2. Business Plan

A plan for your business is a necessary element to launching. As business plans change, creating a simple and editable business plan such as the Business Canvas will help you consider and strategize for all the major parts of your business.


Framing the Business Canvas 

Plans are good, but many times we begin a list of to-do’s without any real intent to follow through. That’s why in creating your business plan, you know exactly what purposes and results you want to achieve.

Most small businesses need a plan to ensure that they’ve thought everything through; some more developed companies need business plans for other reasons. Whatever that reason is, we’re here to help


Video Outline: 

00:30 - Why you need an Legal Entity

01:40 - What is a Legal Entity

02:10 - You Options

02:50  - How to Choose

03:40 - Your Next Steps 

If you’re not serious enough to put pen to paper, you’re not serious about your potential business.
— Joe Morison

Why am I writing this? 

Asking ‘why’ is normally a very good place to start when founding businesses, and this is no exception. Why is it you are writing a plan of some type?

Creating a written plan overview your business can help you with the following:

  • It forces you to think through all the major parts of your business

  • Discover problems and solutions that you might have missed otherwise

  • Ensure your idea is valid and worth your resources to pursue

  • Creates clarity around major elements so your team can all be on the same page

  • Give you a clear set of objectives and tasks to work towards

By not writing out your plan, you are inviting confusion, miscommunication, and other unnecessary difficulties into an already difficult process.

How Do I Write This Plan?

The business canvas is about getting the initial ideas out of your head and down onto a piece of paper, answering a few simple questions to help set you up for a more successful business.
— Bill Hamway

There are many different ways to write a business plan, and all of which have their place. MIStart recommends that most businesses skip the business plan and opt for a business canvas which is a new, simpler form of the business plan.

In short, the business canvas is a one-page business plan that was created by a group of entrepreneurs to help new businesses think through all of the major parts of a business.  

The goal of MIStart is to get you asking questions and connect you to answers. We are not going to show you how to fill out a business canvas, but we are going to connect you to the professionals who will show you just what to do.

Business plans are mostly used just to help people go through the motions.
— Joe Morison

Do I Need a Traditional Business Plan?

In some cases, you do need a traditional long format business plan. If you are seeking outside investment in your business, a business plan is normally needed. When your business is highly complex or requires a lot of money to get started, a business plan might be worth the time and money to think it all through.


If you think you might need a business plan, check out the resources linked at the bottom of the page.

What About the Numbers?

The biggest reasons small business fail is due to poor cash flow management. If you want to increase the chances of your business succeeding, you will want to do some simple financial projects (mainly as startup and operational budget).

That might sound a little scary, but it doesn’t need to be. There are people to help you along the way and templates for you to use!

Do Something:

Step 1: Complete a Business Canvas

Step 2: Complete a simple startup budget by use this spreadsheet template, following this overview or working with an SBDC mentor

Step 3:  Develop an operational budget by using this spreadsheet template, following this overview or working with an SBDC mentor.  

Step 4: Review the above work with a business coach. 

Optional: Create a business plan using SCORE's tool.  

Learn More: