Business Plan Outline
Conveniently broken into eight sections, this outline of the business plan links to detailed articles that explain how to research and write each section of the plan.
Quick-Start Business Plan
Maybe you don’t need to work through an entire business plan. You can use this quick-start business plan whether you’re starting a business from scratch or thinking of buying an existing business to see if a business idea is worth pursuing.
The 7 Most Common Business Plan Mistakes
Writing a business plan for your new business? Save yourself future grief by learning what the most common business plan mistakes are before you write one.
Do I Need to Write a Business Plan?
Writing a business plan is especially critical when you’re starting a business. Here’s why writing a business plan should be one of the first things you do once you’ve decided to start a business with information on how to write a business plan.
What Type of Business Plan Do You Need?
The type of business plan you need depends on the specific reason you're writing one. Learn which type of business plan you need with this guide, which matches different types of business plans to different purposes.
Why You Need to Write a Business Plan
Five reasons to write a business plan, whether you're just starting a business or running an established business. (Money is only one reason to write a business plan!)
Before you Buy Business Plan Software
When you want a business plan, business plan software can be a real boon. But how do you know if a particular business plan software is good or just another boring template that won't suit your business plan writing needs? Here are the features you should look for.
Top Business Plan Software
Business plan software will save you time on every aspect of creating a business plan and comes with templates and business plan samples that make it easier for you to see how to put your business plan together. Here are what I think are the best business plan software.
Business Plan Example of the Industry Overview
When you want to know how to write a business plan, a business plan example can be a big help. This business plan example is based on a fictional pet care business called Pet Grandma. This is an example of the industry overview section of a business plan.
Business Plan Definition
A definition of the business plan and an explanation of how the business plan differs from the investment proposal with related resources.
Executive Summary Definition
What is an executive summary? This executive summary definition includes information on writing a business plan executive summary and a link to an executive summary example.
Executive Summary Example
Writing an executive summary for your business plan? Here’s an executive summary example that you can use as a model.
How to Write an Executive Summary for the Business Plan
The executive summary will be the first thing the readers of the business plan read. If your business plan’s executive summary is poorly written, it will also be the last, as they set the rest of your business plan aside unread! Here’s how to write an executive summary that will get the rest of your business plan read.
Writing the Business Plan - The Competitive Analysis
How do you gather information about your competitors and analyze that information to find your competitive advantage? Here's a guide to putting together the competitive analysis section of the business plan.
Writing The Business Plan - The Financial Plan
This four part article explains how to create the three types of financial statements that need to be included with your business plan; the Income Statement, Cash Flow Projections, and the Balance Sheet. Templates of each financial statement are included.
Writing The Business Plan - The Industry Overview Section
Questions to guide your research for this section of the business plan, how to put the industry overview section together, and where to find the Canadian industry information you need.
Writing The Business Plan - The Management Plan
Impress the people reading your business plan with a management plan section that outlines your Internal Management Team, External Management Resources, and Human Resources Needs. Here's how.
Writing The Business Plan - The Market Analysis
An explanation of how to define your target market and how to research and write the market analysis section of the business plan.
Writing The Business Plan - The Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan is the blueprint for communicating the worth of your products or services to your customers. Use this step by step guide to develop a successful marketing plan, either as part of a business plan, or as a stand alone.
Writing The Business Plan - The Operating Plan
Once you've worked through this business plan section, you'll have a detailed operating plan to show potential creditors and investors, and a convenient list of what needs to be done next to make your business a reality.
Quick-Start Business Planning
Dread the amount of time business planning takes? Learn how to put together a business plan for your business's next year with just a pair of planning sessions.
A “Knock Their Socks Off” Online Business Plan
The online business plan can give you a huge advantage when you’re trying to persuade lenders and/or investors to take an interest in your business. MaryAnn Shank explains how to put together an online business plan that will knock their socks off.
Prepare an Investor Ready Business Plan
Your business plan needs to be tailored to the needs of angel investors and venture capitalists if you want to use it to attract investors. Howard Schwartz explains how to put together an investor ready business plan.
The Un-Business Plan
The standard business plan is boring and predictable, says MaryAnn Shank. Instead, why not create a business plan that presents the information needed and truly stands out? Here's how.
3 Methods of Sales Forecasting
Without previous sales history to guide you, sales forecasting can be very difficult, as is the case when you’re working on preparing cash flow projections as part of writing a business plan. Terry Elliott provides a detailed explanation of how to use three methods of sales forecasting.
Business Plan FAQ
Get the answers to your questions about business plans with this business plan FAQ by About's Small Business Information Guide Darrell Zahorsky.
Creating Business Plans for Independent Inventors
About Inventor's Guide Mary Bellis details how to write a business plan to raise money for manufacturing or selling your own invention. Her series of articles includes a completed business plan sample.
Why Business Plans Don't Get Funded
Akira Hirai explains how to avoid the most common errors found in business plans - mistakes that will cause potential investors to say no to your business plan (About Entrepreneurs).
Business Plans Planning Guide
An outline of the purposes of a business plan, and an excellent step by step guide through the 7 parts of a business plan, with business plan examples (Royal Bank).
Your Guide to Preparing a Marketing and Business Plan
Document by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) outlines how to write a business plan, and includes explanations of how to determine Return on Investment, and how to prepare balance sheets, cash flows, and a break even analysis
Developing Your Business Plan
You'll find links to information on writing the business plan, business plan samples, and frequently asked questions about business plans on this entry page to the business plan information on the government's Canada Business website.
How to Write a Business Plan Checklist
This How to Write a Business Plan Checklist from Small Business BC will help you make sure you haven't overlooked any of the core components of your plan.
Sample Business Plans
Literally volumes full of sample business plans for starting businesses in different industries that can be used as a guide when preparing your own business plan.
If you're writing a business plan, there's nothing better than seeing examples of plans to help you work through yours. Here's a large, searchable collection of plans for all kinds of businesses (from bplans.com).
Virtual Business Plan
Outstanding online resource leads you through the information you need to write and improve your business plan (from Bizplanit.com).
Writing The Business Plan
This hub of business plan information on the U.S. Small Business Administration's website includes a business plan outline and related articles.