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There is no one single format that a good business plan must follow, but please note that there are certain components that should be included if they can be found. Also, this is not an exclusive list of resources, but should get you started in the right direction.
Established v. Start-up Company
There are several factors that can help determine which resources to use when creating a Business Plan. Established companies will obviously have quite a bit more information available about them. Information for start-up companies will often have to be estimated based on things like industry averages, competitor data, and demographics.
Business Plan Templates
Business Plans and Financial Statements Template Gallery
A collection of business plan templates created by a not-for-profit organization (SCORE) in conjunction with the Small Business Administration.
Business Plan Basics—Cornell University
A fact sheet of business plan basics made available by the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship through Cornell University.
How to Start a Business and Write a Business Plan
Free resource that covers cover the following key areas: How to conduct an industry analysis, how to do a competitor analysis, how to do a product feature comparison, how to conduct market research, an overview of the key elements of a business plan, and links to additional resources and sample business plans.
How to Write a Business Plan
A template for creating a business plan made available by the Small Business Administration.
SCDC Small Business Snapshots
Free market research reports cover industry trends, market statistics, customer demographics, start-up costs, recent business articles, and links to industry trade associations.
BusinessStudents.com: Business Plans
A fairly comprehensive guide to writing a business plan, geared towards business students. Lots of information and links to examples of plans.
Small Business Loans
A group that reviews lenders and gives ratings and reviews. They also go over the loan process.