Business Plan Advice

SBA's Business Plan Tool provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you get started.All of your information entered into this tool can only be viewed by accessing your account using the password you have specified.

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We share it with the team constantly, but it is never done," says Tim Berry, president and founder of Palo Alto Software, maker of Business Plan Pro software, who blogs at

"When your business plan is finished, your company is finished."The following pages will help you understand why you should write a business plan, components to include in a business plan, and how to use the plan internally to meet your business goals.

In fact, more important to your business's future than having a 30-page, coil-bound plan to distribute is the business planning process that you undertake on a regular basis to hopefully keep your ship headed in the right direction without losing sight of your long-term destination."In my company, we've been working on the same plan for more than 20 years—we review it every month and revise it every year.

We've printed it out a dozen times and shined and polished it.

The business plan generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to reach its yearly milestones, including revenue projections.

A well thought out plan also helps you to step-back and think objectively about the key elements of your business venture and informs your decision-making on a regular basis.

Start out by describing the opportunity that exists in the market.

Explain what has caused it, how you identified it and how it can be filled.

How to Write a Business Plan: Reasons to Write a Business Plan For those of you just starting a business, writing a business plan is a crucial first step.

It can help you describe your product or service, detail your marketing strategy, and lay out your sales and operational forecasts—including the ever important cash-flow projection so as to keep your business on track for profits.


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