A business plan is a vital tool that helps you organize and develop ideas and goals, whether you’re a prospective business owner, the owner of a growing company, or somewhere in between. Some advantages of having a business plan:
- Provides an organized method for researching your business
- Drastically increases your chances of success
- Serves as a game plan for your business to follow
- Provides insight into your business to facilitate funding and investment
Once complete, your business plan should identify the expectations you have for your new or existing business. If you are seeking financing, lenders often require a written business plan.
There is no one right way to write a business plan, so don’t get caught up in trying to make your plan look like someone else’s. The goal is not to produce a boring document. Instead, focus on assessing key areas of your business and developing a strategy for success.
Not sure you are on the right track? ASBTDC staff can review your business plan and provide feedback. First, review the resources below.
Video: Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Business Plan
Failing to plan = planning to fail. Your new or growing business needs a plan. Don’t skip the planning stage, and do utilize the services of ASBTDC as you plan for your business. Check out this video for some other basic business plan dos and don’ts.
Business Plan Outline
No one wants to read a 100-page business plan (much less write one). The ASBTDC’s “To the Point” business plan outline can help you focus on the most critical parts of a business. These key areas are the backbone of your business and should be the focus of your planning efforts. Once you have a draft plan, ASBTDC staff can go over your plan and provide guidance as well as answer questions.
Sample Business Plan
Sometimes looking at an example helps. ASBTDC created this sample plan which follows the “To the Point” business plan outline. While your business type may be different, notice the types of information discussed in each section. If you have questions about what to include in each section, please contact the ASBTDC. One of our staff will be happy to answer your questions.