Now that you have a general idea of the elements which make up a good business plan from reading the first of this two part article series, I will guide you to the best internet resources to get you started writing and gathering the details for your business's roadmap. There is an excellent business plan for a startup business template located at http://www.score.org/template_gallery.html which has a Table of Contents that lists all the elements I already described in Part 1 with a concise yet informative tutorial on the first page of the template. Follow the easy instructions and start writing under all the subheadings with your industry specific information. The handy thing about this site is that it also has advice and additional free templates for cash flow statements, competitive analysis, financial forecasts, loan amortization schedules, and bank loan requests for small business. Everything you’ll need for your exhibits and for figuring out how your business will operate and achieve your stated goals.
I found another good source at http://www.docstoc.com/search/free-business-plan-templates/. This site, which specializes in sharing documents and templates, has plans categorized by types of businesses which might be useful to you since there is no reason for you to reinvent the wheel. This site has a large selection available.
Another informative site with its own arsenal of business plan templates is at http://businessplanhelp.co.uk/plan/free_business_plan_templates_and_samples/index.html. Use one of their templates or click on any of their links to research and locate the most suitable template for you.
If you want to invest in software designed specifically for the purpose of creating a business plan go to http://www.templatezone.com/microsoft-office-templates/business-plan-templates for the details on their feature-laden program which will cost you roughly $100. You might want to compare their offering to other offerings before you buy and be certain the software will be compatible to your operating system especially what format you will print it on. For example; http://planmagic.com/business_plan/services/service_provider_business_plan.html has business plans catered to specific types of business with a lot of helpful industry-related information already ingrained.
Hopefully, with the information laid out above, you will realize the importance of creating a detailed business plan that follows a proscribed formula that financial lending institutions will want to see. Utilize the excellent free resources on the Web to put your dreams down on paper and map out how you will get there.