Business Plan Template – How to Write a Good One
Business plan templates provide an effective tool for creating and following up on a business plan. If you have not yet written one, now is the time to start. No matter the size of your business, having a plan is an important part of your business success. It is an essential document that will guide all decision making in the business. The lack of a business plan can be extremely detrimental to your business. Not only does it show a lack of planning but it can also show lack of concern for details.
Your business plan template should outline the key sections of your template. The easiest business plan template is generally a one page format which outlines the business’s mission, vision, and an outline of its structure. However, a more comprehensive template may include as many as three pages. The most comprehensive templates outline all key sections of the business plan such as Marketing, Financial, & Management. A standard business plan typically includes the following sections:
Marketing. This is perhaps the most important section to any business plan. Your Marketing Overview should include: The Marketing Strategy, The Sales Strategy, The Target Market, The Advantages of the Products or Services, Growth and Control, & The Process for Controlling the Process. A more complete description of your marketing strategy will help you develop a strong marketing plan.
Financial. This section of the business plan template addresses any financial questions you may have about the startup costs, capital costs, expected operating income, cash flow, debt obligations, and other funding issues. You can find a number of ready made templates online that have all of the necessary information to create a complete and thorough financial section.
Management. Here is where you will write the operational details of the business. If this section is difficult to write, or you are uncertain about the direction, you can find many pre-written business plan templates with sections addressing these key topics. However, if you want to go further in depth and provide additional information that is unique to your own company, you will have to write your own sections.
Once you have finished writing the sections above, you must prove them. You must prove that you have the right idea, product, or service to provide to the marketplace. You must prove that you will be able to deliver on this idea, or else you face a mountain of potential failure. Most business plans will require some sort of proof to back up these claims, but a business plan template can make this process much easier. Remember, the purpose of a business plan is to gain funding; if you do not supply the proof needed, you face the possibility of never getting any funds in the first place.