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Writing a business plan is a daunting process to many entrepreneurs, but one that will help find financing and keep a new or existing business on budget and on schedule for growth and development. And it’s worth it — studies show that business owners without a formal plan are three times more likely to close their doors.
A plan can clarify how much money is needed to open a business and help the owner determine where to find capital — whether from a bank or relative — to keep it running. Established businesses are in equal need of a plan in order to stay on track or to make crucial changes, particularly with the state of the economy in mind.
Business plans are from 15 to 150 pages long. Any business plan should contain the following:
Executive summary: A precise and persuasive plan will condense the business concept into a statement that includes intentions and requirements of the business, either new or established.
Business description and/or history: This describes in detail the business concept — and in the case of existing businesses, successes and anticipated milestones.
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