Having a road map helps you reach your journey's end successfully. They lay out the milestones you need to reach on your way to building a profitable small business.
From finance to marketing, operations to sales, each part of a business plan helps you reach your goals.
Chris Guillebeau, the founder of $100 Startup, has distilled his knowledge into a book, which is available online from Amazon as well as several book retailers.
Biz Plan lets you create a business plan for free using your smartphone or tablet, and it offers more than just business plans.
Post-launch, businesses can track revenue and expenses against forecasts.
Multiple users within a company can use Live Plan, and pricing starts at less than a month.So why should their initial business plans include these things?Copyblogger's Remarkably Simple Business Plan doesn't. Instead, it offers a business plan template fit for the real would-be entrepreneur.What deters most small business owners from creating a business plan, however, is taking the time to write it all out.Many are afraid in that doing so, they'll find their idea isn't so brilliant after all.For those who take the time to research and write a plan, though, they often find that it helps them identify risks and possible roadblocks – and they can circumnavigate a detour that still lets reach their destination – a successful, thriving business.[Check out our best picks for business planning software] While writing a business plan can be frustrating (especially when you're writing one from scratch), there are plenty of online templates available to take some of the pain out of the process.Where most templates assume all businesses are uniform, Copyblogger's model is designed to get to the heart of what entrepreneurs need to know to start a business: the ins and outs of the product or service, how customers will find the business and how the business will make money.Simply copy and paste the template, created by Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Copyblogger Media, and you're good to go. Look no further than Angela Bowman's One-Page Visual Business Plan.To get started, users enter basic information about their businesses, including product details.From there, Enloop's software uses metrics to predict the financial performance of the company compared with other similar companies in the same sector.