Business Research:
Creating a Business Plan

A business plan is a document that lays out an entire company's goals and plans for reaching those goals. (Note that a marketing plan is a specific element of a business plan. For more information about marketing plans, see Creating a Marketing Plan.)


Using UMUC Library Databases to Find Information About Business Plans

You can use business databases such as ABI/INFORM Complete and Business Source Complete to find information about business plans. Search terms that may be useful for your research include:

  • business plan
  • business planning
  • business strategy
  • strategic plan
  • strategic planning

For your research, you may want to combine these terms and/or search for variations of the terms.

For example, searching for "business plan*" OR "business strateg*" OR "strategic plan*" -- with asterisks in the second term in each phrase -- will find documents that contain any or all of the phrases listed above.


Finding Business Plan Information in Print Books

There are numerous print books available in catalogUSMAI, the UMUC Library catalog, that discuss how to create business plans. These include:


Finding Business Plan Information in E-Books

You can find information about creating a business plan by entering the following in the search box on the E-Books tab on the Library's home page:

"business plan*"


Business Plan Resources on the Free Web

There are many resources on the free Web that can be used to find information about how to create a business plan.

  • Bplans
    This site provides access to hundreds of free sample business plans in a variety of categories.
  • Entrepreneur
    This site, affiliated with the print Entrepreneur magazine, provides links to a variety of business plan-related information, including sample business plans and forms.
  • FindLaw
    This site, affiliated with Thomson Reuters, provides links to numerous resources related to creating a business plan.
  • SME Toolkit
    This site provides a business plan template and sample plans aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • U.S. Small Business Administration
    This site provides numerous links related to creating a business plan.

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