When you have a great idea, you want to pursue it – but with so many details involved, starting a business can seem like a daunting task. A million questions run through your head:
Where do I start?
What is a business plan, exactly?
How do I create a business plan and where can I find examples?
What topics should I include and what scenarios do I need to consider?
To ensure success and guarantee you secure funding, you will want a foolproof startup business plan that ticks through every detail. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 15 wonderful resources that will help you educate yourself on startups and business plans.
Bargain Business Plans
We’re not biased, here at Bargain Business Plans we have the experience to think through each and every aspect of your startup and write a comprehensive and professional business plan that will get you loans and help you jumpstart your road to success. We even offer custom logos so you can hit the ground running and build brand awareness.
View our informative blog posts and our “What to Include” articles covering business plan topics like Financials, Market Research & Analysis, and other business tips. We also have a variety of expert business plan writing services that include one on one consulting and a money back guarantee so you can have peace of mind knowing your investment is a smart choice. Whether you are in the initial stages of idea inception, preparing to entice investors with a business plan, or working through your initial startup, we have you covered!
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) was created to help your business idea come to fruition. The website houses tips and tricks to help you jumpstart your business, and their article on how to Write Your Business Plan features plan types, and the instructions and resources to get you started, while the How to Write a Business Plan course in their Learning Center offers a visual aid for those who prefer to learn through video.
With advice and articles for everything from startups to corporations, Forbes is an invaluable resource if you want to be in the know about business news. One of many informative articles, the Basic Structure of a Business Plan for Beginners will introduce you to fun facts surrounding new business ventures and will also break down the business plan process into easy-to-understand segments. This article takes intimidating to stress-free in ten minutes or less.
With a variety of tips and templates for starting your own company, Score is a definite value add. If you find yourself procrastinating on a business plan, check out their 5 Reasons Your Startup Needs a Business Plan article to get you motivated. They also offer workshops, podcasts, and have a “Find a Mentor” program.
Navarro College Small Business Development Center
Unexpected but priceless, Navarro College’s Small Business Development Center offers a Startup Planner to help you get thinking! The comprehensive questionnaire touches on a variety of items you may not have thought through during the early development stages and gives you the opportunity to gather a cohesive startup plan and strategy.
The Shopkeep website has a small business section that offers advice and articles on everything from inspiration and planning through inventory management and company expansion. Their tips on creating a business plan break down the process and offer fun startup facts along the way!
edX is a course-based website offering free classes you can stream on your computer. These classes feature a number of topics that are useful for entrepreneurs and startups including lessons on financial planning and marketing that can help create a more thorough business plan to ensure success.
My Own Business Institute (MOBI)
Another course-based site, My Own Business Institute is hosted by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, and features online business courses focused on entrepreneurship. A neat feature: In addition to its helpful resources segment, the site also offers all of its courses in Spanish!
The Houston Chronical houses an impressive article detailing resources necessary for a startup. The topics listed in the article are a great starting place when thinking through a business and can provide a good groundwork for a thorough startup proposal.
YouTube Business Videos
Bet you didn’t see this one coming! YouTube is popular for more than viral videos; with a simple search you can have countless entrepreneurship and startup videos at your disposal. For example, our “Business Planning and Strategy” search came back with some impressive, concise and convenient videos containing topics to think about when starting a business and planning for growth.
Podcasts are another handy way to educate yourself on planning for a startup. How to Build a Rocketship is a well-known and respected podcast that covers startup and development subjects relevant to businesses in the B2B and B2C market. The best part? You can educate yourself on the go!
Many entrepreneurs focus solely on the fact that a business plan will get them the funding they need to establish their business. However, even if you do not need funding, a business plan is vital to success. In NOLO’s article Why You Need To Write A Business Plan, they explain why a plan is important no matter what your financial situation, and they make a convincing case! The article is a must-read for any founder.
When you write a business plan, the focus is on how to get funding. However, by changing up the way we think about the business plan process, better content can appear. Cayenne Consulting’s article on Why Business Plans Don’t Get Funded provides a unique way to begin writing – by thinking about what not to do in the report. They run through common mistakes entrepreneurs make when writing plans and, in doing so, teach you the important things to think about when forming a startup.
Entrepreneur Magazine is one of our favorite publications for interesting advice and inspirational articles so, naturally, their website is a terrific resource as well. They feature webinars, articles, videos, and more, allowing you to learn using your preferred media type. Their articles on planning, like Business Plans: A Step-By-Step Guide, answer a number of questions and cover things to think about before, during, and after writing your plan. All content is geared toward entrepreneurs and provides insights into a variety of industries and business types.
Everyone absorbs information differently and has a preference for specific types of media, so we have incorporated a diverse grouping of resources in this list to help you get started so you can build the most comprehensive business plan possible and increase your chances of success. Although it is far from a comprehensive listing of resources, these are the ones we have found most helpful for first timers through serial entrepreneurs, guaranteed to help you hit the ground running. Good luck!