How to Write a Business Plan

Up and Running

You’ve reviewed what a business plan is , and why you need one to start and grow your business. It’s time to dig into the process of actually writing a business plan. First, a few must-follow rules for writing a business plan. > Financial Plan.

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.

Trending Sources

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.

Blowing up the Business Plan at U.C. Berkeley Haas Business School

Steve Blank

Berkeley Haas Business School is a leader in entrepreneurship education. It has replaced how to write a business plan with hands-on Lean Startup methods. Berkeley in 2010 to run the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship in the Haas School of Business we were teaching entrepreneurship the same way as when I was a student back in 1995. The final deliverable for that class was a 30-page business plan. We had multiple business plan competitions.

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 Write About Sourcing and Fulfillment in Your Business Plan

Up and Running

A traditional business plan includes a section that describes the business offering, which is the product or service. See Also: How to Write a Business Plan. Fulfillment also applies to assembly, packaging, and shipping for online product businesses.

Entrepreneurs Confuse Product and Business Plans

Startup Professionals Musings

Why is it that most of the business plans I see are really product plans? I define a product plan as a detailed description of your product or service, with a bit of business thrown in at the end. It’s definitely positive to have a product plan.

Business Model vs. Business Plan vs. Business Planning

Up and Running

Tweet What’s a business model? How does it relate to a business plan? Or, better yet, business planning? Your business planning makes your business model happen. And your business plan is a regular step in your business planning.

Lean Business Planning with Tim Berry [VIDEO]

Up and Running

We recently had Tim Berry, Palo Alto Software founder and business planning expert, present our Bplans audience with his latest advice on lean business planning. Start your lean business plan today: Download our Free Lean Plan Template one-page-pitch-download.pdf.

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.

Fall In Love With Your Business, Not Your Business Plan


That business plan, that business plan, I do not like that business plan. My feelins on business plans varies: from extreme dislike to just mild irritation. I don't think business plans are completely useless, just mostly so.

Don’t make these 5 business plan mistakes

Up and Running

Every year, the team here at Palo Alto Software looks forward to judging business plans for several prestigious collegiate business plan competitions. We all read multiple entries and then gather and talk about what makes a great plan and choose a winner.

11 Questions to Help Your Business Start Off on the Right Foot

Up and Running

It’s easier than ever to start a business! There’s a learning curve no matter what you do, but I’d much rather see your business start off on the right foot than struggle unnecessarily. Planning. Starting a business takes a lot of preparation, and you have to do the work.

Dispelling Business Plan Myths (It Ain't Just for Raising Money)…And It's All About Execution!

Small Business Force

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about business plans, especially for early-stage companies trying to raise capital. In actuality, for small business owners, a business plan is essential for any long-term success. Do you have a business plan?

The History of Lean Planning

Up and Running

Lean Planning is a concept that we introduced back in 2012 as an evolution in business planning. The traditional business plan just wasn’t fitting the needs of modern, fast-moving companies and it was time to bring more of a scientific approach to business planning.

Lean 37

Are Business Plans Still Necessary?

Both Sides of the Table

Many of these businesses were what First Round Capital called FNACs (features, not companies – this acronym has always stuck with me). Someone remind me to do a future post on why I think the Ramen Profitable approach has actually hurt some businesses.

The Optimizing for Happiness Business Plan

Business of Software Blog

Her company makes Convey , software that plugs friendly, cost-saving user guides into your application with very little effort. She blogs about creating delightful companies and software at Software Smitten. It illustrates how pricing impacts the rest of your business.

B2B 14

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Software Company

Up and Running

Since the term “cloud computing” was coined in 1996—at least as we have come to understand its meaning—the software as a service industry has exploded. Step 1: Start with a lean plan. Instead of sitting down to write a 40-page business plan, start with a one-page pitch.

Dr. Seuss and Business Planning: He knew a thing or two

Up and Running

But after a few days, you lost motivation because the idea of creating and planning and establishing a product or service is daunting, or at the very least, overwhelming. Starting your own business can be scary, and with good reason. You need the right software for your busy lifestyle.

.Net 19

Sabrina Parsons Answers Frequently-Asked Business Planning Questions

Up and Running

There are a lot of questions to ask when starting your own business (and you’ll be asked plenty more by investors and customers along the way). Yesterday, Palo Alto Software CEO Sabrina Parsons gave an interview with Small Business Digest and answered many of the FAQs of startups. Throughout the interview, Sabrina details the challenges of starting and running your own business and the benefits of having a business plan.

The Right Way To Do A Software ROI Analysis

Feld Thoughts

The “enterprise sales software ROI analysis” as a selling tool comes up over and over and over again. After spending nearly 20 years selling startup software and services to big companies, I can safely say I’ve seen thousands of “Return on Investment” (ROI) slides.

Why Build, Measure, Learn – isn’t just throwing things against the wall to see if they work

Steve Blank

Founders assumed they understood customer problems/needs, wrote engineering requirements documents, designed the product, implemented /built the hardware/software, verified that it worked by testing it, and then introduced the product to customers in a formal coming out called first customer ship.

Agile 155

Five lessons a waiter can teach you about starting a business

Up and Running

There are some valuable lessons I learned in this setting that could greatly benefit you as you build your business. Let me share with you five lessons a waiter can teach you about starting a business in an entrepreneurial environment.

How Do I Find a Business Plan Writer?

Up and Running

Tweet I’ve been working with the team at Palo Alto Software on a series of videos to help you with business planning. This video is about hiring a business plan writer (or not) to help with business planning.

Why Even Lean Startups Need a Business Plan

Up and Running

No strategy is ‘one size fits all,’ and all entrepreneurs should take the necessary steps to plan ahead and build a foundation for where their business is heading. Business Planning bootstrapping lean startups

The Business Model Canvas Gets Even Better – Value Proposition Design

Steve Blank

It has three parts: a business model canvas to frame hypotheses, customer development to get out of the building to test those hypotheses and agile engineering to build minimum viable products. Alexander and I met after he published Business Model Generation.

Lean Planning: A Curated List of Our Best Content

Up and Running

When it comes to business planning, unless an investor has asked you to provide a formal business plan, we recommend writing a Lean Plan instead—it’s faster, more flexible, and will remain relevant throughout the life of your business. Why Lean Planning?

Tools You Can Find Online To Write A Killer Business Plan


The broad experience of successful entrepreneurs shows that developing a strong business plan is the essential part of any startup. So, don’t try too hard to create a business plan only to impress your investors, but rather write it for yourself showing others your vision.

Do You Really Require a New Business Plan Going Into 2012?

Up and Running

million businesses nationwide. Whether you are a new small business about to unveil itself, or a business that has been around for some time, you will often be asked about your business plan. Simply put, the business plan involves the business owner laying out in detail how they will go about placing their company in a strong position in the marketplace, how they will finance their operation, and how they plan to earn a good return on investment (ROI).

What Is a Balance Sheet?

Up and Running

If you’re in the process of starting a business or writing a business plan document, you’ll have heard the phrase “balance sheet” mentioned, or maybe you’ve seen one in a sample business plan. The importance of a balance sheet in a business plan.

Startups and Entrepreneurship: Beyond the Clichés

Up and Running

The truth is, when it comes to starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur, there are a number of clichés that you will come across and that you need to be aware of so that you do not fall prey to. ‘Be your own boss’ is a common business cliché.

A Quick, Practical, Business Plan for a Blog

Up and Running

Tweet I caught a guest post on Problogger the other day, where Kelly Watson of explains How to Make a Blogging Business Plan … Whether or Not it’s a Business Blog. She says: As a beginner, I wouldn’t have known what to include in that blogging plan.

How to Pitch, Plan, and Track Your Business with LivePlan [VIDEO]

Up and Running

Recently, Palo Alto Software CEO Sabrina Parsons hosted a webinar for our Bcast members on how to use LivePlan to create a better business plan, pitch your idea to investors, and track your business. It’ll give you an idea of the feasibility of your business.

Video 23

Episode 1 on Sirius XM Channel 111: Alexander Osterwalder and Oren Jacob

Steve Blank

My guests on Bay Area Ventures on Wharton Business Radio on Sirius XM Channel 111 were: Alexander Osterwalder – inventor of the Business Model Canvas. What’s the Business Model Canvas? “It’s Why Do Big Companies Use the Business Model Canvas?

Webinar: How to Write a Winning business Plan

Up and Running

If you missed the webinar on “ How to Write a Winning Business Plan ,” you can still watch it below. You get to see how quick and easy it is to create both a dynamic business pitch and a business plan that supports your brilliant business idea.

Business Plan Review: Share the Air

Up and Running

Tweet A few weeks ago a co-worker sent me an instant message: “You’ve got to watch this business plan pitch. While that might be true, or you might really believe it’s true, it’s generally not wise to say so in your plan or pitch.

Investors Know A Product Doesn’t Make a Business


Why is it that most of the business plans I see are really product plans? I define a product plan as a detailed description of your product or service, with a bit of business thrown in at the end. It’s definitely positive to have a product plan.

Episode 2: Business Planning, Content Marketing, and 3D Printing – The Bcast

Up and Running

Each week we discuss the latest news, resources, and advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners. In this week’s episode, we use the Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand to show you how to write a business plan in under an hour. Content Marketing for Small Businesses.

6 Things That Can Kill Business Growth

Up and Running

Want your business to flourish? Whether you’re kicking around a business idea or working through your first year, it’s never too early to start thinking about growth. After all, the goal of every entrepreneur is to grow a profitable business. What kills business growth?

True Story: My Best-ever Business Plan Project

Up and Running

He told me ( paraphrasing ): Tim, I have two guys who have Kanji word processing software that we want for Apple Japan. We want to invest $80,000 in their business but we need them to have a business plan. I need that plan in no more than a week.