Remember the dot-com boom, when countless web workers were able to take a business plan written on a scrap of paper to potential investors and get funding? The investment community doesn’t play quite as fast and loose with business plans as it did back then, but if you have in mind an entrepeneurial effort on the web, there are some good resources to help you craft a persuasive business plan. In this post, I’ll cover three examples.
Mike McKeever’s $23.99 book How to Write a Business Plan has a thorough discussion of how to attract investors, how to properly describe a business, how to detail marketing plans, and more. It also comes with a CD-ROM that has forms and spreadsheets to help, including spreadsheets for forecasting cash flows, profit and loss, and more.
If you’re looking for more automation in creating a sophisticated business plan, there are some good software tools for doing so. Palo Alto Software’s Business Plan Pro 11.0 ($99.95) comes with more than 500 sample business plans, and walks you step-by-step through crafting a plan. If you want a lot of hand holding this is the way to go.
JIAN’s BizPlanBuilder,at $99.77, is another software-driven way to automate the construction of your documents. It’s especially good if you’re working within Microsoft’s productivity applications. It comes with Word templates, a PowerPoint template for pitching investors, and GAAP financial models built in Excel.
Do you know of good tools, books or online resources for building effective business plans?