writing business plans, along with tips on how to avoid them.
How to Use Graphs and Charts - Graphs and charts are very effective business plan elements, if they aren't overused. Find out what the right number for your plan is.
Top 7 Reasons to Write a Business Plan - Skipping the step of writing a business plan means not asking yourself questions that are key to your business's success or failure.
Why Business Plans Fail - Though this article was written in 2001, the information it presents on the ten reasons why business plans fail is still relevant today.+