A Standard Business Plan Outline [Updated for 2017]

Up and Running

This article is part of our “Business Planning Guide” —a curated list of our articles that will help you with the planning process! Start from the very beginning understanding that your business plan ought to be specific to your business needs and objectives.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Restaurant Business Plan

Up and Running

If you’re serious about opening a restaurant, you’ll have to draft up a formal and accurate business plan to pitch to banks, investors, and even potential employees. I won’t lie—writing a formal business plan isn’t exactly a breeze. See Also: Business Planning Guide.

6 Situations Where A Business Plan Does Not Add Value

Startup Professionals Musings

Writing a business plan is hard work, so I get lots of pushback from prospective new venture founders that it’s just a waste of their valuable time in this rapidly changing environment. They all claim to have the plan in their head, and writing it down will only slow down their success.

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Business Plan

YFS Magazine

A business plan is a very important business tool to have as an entrepreneur. When you write your business plan, avoid making these 7 common mistakes. This article 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Business Plan appeared first in YFS Magazine.

8 Reasons Business Plans Fail That No One Wants to Talk About

Up and Running

As a full-time editor and academic mentor at an academic writing service, I have read hundreds of business plans over the years. To help students and startups, I have compiled a list of reasons business plans are rejected or given a low grade. Bad business ideas.

How to Map Out an Ecommerce Business Plan in 1 Hour

Up and Running

Every successful ecommerce business needs to begin with a plan. Plus, research shows that people who plan are more likely to be successful. The first step, therefore, is to fill in the details and create a structured approach for launching your online business.

How to Write a Business Plan: Use This Checklist to Keep Yourself on Task

Up and Running

Most people think of the business plan as a one-time event, something used to accomplish a specific goal—getting funded, usually. How you format your plan will depend on what your needs are. Describe your business in one sentence (what do you do, and who do you do it for?).

5 Tips To Create A Business Plan That Investors Love?

YFS Magazine

At some point in your life as an entrepreneur, you’ll need a business plan. In fact, any time you need to raise outside funding, you’ll need to present a plan for investors or lenders.??.

Resources for Entrepreneurs Writing a Business Plan

Up and Running

Writing a business plan can seem intimidating. You’re committing your great idea to paper and fleshing out the details of how you’re actually going to start and grow your business. A one-page pitch is a simple overview of your business.

Tips for Writing a Successful Business Plan for a Daycare Center

Up and Running

Working out a business plan for your daycare center can be a challenge. As someone who owns eight successful daycares in the Chicago area, I know the strategies and approaches that work when it comes to developing a sound business plan for a daycare center.

10 Startup Priorities May Negate The Business Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are one of the new age of entrepreneurs who hates the thought of doing a business plan as a first step in starting your new venture you will love this message. In that context, it could be a social enterprise, or even a hobby, and a business plan may not be beneficial.

Startups Without Business Plans Are Expensive Hobbies

Startup Professionals Musings

If you sold your last startup for $800 million, you probably already know how to build a business, and even conservative investors won’t worry about the quality of your next business plan. Most investors tend to think of startups without a plan as expensive hobbies.

Developing a Business Plan for Strategic Growth

Up and Running

The business plan for strategic growth is one of my favorites because it’s about core business decisions, steps, metrics, and making things happen. It matches my vision of business planning as ongoing management and steering a business.

The Different Types of Business Plans

Up and Running

Business plans go by many names: Strategic plans, operational plans, internal plans, and many others. Lately, I’ve been focusing on lean business plans. There are also one-page business plans, although those are really more summaries.

An Overview of Lean Business Planning

Up and Running

A lean business plan does what every business owner and aspiring startup needs to manage strategy, tactics, execution, and essential business numbers. It’s a set of ideas that started about 70 years ago, revolving around PDCA: plan-do-check-adjust.

No Business Plan Survives First Contact With Customers. 2 Minutes to See Why

Steve Blank

If you can’t see the video click here Filed under: Business Model versus Business Plan , Customer Development. Business Model versus Business Plan Customer Development

20 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

Growthink Blog

Below are our top 20 reasons why you need a business plan. Reference our proven business plan template to most quickly and easily complete your plan. To prove that you’re serious about your business. To establish business milestones. Business Plannin

Top Business Plan Competitions

NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Blog

Seth Goldman, Honest Tea Founder (and – p.s. – New York Time s Best Seller with a new “how to” business book ) took the stage at a recent event. “We got our start at a business plan competition,” he said.

How to Use Your Business Plan to Create an Awesome Company Name

Up and Running

Everyone knows that a business name is important. Naming is often one of the first business activities where the rubber meets the road—where an idea becomes a reality. We have discovered that a great name evolves from an excellent business plan.

How to Write the Competition Section of Your Business Plan

Up and Running

No matter how new your business, you do have competition. What if I don’t think my business has any competition? Never suggest to an investor that you don’t have competition—not in your formal plan, not in your pitch, and not in any summary. Every good business has competition.

Why Startup Product Plans Make Poor Business Plans

Startup Professionals Musings

Most technical entrepreneurs I know demand the discipline of a product specification or plan, and then assume that their great product will drive a great business. In reality, you need both, to clarify for yourself and team that you have a viable business solution.

Why Business Plan Writers Are a Waste of Money

Up and Running

I’ve been quite vocal with my concern that farming your business plan out is usually a bad idea. A business plan is not a one-time task— it’s an ongoing practice. Real companies with real business plans review and revise them often.

A Perspective On When A Business Plan Adds Value

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup mentor and investor, I am approached regularly by aspiring entrepreneurs who assert that business plans are a waste of time. They cite sources like the BusinessWeek story, “ Real Entrepreneurs Don’t Write Business Plans ” and this Forbes article.

Why Your Tiny Startup Needs A Business Plan


You might be thinking that a business plan doesn’t make any sense for your small new enterprise. After all you are not planning on trying to get even a bank loan, let alone venture capital. Isn’t that what business plans are really for anyway: raising money?

The Business Plan is Dead; Long Live the Business Plan.

Seed Stage Capital

skip to main | skip to sidebar 10 August 2009 The Business Plan is Dead; Long Live the Business Plan! Recently, there has been some heated debate in the web startup world about whether developing a business plan is really necessary.

How To Quickly Create A Great Business Plan


You know you need a business plan if you want funding. And you know you should have and follow a plan to grow your business. But oftentimes creating a business plan takes too long. Below are some tips to help you complete a great business plan faster: 1.

Business Plans Are An Historical Artifact

Feld Thoughts

This article ( Business Plans Are An Historical Artifact ) first appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal The Accelerators Column , which I’m contributing to on a regular basis. . In 1987 when I started my first company (Feld Technologies), I wrote a business plan for a course at MIT that I was in called 15.375: New Enterprises. I went on to create a company, with my partner Dave Jilk, that bore very little resemblance to that business plan.

Is the business plan dead?

Grasshopper Herder

A business plan as a lengthy 40 page document which lays out a five year plan is still used in many companies, in many industries, in many countries around the world. Entrepreneurship Strategy business model business plansYes and no.

6 Business Idea Validation Tactics to Improve Your Business Planning

Up and Running

In this article, I’ll give a quick overview of the best practices for validating your business idea in use today. See Also: Our Best Resources to Help You Find a Business Idea. Idea validation and Lean Planning. See Also: The History of Lean Planning.

Keep Your Business Plan Succinct Yet Impressive

Startup Professionals Musings

If you want people to invest in your idea, then my best advice is first write a business plan, and keep it simple. Don''t confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or the back of a napkin. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short.

Writing Your Business Plan

Business Plan Blog

Business Plan Benefits. You can be sure that writing your business plan will be a time consuming process. Familiarize Yourself with the Business Plan Table of Contents. If you need any help writing your business plan, contact us for a free consultation

The Management Magic of Business Planning

Up and Running

True story: As my software business began to grow, as we went from two employees to five, then 10, I discovered how hard real management is with startups and small business that grow organically. See Also An Overview of Lean Business Planning.

The Science of Success Through Business Planning

Up and Running

If you’re seeking funding or looking to start a business, you need a business plan. The business plan isn’t just a document you create to get investors to dish out the dough. This is why you MUST write a business plan. Companies that plan, grow.

Jungle Business Plan

Gregg Fraley, Author of Jack's Notebook

Business Plans That Work –One You Can Take to the Jungle. I’ve got nothing against business plans except when they become an excuse for not doing business. The purposes of a business plan is to PLAN and EXECUTE, not impress, and not waste a lot of time.

How to Write a Business Plan in Under an Hour

Up and Running

Most people think that writing a business plan has to be hard. In fact, it’s possible to write your initial business plan in less than an hour. See Also What Type of Business Plan Do I Need? A new kind of business planning.

How and Where to Write About Technology in Your Business Plan

Up and Running

Often, a business plan introduces a new technology that requires some explaining. On one hand, as a reader of business plans for investors, I see way too many business plans that ask a reader to wade neck-deep through technology to get to the business.

How to Tell Your Company’s History in Your Business Plan

Up and Running

Company history in a business plan? Yes, it’s a good addition to some business plans, but not all. For this article, I want to look at how to decide whether or not you include company history, and if you do, what to include and where to put it in the plan.

Is business planning pointless?

Up and Running

It’s a common refrain these days, voiced by “experts” and busy entrepreneurs: business plans and business planning are pointless. There’s clearly no point in planning… On the surface, it’s easy to agree. Business Planning

Don’t Just Describe Problem and Solution in Your Business Plan; Make People Care

Up and Running

Many experts recommend introducing your business plan with definitions of the problem that your business solves and the solution your business offers. Every business sale is related to a problem. See Also: What Is a Business Plan?

How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan

Up and Running

Starting and running a nonprofit is an exhilarating experience, but it also requires thoughtful planning and execution to be successful. Nonprofit organizations share many overlapping needs with traditional for-profit ventures, including the need for a good business plan.