new version available

Newsletter Sign Up

Please enter your email to receive FREE venture capital and private equity special offers, news, and information!

Your Name: 

Your Email:  

June 26, 2010

The Business Plan Process

If you want to raise capital, you need a business plan.

Click here for a free presentation that shows you how to finish your business plan in 8 hours or less.

The first thing to do is set the pen down and look around. That is a maxim all writers worth their salt must follow, and someone writing a business plan is wise to observe it as well. It all begins with research. Is there a market for your product or service? What is the competition? After research comes developing a strategy, calculating costs and revenues, drafting a plan, and finalizing a finished copy.

1. Do the Research

Use databases, articles, and direct interviews with entrepreneurs and potential customers to do research on the industry as a whole, your niche market, your competitors, and operational costs. Keep detailed, organized, careful notes. Be very careful about citing sources, as you will be referencing them throughout the business plan.

2. Develop a Strategy

Use industry standard best practices as a jumping-off point. This ensures your strategy is solid, as it is has tested in the field by others. But then you must develop further strategies that differ from the rest of the industry. This will set your company apart from the competition and create “barriers to entry” to help your business succeed. This will inform all sections of your business plan.

3. Do the Calculations

Add up all the costs of every activity your business will engage in. Include operational costs for the first year, five-year, and long-term projections. Then create revenue projections for the same time periods. Base your projections on the research you did, in light of the strategy you developed. Your projections must absolutely be realistic from square one, or the scent of naivete will make its way to investors, who will promptly drop your business plan into the wastepaper basket.

4. Write a Draft

If you have done the previous parts of the business plan process thoroughly, writing a draft will flow naturally from your existing data. The idea is to turn it all into prose, organized into the ten standard sections of a business plan: Executive Summary, Company Analysis, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team, Financial Plan, and Appendix.

5. Revise and Hone as a Final Draft

First revise for logic and completeness. Remove any redundancies, as the business plan must be as brief as possible without sacrificing the whole picture. Then revise for grammar, punctuation, and finally formatting. If you need to hire a new pair of eyes to look over your business plan, do it. Business planning burnout can make you miss glaring flaws.

Want more business plan tips? CLICK HERE

All the best,



Facebook comments:

Visit our profile page on Facebook:
( and click Like if you like :-) )

Got Twitter?
Then Follow us @ // 

Share This Post:  

Try out our Venture Capital Firms
and Angel Investors
database for FREE!

Enter your name and valid e-mail address to download our FREE
investor database trial version, then click the "Get It Now!" button

Your Name:    

Your Email:     

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.



Enter your name and valid Primary Email Address below now to download our FREE trial version, then click the "Get It Now!" button to start the downloading.

Your Name: 

Your Email: 

NOTICE: This is a spam-free site. Your email address will never be sold or traded and you may unsubscribe at anytime.

Tip: VCgate gives you access to 4,500+ venture capital and private equity investors worldwide at the touch of a button.