Chapter 3. Writing a Business Plan

In This Chapter

  • Defining the business plan

  • Understanding strategic plans

  • Writing a white paper business plan

  • Writing a new venture plan

In Book VI, Chapter 2, I describe how to create a pro forma plan of business financial forecasts by using the bizplan.xls workbook, which can be downloaded from If you do create a forecast, you probably also want to create a companion business plan. For this reason, you also need to know about writing such a plan. I don't go into tedious detail about how to do this; I just provide you with some useful information about business plans — and I give you some tips about how to more easily write a workable business plan.

What the Term Business Plan Means

In truth, the term business plan actually refers to three separate things:

  • A strategic plan: A discussion or description of a firm's overall strategy

  • A new venture plan: The fund-raising document that entrepreneurs use to promote a new venture to investors

  • A white paper plan: The 50-page or even 100-page document that a business owner uses to describe in detail a new business opportunity, including its risks, its opportunities, and anything else that's germane

I talk a little bit about each of these plans — some more than others — in the following pages.

A Few Words about Strategic Plans

Unfortunately, I'm not really equipped to provide you with detailed information about how to construct a strategic plan. Of course, neither are most of the other ...

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