Ok, so you have a great idea for a business and you want to start a business? What is the first thing you will need to start your own business?
The answer is very simple. it's an informal business plan that can convince you that your idea makes sense to the outside world because you are investing your time, your money, and your efforts into that idea.
To write a business plan, maybe you think you don't need a step by step guide or a template. After all, some entrepreneurs achieved success without writing a business plan. With great timing, solid business experiences, entrepreneurial ambition, and a little luck, some founders build flourishing businesses without writing even an informal business plan.
But the odds are greater than those entrepreneurs fail.
Does a business plan make startup success inevitable? Absolutely not. But great business planning often creates the difference between success and failure. Entrepreneurs should do everything possible and tick all the boxes to set the platform for success.
And that's why a great business plan is one that helps you succeed.
The easiest way to simplify the work of writing a business plan is to start with a business plan template.
You’re already investing time, money, and efforts in planning your business — there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to writing your plan. Instead, use the properly defined structure and format which is created by other entrepreneurs who have come before you, to build a complete and effective plan.
Business owners often write a business plan to secure investment, but many other entrepreneurs find writing a plan worthwhile, even if they never work with an investor. That’s why we created a free business plan template to help you get started.
Why use a business plan template?
A business plan template will provide you with the complete format and structure for your business plan, giving you a head start on developing this document so you’re not stuck seeing at an empty page working to find out where to start. Also, it gives you the overall layout of a professional business plan so you understand what goes where and that you're not leaving out anything.
Here are some of the key benefits of using a business plan template:
- Guidance on what to include in each section. If you’ve never attended business school, you might never have created a SWOT analysis or a balance sheet before. Templates that give guidance — in plain language — about what to include and how to fill in each section and create a complete and effective plan.
- A business plan is vital to get an investment. If you're seeking investment for your business, you'll need to convince banks and investors why they should invest in your business. Lenders and investors will only risk their time and money if they're certain that your business will be successful and profitable and they will get a great return on their investment.
- A business plan can help you prioritize. A complete, well-balanced business plan is one of the most valuable tools in assisting you to reach your long-term goals. It gives your business direction, defines your goals, outlines out strategies to reach your goals and helps you to manage possible bumps in the way.
Creating a business plan will help you define the business goals you want to achieve, and define the strategies to achieve them. This means you can focus your resources and energy on what is important, rather than wasting time on unimportant things.
It's essential to have a business plan, but it's also crucial to keep it up to date as your business progresses. A business plan is not merely a document that you write once and forget it after you get started. It's a business roadmap and vision that you should develop as your business progresses and evolves. It's also important to update your business plan as your business situation and position changes.
If you're working with a team in your company then having a regular brainstorming session is the best way to keep your business on track and your business plan assures you're all on the same page.
Who should use this business plan template?
This template is intended to ensure you’re analyzing through all of the essential aspects of starting a new business or growing an existing one. It’s meant to help entrepreneurs consider the full scope of running a business and identify functional areas they may not have thought.
This template is a sample business plan template and it can be used for almost all industries. That said, it may not include the specific details for potential investors or lenders. If you are writing a business plan is to secure investment, verify with your target organizations — may be banks or investors — to understand if they have a particular template or guidelines that you need to attend to maximize your odds of success.
Business plan template outline
This sample business plan template includes the following sections:
- The Quick Pitch: Executive Summary & Elevator Pitch
- Executive Summary
- Elevator Pitch
- What are you going to sell?
- Problem Analysis
- Product and Services
- All about you and your team
- Owner's Background
- Team Members
- Who are your customers?
- The Market
- Do you know what it's like out there?
- Market Research
- How will you contact your customers?
- Marketing Strategy
- Who are your competitors and how do you compare?
- Competitor Analysis
- How will customers get the good and you get paid?
- Operations And Logistics
- How much will it cost?
- How much money will you make?
- Sales and Cost Forecast
- Personal Survival Budget
- CashFlow Forecast
- Costs Table
- What if it doesn't work?
- Backup Plan
In our business plan template, we have included help and guidelines about the purpose of each section and how to complete that particular section.