Tag Archives: business plan template

Business Plan Resources

The SBA’s (US Small Business AdministrationSmall Business Learning Center is full of amazing training files. It has online training courses, videos, and chats. I found the online course for How to Write a Business Plan to be extremely helpful.

SBA also has a series of business planning tutorial videos by Tim Berry.  Tim Berry is the Founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software and bplans.com. He is the author of business plan software Business Plan Pro and www.liveplan.com and books including The Plan As You Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press, 2008.

Another item on SBA’s site that I like is Creating a Business Plan, which is found under Starting a Business in the Starting & Managing a Business section. There is a link to the SBA’s Build Your Business Plan tool – a step-by-step guide to help you create your business plan.

SCORE has some Templates and Tools that will serve you well. There are one or two, of course, related to Business Plans. For example, here are 5 Tips on Creating a Great Business Plan, brought to you by SCORE Mentors:

  • Take the long view and do long-term planning. Map out where you want to be five years from now and how you plan to get there.
  • Write the plan yourself. You will learn more about your business by doing so.
  • Think of your plan as a living document. Review it regularly to make sure you are on track or to adjust it to market changes.
  • Share the plan with others who can help you get where you want to go—such as lenders, key employees and advisors.
  • Understand that you might pay a price in the short run to obtain long-term business growth and health.

SCORE has a gallery of Business Plan Templates as well as templates of Financial Statements. They also have Online Workshops, such as Quick Start Business Plan.

Next time we will talk about how to obtain business licenses and permits.

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Is a Business Plan Really Necessary?

The short answer is “yes” and the long answer is “yes but, depending on the size and niche of your business, it does not always need to be a long dissertation.”

There are many articles and websites covering this topic so I am only going to try to help you navigate through the maze. Two great sources of information are SBA.gov (the official website for the U.S. Small Business Administration) and SCORE.org  (business mentoring that is free and confidential).

I have to admit that when I hear the phrase ‘business plan’ I do not get warm, fuzzy feelings. Quite the opposite, I start to get tense and a little nervous. Why? Because it sounds like punishment – you have to write a business plan.

So the first step is to realize that it is in your best interest to write a business plan. It will help you to define your goals and the steps necessary to achieve your goals. It will force you to spend time thinking about the future and how to get where you want to go!

Ken Yancey, the CEO of SCORE since 1993, wrote a blog post last December entitled “A Small Business Plan for the Future” that gives a great response to our initial question: Is a business plan really necessary?

The SBA website has a Business Plan Tool to help you get started. SCORE has a Business Plan Template for a Startup Business that I just downloaded. I want to complete the steps in the SBA’s Business Plan Tool before I start on the actual plan. I hope to do that some time over the next few days. I’ll let you know how it goes.