Preparing a Small Business Plan - Free Business Assistance

A well-prepared business plan is one of the most important documents that you can have for your business. Without a viable business plan, most lenders will not loan you money to finance your business. A business plan is not something which should be prepared hastily. You must thoroughly research your local area, competition and a host of other factors, as well as your ultimate business goals, before completing your business plan.

Due to the large number of requests that we have received for business plan assistance, we have put together a list of on-line resources to help you prepare this vital document. You can write your business plan yourself or you can hire someone else to do it. You can spend a few dollars on materials or you can spend thousands. To make sure that you get the best business plan for your needs, you must research, plan and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.

The Northeast Texas Small Business Development Center offers a wonderful micro-guide with information and tips on preparing your business plan. This guide is written for businesses nationwide, not just those located in Texas. There is a minimal charge, which includes postage and handling for orders within the Continental U.S. The Northeast Texas SBDC also offers numerous other micro-guides on a wide variety of subjects of interest to the small-business owner. These guides are an excellent investment in your business and are one of the best values that you will find anywhere.

One of the very best places to start is with your local Small Business Development Center or SCORE chapter. Both of these organizations offer free literature and other types of assistance, including one-on-one counseling, for preparing your business plan. Keep in mind that they will not write or prepare it for you, but they can offer you good, solid advice in preparing a plan specific to your local business area.

EntrepreNet has an extremely well-written segment on developing a business plan. You will want to make this one of your first stops in preparing your business plan.

Stop by SOHO for a downloadable shareware template for a basic business plan.

Another great resource is Inc. Magazine. This is an extensive site that has all types of information for the small-business owner.

The Small Business Administration has so much information that you could spend hours there. They also have a library of over 500 downloadable shareware/freeware programs to assist you in your business start-up, including several dealing specifically with business plans.

The Maryland SBDC has an outstanding section on business plans.

You can find even more small-business resources by visiting our links page. Here you will find help for all aspects of starting and growing your small business. Don't spend your time on wasted searching; we have scoured the web to find the best resources for the entrepreneur. Many of these links also have extensive external resources. Our list is updated at least monthly.

This should give you a good start on your business plan research. As we find more helpful links and information on preparing a business plan, we will be updating this page, so check back often. If you would like to register your e-mail address for automatic update notification, please visit our home page.