Business Planning Guide

Writing a business plan doesn't have to be hard. You can start creating your business plan with our free business plan template or with a sample business plan from your industry. If you're applying for an SBA loan, take our free, SBA-approved course on how to write a business plan. If you have any questions, you can turn to one of our expert how-to guides for answers.

Recent Business Planning Articles


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 »


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 »


How Big is Your Potential Market, Really?

By Caroline Cummings

[caption id="attachment_35697" align="alignnone" width="700"] If you visited Grand Canyon National Park, would you visit every square acre of the park, or just the particular viewpoints and hikes that appeal to you most?[/caption] 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.… Read more »


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 »


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 »