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 »

planning
Museum of Modern Art Non Profit Business

How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan

by Angelique O'Rourke

Starting and running a nonprofit is an exhilarating experience, but it also requires thoughtful planning and execution to be successful. Nonprofit organizations share many overlapping needs with traditional for-profit ventures, including the need for a good business plan. At some point in the process of starting or managing your nonprofit, you will probably realize that... Read more »

planning

3 Types of Export Business Plans

by Laurel Delaney

Below is an extract 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 source of information.... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_121855303

How to Forecast Sales

by Tim Berry

Sales forecasting is much easier than you think, and much more useful than you imagine. It’s not about guessing the future correctly. We’re human; we don’t do that well. Instead, it’s about assumptions, expectations, drivers, tracking, and management. You review and revise your forecast regularly. Since sales are intimate with costs and expenses, the forecast... Read more »

planning
exporting

The Pitfalls of Not Having an Export Business Plan

by Laurel Delaney

Below is an extract 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 source of information.... Read more »

planning
Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably - Laurel Delaney

Thinking About Exporting? Let’s Examine Your Export Business Plan

by Laurel Delaney

“The plan is useless. But planning is essential.” Former President Dwight Eisenhower said that. Planning is a process, setting concrete milestones and tracking progress, with frequent review and revisions. But you can’t do planning without starting with a plan.” —Tim Berry, founder, Bplans.com Below is an extract from Laurel Delaney’s book “Exporting: The Definitive Guide... Read more »

planning
When you train employees to do tasks you usually do, you can move on to other things knowing the work is in good hands.

How to Delegate Effectively and Find More Time For Yourself

by Arlene Soto

How can I feel more comfortable delegating important tasks to my employees? Delegating tasks to others allows time for you to manage your business, and relieves the pressure of having to do everything. Effective delegation increases the productive output of the company, and allows the organization to prosper. It also helps motivate and develop leadership... Read more »

planning
Better Management

5 Simple Steps for Better Management

by Tim Berry

This article was originally published on SBA.gov. It’s been republished here with permission. Good news: Here is a simple process, with five easy steps, that will help improve your business. It’s easy to do and if you’re not doing something like it already, then this simple addition to your process will offer you substantial business... Read more »

planning
Product Life Cycle

What is a Product Life Cycle?

by Arlene Soto

The life cycle of a product is associated with marketing and management decisions within businesses, and all products go through five primary stages: development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Each stage has its costs, opportunities, and risks, and individual products differ in how long they remain at any of the life cycle stages. 1. Development... Read more »

planning
How to Write a Business Plan: Your Finished Plan

How to Write a Business Plan

by Noah Parsons

You’ve reviewed what a business plan is, and why you need one to start and grow your business. It’s time to dig into the process of actually writing a business plan. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll take you through every stage of writing a business plan that will actually help you achieve your goals. Whether... Read more »

planning
The cast of "Silicon Valley". Image credit: HBO

Why Even Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Need a Business Plan

by Noah Parsons

Silicon Valley is a crazy place. I’ve lived and worked there, first through the late 90s and the dot-com bubble while I worked at Yahoo!, and then again helping to start a company that eventually got bought by eBay. As the dot-com bubble was bursting, I left to work in the U.K. and founded a... Read more »

planning
Tim Berry of Palo Alto Software

What Makes a Sales Forecast Credible?

by Tim Berry

FULL TRANSCRIPT: So for me, what makes a sales forecast credible? It starts with product market fit. I want to understand the story of the need, and not necessarily big numbers, but who needs this and why. That’s the beginning. Is this really believable? That’s important. Beyond that, how the numbers grow. I want to... Read more »

funding
How to Figure Out the Amount of Investment Money Your Business Needs

How to Gauge the Amount of Startup Cash You Need

by Lisa Furgison

Learn how to gauge the amount of startup cash you need from an experienced entrepreneur. Read more »

planning

Joi Ito Nails It On Business Planning In This TED Talk

by Tim Berry

Here’s some great insight on the evolution of business plans and business planning, from Joi Ito, Director of MIT’s MediaLabs: Ito urges us to follow a compass rather than a map. Instead of planning out every exact points before you start, allow yourself to make the decisions you need as you go in the general... Read more »

planning
What the Scrambling Quarterback Says About Business Planning

What the Scrambling Quarterback Says About Business Planning

by Tim Berry

I was delighted to catch Sometimes You Have to Scramble  in my blog feed yesterday. That post on smallbizclub.com was written by pro football hall-of-gamer Fran Tarkenton, who was famous for scrambling as quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, back in the 1970s. Who better to point out two essential truths about real-world... Read more »

planning
What The Accelerator Experience Did For My Company

How the Accelerator Experience Improved My Startup

by Ely Greenberg

Now that I'm nearly done with the accelerator experience, I'm not burnt-out—I'm more eager than ever to be successful. Here's how accelerators keep you at the top of your game. Read more »

planning

How Do I Create a Plan And Stick To It?

by Tim Berry

Here are the two keys to creating an ongoing process that works. Read more »