In my previous blog post, I discussed how you could use Small Business Builder to turn your ideas about starting a business into a tangible format by writing a business plan, break-even analysis, and financial projections. Today we will look at resources for sample business plans to help guide you as you write your own.
Did you know that the North Independence Branch houses a business reference collection on its lower level? One of the hidden gems in this collection, The Business Plans Handbook, comprises 40 volumes with over 700 sample business plans covering almost any type of business imaginable! The cumulative index in the back of the latest volume will point you toward the plan most relevant to your specific business. These samples provide you with language you can borrow for your own plan, numbers that will help you estimate your own figures, and ideas about how you can improve your strategy. Take a look at this plan for a Baseball Instruction Business to get a sense of what this incredible series has to offer.
If you can’t make it to our North Independence branch to view The Business Plans Handbook in print, you can view the first 23 volumes online in the Gale Virtual Reference Library. Here you can search for keywords, save for offline viewing, translate the text into another language, listen to the plan read aloud, or add your own notes and highlighting. This resource also provides citation tools, a folder to save sample business plans, and the ability to send plans to Google Docs or OneDrive.
- The Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting & Running a Business: Turn your Ideas Into Money! by Steve Mariotti
- The Standout Business Plan: Make It Irresistible, and Get the Funds You Need for Your Startup or Growing Business by Vaughan Evans
Finally, there are some free business plan sources available on the web. The link to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh provides an index to a variety of sources for business plans, including The Business Plans Handbook, and it is searchable by business type. Many of these websites also provide general guidance for writing a business plan in addition to providing samples you can browse.
- Sample Business Plans at bplans.com
- Sample Business Plans at SBA.gov
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Business Plans and Profiles Index
Business Reference Librarian