Utilize Free Business Plan Templates to write a Business Plan!

Start writing your own business plan with free business plan templates. There are a number of services and suppliers that are more than willing to create a business plan for you. Many of these will create a fantastic plan!

I would suggest, however, that the most important part of having a business plan is that you have gone through the process of researching your topic, writing down your ideas and thinking about the business that you wish to start. In other words, you can hire someone and you will have a very nice document that you will probably never read. More importantly, you have not really learned much about the business yourself. There are many free business plan templates available online, I have described one below.

One of the main reasons that many entrepreneurs write a business plan is for the purpose of arranging financing through a bank or from an investor. Both the bank and potential investors want to know that you have researched your business and have a reasonable plan to succeed!

Your business plan will also be used by you as a sort of road map to help you to succeed. Often, entrepreneurs will write a business plan, get to work on the business and completely forget to review the business plan again. After writing, researching and completing the plan, you have more work than you realize.

In speaking with these entrepreneurs, they say that the business plan helped them to identify possible pit falls and issues that might arise and help can them to prepare solutions. If these issues do arise, then they are prepared. If other issues arise, then the entrepreneur will generally handle them better because of the process of preparation they engaged in during the business planning process. Nothing ever goes as planned, but creating the business plan will help you to get in the right thought process for your business.

Here is one, of many, free business plan templates that I have used to help me write a business plan:

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Free Business Plan Templates:

The Business Plan generally includes the following topics:

  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • A General Company Description
  • Products & Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Management & Organization
  • Personal Financial Statements
  • Startup Expenses & Capitalization
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendices
  • Table of Contents

    Fairly self explanatory. You want to organize the information into tabs that you can refer to easily when needed. It is also important to have the business plan organized when reviewed by a potential investor or banker.

    Executive Summary

    Is one of the first topics in your business plan, and is the last one one you should write. Complete all the other parts of your business plan before you write the Executive summary. The executive summary should contain the information that you would provide during a 5 minute interview discussing your business.

    General Company Description

    Describe what business you are in. Provide your mission statement clearly and concisely. The mission statement would contain the reason the company exists and the guiding principles.

    This section can also include the company goals and objectives, the business philosophy, a description of your industry, a description of your core strengths and core competencies.

    Products & Services

    This section would include an in depth of your products. Summarize the factors that give you competitive advantages and disadvantages. A summary of the pricing, fee structure and/or leasing structures of your products should be here also.

    Marketing Plan

    No matter how good your product or service, your business will not succeed without effective marketing! This part of the business planning process requires that you do some systematic research. Identify your target market. Utilize materials such as trade journals, industry profiles, newspapers, magazines, census data, demographic profiles and of course the internet.

    You will want to cover the following topics in the Marketing Plan section of your Business Plan:

  • The Economics
  • Your Product (including features and benefits)
  • Customers
  • Competition
  • Niche
  • Strategy (including promotions, budget, pricing and distribution)
  • Sales Forecast
  • Operational Plan

    In this section, the daily operation of the business is explained including: location, equipment, people, processes, surrounding, inventory, suppliers and credit policies.

    Management & Organization

    Describe who will manage the business on a day to day basis. Experience required, distinctive competencies, etc. It is also important to include any professional advisors that will support the business: Board of Directors, Attorney, Accountant, Insurance Agent, Banker, Mentors, key advisors and or consultants.

    Personal Financial Statements

    This information is generally required by bankers and investors when evaluating lending to or investing in the business.

    Startup Expenses & Capitalization

    There are many expenses associated with starting and running a business. The business planning process is research project, and therefore the more thorough you are with your research the less chance you have to leave important expenses underestimated. Expenses occur before the doors to your business are even open. Ensure you have enough capital to cover the first months of operation.

    Financial Plan

    The Financial plan will include a number of key topics:

  • 12-Month Profit and Loss Projection
  • Four-Year Profit Projection
  • Projected Cash Flow
  • Opening Day Balance Sheet
  • Break-Even Analysis
  • Appendices

    This section will include any details, material and studies used in the creation of your business plan.

    If you follow the format above, you might not have to look for other free business plan templates. You will have reviewed many aspects of your business and will be in a much better position to be successful, or choose to look for something that you might have more success with!

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