Small Business Reading Room

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Writing your business plan

One of the most important things you can do when starting a business is to put your plans on paper.

Writing down your business plan serves many purposes. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on important issues that you and your business might face. It also becomes a valuable instrument through which you can measure your success. Don't get me wrong- your business plan isn't just another personal management tool. If you want to raise money or apply for a loan, then you can expect others will want to see why they should invest in your business.

You need a business plan, period.

So where do you start?

The SBA recommends that a business plan contain details about what the business will do in key areas such as marketing, financing and management.

A good business plan will typically include an executive summary and supporting documents. Include things such as tax returns, personal financial statements and resumes of the principals, copies of any proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space, copies of licenses and other legal documents; and if is a franchise, a copy of the franchise agreement.

If you need help, contact the experts at your local chapter of SCOREĀ® for some good advice. Here are a few free online resources they have made available for you:

Remember, it's your business. Invest the time and write your business plan down from the beginning. Like all good investments, it will pay off in the end.


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