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Creating an Effective Business Plan

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network


This workshop will help you create a business plan. It includes a business plan template to guide your business through the start-up or growth phase, a search for capital, or any other endeavor your small business undertakes.

We've distilled the typical business plan template into seven key elements listed below. For each and every element you will find a description, instructions for creation, for many, tips for avoiding common pitfalls. But reading about something isn't always enough, so we have also provided "Toolboxes" full of samples, worksheets, and glossaries that will clarify and walk you through the process.

To make sure you are ready to create the best possible plan for your business you can experiment on someone else's business! In the Try It Yourself section you have an opportunity to test your skills on a fictional business plan and be rated on how prepared you are to create your own.

If at any time along the way you have questions about creating a business plan from the template, check the FAQs.

And you can always download the complete business plan template.

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