If you know your
business idea is sound, the next step is to prepare some sort of business
plan. Truth be told, most small businesses are started without any type
of plan. Some of the greatest businesses in the world were started on a
cocktail napkin. However, this is not the course we recommend, especially if you
intend to receive a
small business loan or other funding in the future.
To get an overall idea of the Business Planning process, you can visit the
Small Business Administration's (SBA)
site dedicated to Business Plans. Don't underestimate the power of a good
business plan. It forces you to check your assumptions and can help guide you
through the difficult startup phase of your business.
There are 3 basic types of business plans:
What is a Simple Business Plan?
What is Comprehensive Business Plan? (done via book, web or software)
What is The Professionally Written Business Plan?
Explore all three options below to see which is the best fit for you..
1. What is a Simple
A simple Business Plan can be no more than one page in length
and is probably more than enough for most small businesses. However, don't be
fooled by its length; a well thought out simple business plan can be a positive
force throughout the life of your business and most certainly during the startup
Instead of detailing a simple business plan here, there is simply no better
resource than the book and companion CD-ROM by Jim Horan called "The One Page
". This remarkable book with CD-ROM provides everything you
need to prepare a simple business plan step-by-step.
Get the following Book to learn more: The One Page
Business Plan by Jim Horan (amazon.com)
2. What is The Comprehensive
If your company will be applying for business loans or lines of credit, a
simple business plan may not be enough to satisfy the requirements of a bank or
investors. Therefore, we've listed some great resources for those looking to
build a more comprehensive business plan.
- Business Plan Pro - the most popular business planning software
- Recommended Book - Business Plans that Win $$$ (amazon.com)
- Bplans.com - sample business plans, calculators, tips and advice
3. What is a Professionally
Written Business Plan?
For those entrepreneurs that are looking for significant amounts of money or
venture capital, a professionally written business plan may be the way to
go. Below, we've listed some resources and contacts for those who wish to have
their business plan written by a professional.