1. Money

Winston Churchill once said, "Plans are worthless. Planning is priceless." I'll be the first to tell you that not every business needs to have a formal business plan, but any entrepreneur who doesn't plan their business is destined at best to fall short of their potential, and at worst to experience dismal failure. Just because the future is uncertain doesn't mean you can't anticipate it. on the flip side, just because you have a plan doesn't mean you can't be agile and make decisions in the moment based on current circumstances -- you're not locked in to the plan. But the process of writing a business plan helps ensure that all aspects of your business are focused on the same goal, and that you don't have any major gaps in your business model.

And, of course, if you go out to borrow money or get investors, you will need to have a formal business plan in place to present to them. A business plan can also help you communicate more effectively with potential employees, partners and customers.

I've had an introductory article about business plans here on the site for a while, and there are thousands of them on the web. But an introductory article is just that -- an introduction. Now, though, I've put together a complete business plan outline, with an article for each section to guide you through the process:

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Comments
December 19, 2007 at 7:57 pm
(1) Carlos Hernandez says:

Wow! Heard and met you at Blog World in Las Vegas and you have offered alot value in the detail.

Last October I attended “Economic Summit:Accessing Capital” as presented by the Cal State East Bay Small Business Development folks. One big take-way came from a major bank representative, i.e. one could have the best business plan but if their personal credit rating is poor…watch out! They believe that if one cannot manage their personal money, then it is likely they will also mis-manage their business’ dough!

August 16, 2008 at 12:16 am
(2) Quang says:

Hey, excellent guide and links.

It’s also good to note that sometimes a business plan is great even if you are writing it just for yourself.

Creating Business Plan

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