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Why write a business plan?

The most common use of a business plan is to secure funding. Business plans are often created and used as a sales tool - a written presentation to give to prospective lenders and / or investors. (Hopefully) polished and professional, they are used to convince those with money that the plan's principal(s) will be a worthy steward of an investment or loan. While common, this "misses the point" by a several degrees of focus.

A better answer to "Why write a business plan?" is that it is first to determine a project's viability and second to communicate in writing the results of the research. If the research shows areas of concern, the project can be revised. If the research shows insurmountable odds, the project (in the case of a startup) can be dropped while still in the "no harm, no foul" phase.

This approach focuses the principal(s) on the project's key result areas and answers what should be the first question asked - "Is this project a good use of my time and money?". If the answer is "yes", the process creates a knowledge base in the principal(s) to allow them to be "worthy stewards" - of their own resources as well as that of a lender or investor.

We are aware of three directions that you can take which will create a "Business Plan":

  1. There are sites on the web that sell content generic but industry specific completed business plans. Take the "plan", input your name, address and etcetera, print it out.... et voila - your plan. A close cousin (and free) alternative to this is to take a sample plan and, with somewhat more typing, end up at the same place. This track is not dealt with on this web site.
  2. Hire a professional to do the plan for you. The advantage of this is in the experience and knowledge brought to the process and an additional degree of believability that a recognized professional (CPA, etc.) will lend to your plan. The disadvantage is cost (think in multiples of thousands) and the fact that you're the one that will ultimately need to be expert in your project - learning about it yourself will likely have greater long term benefit that being told about it by another. To pursue this track we suggest that you ask your accountant if they do plans or if they can recommend a consultant.
  3. Research and write your own plan. The advantages of this are as enumerated above. Here is "The Basic Business Plan".

For step by step help with your business plan, please use our business plan software.

Below are links to our business articles, we hope that you find them helpful.

Basic Bookkeeping Made Easy.

The Basic Business Plan.

Be a Successful Salesperson in Five Steps.

How to Get a Business Loan in Five Steps.

How to Overcome Sales Objections in Five Steps.

How to Start Your Own Business.

How to Write a Business Plan in Five Steps.

How to Have Lenders and Investors Eating Out of Your Hand.

Secrets of a Great Business Plan.

What is a Business Plan?

Why Write a Business Plan?

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