So you think you have a winning idea for a small business? That’s great! But how are going to do it? How well do you know the market? And what are the potential risks? You answer these questions by writing a business plan.

Most people set out to write a business plan because it is required to get a loan, but remember, it is for your benefit as well. One of the biggest benefits of writing a business plan is to review if your plan will actually work. No matter how much you want to sell that plan to investors or loan officers, you need to know your business strategy inside and out to make it happen. Turning that into writing does not come naturally, but fear not. There are hundreds of resources out there to help you write your plan and think about the particulars of your vision.

Here are three recent books that will help you bash out a winning business plan.

Reading Recommendations

How to Write a Business Plan
by Mike P. McKeever (2019)

“You need a sound business plan to start a business or raise money to expand an existing one. For over 30 years, How to Write a Business Plan has helped fledgling entrepreneurs write winning plans and get needed financing. This bestselling book contains clear step-by-step instructions and forms to put together a convincing business plan with realistic financial projections, effective marketing strategies and overall business goals.” (From the publisher)

This book has a lot of good information. Just be warmed, a lot of the content is designed to get you to purchase their proprietary form builders.

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Starting a Business: All-in-one for Dummies
by Kathleen R. Allen (2019)

“With new content and updates reflecting the latest laws, business climate and start-up considerations, this is the book you need if you’re starting a business today. Inside, you’ll find the most important and practical advice to start any type of business from the ground up, distilled from multiple bestselling For Dummies business titles. If you’re a go-getter looking for a way to launch a great idea and be your own boss, [this book] prepares you to beat the odds and become successful in your sector.” (From the publisher)

The Dummies series always puts out insightful content on any subject they cover. Business plan writing is just one of the many areas this book covers when thinking about starting a small business.

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Writing a convincing business plan
by Art DeThomas (2015)

“A sound and convincing business plan is an entrepreneur’s important first step in starting up a profitable business. It’s also a prerequisite for getting financing and attracting investors. A sound business plan describes the business operations and goals, analyzes and forecasts markets and sales, sets up operating and marketing plans and schedules and estimates operating expenses. This book shows how to organize and write a logical, business-savvy and professionally polished business plan that can be presented to potential investors and financial institutions.” (From the publisher)

While covering much of the same area as How to Write a Business Plan by McKeever, this title focuses more on the technical aspects of writing a solid plan.

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Additional Information

  • Check out our monthly SCORE Workshop starting next year in the spring. These classes will eventually cover writing a business plan and everything else you need to turn your dream into a reality.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration should be your first stop for outside help if you are opening a traditional small business. There are some nifty tools that will help you figure out what kind of plan you need and what you need to build it. I especially recommend checking out the market research and startup cost calculator before writing your plan.
  • Strategyzer offers many amazing services to quickly build a lean business plan. They also offers classes to teach business concepts and to get even more out of their software.

See you at the library!