You can easily spend tons of hours clicking through the business plan resources on the Web trying to find hard, verifiable evidence to support your business plan only to end up frustrated with no meaningful data to support your case.
Let’s be honest. For your business plan to carry some message of value you must first gather together a mass of evidence — facts, figures, and specifications on which to base your arguments — and then select the particular talking points to include in your business plan and that will appeal to your prospective investors.
That’s why I put together this list of free business plan resources with descriptions of what you can expect to find when you get to the site. It will save you time and you can decide instantly whether or not a free business plan resource will address the specific area you are trying to research.
Before you get started rifling though the free business plan resources below, here's a tip to help you make the best use of these free business plan resources: set-up a free business plan resources folder in the favorites section of your Web browser and file the Web pages you gather as evidence to present your case in it.
One last piece of advice: “Sell yourself on your idea.” Answer every objection that you can think of, test out the venture from every conceivable angle, measure it by other similar businesses, learn its points of weakness and of superiority, and know its possibilities and its limitations. Convince yourself and sell yourself by researching these free business plan resources, and then you will be able to sell others. These are the free business plan resources that can help you do just this.
Free Business Plan Resources
Market Research, Industry Research, Business Research
Major research portal with a step by step process for researching industries and companies. Following the entire process will allow you to gain an in-depth understanding using free business plan resources to research an industry or a specific firm, far beyond that gained by focusing purely on financial data. Specific parts of the process provide free business plan resources that can be used to rapidly investigate certain aspects of the industry or company.
This is a free business plan resource and gateway to statistics from over 100 U.S. Federal
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The best free business plan resource to access and download company registration
statements, periodic reports, and other forms filed through EDGAR (Electronic
Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system). See how other companies in your industry describe their markets, products, risk factors, etc. Find links to a
complete list of filings available through EDGAR, SEC filing forms, position
statements and instructions for searching the EDGAR database.
The Census Bureau
The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of free business plan resources for quality
data about the people and the economy of the United States.
Free business planning software and software tools like: loan calculators, business plan templates, valuation models, etc. Some of these are only trail versions. This free business plan resource is worth taking a look at these two pieces in particular: The Business Plan Toolkit and the Business Valuation Model Excel 32.
Small Business Plan Guide
A wealth of resources, relevant, accurate, and current
information to support your strategies and financial projections, this Web site
will help you locate the right information.
BizMove.com - Managing a Small Business CD-ROM:
Free guides, tips and "dirty little tricks" for starting and managing a small business.
Check facts and download reputable data on everything from
public safety to campaign contributions... you name it.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The OECD groups 30 member countries sharing a commitment to
democratic government and the market economy. With active relationships with
some 70 other countries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil
society, it has a global reach. Best known for its publications and its
statistics, its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics to
trade, education, development, science and innovation.
Information Please has been providing authoritative answers
to all kinds of factual questions since 1938 – first as a popular radio quiz
show, then starting in 1947 as an annual almanac, and since 1998, an Internet
Provides access to an indispensable business tool with news
and information that’ll give you the competitive edge for the market or markets
Some NOT So FREE Business Plan Resources
You guessed it… if you need consumer or demographic
information, this site has numerous reports about consumer spending in the U.S., and by statistical area. Paid subscribers receive monthly issues, with combined issues in July/August and in December/January.
This site offers hard-to-find industry analysis for your
marketing plan, for your business plan, to start a business, or to buy a
business. They bring you quality marketing plan research and financial
analyses, unavailable from other sources, at very affordable prices.
This site features information summaries on over 350,000
companies in the U.S. and abroad, and has industry information, too. Registration is required to use this site. After you register, you’re free to look around.
US Business Reporter
This site has some awesome market and industry reports, including industry composites for comparing the financial performance of companies within industry segments. The reports are extensive. The amount of coverage does vary by industry.
The Business Plan Library
Check out our Business Plan Library. It has several highly effective business plan books as well as the top business plan books on Amazon.com.
Of course you can always click here to find more free business plan resources.
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