A business plan is essential at every stage of your business. By writing a business plan you are giving potential funders a reason to invest in you and you are giving yourself a reference throughout your business journey. You should be referring to your business plan at regular intervals to make sure that you are still on the right track or to update it in order to grow your business.
Writing a business plan need not be confusing or difficult because of all the available resources on the web.
Entrepreneur lists the top ten business plan resources below to help you get started:
Entrepreneur Magazine SA offers advice on every area of writing a business plan
Entrepreneur Magazine being the ultimate “how to” guide for starting and growing a business offers a helping hand to anyone looking to create a business plan. This section goes into detail on the format to follow and also offers sample plans for you to use as a template. You can also read through articles offering expert advice and do’s and don’t of business plans.
A creative, visual map for success.
The Right Brain Business Plan offers readers a fun and accessible way to creating their business plan and reaching their financial goals. This book is ideal for the creative entrepreneur, designer, wellness professional, writer or photographer. With the use of worksheets and step by step instructions, you will find that the business plan process is easier than you thought.
A visual guide to writing a business plan
Entrepreneur Magazine has an in-depth business plan template that you can easily download and use as a detailed guideline when writing your business plan. You can download this template for free and start creating the various sections of your business plan s0 that in the end you have a detailed business concept that is attractive to potential investors.
All-in-One Business Plan Software
BusinessPlanwhiz offers fast and easy to use software that will make the business plan creation process a lot simpler. Their software translates your ideas into one document that anyone can understand. Customers have purchased their software for starting as well as growing their business. There is no background knowledge of plans required to use this software.
Practical advice from business plan experts
BPlans was founded by Tim Berry, a renowned business planning authority, and their website caters to entrepreneurs and business owners who need sample business plans as well as advice for writing a business plan when starting or growing their companies. This website offers free as well as paid for services for you to choose from depending on your needs.
Complete guide to business plan contents
There are 10 elements or sections that need to be included in a business plan and this article from Entrepreneur Magazine goes into detail on each. Their format guide will ensure that your business plan covers everything that it needs to for your own use as well as to present to potential financiers.
A useful handbook for building the ideal business model
Alexander Osterwalder’s has created a guide to building a detailed business model that any start-up will find useful. You can access the slideshow on Slidehare and you can also purchase the full book if your decide that you would like further information on his process and thinking around business models.
Top advice from finance institutions and entrepreneurial experts
Renowned experts such as Martin Feinstein of Enablis, Allon Raiz of Raizcorp, Keet van Zyl of HBD Venture Capital and Andre Deiderichs of Old Mutual all give their opinions and top tips for writing a business plan by taking into account the do’s and don’t s and what potential investors will be looking out for.
If you are working on a marketing plan for your company, MPlans can assist.
Because writing a marketing plan is just as important as your business plan, it’s important to take the time to understand the various elements. MPlans offers a range of free marketing plans that you can use as a template to create yours. They also have marketing software that you can purchase if you want to create a totally unique plan.
Tim Berry on Business Plans
Tim Berry is the owner of Palo Alto Software, a co-founder of Borland International, and a well known expert in business planning. Entrepreneur Magazine’s website gives you free access to his articles and advice so that you have all the knowledge you need when writing or modifying your business plan.
HBD Venture Capital: The Dos and Don’ts of the Business Plan