planning
shutterstock_261987500

What Type of Business Plan Do I Need?

by Tim Berry

We get this question a lot, mainly because there are so many different things labelled as business plans: strategic plans, annual plans, operational plans, feasibility plans, and, of course, what most people think of, business plans for startups seeking investment. And also, what real business owners want—lean business plans for better management. In this article,... Read more »

planning
businesswriting

Tools, Tips, and Tricks to Improve Business Writing

by Robert Morris

Of the many courses I took in college, business writing was the most challenging. Students whose plans involve business careers are not interested in abstract rules, referencing standards, confusing legal language, and other materials presented in those classes. After a term spent editing and writing different documents, my classmates and I ended up even more... Read more »

planning
FREE DOWNLOAD

One Page Business Pitch Template Download [FREE]

by Jonathan Michael

Before you write your business plan, you should spend some time experimenting with your business idea and gathering your core assumptions onto a one page business pitch. That’s why we created our one page business pitch template. Using the free template, you can quickly create a simple, shareable, and impressive overview of your business. With detailed instructions for each section, you... Read more »

planning
scienceofbusinessplanning

Business Planning Makes You More Successful, and We’ve Got the Science to Prove It

by Noah Parsons

Should you spend some time developing a plan for your business, or just dive in and start, figuring things out as you go? There has been plenty of debate on this topic, but no one has pulled together the scientific evidence to determine if planning is worthwhile—until now. Over the past few months, with the... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 5: Turning Your SWOT Analysis into Actionable Strategies

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to the final day of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. By conducting a SWOT analysis of your business, you’re starting your year off right. Our 5 Day SWOT challenge was designed to give entrepreneurs a... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 4: How to Identify Threats

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 4 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. Small business owners are notoriously busy people. We understand that you have a lot of items on your daily to-do list, but we’re about to suggest... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 3: How to Identify Opportunities

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 3 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. A good entrepreneur is always on the hunt for new opportunities. One of the best ways to identify opportunities within your business is to complete a... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 2: How to Identify Weaknesses

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 2 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. Whether you’re new to the business world or a veteran, you know that a SWOT analysis is a valuable tool to have in your toolbox. A... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 1: How to Identify Strengths

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 1 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. As an entrepreneur, you want to know your business inside and out so you can make informed, money-making decisions. To do that, a SWOT analysis is... Read more »

planning
unique-selling-proposition

How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition

by Lisa Furgison

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or thinking about joining the ranks, one question you’ll have to answer is: What sets your business apart? The answer to that question usually leads entrepreneurs to define their unique selling proposition, or USP. To help entrepreneurs create a unique selling proposition, we’ve written this handy guide to walk you... Read more »

planning
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 3.19.27 PM

Do This One Thing Before You Write Your Business Plan

by Noah Parsons

So, you’ve been asked to write a business plan. It’s likely that your mind is filling with images of long documents, bad memories of writing term papers, and worries about doing market research and creating financial forecasts. Take a deep breath. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today, I’m going to walk you through... Read more »

planning
what is a balance sheet?

What Is a Balance Sheet?

by Angelique O'Rourke

If you’re in the process of starting a business or writing a business plan document, you’ll have heard the phrase “balance sheet” mentioned, or maybe you’ve seen one in a sample business plan. The balance sheet is one of three essential parts that form the bedrock of a company’s financial statements: cash flow, balance sheet, and... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_144228361

How to Write a Company Overview

by Angelique O'Rourke

A company overview (also known as company information or a company summary) is an essential part of a business plan. Your company overview should be exactly what it sounds like: an overview containing all of the most important points about your company. It usually appears after the executive summary. This is typically the shortest chapter... Read more »

planning
what is an income statement

What Is an Income Statement?

by Angelique O'Rourke

Learn what an income statement is including a line by line explanation of it's components, and view income statement examples. Read more »

planning
Cash Flow Management

How and Why to Manage Cash Flow

by Tim Berry

No matter how profitable your company looks, it can still be in danger of going under without sufficient cash flow. Cash is your business’s lifeblood, its survival. Yet the world is full of “profitable” companies bleeding themselves dry and slowly—or sometimes not so slowly—going under because they haven’t paid due attention to cash flow. How... Read more »

planning
One page business pitch

7 Reasons to Create a One-Page Pitch Before You Plan

by Noah Parsons

A business pitch or elevator pitch is not only a crucial tool for getting investment, it’s also one of the best tools you can use to flesh out your business concept, iterate it through different variations, and find a business model that works and will turn into a profitable company. But, shouldn’t you have a... Read more »

planning
The Key Elements of the Financial Section

The Key Elements of the Financial Plan

by Trevor Betenson

Whatever type of plan you're writing, there are a few key financial items that you should definitely include. I'll explain what they are, why they're important, and how you should create them. Read more »

planning
business planning

A Simple, Step by Step Guide For Business Planning

by Noah Parsons

We have plenty of in-depth articles here on Bplans about business planning, for example: why you should plan, what kind of plan you need, and how to prepare a formal business plan document. But, what we’ve been missing, until now, is a simple step-by-step summary of the business planning process to get you going and... Read more »

planning
How to Calculate Your TAM (Total Addressable Market)

How Big is Your Potential Market, Really?

by Caroline Cummings

Whether you’re a startup or an up-and-running business, you should know what your total potential market opportunity is for your products or services. I’ve coached many companies over the years, as well as judged several business plan competitions, and I’m always surprised by how most business owners can’t confidently tell you their total market potential.... Read more »

planning
ExportBookbyLaurelDelaney

From Market Research to Writing Your Export Business Plan

by Laurel Delaney

Below is the final extract we will be publishing from Laurel Delaney’s book “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.” This book was published in December 2013 and is available for purchase online. If you would like to find out more about the author, the book, or about exporting in general, Laurel’s blog is an excellent... Read more »