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Startup Business Resources - Business Plans

Sample Business Plans

We have put together a number of sample plans you will need for your startup business. Business Plans, Marketing Plans, Strategic Plans and Financial Plans - (P&L's). All are free to download and use as you see fit. Many are industry specific and many are generic how-to's giving you the areas that need to be addressed and a list of questions in each area that are designed to help you think through the specifics of your particular business. We do not recommend or endorse any particular one, so you are free to pick and choose as you see fit.

One other important thing to consider is that trying to take on a large or global market is going to be far too big of a job for all but the largest companies. As a new, small business, it's usually better to try to divide global demand for offerings into smaller, more manageable segments.

Why Do You Need a Plan?

Just as a builder uses a blueprint to ensure that a building will be structurally sound, the process of creating and writing a blueprint for your business called a business plan will help you determine whether your business will make it. Without a business plan, you leave far too many things to chance. Don't take my word for it, the following is from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Website which is an excellent source of business startup information.

Now that you've decided that you'd like to open a small business, you should put your thoughts down on paper. This way, your business idea is expressed in a plan – a living document that outlines every critical aspect of its operation. This step might sound intimidating, but it's important. So let's get started!

  • Essential Elements of a Good Business Plan
    A business plan should be a work in progress. That's because your business will evolve over time, and be influenced by outside factors such as the economy and local conditions. A good business plan should include: a Business Plan Executive Summary, Market Analysis, Company Description, Organization & Management, Marketing & Sales Management, Service or Product Line, Funding Request, Financials, and an Appendix.
  • Finding a Niche: Make Your Business Plan Stand Out
    Trying to tackle a wide market is usually too broad of a scope for any but the largest companies to handle. As a smaller business, it's often a better strategy to try to divide potential demand for offerings into manageable market niches. Small operations can then offer specialized goods and services that are attractive to a specific group of prospective buyers.
  • Templates for Writing a Business Plan
    There is no single formula for developing a business plan, but some elements are consistent throughout all business plans. Your plan should include an executive summary, a description of the business, a plan for how you will market and manage your business, financial projections and the appropriate supporting documents.
  • Why Do You Need One?
    Do you really need to make a business plan? The short answer is yes. The importance of a comprehensive, thoughtful business plan cannot be overemphasized. Many factors critical to business success depend upon your plan: outside funding, credit from suppliers, management of your operation and finances, promotion and marketing of your business, and achievement of your goals and objectives. Some people assume that if they are not going to seek financial support from lenders or investors to open their business that they don't need to prepare a business plan, but every business should have one. Writing a business plan serves as a roadmap for your venture when you're starting out. It can help you figure out many key business elements, including:
    • What you will need to do to get started and what resources (time, money, etc.) you will need to expend
    • What it will take for your business to make a profit and how long that will take
    • What information potential customers, vendors and investors will need to know in order for you to market your business effectively