Business Plan Basics

  • Date: July 1, 2020
  • Format: online
Business Plan Basics is a self-paced course that describes the importance of a business plan and the planning process as well as the four fundamental topics any business plan must address. Access to LivePlan through the SBDC and the alignment of the business model canvas to a formal business plan are included in the course. Questions can be answered and follow-on assistance provided by contacting the nearest Small Business Development Center. Offered in seven short modules, anyone completing all seven and the end of course survey will receive a course completion certificate.

The Missouri SBDC is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is a University of Missouri Extension partner. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested in advance. To request accommodations contact [email protected]

Small Business Development Centers

Business Plan Basics

Course Developer

The course developer is a Business Development Field Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension's Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  The SBDC is a network of centers located throughout the state on University of Missouri campuses and facilities, and on the campuses of other state universities.  Each center provides counseling, coaching, training, and specialized services for start-up and existing businesses.  If you have questions on the course's content, contact the center most convenient to your location.  Our centers can be found at

Course Description

The purpose of course is strictly to provide information and knowledge. There are no prerequisite knowledge and competencies.

Business Plan Basics is self-paced and consists of 7 modules, no module is more than 20 minutes in length. The entire course should take no more that 90 minutes, not including exercises. The exercises are self-evaluated.  At the end of each module there is an ungraded quiz to test your knowledge.  There is a course registration form to complete and a course completion survey.  With the completion of the course, to include the registration and survey, a course completion certificate can be downloaded.

If you must leave the course and return later, click on Modules in the course navigation menu on the left of your screen.  The last bold face item with a Check-1.PNG is where you left off, the bold face item with a is where to start.

Course Objectives

By completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  •       Realize the importance of business plans and planning
  •       Understand the basic topics, and their content, that all business plans must address
  •       Awareness of access to LivePlan through the SBDC
  •       Prepare a business plan

Course Organization

All seven modules are delivered in a lecture format using videos.  

Assessment and Grading

The course is ungraded.  There is a short post course survey.

Textbook and Reading Materials

Copies are each module’s slides and speaker notes are available for download.  There are no other materials needed.

Course Completion

A course completion certificate is provided with the submission of the training registration form, completion of all seven modules and the submission of the course satisfaction survey.  

Technical Requirements

See our Getting Started with Canvas page for short tutorial videos to provide an overview of Canvas.  When accessing your Canvas course from your mobile device, DO NOT use the Canvas Student App.

Access your course from your MU Extension account. For the best user experience, we recommend using  Google Chrome (70/71) as your browser (Safari 12.0.3 for Macintosh only).

If you don't have Google Chrome installed on your computer, download  the latest version.

Already using Google Chrome but not sure what version?  Simply select the three vertical dots in your browser menu, Help, and then About Google Chrome. That's it!  If there is a newer version available, Chrome will automatically update. 

You can find more information on the technical requirements on the Canvas website.

For technical questions or issues, please contact Customer Support.



If you anticipate barriers related to the format or requirements of this course, or if disability-related accommodations are necessary (for example, extended time on exams, materials in an alternate format), please notify your instructor or contact Customer Support