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Writing a Professional Business Plan: The Dos and Don'ts

Learn to write a full business plan to better your chances of receiving funding and increase your knowledge for success.
3.8 (26 ratings)
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1,301 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2015
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  • 27 mins on-demand video
  • 5 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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Many successful entrepreneurs never write a formal business plan. However, they do create a vision for the future; they do set goals regularly; and they do structure their time to achieve their goals – they just don't write a formal 30 page document. So why do most colleges and universities offer a course in business plan development? Here are eight great advantages we see in creating a longer and more complete plan:

  1. It is essential for raising money from banks, angel investors and venture capital groups. No one will give you money without a professional, well thought out business plan.
  2. It forces you to answer questions that will expand your knowledge of your market, competitors, business model, management team, marketing strategies, and financial plan.
  3. It teaches you a process of research and discovery you can continue to implement throughout the growth and development of your business.
  4. It improves your communication skills. Writing a full plan and presenting it to others helps improve both your written and oral communication abilities.
  5. It will help you attract the key talent you need to succeed. A well devised plan can help you find advisors, partners, team members, suppliers, etc.
  6. It tests your commitment to launch the new venture. After working through all the issues on paper you will know if the venture is feasible and if you want to proceed.
  7. It provides a roadmap for executing your business concept. If you choose to proceed with your startup, your plan specifies what needs to be done quickly to gain traction.
  8. It won't hurt you! It certainly isn't going to weaken your new enterprise. Rather, it can increase your chances for success.
This course walks you through the components and process of writing a business plan. You will hear from other successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists sharing their thoughts on the business plans they have seen and created. At the end of the course you will be able to create your own, well thought out plan to further the success of your business.
Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for anyone with a new business idea as well as any business owner wanting to revisit the important aspects of their business.
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What Will I Learn?
Write a well thought out business plan.
Create a vision for the future of your business.
Structure your time to achieve your goals.
Share your business with investors.
Increase your chances of recieving funding.
View Curriculum
  • Have some sort of business idea you want to improve on and watch it come to life.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 10 Lectures Collapse All 10 Lectures 39:27
Introduction: Who We Are
1 Lecture 01:21
The Full Business Plan
3 Lectures 20:01

The Full Business Plan

Thoughts from Venture Capitalists
Components of the Plan
4 Lectures 14:29
Components of a Business Plan

Lauren Benson & Daralyn Christen - Writing Their Business Plan.

Example Outline

Do's and Don'ts of a Business Plan
Creating Your Plan
2 Lectures 03:35
Holly Addi - Founder of Artichokes & Co.

Outlining Your Business Plan

If you can answer "true" to the following questions you understand the planning process and are able to write a full-length business plan. If not, don't worry, you just have a little more work to do. Go back and review the information in the sections you're unsure of again.

Business Plan Questions for Thought
8 questions
About the Instructor
3.8 Average rating
137 Reviews
1,927 Students
8 Courses
Build your dream company doing what you love.

Since 1994, we have been meeting with and interviewing successful business builders. We have toured their facilities, met with their employees, observed their behavior, and recorded their stories. Our fieldwork has uncovered the critical practices successful entrepreneurs use to start and build thriving companies. When these practices are used in a new and growing venture, the probability of success goes up dramatically; when these practices are absent, the probability of failure is high. Our entrepreneurial training programs will teach you how to implement these critical practices in your own business. By mastering these concepts, you will greatly improve your odds for success.

Our team is comprised of individuals with extensive experience as entrepreneurs, business consultants and university professors. We also have an in-house film department that has interviewed and filmed hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world.

At The Main Street Entrepreneur, our mission is to provide the most innovative and engaging resources available to help aspiring entrepreneurs and business builders create successful ventures. We help turn ideas into opportunities, opportunities into business models, and business models into thriving organizations. While doing so we pledge to maintain values of exemplary leadership, continuous improvement, distinguishing service, excellent efficiency, total integrity, and a broader contribution.

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