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Business Plans


Planning Guide

Every business starts with an idea. No matter what that idea is, a well thought out business plan is what helps turn that idea into a reality. The Big Idea is designed to guide you through the steps of developing and fine-tuning your business plan.

It is a common misconception that business plans are written for the sole purpose of obtaining financing. The most important reason for writing a business plan should be that it is an important tool for you. A good business plan will:

  • Draw a clear picture of your business objectives and give you goals to shoot for
  • Give you a better understanding of the industry and business you are getting into
  • Show the potential strengths and weaknesses of your business
  • Give prospective investors the means to determine whether your company is a suitable investment
  • Give you a chronology of events and financial milestones against which you can compare your actual results

The Big Idea is made up of these parts:

  1. The Planning Guide that outlines how to write your own business plan.
  2. Examples that let you see how a well structured business plan looks upon completion.

    On each sample business plan, there is a link at the bottom of the page that allows you to print the full plan using Adobe Acrobat. If you don't already have Adobe Acrobat, you can download it there too.

    Three sample business plans include:

    Michael's Business Centre. Michael owns a retail company and has written his business plan to clearly map out his company goals.
    Kamiko Fine Foods, a food wholesaler requesting an operating loan of $60,000.
    Christine & Denis Landscapes Ltd. requesting a term loan of $125,000.

    Look for these company logos throughout The Planning Guide when you see them, click to see how their business plans were prepared.

How to use the Big Idea:

Get started now by clicking on the first of the seven key sections of a typical business plan below.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Team
  3. Business Environment
  4. Marketing Plan
  5. Operations
  6. Finance
  7. Risks & Conclusions

Each section has an overview and a number of subsections, which include suggestions and a list of questions for you to consider. The questions are designed to start you thinking and to help develop your plan. Once you've thought about, researched and recorded your answers, you will be able to compile and fine-tune them to create your business plan. The length of your business plan will vary according to the size and complexity of your business. Start now and work through the Big Idea one step at a time while you are on-line.

Jump to
Planning Guide
The Team
Business Environment
Marketing Plan
Risks & Conclusions
Glossary of Terms
Business Plan: Michael's Business Centre
Business Plan: Kamiko's Fine Food
Business Plan: Christine & Denis Landscapes

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08/23/2010 11:15:25