Cover image for How to write a business plan / Mike P. McKeever.
How to write a business plan / Mike P. McKeever.
14th edition.
Publication Information:
Berkeley, CA : Nolo, [2018]
Physical Description:
332 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
658.15224 MCK Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Step-by-step advice on preparing a business plan

You need a sound business plan to start a business or raise money to expand an existing one. For over 30 years, How to Write a Business Plan has helped fledgling entrepreneurs--from small service businesses and retailers to large manufacturing firms--write winning plans and get needed financing.

This bestselling book contains clear step-by-step instructions and forms to put together a convincing business plan with realistic financial projections, effective marketing strategies, and overall business goals. You'll learn how to:
figure out if your business idea will make money determine and forecast cash flow create profit and loss forecasts prepare marketing and personnel plans find potential sources of financing, and present your well-organized plan to lenders and other backers, and learn about best practices for raising money, from SBA loans to equity crowdfunding.

Author Notes

Mike P. McKeever has consulted with thousands of entrepreneurs on their business plans, started and run his own successful businesses, taught college classes in small business management and entrepreneurship, and written on the subject for numerous business publications.

Table of Contents

1 Why and How to Write a Business Planp. 1
What Kind of Business Plan Do You Need?p. 3
Why Write a Business Plan?p. 5
Business Plans and Forms You'll Find in This Bookp. 8
How to Use This Book to Write Your Business Planp. 9
Getting Started on Your Business Planp. 11
Why This Book Is for Youp. 12
2 Do You Really Want to Own a Business?p. 15
Identifying Your Personal Goalsp. 16
Self-Evaluation Exercisesp. 17
How to Use the Self-Evaluation Checklistp. 23
Reality Check: Banker's Analysisp. 24
3 Choosing the Right Businessp. 27
Know Your Businessp. 28
Be Sure You Like Your Businessp. 30
Describe Your Businessp. 31
Taste, Trends, and Technology: How Will the Future Affect Your Business?p. 40
Break-Even Analysis: Will Your Business Make Money?p. 45
What You Have Accomplishedp. 61
4 Potential Sources of Money to Start or Expand Your Small Businessp. 63
Ways to Raise Moneyp. 65
Common Money Sources to Start or Expand a Businessp. 76
Now That You've Proven Yourself, How About Expanding?p. 91
If No One Will Finance Your Business, Try Againp. 94
Secondary Sources of Financing for Start-Ups or Expansionsp. 95
Conclusionp. 98
5 Your Resumé and Financial Statementp. 99
Draft Your Business Accomplishment Resumep. 100
Draft Your Personal Financial Statementp. 110
6 Your Profit and loss Forecastp. 129
What Is a Profit and Loss Forecast?p. 131
Determine Your Average Cost of Salesp. 132
Complete Your Profit and Loss Forecastp. 136
Review Your Profit and Loss Forecastp. 152
How Your Profit and Loss Forecast Relates to Your Income Tax Returnp. 153
7 Your Cash Flow Forecast and Capital Spending Planp. 155
What Is a Cash Flow Forecast?p. 156
Prepare Your Capital Spending Planp. 157
Prepare Your Cash Flow Forecastp. 161
Required Investment for Your Businessp. 173
Check for Troublep. 174
8 Write Your Marketing and Personnel Plansp. 179
Marketing Planp. 180
Personnel Planp. 196
9 Editing and Finalizing Your Business Planp. 201
Decide How to Organize Your Planp. 202
Write Final Portions of Your Planp. 204
Create the Appendixp. 211
Create Title Page and Table of Contentsp. 212
Complete Your Final Editp. 212
Consider Using a Business Consultantp. 214
10 Selling Your Business Planp. 217
How to Ask for the Money You Needp. 218
How to Approach Different Backersp. 221
What to Do When Someone Says "Yes"p. 226
Plan in Advance for Legal Detailsp. 227
11 After You Open-Keeping on the Path to Successp. 231
Watch Out for Problem Areasp. 232
Getting Out of Businessp. 239
12 Good Resources for Small Businessesp. 243
Business Consultantsp. 244
Online Business Resourcesp. 247
Booksp. 248
Magazines and Online information Sources; Continuing Small Business Helpp. 257
Formal Educationp. 258
13 Business Plans for Nonprofitsp. 261
Describe the Nonprofit Organizationp. 263
Forecast the Nonprofit's Cash Needsp. 263
Find Donorsp. 264
A Business Plan for a Small Service Businessp. 265
B Business Plan for a Manufacturing Businessp. 283
C Business Plan for Project Developmentp. 301
D How to Use the Downloadable Forms on the Nolo Websitep. 311
Editing RTFsp. 312
List of Forms Available on the Nolo Websitep. 313
Indexp. 315