Why do I need a business plan?
- A well-written business plan improves your probability of success by helping you evaluate the feasibility of your business idea in an objective way. The plan is much like a road map for your business and helps you identify opportunities, avoid mistakes, and develop production, administrative and marketing plans, as well as budget guidelines. The plan also serves as the foundation for your funding proposal and provides lenders and investors essential details about your operation, financial strategy, and the amount and type of financing your venture requires. To see an example of a business plan, visit the SBA page about writing business plans.
What are the elements of an effective business plan?
- A business plan includes sections on operations, marketing, management, and finances. For an example business plan outline, contact your local SBDC. For a number of sample business plans, SBA page about writing business plans.
What is a feasibility study?
- A feasibility study is a detailed preliminary evaluation of your business idea to see if it is worth pursuing. A feasibility study includes the assessments of the management team, market prospects, and potential pitfalls.
Will the SBDC write my business plan for me?
- No. The SBDC can assist you in developing your own business plan. For a comprehensive list of local and online business plan classes, visit our training page.
Who should write my business plan?
- You should. Writing your own business plan will force you to think through important issues that you may not otherwise consider. Contact your local SBDC for assistance in developing your business plan. For a comprehensive list of local and online business plan classes, visit our training page.
Do you recommend business plan software?
- The advantage of off-the-shelf business planning software is that it helps you organize your business plan and gives you good examples to help you craft your own document. Most software packages generate charts and graphs from the financial spreadsheets incorporated into the plan. The disadvantage is that these plans often look “canned”. Loan officers receive hundreds of these plans and can instantly recognize them. If you copy the examples from the business plan software into your plan, loan officers will recognize that it is not your work and will probably discount its credibility. All you need to create your own business plan is a word processing program and a spreadsheet program. Your local SBDC office can provide you with guidelines, examples, individual counseling as well as classes to help you write an effective business plan.
How long will it take to write my business plan?
- Writing a business plan is a difficult and arduous task and can take anywhere from 20 hours to several months. It depends on the complexity of the business venture or project that you are planning and how much information is needed to thoroughly complete it.
Does the SBDC offer classes on writing business plans?
- Yes! Classes are offered locally or online. For a comprehensive list, visit our training page.