December 2019

So You Need Help Writing a Business Plan

Most businesses stem from the same place: an idea. And that’s all it takes to move toward an entrepreneurial venture. It’s easy to get intimidated by the success of others, […]

Most businesses stem from the same place: an idea. And that’s all it takes to move toward an entrepreneurial venture. It’s easy to get intimidated by the success of others, so it’s important to remember that their success is rooted in the same first step as yours… a light bulb moment where they realized they had something with great potential. Equally as intimidating is asking yourself what naturally comes next, “How do I do it?”

That’s where the business plan comes in. And that’s where many people stop and falter; they’re unsure of what a business plan is, what goes in it, how to make one. While those questions may be hard to answer at first, they’re a crucial step to setting your business up for success. And answering those questions may not be as hard as you think; at least, not when you have the resources and expertise available nearby to help.

First thing’s first: what is a business plan?

A business plan is a document that describes what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Things like business goals, strategies, maybe a SWOT analysis are often included in a business plan. It may include the organizational structure and a layout of the capital required to finance it. Business plans often include an executive summary, business/company description, goals, market strategies, competitive analysis, operations and management plan, and financial projections/requests. But most importantly, they should be thorough and tailored to your business’ needs.

What do I do with a business plan?

Follow it! A business plan serves as a roadmap for your own activities as you are creating and running your business. But it’s also useful in recruiting potential investors.

Where can I find help writing a business plan?

There are many organizations in Northeast Indiana that exist to help you get your business off the ground! Check out these organizations in our community to get help with your business plan:

Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center provides no-cost consulting services to potential business owners who want to start a business and to existing business owners who want to expand their businesses.

SEED Fort Wayne is a 501c(3) that supports new and scaling businesses with business planning education through the Build Institute, incubation space for manufacturing and B2B professionals at the SEED Enterprise Center, and tax benefits for businesses located within the Summit City Entrepreneur and Enterprise District (SEED).

The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center’s mission is to be rocket fuel for great ideas, people and companies. Their vision is to grow and inspire global business builders. The NIIC moves business builders confidently in the direction of achieving their dreams.

The volunteer mentors of SCORE Northeast Indiana offer free expert, experienced one-to-one business mentoring and local workshops on important business topics. SCORE is a national organization with the mission of fostering vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. Their vision is that every person has the support necessary to thrive as a small business owner.

Elevate Northeast Indiana is focused on creating entrepreneurial culture shock! Entrepreneurs are at the center of Elevate’s universe; and Elevate Northeast Indiana helps you and community, mentors and money.

women's entrepreneurial opportunity center logo

The Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center‘s mission is to help women-owned and led founders to start, grow and scale their businesses and ventures. Their vision is to be known as the most trusted business-building resource in Northeast Indiana for women-owned businesses.

The Penta Minority Entrepreneurial Center’s mission is to implement programs, and procedures that maximize the inclusion of minority-owned businesses as part of the community. Their vision is to maximize opportunities to identify, educate and develop minorities.

The short of it is, business plans are essential to entrepreneurs’ success. And you can rest easy knowing we have resources right here in our community to help you with that process, and every step beyond that, too.

Looking for more resources for starting a business?