planning
clip of one page 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 customer may not always be right, but there's never an excuse for treating someone poorly.

How to Run a Business in Prison (Orange is the New Black, Season 2)—Minor Spoilers

by Jonathan Michael

The Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, takes a gritty, poignant, and hilarious look at life inside a women’s federal prison. The show premiered in 2013 to critical acclaim, and in June 2014 Netflix released all 13 episodes of its second season. The show recently won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy... 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 »

starting
Business ideas

Is Your New Business Idea Worth Pursuing?

by Arlene Soto

I have so many new ideas for my business. How do I determine which ones are the best to pursue? Most business owners want their business to grow, and often growth includes consideration of new products or services. Sometimes, though, brainstorming new possibilities interferes with maintaining the core business by distracting the owner from focusing... Read more »

planning
small ideas can become big ideas

Uh-oh! Do you have a “sitcom” startup?

by Candice Landau

There are two primary reasons that startups fail: One, the execution of the idea is poor (wrong location, poor product, bad service, etc) and two, the startup is not making something that people want. Simply put, it’s not solving a real-life problem. Y Combinator calls these types of startup ideas, "sitcom startups". Read more »

starting
What I wish I knew before I started my business

What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started My Business

by Lisa Furgison

If you’re about to start a business, you’ve probably read several how-to books looking for advice on how to be successful. While researching is a great first step, there are some lessons that you won’t find in a book. You need to hear from business owners who have been in your position, who started a... Read more »

planning
Running a business can be like running a marathon- goals can be your mile markers a long the way.

The Importance of Setting Goals in Business

by Arlene Soto

Why is it important to set business goals? Goals are powerful—they can focus attention on achieving desirable outcomes. In business, one desirable outcome would be profitability. Profitability does not happen without making sales, plus correctly managing expenses. Employees prefer to know what management expects them to accomplish, and goals provide that direction. The human brain... Read more »

planning
8 Quotes That Will Motivate You to Make a Plan and Stick to It

8 Quotes to Motivate You to Make a Plan and Stick to It

by Jonathan Michael

Forget about a “case of the Mondays.” Most weeks, it’s Wednesday when you start to wonder why you’re doing what you do. To get you through hump day with a little more pep in your step, we’ve gathered eight inspirational quotes from some of history’s greatest minds. Maybe they’ll inspire you to stick with what... Read more »

growing
c41dac4a9ba7392415d545c27bbdeb71

How to Keep Your Resolutions and Dominate in Business

by Bailey Koharchick

With strategy, and a plan, I think I could keep my resolutions and accomplish a lot in 2014. This doesn't just apply to personal resolutions—think of your business, and all of the goals you want to set for it. You can reach those goals if you have strategies and a plan for implementing them. Read more »

growing
SWOT-Analysis-249x300

SWOT Analysis Template Download [FREE]

by Andrea Vedder

The Bplans SWOT analysis template is all you need to get started developing smart strategies for your business. Read more »

funding
Sold Out Webinar

How to Pitch Your Business to Angel Investors [FREE WEBINAR]

by Andrea Vedder

Join Caroline Cummings and David Rose on Wednesday, November 20, at 10 am PST, for a free webinar on how to pitch your business to investors. Read more »

growing
Happy Car Salesman closing deal

What to Look For When Hiring a Sales Person

by Arlene Soto

Top sales people are the ones who listen to customers and partner with them in finding the right solution. In the interview process it’s important to ask questions that address these desirable characteristics. Read more »

growing
Tweeting-a-Hashtag-150x150-2

What Will Holiday Shoppers Spend in 2013? [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Andrea Vedder

The National Retail Federation just released its annual holiday spending forecast, and it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The bad news is that the consumers surveyed by the NRF expect to spend about 2 percent ($14) less this year on holiday gifts, greeting cards, decorations, flowers, and food than they did in 2012. The... Read more »

growing
Money box wrapped in red bow in hand

How Do I Make Sure My Holiday Sales Season is Profitable?

by Arlene Soto

At this time of year, retail problems abound: unsold inventory, too few customers, unprofitable pricing, shoplifting, employee theft, bad checks, and on and on. Read more »

growing
Sinking ship

Smooth Failing: Living With and Learning From Failure

by Tim Berry

I like the premise of Barbara Weltman’s new book Smooth Failing: learning from failure and mistakes. One problem in the world of entrepreneurship is the way we celebrate successes and hide failures. Read more »

growing
Analytics overview

The 6 Most Important Web Metrics to Track for Your Business Website

by Noah Parsons

Web analytics and metrics can be overwhelming. The key to avoid drowning in the sea of numbers is to start with six key metrics for measuring how your website is doing. Read more »

growing
Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 2.32.18 PM

How to Build the Perfect Facebook Page for Your Business

by Bailey Koharchick

Social media is like a long-term relationship—the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. Fortunately, it won’t nag you about leaving your laundry everywhere and clogging the drain (working on it, sweetie). It’s estimated that about 80 percent of companies are on Facebook, but the defining factor is how you’re... Read more »

growing
Girl on smartphone in front of clothing store

Bricks to Clicks: 5 Modern Ways to Convert Your Foot Traffic to Web Traffic

by Lena West

If you own a traditional “brick and mortar” business, it’s easy to assume a lot of the business tips you read online simply don’t apply to you. The truth is, they do! Read more »

starting
ANA 787 Interior Art RenderingK65339

Help From High Places

by Andrea Vedder

Believe it or not, there are major corporations out there willing to advise you (for free) as you start your new business. Why? Because if you're successful, you're likely to be a loyal, lifetime customer. Read more »

starting
Lightbulb hatching out of egg trimmed

10 Ways to Turn a Business Idea into a Reality

by Scott Gerber

Coming up with great ideas is easy. It's putting those ideas into action that's difficult. Read more »