Business Plans

Potential investors, customers, and clients usually will not spend much time trying to understand the nature of a business. Therefore, the entrepreneur needs to prepare a business plan that can be used as:

  • A sales document – to secure financing
  • A mission statement – to let others know what your business is all about. It is written for key people you want to team up with such as accountants, lawyers, suppliers, and customers
  • A management and planning guide – a strategic tool to guide day-to-day operations of your business
  • A development tool – to help you set realistic deadlines and keep you on track

Writing Your Business Plan

Ideally, the entrepreneur should write their own business plan, and we strongly encourage the entrepreneur to write his or her own business plan.  The importance of thoroughly knowing the business mission, customers, and operations, and the ability to present the plan to potential financiers and investors cannot be underestimated. The Small Business & Technology Development Center can assist in the development of the business plan. Utilizing the expertise of the Center’s staff, the entrepreneur will become an integral part of a team effort to create a business plan.

Business Plan Development

Does my business concept represent an opportunity in the marketplace? Will my business concept attract enough customers to be a profitable business? How will you know? You will need to answer these questions, and many more, in order to provide the best possible basis for success of your business venture. We coach entrepreneurs to research and analyze their markets to understand their characteristics, determine the typical customer who will purchase the products and services, gain insight into the competitive climate, and determine the financial feasibility of the business concepts. Our high speed, low drag format is ideally arranged for the technologist; however, it will work for any business. As you go through the process and answer each question in our plan, you develop a comprehensive 3 to 6 page document that is easy to read and demonstrates to the reader that you have considered every aspect of the business. To download the business plan template, click here. To download the financial projections worksheet template, click here. To download instructions for the financial projections worksheet template, click here.

Business Plan Review

If you have finished preparing your business plan, congratulations! As you may have guessed, business planning is an ongoing process. The business plan serves as a roadmap to launch the venture, and it should be reviewed and updated periodically. But for now, you are ready to celebrate the accomplishment of finishing this first round of your business planning process.

If you choose to write the business plan yourself, SBTDC staff are available to review and critique the plan before it is presented. The staff will read the plan from the point of view of the group you are targeting – bankers, investors, suppliers, or key employees -- to make sure it reads well, answers the most common questions of the target audience, and presents your business proposal in the best possible way.

For more information concerning business plan development and review services, please contact Keith Strassner at (573) 341-6725 or e-mail us.