Business Planning is one way to examine your business from top to bottom. As you can see from this outline, it is a comprehensive document, one that you will need if you are looking for a loan, capital, investors or equity partners.
A Business Plan can take up to 80 hours to write, depending on how much documentation you have. The Small Business Administration has some very good resources for helping you through the process. And of course SCORE has templates for a business plan in addition to a collection of other important business documents like Balance Sheet, analysis and forecasting models.
There are professionals that will write your Business Plan for you, but be prepared to pay about $100 per hour - so anywhere from $2500 to $9000.
Guy Kawasaki thinks that you need a mini business plan to decide if your idea even has merit. The plan can be a PowerPoint with 10 slides (see here). "The outline Guy recommends is:"
- Your solution
- Business model
- Underlying magic/technology
- Marketing and sales
- Projections and milestones
- Status and timeline
- Summary and call to action
Guy explains why you should have a Plan here. If you were opening a new line of business, like moving into being a Wireless Broadband Provider or becoming a CLEC, a mini-plan might help clarify your vision and sales proposition.