The Staples Business Plan Resource Guide

Developing a business plan? Plenty of assistance is available. Here are some resources to help you get started and to give you guidance along the way.

Creating a business plan can be daunting, but fortunately help is at hand. Check out these expert tips and resources that can help you develop a plan for your small business.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA provides a wealth of how-to information on its site, from establishing a business to exploring grants to understanding business law. The agency's business plan section contains several online guides as well as podcasts.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

This nonprofit group has been around since 1964 and has 364 chapters. With online workshops, mentors, templates and tools, the organization is a boon to small businesses. Find out if there's a chapter locally and tap into SCORE's distinctive expertise.

Business Plan Templates

As part of SCORE's contribution to the business community, the group offers many templates, including business plans for startups, established businesses and nonprofits.

Writing a Business Plan

Provided by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, this barebones guide to business plan elements makes an ideal checklist when writing a plan. Also, the firm offers thoughts on the characteristics of sustainable companies and what types of startups the firm funds.

Start, Run & Grow Your Business Plus

This collection of tools and resources from Palo Alto Software includes sample business plans along with many other necessities for getting your business organized, such as legal forms, incorporation documents and project management software.

Business Plan Pro Complete

This easy-to-use software includes several sample business plans and provides financial forecasting, charts and spreadsheets and market research. Bonus: The business plan formats match those preferred by banks, SBA lenders and investors.

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