In the July 2000 issue of Inc. magazine, Joel Burtman, president of a seven-year-old construction company, asks a question that's probably on many entrepreneurs' minds: "Should the planning process for an Internet-related company be different from what I went through when planning my first business?"
Yes and no, concludes Inc. finance editor Jill Andresky Fraser. One point made in Fraser's article: The sheer speed of business in the Internet world means that business planning has to be quicker, too.
But the very force that's driving the need for acceleration - the Internet - also helps you achieve it. The Internet contains vast information resources that can make writing your business plan faster and easier. So, at inc.com, we've collected a series of articles and resources to help you with both online and offline business-planning research. We've also added links to articles that can help you use your business plan as a tool for your financing efforts.
Writing Your Business Plan
- Plan for Success
- The Web is a treasure trove of information on writing a business plan, and much of it is free for the taking. But as with everything on the Internet, it's sometimes hard to tell how credible a source really is. So inc.com's Writing a Business Plan producer Bruce Kohl waded through scores of sites to cull the Web's best resources for business plan writers. (P.S. You'll want to bookmark this page.)
- Capital Training
- A report from the trenches: Garage.com's Bootcamp for Start-Ups provides fledgling entrepreneurs with two days of learning and networking with peers and top venture capitalists. Here's a peek into this business training course, along with four key strategies from VCs for getting your company on their radar.
- Persuasive Projections
- Do your financial projections have you taking a $500,000 company and turning it into a $16 million one in only five years? That's great if you can do it. However, a banker or other financial professional will likely look askance at such optimistic projections if they don't contain rock-solid reasoning to back them up. To keep common mistakes from derailing your financing prospects, the managing director of a finance and business consulting firm shares his top projection dos and don'ts.
- Seven Entrepreneurs in Search of a Deal
- Follow the adventures of seven small-company owners as they describe - in their own words - the creative ways they raised money.
- Free Tool: Profit and Loss Projection
- Use this preformatted spreadsheet to create a profit and loss projection for your business plan. (Note: You have to be a member of inc.com to download this free tool. Joining is free; click here to sign up.)