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Getting Started

Business plan word cloud written on a chalkboard

Every day, bankers see people who want a business loan for the “opportunity of a lifetime”. These want-to-be entrepreneurs usually attempt to explain their notion orally, and have done little, if any, research on the feasibility of the idea. In order to be taken seriously about your business loan, it is imperative to write a formal business plan.

  1. Personal analysis (financial & psychological)
  2. Analyze your monthly living expenses to see if you will be able to handle the additional debt load of a small business loan.
  3. Outline the business idea (goal, product/service, market, customers & competitive advantage)
  4. Pinpoint the compelling need for your business
  5. Identify a team for the planning process
  6. Conduct market research on:
    • industry
    • target market
    • location
    • competition
    • pricing
    • distribution
    • communication
  7. Outline the business’:
    • in-house/outsourced
    • equipment needs
    • capacity
    • labor
  8. Develop a budget to operate the business including your personal financial needs
  9. Create a marketing plan with a budget
  10. Combine operating and marketing plans/budgets for total plan and budget
  11. Determine feasibility. BE OBJECTIVE
  12. Have an objective team member review the feasibility analysis
  13. Modify plan and determine feasibility
  14. Assemble completed business plan


  1. Obtain the necessary financing
  2. Identify space and sign leases
  3. Make purchases:
    • equipment
    • insurance
    • etc.
  4. Obtain licenses


Conduct business.

  • Virginia Business One Stop:Maintained by the state’s Department of Business Assistance, this site serves as a central information portal for individuals who are looking to start a business in the Commonwealth.