Small Business Development Center

Business Plans


Safer, Stronger, Together: Your health and safety is our priorityThe “Safer. Stronger. Together.” campaign supports our local businesses to reopen safely. The campaign brings businesses together to learn and problem-solve the best ways to follow public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Participating businesses have pledged to follow health and safety guidelines, so you know they are doing their part to keep you safe. You can find campaign materials, additional resources, and more information at

The “Safer. Stronger. Together.” campaign was produced through a partnership between the Whatcom County Health Department and the Port of Bellingham’s Regional Economic Partnership, in collaboration with Chambers of Commerce, Whatcom County Tourism, and Downtown Business Partnerships. It’s a part of the work of the COVID-19 Employer Support Task Force.

Business Plans

Business Plans

Planning for the success of your business is extremely important.

But do you really need a 20, 30 or 40 page business plan? Maybe, or maybe not....

There are countless examples of business plans from the overly complex to the very brief. Here at the SBDC, we like to encourage our clients to pick a business plan format that will work best for them based on how they plan to use that document.

Looking for a business plan template to get you started? Here are a few of our favorites:

One Page Business Plan

Business Model Canvas

Microsoft (current version of Word has a great template to work from)

LivePlan (software solution, can tend to be complex and generates very lengthy plans)

SBDCnet (our research clearinghouse, with a number links ot industry specific plans)

Your business plan is a formalized road map that describes how your company will execute on your chosen strategy. A plan spells out where your organization is going over the few years and how it’s going to get there. Some people like specific turn by turn directions while others may like to take a bit of a meandering path with a lot of detours along the way.

A strategic plan is a management tool that serves the purpose of helping an organization do a better job, because a plan focuses the energy, resources, and time of everyone in the organization in the same direction.

The plan also helps build your competitive advantage, communicates your strategy to staff, prioritizes your financial needs, provides focus and direction to move from plan to action.

While we do not write business plans for clients here at the SBDC, if you would like help creating your business plan our advisors can certainly provide guidance and feedback as you work through the process.