Business planning 101: a quick start approach

Business Plan - One of the first things I learned in business school was how to write a business plan. The one thing that I must have missed, though, is why to write a business plan. Granted, a business plan is a basic necessity when pursuing angel money or investment capital. But what is the purpose of a formal, written business plan when you’re starting your own business on a shoestring? Say you’re just starting out with an idea for a new product – what is the point of projecting sales when you’re still in the proof-of-concept phase?

My illustrious professors, of course, would argue that your business plan is one of the cornerstones – part of the foundation upon which your budding business will be built. However, actually writing a business plan is something every business guru advises but few actually do. While it can sometimes help to put everything down on paper, I am a strong advocate of the model where your business plan is a living document. As a living document, your business plan can be initially launched as an outline or skeleton and later “fleshed out” as your product concept and company grows.

I know of many successful entrepreneurs work under business plans that are constantly under development or revision. This in no way detracts them from building their businesses, and in fact can be an asset as the time that would have been spent in writing the executive summary or cranking out financials can better be spent on product development or other, worthwhile pursuits.

At the point in your company’s development where you feel you do need a business plan, what is the best way of going about getting this all on paper? There are several ways of going about building your business plan. Utilizing a software package, which walks you through the process, step-by-step and generates a business plan from the data you enter, is a good way to go. These software packages start at under $100, and can save you time and streamline your efforts. There are also several good books out on the market that can help you to develop your business plan from scratch, some of which also come with examples or software on CD.

Previous Articles Highlighter:

Business School (1)
...programs in the U.S. and worldwide, selecting the right business school can be tricky. Factors, such as location, available programs, quality of the faculty, prestige of the university, alumni ...

Business Services (2)
...ahead? Here are five ways to save on your purchases of goods and business services. 1. Join a Buying Club. a. For a low annual fee, you can take advantage of pre-negotiated deals with major busine...

Business To Business Film (3)
...Business to business film advertising is big business. Practically anything that used to be a prop or a film location can now be filled by a brand endorsement, from food and beverage to com...

Business Travel (4)
...no substitute for face-to-face contact with customers, colleagues and potential investors. Unfortunately, increased airline security has added to the inconvenience of both tourism and busine...

Computer Business (5)
...they need and how much they are willing to spend to get it. The Internet has made it easier to comparison shop, making it easier for customers to ensure they are getting the best deal available on...

Home Based Business (6)
...to visit you on either a drop-in or appointment-only basis? If so, is there a separate area of your home (preferably with a separate entrance) that you can use for your workspace? Will locati...

Home Based Business Opportunity (7)
...and products being sold through this type of channel. There are also MLM organizations selling telecommunications products, web sites and e-services, learning aids, information, and mor...

Home Business (8)
...an alternative form of employment. The only problem seems to be actually finding a work-from-home job! There are literally thousands of home business opportunities out there, many of them ...

Internet Business (9)
...every day. All it takes is an idea and a domain name. A few simple questions can get you started on your way. 1. Do you have a product or service you would like to sell online? 2. Have you ...

Small Business (10)
... Many small business owners face the same challenges: long hours, limited resources, often the inability to delegate the purchasing function to other company employees (if there are any). Com...

Cnn And News (11)
...like CNN and news. For example, Fox News, MSNBC and the like all offer twenty four news coverage along the lines of CNN and news. CNN and news coverage by that organization really came into its ...

Construction Workers Boning (12)
...construction workers, courses offered at night are the best times for them to further their education. In some cities there are educational organizations that offer high-tech training for constru...

Consumer Research Corporation (13)
...and development. As a result, the consumer research corporation has become a significant and important part of the overall process of bringing a new product to market. The consumer research corpo...

How To Start A Small Business (14)
...than it does with ideas. Knowing how to start a small business means knowing all the laws, having a business plan, and having investors. Unless you have a good bit of capital sitting around ...

Fire Department Trade Show Displays (15)
...European Union. Fire department trade show displays have taken on greater important since the rise of the terrorist threat around the world. Fire protection services have become extremely importan...

Information Of Planet Jupiter (16)
...in which NASA and the Russian Space Agency have spent a good deal of time in research involves the plant Jupiter in our own solar system. Information of the planet Jupiter is now readily avail...

Information On The Sinking Titanic (17)
...information on the sinking titanic. We strongly suggest that a person interested in finding information on the sinking titanic conduct his or her own research on the Web. The sites we mention in t...

Internet Safety Teenagers (18)
...it comes to Internet safety teenagers. Rather, we hope only to provide concerned adults some basic information on how to ensure Internet safety teenagers. Keeping kids and young people safe mu...

Karl Ribas Internet Marketing Consultant (19)
...Internet marketing consultant. Rather, we merely are providing some basic reference information on Karl Ribas Internet marketing consultant. If a person is interested in utilizing a service or pr...

Life Long Weight Management Program (20)
...to search for further information on the topic of life-long weight management program. Many fad diets stress weight loss by advocating some very limited dieting ideas and plans. For example, one ...

Market Research Student Spending (21)
...area of study in the area of marketing trends is market research student spending. What has been revealed via market research student spending is the fact that students - and we speak of col...

Marketing A Family Daycare (22)
...daycare. Some people when considering marketing a family daycare develop a marketing plan based on what some of the chain enterprises do in their daycare marketing plans. They adopt a more slick a...

Milwaukee Investment Property (23)
...and women interested in such investments in the State of Wisconsin, U.S.A. There are a significant number of Net based resources on investment property, including Milwaukee investment property, ...

Reposession Services Philadelphia (24)
...Bureau to get a better picture of the reputation of a repossession services Philadelphia before engaging one or another service. There are three larger repossession services in Philadelphia t...

Rss Latest News (25)
...article is designed to present some basic information on RSS latest news. Because of stringent space constraints, we can only provide basic information on RSS latest news. If a person wants addi...

Tabloid News Hollywood (26)
...And, nearly everyone reads magazines and newspapers that feature tabloid news Hollywood. Of course, some people sneak glances at these publications at checkout stands in markets. But, as we...

Why Bush Is No Friend Of Small Business (27)
...of the working man. Of course, as with anything political, the line between the parties can get blurred from time to time. In the early part of the 21st century, some people began to contend th...

Why No Memorial Service For Iraq Dead Service Causalities (28)
...of caskets carrying the remains of American war dead into Dover, Deleware, U.S.A., the military base where casualties of war enter the United States. The reality is that the Administration did...