An entrepreneur’s guide to starting a small business

Diane Balogh profile image January 23, 2024 | 7 min read

A business plan is a critical and comprehensive planning document that outlines the goals, strategies and operational aspects of a business. It is a blueprint that guides business owners through different aspects of establishing and growing a successful business and includes detailed sections on the business model, market analysis, products and services, marketing and sales strategies, financial planning and the management structure of the business. These plans help business owners approach all crucial aspects of their business critically and ensure that they are well-equipped to handle various challenges that may arise.

Aside from outlining the business objectives and operations, a business plan is important when applying for business funding. Most financial institutions and investors require a detailed business plan before they will commit to funding a venture. An effective business plan demonstrates to potential investors that the business has a well-thought-out strategy, viable market potential and a positive financial forecast.

Business plans also serve as a reference point for decision-making. As businesses evolve, owners can refer back to their plans to ensure they are staying on track with their goals and making informed decisions based on the strategy they initially set out.

Start-up business ideas

Business plans for small businesses

  • Write Your Business Plan: A business plan is a foundational document to any small business. Learn how to write a business plan using a template from the Small Business Administration.
  • Business Modelling: Business modeling is an effective way to approach a new business idea and plan using a proven model of success.
  • The Startup Business Plan: No matter the industry, a business plan is an essential piece of the entrepreneurial puzzle when a new business is being formed. Find out why it’s so important.

Communication and outreach

Marketing plans and marketing best practices for small businesses

Small business financing

Other resources for small businesses

  • How to Start a New Business: This step-by-step guide makes an excellent blueprint for any entrepreneur who is considering starting a new business venture. It walks you through every step from developing your business idea to marketing that new product or service.
  • 10 Reasons to Start Your Own Business: The idea of striking out on your own with a new business opportunity can be scary but, in many ways, it is well worth the risk. Don’t forget about all the benefits of being a business owner as you grapple with the hard stuff, too.
  • The Dos and Don’ts of Starting a Business: This list of dos and don’ts can help entrepreneurs avoid common mistakes as they start a new business venture.
  • The Importance of Community Outreach for Small Businesses: Making a positive impact on your local community has multiple benefits. Learn why community engagement is important for small businesses and the benefits it can bring business owners.
  • Tips to Growing Your Business in a Sustainable Way: It can be tempting to get excited about early business success and expand too quickly. These tips can help you manage your growing business sustainably and with the future in mind.
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