Business Planning

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a detailed plan setting out the objectives of a business and its financial strategy usually covering a period of years.

Why should I write a business plan?

  • A business plan provides a structure for one’s ideas and a framework for the basic information about the business one wants to start.
  • It forces one to take a critical objective look at the project to identify areas of weakness as well as strengths. A thorough plan will enhance the success of a project and will help one avoid going in to a business venture that is doomed to failure.
  • It is an effective operating tool to help manage one’s business successfully. A solid business plan will provide benchmarks and milestones for measuring success.
  • Lenders require one. 
  • It provides the basis for a financial proposal and the information needed by others to evaluate the venture.

What are the main characteristics of a business plan?

  • Executive Summary
  • General Description
  • Products and Services
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Legal
  • Finances
  • Operations
  • Supporting Documents

Where can I find more information about business plans?

The Kalamazoo Public Library provides many helpful materials and resources to assist one in researching and preparing to start a business, including books, databases, magazines, reference materials, and a collection of helpful online sites.