Build a Purposeful Business Plan with These 10 Pointers

Creating a business plan is an important step for any young business. Since drafting a plan requires putting the goals, growth plans, and marketing strategies of the business down on paper, it forces the business owner to think through many of the elements that can make the business more investor-ready.

But because it is so significant, creating a business plan from scratch can be an intimidating prospect.

Unsure where to start? Check out this insightful infographic from Washington State University. It not only shares why you need a business plan to begin with, but lays out ten essential considerations for outlining and writing a successful one.

On the EarlyShares platform, a company’s business plan is a major key to an investment offering’s performance. Our favorite advice from the WSU piece is to distinguish your business from competitors to enhance your odds of obtaining investment capital. In our experience, that’s critical.

After you read through the infographic, share your advice on building a great business plan with us in the comments. What pointers could you have used when creating your first business plan?


Madelyn Young

Content Development Manager for EarlyShares


My Name is Audrey Mcdougle

about 3 years ago

I'm in the process of writing a business plan, and I've edit and still editing. I'm finding it very intimidating, I was told that it is better for me to write my business plan in my own words. this I am trying to do. I have twenty five pages. which I think I have to get this plan more concise. I'm at the part of the budget, how much capital i'll need to get the business off the ground. location where I want to put my business. financial plan I have some one that is willing to help me with that. how much is to much for some one to go over the plan. I'm told that fifteen pages is all that will be read. is this true.



about 3 years ago

Audrey- Rather than concentrating on how many pages your business plan should be, you should be focused on telling the story, using an old journalists approach: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How (5WH) One way to help flesh out the things you want to say is to tell your story about your business to four or five business people who own a successful business themselves. Then using the above 5WH answers, ask them to give you feedback on your idea before you even start the plan. One resource that I use to help "kickstart" my thought processes when writing a business plan is a software program that you may have heard of, called BusinessPlanPro. It's from Palo Alto software ( It'll provide you with questions that you should answer in writing your plan, as well as giving you financial projections that you can plug in based on your research, and it comes with sample business plans to give you a broad idea of what needs to go into your plan. I use it when I am working with a startup business owner to get them thinking about the issues that they need to address, even if the business is not going after capital from outside sources. Have your researched your idea to determine if there really is a market for what you plan to offer? Have you checked out the competition to see how they are doing things in your same space? Once you can answer these and a slew of other questions, you can put those thoughts down into a written document. What you have written already may very well answer these questions. If you can be realistic in your numbers, they should be fairly easy to input into a spreadsheet, or if you use the BusinessPlanPro software, you will have not just the spreadsheets but also charts that illustrate your projected profits, expenses, cash flow and balance sheet. I hope this helps guide you somewhat.


Scott Hedrick

about 3 years ago

I am working on my MBA, and as part of that I am developing a business plan. As of my last required course, it's now over about 70 pages. One of the last messages I got concerning the plan was, now that all that is over, I need to trim it to 15-25 pages. That's all I would have done in the first place if I had been allowed. It's important to remember that you can have appendices with the financial details, and generally those pages aren't counted as part of the plan. Remember, plans are worthless, planning is everything.


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