Chapter 1. Starting Your Planning Engine

In This Chapter

  • Understanding the contents, use, and value of a business plan

  • Identifying the people who will read your plan

  • Setting your business time frame and milestones

  • Launching the business-planning process

The fact that you're holding this book means the task of writing a business plan has made it onto your to-do list. Now come the questions. What exactly is business planning? What should it include? Where do you start the process of writing your business plan?

Well, that's exactly what this first chapter of Business Plans Kit For Dummies, 3rd Edition, is all about. It confirms your hunch that business planning is essential — when you start your business and at every growth stage along the way. Plus, it helps you think clearly about why you need a business plan, whom your business plan is for, what key components you need to include, and what kind of time frame is reasonable.

Writing a business plan is a big task, but this book makes it manageable. This chapter provides a quick and easy overview to get you oriented and on your way to business-planning success.

Understanding Your Starting Position

No two businesses are exactly alike, and no two business plans are precisely the same, either. Every business comes to the planning process with different issues and goals. Most start-up businesses understand the importance of business planning. Without a plan, they usually can't get funding.

But even businesses with plenty of cash can get into big ...

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