How to Write a Business Plan
Course Introduction 

Why Write a Business Plan?

What is a business plan, really? A business is a multifunction tool. It serves as a blueprint, a yardstick, and an advertisement for your fledgling business idea. A business plan (and the process of writing one) will help you:
  • Refine your business strategy and look at your business idea from multiple perspectives. By following a disciplined process to craft your business plan, you will develop, evaluate, and optimize:

    • The features of the product or service you are offering.

    • A plan to market and deliver that product to your customers.

    • An organizational and operational model for your business.

    • A convincing picture of the potential profitability of your endeavor.

    • A realistic assessment of the risks your business will face.

Why write a business plan?
Paul Wimer
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  • Raise capital to start or support your businesses. It would be nice if you could convince angel investors to write you a check based on a five-minute pitch in an elevator. In reality, a well-crafted business plan is the tool potential investors and creditors use to help them evaluate competing ideas and determine which idea will offer them the best return on their investment. Trying to sell your business concept to investors without a detailed business plan to substantiate your ideas is like trying to catch fish without a worm. Your business plan must persuade potential investors that you, and your idea, are a sound investment.
  • Keep your company on track. Many entrepreneurs mistakenly think that a business plan is something they create in order to obtain start-up funding, and once that goal is accomplished they put the plan on a shelf to gather dust. Actually, a good business plan is a living document that you can use to assess the performance of your company over a period of time. Your plan can help you establish and monitor progress towards benchmark indicators of success and understand and evaluate the impact of ongoing changes in strategy or approach.