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Old January 16th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Moore, Oklahoma
Posts: 408
Business Plan

I'm trying to get a SBLoan through a bank, and I've found out that one of the first steps is to create the small business plan. After drifting through the internet for a few days, I've come to the conclusion that I have no idea how to do that.

I found the website that helps you create it: Business Plan Software and Free Sample Business Plans but I didn't know if anyone has used them before. And for wedding videos and the like, do you need the big one, or will standard do? We haven't started the business yet, so we don't have any old numbers to run through.

What did your BP look like? How many pages? Did you use some sort of software?
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Alex Sprinkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 311
I wrote mine a couple of years ago, and used the free samples at the site you linked as a template. More specifically, the pet business one.

Didn't use any software other than my word processor and spreadsheet programs. It was considerably shorter than the examples at the link I listed, about 10 pages plus the projected financial statements. I think the important thing is that you don't pad it with filler. Be straight and to the point because the person reading it wants it that way. Also, be very realistic. For example, if you project that you're going to be operating in the red for the first year, be up front about it. If a competitor has opened up shop and can do the same job cheaper and better, admit it. Showing that you understand the risk and foresee the roadblocks will go a long way.

And have fun. A business plan is something that everyone should do, even if they're not applying for financing.
Matthew Craggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
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I've written a few of these both for other companies and for my own businesses. Matt's dead on about being honest. I can't comment on the site you reference but you might want to read as many of these you can get your hands on.

Running the numbers accurately and honestly is critical. Not just for those you'll send this to but also for you. Writing a truthful business plan is a fantastic way to sanity check your ideas and will also help clarify your strategy and tactics for you.

I found that when I wrote my first one for my business I was prompted to think more deeply about facets of the business that I had glossed over previously. I ended up refining and in a few places shifting my ideas a bit because of what came out as I was building the plan.

Matt's also right about having fun with it. It's a great tool if you learn to lean on it.
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