Business Plan Template – The Step by Step Procedure to Write One
A typical business plan template contains a single document with multiple sections, most commonly an executive summary, a history of the company, the financial overview, marketing strategies, management information, revenue forecasts, and a description of the company’s long-term business plan. Additional sections may be required for the different types of business plans used in consulting, financial modeling, investment analysis, or business valuation. For example, a financial model will use an executive summary to provide investors with the business plan as a whole and explain the company’s model in a layman’s language. Investment modeling will require additional depth in models and applications related to accounting and investing, such as pricing models.
When choosing a business plan template, it is best to find one that contains everything you need in one place and that is easy to use. For example, many templates include a blank page with blank columns where you can enter your company information. If you do not have the luxury of pre-filled columns, consider using a blank page and filling it in with your company’s information.
The history section is perhaps the most important part of the business plan template, and it is also where you are likely to insert your company overview. Business plans, like all documents, must provide a clear history of the company from the founding idea to the present stage. This section should include company history, management issues, industry trends, competitive positioning, market segmentation, and customer analysis. Use your company overview to give your audience a snapshot of what the company does, why it exists, and what it hopes to accomplish within the next 90 days.
The financial plan section of a business plan template provides a valuable source of information for investors and lenders. It describes how the company will utilize its assets and interest payments, as well as its current and projected short-term liabilities. In addition, the financial plan should show how the company intends to generate income. Most business owners to begin with a business plan that has a clear plan for securing funding, but this section can be used to supplement the business plan with additional information, including potential future sources of capital and other financial scenarios. To ensure accuracy, provide financial projections that take into account the effects of any economic, business, or consumer climate factors. Investors and lenders expect the financial information provided in the business plan to accurately portray the financial health of the company.
Finally, an outline of the goals of the business plan is critical to investors and lenders. While it may seem unimportant, an outline clearly shows the direction of the company toward meeting its goals, as well as how each goal will affect the company’s profitability. In general, business plan templates include an executive summary that briefly outline the key advantages and challenges of each goal, as well as the anticipated benefits for investors and lenders.
Many online resources are available to help business owners create their own business plan templates, including basic templates that allow you to quickly create a professional looking document. Many business owners find that using a business plan template immediately helps them achieve their goals, as they are able to review the document and quickly define their objectives. This pre-set structure also ensures that the document is more accurate and consistent. In addition, these templates provide business owners with a set date in which to submit their business plans to potential investors and lenders, and they are free to use online or in the office. While many businesses utilize business plan templates, there are also many that choose not to because of the lack of consistency, professionalism, and accurate nature of these documents.