Writing a Business Plan Effectively for Free

Writing a business plan can seem like a big, stressful project but can often be easily written with lots of free resources! By starting off with a sample business plan and then expanding on it with free resources from local community centers, libraries, seminars, and the internet, you can develop a great business plan that truly stands out and showcases your own voice and vision.

Web Resources

Chances are, you’re already relied on the internet to gain guidance
about projects you’ve never done before, or looked up instructions for a
complicated process. There’s a lot of information online about writing a
business plan and you can easily find a sample business plan, but not
all of that information is quality, or worth your time. So how do you
effectively search for web resources that will actually help you instead
of wasting your time? Much like any kind of internet research, the tip
is to begin by using only credible resources. In addition to searching
for “writing a business plan”, or “sample business plan”, type in
“business school” as well. Many business schools around the nation have
free, available information for the public on how to write a business
plan. They may include links to area-specific resources, or provide
tutorials or downloads for a sample business plan.

Another great resource for writing a business plan is your local Small
Business Administration center. Most major cities have these types of
small-business assistance resources, either in a brick-and-mortar office
or online. These SBA websites almost always offer comprehensive
resources for start-ups like a sample business plan, business plan
development ideas, events, counseling and training services, and local
resources. Check to see if your SBA website has free, online business
planning webinars. Even if you local chapter doesn’t offer them, you can
easily find a website in another region that does. These online
seminars are typically self-paced, 30-minute long resources that help
you understand the components of writing a business plan (which provide
much more insight than a simple sample business plan), and may be
offered in a variety of languages.

Podcasts are another web resource that not many people think of when
they think “business plan”. True, you don’t get the same visual
education from a podcast as you do from a webinar, but listening to
someone describe the process might be just what you need to motivate you
while on a long commute, at the gym, or sitting at home. And with a
lack of visual information, they might seem less overwhelming than
looking at an online presentation or sample business plan.

Books and Printed Material

The internet is a fantastic resource for writing a business plan, but
for some people, nothing beats a good old-fashioned book. Your local
library has entire sections dedicated to the multiple aspects of
business development, and you can be sure to find several books about
how to write a business plan. Best of all – these are free! If your
local branch does not have the book you’re looking for, check the
catalog and request a book transfer. Sometimes, the perfect books about
writing an effective business plan or ideas for a sample business plan
are just an inter-library loan away.

Be sure to check out your local college library as well. Often, academic
libraries will have more comprehensive business planning books than
local libraries, and may offer a wider selection of in-depth materials
regarding not only writing a business plan, but strategizing how
to continue with your business development afterward. Keep in mind that
many university libraries are open only to students, so call the
resource desk before you make a special trip onto the campus.


If you do have a SBA resource center in your area, check their calendar
of events to see if they offer periodic classes or workshops, or can
help you rework a sample business plan. Often, an SBA will offer a class
dedicated to writing a business plan – at no cost! The advantage of
attending a live seminar as opposed to an online seminar is that you can
often ask the facilitator questions at the end which you can’t do
online. Typically, the person leading the course is a professional with
years or decades of experience crafting effective business plans.
They’ll likely be able to assist you with tips, tricks, and shortcuts to
develop a plan.

Finally, it’s important to consider that when you’re writing a business
plan, you don’t want to cut corners or rely on a sample business plan
from a book or website. The business plan is a representation of your
professionalism and your desire to succeed, and the quality of your
content should reflect this. So while tips and tricks are good for
making the most out of your time and resources, it’s never a good idea
to gloss over important aspects of your plan – namely, the quality of
your writing. While writing a business plan necessitates the inclusion
of facts, figures, numbers, graphs, financials, etc., the narrative
surrounding the why of your proposal is what will likely draw people
into helping you achieve your vision. Do you sound passionate about your
product? Do you sound knowledgeable? Does it sound like you have what
it takes to not only start your business but develop it and work through
anticipated and unseen challenges? No? Does it sound like you relied on
a sample business plan instead? Well it may be a good idea to check out
some of the writing seminars available for assistance with writing a
business plan. Many of these seminars do cost some money, although
others can be attended for a very nominal fee. Courses like these can
help you find your “voice” and deliver a more compelling proposal.

The most important thing to consider when writing a business plan is to
take your time, be thorough, be accurate, and above all, believe in
yourself and your product. Don’t just rely on a sample business plan,
create a proposal that you’re proud of, and that you are convinced will
compel others to help you realize your dream.

Article Tags:
Sample Business Plan, Business Plan, Sample Business, Effective Business