Writing A Business Plan:
Sharp, Snappy and Successful Small Business Plans

Today's Top Tip

Online business plan scams are alive and doing very well. There's even a new wrinkle: the "crowd funding". Trust me, no one makes money but the promoters in this scheme.

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The first thing to know about writing a business plan is that it's not about the money.

It's about energy.

It's about dedication.

It's about having the ability to get the job done.

But it's not about the money.

It doesn't matter how much money your business needs.  If the investor/lender is sold, the money will be there.

Even now, in the midst of a miserable financial crisis, BANKS ARE STILL LENDING.  INVESTORS ARE STILL INVESTING.   Not everyone is getting everything they wanted, but they NEVER got everything they wanted.  If this is the right time for your small business plan, start writing a business plan now.

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You lose 100% of the shots you don't take.

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Sure, small business plans demonstrate how the money will be used, but that is a minor part.  Far more important when writing a business plan is the feeling behind the plan.

This is great news for independent entrepreneurs.  It means that when you feel very strongly about the success of your business, it will outshine any deficiencies your business proposal might have.

Your goal when writing a business plan is to let that feeling of success shine through. And let's make your job a lot easier.   Use what you can on this web site.  Skip what you don't need.  Between the two of us, we can create a pretty spectacular small business plan for your business.

So let's go write a small business plan, just for your business. To help us get started in the right direction, here are some super starting points for writing a business plan.  Feel free to jump in anywhere:



Starting a small business is a whole new ball game. Dynamic new techniques.  Innovative income streams, new ways of reaching your clients.  Starting up right means targeting for success a whole lot sooner, and a whole lot more powerfully, than ever before.

Start A Cleaning Business.   Some things just cannot be computerized.  Personalized cleaning service is one of them, whether it is a home, a building, a boat, an engine, or a highway.  Writing a business plan for any cleaning business means putting service first.

Start An Elder Care Business.   Over 50,000 new senior citizen day care centers will be needed over the next few years.  This business is not for everyone, but if you are a caring person looking for a strong business, this may indeed be the one you need.

Start An Employment Agency Business.   Thousands of businesses are on the brink of starting and expanding.  Your expertise in the industry will position you well for meeting the needs of these businesses.

Start A Party Planning Business.   This is not a neighborhood birthday bash.  It is the professionally presented party for all occasions.  Bring loads of creativity and energy when writing a business plan for a party planning business.

Start A Recruiting Business.   Business is just beginning to kick into gear, and when it does, lots and lots of top quality people will be needed in a hurry.  Your business can  be there, waiting for the clients. Unlike an employment agency, many recruiting businesses can be run from home.

Start A Retail Business.   There are thousands of excellent retail stores just waiting for your creative skills, everything from pet stores to tractor sales to gift baskets.  This is a great time to open many retail stores.  The secret is to find the right niche.

Start A Retail Clothing Business.   When your style is personal, when you have unique sources, your retail clothing store can be a huge success, whether it is for men, women, teens, plus sizes, lingerie, infants, formal wear, swimsuits, shoes, hats, or dozens of other possibilities.

Start A Trucking Business.   No matter how sophisticated our transportation systems get, we still need millions of trucks for transport.  It is a solid business, year in, year out.  Writing a business plan for a trucking business means putting your business solidly in the large transportation matrix.

Start A Tutoring Business .  If ever there was a perfect home business, this is IT.  Huge potential.  Immense variety.  A challenging, dynamic business model.  When writing a business plan for a tutoring business, your own skills will be featured.

Start A Wholesale Business.   If you can ship it, you can wholesale it.  Thousands upon thousands of opportunities are there. Finding the right product is probably the hardest part of writing a business plan for a wholesale business.

SMALL BUSINESS PLANS FOR FINANCING Lots of industries are represented.  More are being added all the time.  The home of the 7 Step Business Plan series : write a business plan that captures the attention your company deserves.

Basic Small Business Plan -- Including Links to 400+ Free Plans
Start with a strong basic small business plan and build it to fit your business.  Then you've got one that soars.

Write A Business Plan Fit For A Real Pro There are just some businesses that need a seriously professional approach.  Here are a few of them, with 7 Step Business Plans for them.

Consulting Business Plan .  The internet has opened up thousands of types of businesses to international clientele that never existed before.  Writing a business plan that builds on your strengths is the fastest way of getting there.

Construction .  Knowing where to look is the key to holding on.  And holding on is the key to profitability over the next few years.

Insurance Agency.   The turmoil in the industry makes your services just that much more valuable.  Use your expertise to set up a strong agency for your community by writing a business plan that works for you.

Law Firm.   No matter your specialty, your presentation will need the look and approach of a real pro.  Writing a business plan will put your professionalism front and forward.

Massage Therapy.   No matter your style -- Shiatsu, reflexology, aromatherapy, sports massage, even pre natal massage -- the professionalism that you project will determine your funding.

Professional Speaker .  Giving real value to your participants is your key to your speaking success.  Demonstrating that value to your lender by writing a business plan is the key to your funding success.

Temporary Staffing Company .  Few companies are hiring.  Most are using temporary workers.  And that is to your advantage.  Choose your "working niche" and go for it.

Internet Small Business Plans - Your Key to Success
The explosive growth of the internet for all forms of business means explosive growth for your business as well.

Computer Consultants .  If you've got the talent, the business is there.  Writing a business plan with strength and conviction will get you there as well.

EBay .  The online marketing phenomena that still rocks the world. 

ECommerce .  From miniature thimbles to mansions, from advisory services to zither repair, there is a spot for you on the ecommerce road.

Internet Information Service.   Thousands of businesses need your expertise.  Now.

Internet Marketing.   Join the online world in a big way, with your own business

Online Small Business.   Even a new word was coined for this industry: "infopreneur".  It is the fastest growing segment on the web.  Grab onto your information corner of the superhighway.

Technology .  There are millions of types of technology, and millions of ways of getting where you want to go.  Here is the most direct route.

Web Design.   The perfect juncture of style and skill.  Writing a business plan will take your business around the world, literally.

Retail Small Business Plans
From miniature dollhouse shops to imported furniture warehouses, retail businesses have a lot in common, and a lot that is unique to each presentation.  Most important, each presents its unique business: Yours. 

Automotive Parts Store .  Model Ts to T-Birds.  Find your niche, and your clients await. Writing a business plan that fits your niche clinches the deal.

Clothing Store.   From traditional stores like baby clothes, to newer models like clothing for aging baby boomers, there are real markets. Writing a business plan that captures your market is key to your success.

Comic Book Business.   Turn your heroes into a great business.

Florist Shop.   Most floral shops are still owned and operated by creative individual entrepreneurs, not by chain stores, so writing a business plan for your business will spotlight your own creativity.

Gift Shop .  Local souvenir shops and classic ethic shops all fall under the "gift shop" umbrella.  So do umbrellas.

Mail Order.   Sell treasures from around the world, or from around the house.  Your product mix is limited only by your own creativity and resourcefulness.

Pet Store .  Who can resist a business presentation with a goldfish or a gorilla on the cover?  Fill the innards with great information and you are on your way.

Specialty Food Store.   Delis and cheese and tea shops and lots more specialty food stores prosper, no matter what the economy.

Sample Restaurant Small Business Plans
Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes. There's the pizza place, the deli, the bakery, the internet cafe, and lots more.  Restaurants have a tough time getting financing.  Here's how writing a business plan will help you get yours.

Bakery Shop .  Donuts and wedding cakes and natural breads and cookies flourish all over the country. Writing a business plan that meets your standards will suit the lender too.

Cafe .  The local cafe is the centerpiece of many communities, with coffee and conversation and refreshment to nourish to soul. 

Catering .  From business affairs to lavish social events to picnics, your catering service will appeal to a splendid marketing niche.

Coffee Shop.   Blends from around the world combine for an aroma unlike any other.  Add a few super munchies, and wow!  There's the corner coffee shop!

Internet Cafe.   Starbucks made it a staple in our society.  You can make it yours.  Thousands of "other" internet cafe are sprinkled all over, each bringing its own ambiance to the world of the coffee klatch.

Pizza .  The ultimate comfort food.  Your pizza parlor will be a hub of activity, from little league to senior citizens.

Sports Bar .  Billiards.  Walls of TV focused on international sports.  Women's sports, too, command attention in emerging sports bars.  Pick your theme.  Then start writing a business plan that demonstrates you know what you are doing.

Wine Bar.   The ultimate in luxury -- fine aromas, fine palates,  great munchies, lively conversation.  It is all in writing a business plan for your wine bar business.

Service Small Business Plans -- Your Key to Independence
Your service plan is your key to independence in thousands of industries, from steam cleaning to internet services to professional speaker, and lots more.

Beauty Salon .  You've honed your skill.  It's your time.  Bring your clients and your artistry to your own salon, and feature them in writing a business plan.

Cleaning Service.   This is not a business for amateurs.  When you know what you are doing, this is the business plan that will get you there.

Credit Restoration .  The economy is custom built for your service right now.  Jump in and make a real contribution.

Dance Studio .  Tap and tango all have their place in the dance world.  Whatever your talent, let it soar in your own business.

Day Spas .  Pick a niche, whether young or thin or rich or not.  Then create the most amazing spa you can imagine.  Writing a business plan to target your niche makes all the difference.

Dog Day Care.   Kennels and doggie day care cater to the greatest clients in the world -- the ones with waggy tails.  With your dedication and this business plan, you will be on your way.

Fitness Club.   Break the mold of the large chains and find a niche that is uniquely yours.  Your exercise club will prosper.

Kids Gym.   The kids may or may not be headed to the Olympics, but the workouts are always great. Writing a business plan for your gym spotlights your talent, and theirs.

Mortgage Broker .  As homes become more accessible, your services will be needed more than ever.  Use your background to create a strong new business.

Personal Trainer .  As a certified personal trainer or physical fitness trainer, your personal training business will draw upon all your skills.

Self Storage Facility.   This great business flies under the radar for most people.  But for couples, absentee owners and retirees, it is a hard business to beat.

Tanning Salon.   There are lots of options for your business, but only one for your business plan:  this one.

Travel Agency.   This is one of the fastest growing areas on the internet, and one that anyone can become part of.  Find your specialty and be the expert that everyone is looking for.

Wedding Consultants .  Whether they are lavish or conservative, weddings will always be there.  Your job is to make them as memorable as possible, and here is how.

Yoga Studio .  The resurgence in all things natural is bringing a resurgence of interest in yoga as well.  This business plan will help your yoga studio on its way.

Business to Business Small Business Plans
Providing services to other businesses requires developing a strategic approach to your business planning.  Not all industries are doing well in this economy, so choose your customers carefully.

Cemetery Maintenance.   Cemeteries aren't going out of business, but do watch the contracts that you bid on.  There are a lot of surprises in small print.

Collection Agency.   Whether local or international, one industry or many, there is no doubt that your skills will be very much in demand, for quite some time to come.

Information Technology.   IT services have become absolutely indispensable in the modern business environment.  No matter what niche your company services, there is likely business waiting for you, and writing a business plan will nail it.

Janitorial Business Plan.   The cleaner you can keep a building, the more cost effective it is for the owners.  That's a big plus in your favor.

Landscaping.   Your creative talents and business acumen combine to represent you very well in a strong business plan.

Lawn Care.   Keep operating costs to a minimum and you will do well with your lawn care business plan.

Medical Billing.   The perfect home business for those with a medical background.  Already have experience?  Then let the business grow!

Photography.   Commercial artists are still needed for advertising and promo layouts. 

Pressure Washing Business .  It is cheaper to wash than to paint, so your business should be strong over the next few years.

Templates for More Small Business Plans
Is yours a unique business?  Perhaps in a special niche market?  This is the solution for you.  Here are hundreds of business plan templates, topped off with your guide to creating a top business plan.

Aviation Business .  Charter flights.  Local airlines.  Repair and maintenance.  All will be in demand.  Make sure you are ready by writing a business plan for your niche.

Franchises .  This is, without question, of the fastest growing areas of business.  There are thousands of franchises to choose from.  Make a great first impression by going in prepared, by writing a business plan to suit your style.

Magazine .  Start online and then go to print.  Many rags are opting to keep just the online business now.

The many options for how to finance a business include venture capital, angel investors, IPO, business grants, and a number of other creative avenues.

Small Business Grants
Look for small business grants from organizations and foundations, both for local and regional prospects. Here is a great list to get you started.

Small Business Loans
Look for dozens of different types of small business loans.  One -- or more -- o them is probably right for your business.

Investors for Small Business
Profit isn't the only consideration for investors for small business. Make sure your business fits their profile.

Angel Investor Networks
Angel investor networks bring billions of dollars to small businesses each year. Locate the best networks here.

Writing a Business Plan for SBA
Business presentations for SBA loans garner millions and millions of dollars each year, often for new and emerging businesses.

Writing a Business Plan for Venture Capital
Venture capital investments stand apart as a dynamic introduction to the company.

Alternative Financing for Small Business
From bootstrapping to new venture capital money -- here are the top alternative financing options for small business.

Small Business IPO
The small business IPO is now a very real option for companies throughout the world.

Small Business Financing Options are Overflowing
There is more small business financing available than there are good projects. Now is the time to bring your project front and forward.

Writing a business plan with strength and conviction
Write a business plan confident that all bases are covered.

Business Introduction Letter
A successful business introduction letter follows a simple, strong outline.

Evaluating Small Business Plans
Key criteria for business proposals includes all the expected areas, and some that are not so obvious.

Marketing Plans
Strong sources are essential for marketing plans.

Business Proposals
No matter who you are approaching, or what the project may be, there is a simple standard for presenting that business proposal.

Writing A Business Plan
When you're ready to sit down and write, follow a few standard guidelines -- and a few that are new -- and you will just fine.

Thousands of entrepreneurs seek minority business loans -- and many of them succeed. Yours, too, can be funded.

HOW TO START A SMALL BUSINESS -- with Savvy and Success
Deciding how to start a small business? Start here. Ideas, financing, business plans, tricks of the trade.

GREAT ARTICLES for Small Business Entrepreneurs
Articles for small business, including some about investors for small business, including venture capital, angel investors, SBA, business grants and more.

Home based business plans face a whole list of issues just not present in traditional businesses. Handling them effectively makes financing a very real option.

Business resources for creating business proposals, and getting them financed.

Not certain where to begin?  Take a peek around here and you will get an idea or two.

Your professional team brings experience -- and pizzazz -- to your business planning process. Use their expertise to your advantage..

Get the latest news, updates and resources for business plans, venture capital financing, bank financing, sba financing and minority loans.

Your Business Plan: Getting Started

One of the best pieces of advice that I ever got in business was:  Just do it .   (I mean no disrespect to the sport shoe company, but this phrase has been around for a long time.) Good, bad or indifferent. 

Just do it .

Even if you can afford to hire the top business plan writer in the country, hold off.  First do it yourself.  Stretch your talents, your research abilities, your financial skills, your organizational talents. 

Looking for funding will likely be the most difficult thing you do as a business person, and the most rewarding.  It draws upon every skill you ever had, and some you never realized were there.

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Fulfill all your values as a human being in the work place. If you are an activist, bring the activism of your life into your business, or if you love creative art, you can bring that in. If I had learned more about business ahead of time, I would have been shaped into believing that it was only about finances and quality management.  There is a sort of terrorism that comes with the operations and the science of making money, but by not knowing any of that, I had an amazing freedom.
ANITA RODDICK, founder of The Body Shop

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Wine Bar
What a graceful combination of good wine and good fellowship.


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Dance Studio

 Whether your clients hip hop or waltz, create a plan that will create your studio.


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Internet Information Services

It's out there somewhere.  If you can find it, you've got a great business.


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Catering Business

Hot dogs and filet mignon -- all need a caterer's touch.


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Clothing Store

From vintage clothing to next week's top number to canvas work clothes.  They all have a very real place in the retail world.


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Magazine Publisher

How many millions of magazines can there be?  How many millions of dreams are there?


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Pizza Parlor

Everyone's favorite food. Carve out your own slice of local business.


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Online Business Plan

What d' you know?  Whatever it is, there is likely a market online.  Go for it.


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Flower Shop

The perfect blend of creativity and business expertise.


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Sports Bar

Suds and cheers are the stock in trade, no matter what team you cheer for.


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Tanning Salon

Very professional service and experience are the keys to success.


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Coffee Shop

Here is where Jamaican gets brewed, and lots more.  Join in the conversations and the cup o'.


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Personal Training

Grow your own skill, and those of others, as you grow your personal training business.


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Kid's Gym

Capture the energy in your youth with your own children's gym.


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Landscape architects and pool designers have a strong advantage: they have a vault of creative projects.


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Temporary Staffing

From construction to CPAs and slews more, everyone wins with a temp staffing service.


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Consultant Business Proposal.
Take your knowledge on the road.

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Beauty Salon
You've worked for others for years.  Now is the time for your talent to shine.


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Internet Cafe
A cup o' java.  Some conversation.  Perfect.


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Mail Order

Pick your treasures, from near or far. Add your creativity and business savvy.