Most of us hate the thought of creating any paperwork at all, much less the daunting task of creating a business plan which outlines our entire creative thought process with supporting evidence as to why we think that we can "make this idea fly"! So who do we get to help us?
Start with your accountant. He/She should have some good ideas about how to best represent your financial situation (along with their ideas about the soundness of your new venture!). Some of the accountants may even have pamphlets or existing spreadsheet templates that you can use to get started.
You can also visit your local bank. Some of the banks have personnel who can actually tell you what it is that the banks look for in the business plan when you apply for a loan.
Call your local college or business school to see if they offer courses on starting businesses. They may well have a wealth of courses that will assist you during this start up phase and save you time and money down the road. It may also pay to ask if there are business graduates that could you in the planning phase.
Personally, my favorite is the library. We have a great local library in Dix Hills/Melville and the folks that work there are a resource unto themselves. Check out books on business plans, check your reference section, and ask those wonderful folks at the reference desk.
There are several governmental resources that should definitely be researched: Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov); Small Business Development Centers; Service of Retired Executives (SCORE) (www.score.org); and for women entrepreneurs -- check out the Women's Business Centers affiliated with the SBA (www.onlinewbc.org). Also, take the time to check out the local business organizations ... Chambers of Commerce and the local networking groups. Each of these groups will in turn tell you about other wonderful resources.