Almost every small business coaching service, incubator and development agency says to start with a business plan.  If you go to the Small Business Administration (SBA), or SCORE, or most city Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), they will give you a fairly intense 40-page template to fill out.

But when you follow their advice, you get stuck trying to guess at everything the wants you to answer.  It can take weeks to finish, and by the time you do, you’ve changed your mind several times, or given up.

Start simple

For most people, the Minimum Viable Product approach is enough. Our template lets you get started with what you know and build over time.

Write down your dream.   Don’t worry about format. Just write.  Or draw pictures.

  • Describe the product. What does it do?
  • What is it good for? What is it not good for?
  • Who would use it? How would they use it?
  • What do you have to use if you don’t have your product?
  • How much does it cost to make?
  • Who will help you, or will you do it all yourself?
  • If there is competition, what’s the average price?  Is yours better, or cheaper?

Start Here

Here is a basic business plan  for you to use to get started.  it should take no more than a few hours for the first draft.  Be sure you write (type) the answers and then print it out – hang it on the wall so you can see it often and think about the answers.  It’s possible – likely – you will revise it several times before you get it right.

Get started