Writing a business plan can be a nerve-racking activity for most would-be entrepreneurs. It certainly involves a considerable amount of thought, analysis, effort and time! Perhaps upon completion, the business plan is anxiously presented to a banker or venture capital group in the hopes of raising start-up funds. But what then---should it be crossed off the to-do list and neatly filed away?
Tim Berry, guest blogger on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website, answers strongly in the negative and argues that a business plan should be the foundation of regular, on-going planning activities. In fact, he states that “(b)usiness planning today is not a document; it’s a process.” As online tools and techniques change the business environment and virtual locations replace many physical ones, the demand for the voluminous, old-style document has waned.
Berry does a great job describing the ways in which a dynamic business plan adds value, not just at the inception of a business but over its lifespan. You can read the complete article here.
The Naperville Public Library owns a number of resources to assist a new startup in writing a dynamic business plan, including recent books such as these:
The library also subscribes to the Gale Virtual Reference Library database, which offers online access to actual business plans from retail, manufacturing and service industries in the digital multi-volume set called The Business Plans Handbook. Naperville Public Library cardholders are able to use this database from offsite by clicking on the Resources tab at the top of the library's website pages, then scrolling to select Gale Virtual Reference Library in the alphabetical listings. This and other online resources are available onsite using any of library's public computers.
Finally, the Naperville Public Library is pleased to offer a free program, Writing a Business Plan, on Tuesday, May 6th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Nichols Library's community room during the "Small Business Week" series of small business workshops. Fox Valley SCORE mentors will present the basics of writing a business plan in this workshop. While intended for start-ups, the workshop will guide any small business owner or manager in this important process. Check out the other small business workshops, too.