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Recently, I shared 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups, an infographic created by Mark Vital over at Funders and Founders.A lot of those mistakes (most of them, in fact) are the result of poor planning.
It walks you through getting started, marketing, product, competitive analysis, SWOT, and more, with a window below the input fields to show you the plan as you work away at it.
You can download it free with a trial subscription, but you'll have to remember to cancel it within the week if you don't plan to continue using it. writes about products and services in this and other articles.
The slew of initial ideas hastily scribbled on napkins or perhaps simply forgotten entirely.
Many great businesses started with these same events, but millions more never got beyond them.
That doesn't mean you have to bust out Word and start the plan from scratch.
A template is great--you probably aren't doing anything that hasn't been done before, so it provides a proven structure for your plan. Check out these comprehensive business plan templates you can download for free to get you started: Score is an American nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground.
Its template, available as a PDF or Word download, asks a whopping 150 questions and is generic enough to customize for most types of businesses.
The Refining the Plan resource that comes with it is helpful, especially if this is your first crack at writing a business plan.
You can subscribe to Kim's business growth tips by email, or connect on Linked In, Twitter and Facebook. In fact, if you're like a lot of entrepreneurs, you're probably going to find yourself pulling a few all-nighters to get one done before heading into your first pitch for funding.
Because that's the thing--your business plan is a pretty important.