Ten “Best” Business Planning Web Sites

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    Sometimes the best things in life are free. So if your preference is to find out what’s available on the web before investing in a business planning book (see previous blog entry for a list of books), here’s a quick list of ten “best” business planning web sites.

    My next blog will indicate where you can find sample business plans.

    Free Management Library’s section on Business Planning, provides extensive information and a set of links. [Full disclosure: I’m the “guide” to that section of the Library.]

    Critical Steps to Writing A Business Plan. A quick and fairly general guide with some useful references from About.com, which also offers the Five Most Common Mistakes Made When Writing A Business Plan.

    How to Write a Business Plan. Any good online training class from the US Small Business Administration (SBA). While you’re at the SBA, check out Essential Elements of a Good Business Plan for Growing Companies.

    Why Make A Business Plan for Your Small Business is another quick and general guide with a decent outline for a plan.

    Ten Painless Steps to Starting and Finishing Your Business Plan. Some good tips on how to go about researching and writing your plan.

    Creating Your Business Plan, which also does a good job of outlining how to frame and get to work on your plan.

    What Is A Business Plan?, from Palo Alto Software, the maker of the top-selling Business Plan Pro software discussed in a earlier blog. They also have a section called How To Write A Business Plan worth checking out as well.

    There’s a wealth of information in these websites, some of it contradictory, which is part of the nature of relying on free business planning advice. So if you’re serious about creating a business plan, you’ll probably want to buy a book and possibly some software as well, but these sites should help you get started. Good luck!

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    For more resources, see our Library topic Business Planning.