A Practical Guide To Starting a Business #2 Mastering Business Plan Development

Brysen Packer
April 24, 2024

How to Create a Business Plan

A business plan is more than a document — it’s a roadmap for your business’s future success.

To craft an effective business plan, start with a clear, concise description of your business idea.

Outline your vision, mission, and specific objectives.

A well-thought-out business plan is your first significant step in entrepreneurship.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.”
— Margaret Thatcher

You can easily find free business plan outlines and templates using Google or have Chat GPT make one.

If you want a super easy fill-in form template that is practically ready for your business plan, my favorite tool is Business-in-a-Box.

This company has over 3,000 templated forms for your business. Templates document your business will need to grow and scale.

Cost: 24/mo or $299.88/year for a single seat (which is all you need).

Savings: Hours and hours of creating documents.

🤫 (Here’s a secret pay for the year. Add it to your list of receipts for your tax preparer as a business expense and use it as a write-off for your business every year, effectively making this product free. Pay for it now and get reimbursed for it next tax season in your taxes.)

Business Development Tips provide valuable insights for new entrepreneurs, Business Growth Strategies help startups scale and succeed, Business Plan Mistakes to Avoid ensure you don’t fall into common traps, Business Plan Software Recommendations offer tools to simplify the writing process, Business Plan Template for Beginners makes it easy to start your business plan, Business Risk Analysis is crucial for understanding potential challenges, DIY Business Plan Writing allows for a personalized to


Books are a great way to learn how to make a plan and give ideas of how a plan can be made.

Here are six books that I recommend.

  1. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau — This book is inspired by stories of individuals who have built successful businesses with small investments, focusing on practical tips for starting a business on a tight budget.
  2. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur — Offers a modern approach to developing innovative business models and is helpful for entrepreneurs looking to transform ideas into successful companies.
  3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries — Introduces the concept of lean methodology in startups, emphasizing efficiency through continuous innovation and validated learning.
  4. Writing a Convincing Business Planby Arthur DeThomas and Stephanie Derammelaere — Guides readers through creating a business plan that attracts investors and effectively manages growth.
  5. The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki — Provides practical, step-by-step advice on starting a business, focusing on crafting a solid business plan among other startup essentials.
  6. The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman — Explores common pitfalls new entrepreneurs face, with strategies on how to avoid them and robust planning tactics for success.

Effective Business Planning Strategies

When developing your business plan, it’s crucial to employ strategies that reflect the current economic landscape and your specific industry demands.

This means conducting thorough research, evaluating your resources, and setting realistic goals.

Effective business planning also involves contingency strategies to manage potential risks and obstacles.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Small Business Startup Guide

The business plan is a pivotal guide for small business startups, charting the path from conception to realization and growth.

Include market analysis, organizational structure, and a detailed financial plan.

This comprehensive approach ensures you cover all critical areas necessary for a successful startup.

Essential Business Plan Components

Ensure your business plan includes all essential components: an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management structure, sales strategies, funding request, financial projections, and an appendix with supporting documents.

Each section should be clear, precise, and reflective of your overall business strategy.

Executive Summary: This section summarizes your business plan in concise paragraphs. Since it’s what readers read first, it must be clear and compelling.

The executive summary is the heart of your business plan.

Your summary provides detailed information about your business, the problems it solves, and why it is uniquely suited to solve them. Think of it as a resume you will return to and add to as needed.

“Vision sees the stars; mission carves the path to reach them….”
― Aloo Denish Obiero
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Market Strategies: This section details how to attract and retain customers. It should align with the findings from your market research.

“Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.”
— Michael Porter
Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

Competitive Analysis: Analyze your competition to show you understand your market and are positioned to succeed.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
― Sun Tzu
Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash

Design and Development Plan: Outlines your product’s design and development. Here, you show the product’s life cycle, from concept to market.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
― Steve Jobs

Entrepreneurship Essentials

Every entrepreneur should understand the core essentials of starting a business, which includes planning and financial management, leadership, innovation, and resilience.

Embedding these principles into your business plan will prepare you for the challenges of entrepreneurship.

🔑 Insight: Create SYSTEMS, not ideas

Operations and Management System: Describes how your business operates daily and the key roles of your management system.

What tools are you going to use to manage the day-to-day tasks?

What is your 10-year plan? Your 5-year plan? How do those dictate the next three years and this year?

“Operations keep the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” ― Joy Gumz

Startup Financial Planning

Financial planning is critical; it encompasses budgeting, forecasting, and securing funding.

Outline your financial needs, expected costs, and projected revenue. Use this section to convince potential investors of your business’s viability and profitability.

Financial Factors: Financial projections and the search for profitability. This includes budgets, forecasts, and financial statements.

“Finance is not merely about making money. It’s about achieving our deep goals and protecting the fruits of our labor.”
― Robert J. Shiller

A strong business plan communicates your vision effectively and serves as a guide for running your business and attracting investors.

A business plan grows and changes with your company and should be updated regularly to reflect your evolving goals and circumstances.


My links are affiliate links, and they don’t cost you anything.

However, if you use and purchase them, the company may give me a small commission, which allows me to keep the lights on for writing and creating.

I stand by all my links as products I use daily in my business.

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