Starting and Growing a Business: Developing Your Business Plan

 
 
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Purpose of a Business Plan | Preparation | Marketing Plan | Templates and Examples | Developing Your Business Plan Checklist

Do You Have a Business Plan?

By completing a business plan, you will better understand your market, cost of production, and the competitive factors that will influence the success of your new business. A solid business plan will boost your confidence and your ability to obtain the necessary financing and resources required to start a new venture.

Your business plan is a roadmap for your new venture. It shows you where your business is positioned, where it is going and how it will get there.

By putting your vision, aims, objectives and long-term business goals on paper, your new venture will become more realistic and you will quickly learn the strengths of your business and other areas that need improvement.

Remember, no one plans to fail they fail to plan.
Your business plan is a continual 'work in progress'. As your new venture grows you should be reviewing and revising your business plan accordingly.
Purpose of a Business Plan

Why Do You Need a Business Plan?
Preparation

How Do You Write a Business Plan?
  • Elements of a Business Plan - This factsheet from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development breaks down the elements of a business plan step by step
  • Interactive Business Planner - This planning software from Canada Business Service for Entrepreneurs is designed to help new and existing businesses with their business plans
  • The Business Plan - AFSC Lending offers this guideline for developing a good business plan which can help to achieve your goals
  • Creating a Business Plan - This site from BizFilings offers several guidelines and samples to help in the creating and using of a business plan. This provides the opportunity to think through your business idea and to track operational results against your plan
  • Arkansas Business Development Center - This site offers a variety of resource to help small business owners
Templates & Examples

What Should a Business Plan Look Like?
  • Business Planning Template - User Guide - 13 KB - Before opening the Business Planning Template below please review this user guide. It contains important information that will help you fill in each section of your business plan.
    • Business Planning Template - This interactive business planning template from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is a comprehensive planning tool that will help you assess where your business is going. The business planning template is available as a fillable PDF document - 1187 KB. This template may be completed on-line, saved to your hard drive and then printed off or emailed as required
      Note: To use this form you must be using Adobe 8.1 or higher. The latest version of the software is available for free from Adobe).

  • Preparing Financial Projections and Monitoring Results - This factsheet provides tips to help you complete financial forecasts which will be useful when dealing with lenders, investors, and others. These pages give high levels of understanding on topics such as financial planning, start-up and expansion costs, key assumptions, balance sheets, income statements and performance ratios
  • Perfect Your Business Plan - RBC Royal Bank - This planning guide from Royal Bank discusses key sections of a typical business plan and offers sample business plans to help guide you through the development process
Marketing Plan

Have You Prepared a Marketing Plan?
  • Marketing: Will it Sell? - This factsheet addresses the basic research skills needed to evaluate the market for a new enterprise
  • Marketing Plan Outline - This outline from Canada Business for Entrepreneurs outlines the key elements of a marketing plan
Phone the Ag-Info Centre, toll-free in Alberta at 310-FARM (3276), for assistance.
This document is produced in cooperation with AFSC
 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Kathy Bosse.
This document is maintained by Ordella Knopf.
This information published to the web on April 24, 2007.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 14, 2014.