10 Resources For Creating A Killer Business Plan

business plan

What resource(s) do you use to put together simple plans (financial forecasts, strategic goals) for new ideas?


1. A New Business Brief

gagan02051115003417969“I used to think this was unnecessary, but it has been a game changer for the last two businesses I started. One day, after weeks of mulling it over in my mind, I sat down and wrote a two- to-three-page brief on the business I wanted to start. I then used that to contact potential colleagues, investors and partners. It’s not as compelling as a deck, but it takes one-tenth of the time to create.”


– GAGAN BIYANI, Growth Hackers Conference



2. Trello

Robert-J.-Moore“We use Trello to organize our product road maps and company strategic goals in a way that is easy to share, organize and update as things progress and change.”





3. Gust

doreenblochGust, a new platform for startup funding, has an excellent website user experience that can immensely help founders structure their startup plans. There is space on Gust to add a company summary, management bios, video pitches, supporting documents and more. Even better, Gust enables founders to download a consolidated executive summary, as well as share corporate information securely.”


– DOREEN BLOCH, Poshly Inc.



4. Excel

Jeff Berger“If a new idea can’t be simplified into a one- to-two-page summary, then it’s probably not refined enough to be actionable. When analyzing big strategic decisions, Excel is still the best way to forecast a decision and understand the key factors to achieving success. If you’re honest with your assumptions, you will identify the key areas to focus on and then see if you can reach those milestones.”


–JEFF BERGER, Doostang and Universum Group



5. An Editorial Calendar

thursday bram“Coming from a writing background, I live and die by my editorial calendar. I need to know which marketing materials I need written at particular points – forcing me to do research to figure out financials and other details in order to make the calendar. It’s a framework that works for me, but it’s just that. Everyone needs their own framework.”


– THURSDAY BRAM, Hyper Modern Consulting



6. The Painted Picture

nathalie“I love the book “Double Double” by Cameron Herald and its “The Painted Picture” exercise. It’s one of the most difficult exercises I’ve ever done, but it helps you envision the type of business you’re building and how you should feel about the company, even while you’re growing it.”


–NATHALIE LUSSIER, Nathalie Lussier Media Inc.



7. Google Calendar

LauraRoederavatar-100x100“When making a plan, it’s essential to tie dates to deliverables – I sometimes plot out plans directly into Google Calendar. You can create a new color-coded calendar just for the project, then plug your deliverables to their due dates.”





8. Management Goals

mitch-gordon“We have a simple spreadsheet with management goals for every member of our team. We update this list of goals every month. In a startup, accountability is even more vital than it is in a large company. Everyone needs to pull their weight or the company fails. With everyone creating their own lists of goals, they become accountable not only to everyone in the startup, but also to themselves.”


– MITCH GORDON, Go Overseas



9. MyStrategicPlan

andrew schrage“One resource to consider is called MyStrategicPlan. It can help with business planning on all levels and includes financial forecasting assistance as well.”


–ANDREW SCHRAGE, Money Crashers Personal Finance



10. A Business Model Canvas

aaron schwartz“Alex Osterwalder has created the Business Model Canvas, a one-page document that forces you to clarify your business model in very little space. This resource, which you can get for free, helps entrepreneurs clarify their key activities, partners and costs. Limiting space and making the plan visual forces you to think critically about your new idea.”


– AARON SCHWARTZ, Modify Watches



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