An effective business plan serves at least four useful purposes:
A well-written business plan is an important document for any business seeking financing. However, a thorough business plan is an essential tool for all businesses, regardless of financial needs. Most lenders will not even discuss financing without a business plan. The business plan brings together all the goals, plans, strategies and resources of a business. In addition, if you write a comprehensive business plan prior to the commencement of operations, it may save you from significant financial and professional losses in an unprofitable business. Both the federal and state governments provide assistance in helping you create your business plan and in locating financing opportunities. Refer to the Sources of Assistance and Financing Options chapters of this guide.
A sound business plan requires an investment of substantial time and resources. You may require the assistance of qualified professionals to complete your plan. Refer to the Choosing Advisors and Sources of Assistance of this guide.
There are no hard and fast rules in formatting your business plan. However, it should be written by the owner of the business with outside assistance as necessary.