Business Plan Template: How to Write a Business Plan
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Plus, it can show you the general layout of a standard business plan. A great business plan template will also provide instructions for each step of your plan and show you what an investor-ready and SBA-approved business plan should look like. There are tons of free business plan templates available including the one you can download right here on this page. You can also find business plan examples specific to your industry by searching our sample business plan library.
3 rules for writing a business plan:
However, be careful—there are lots of people out there who will try and charge you for a template. If you need more than a free, simple template can provide, look into online business planning solutions like LivePlan , which provides more help and customization options than any template can. While there are benefits to using a business plan template, depending on your situation it may not be the absolute best way to complete your plan.
There is still going to be a lot of work involved—for instance, not only do you have to complete the financial spreadsheets, but you have to do all the math yourself. Finally, merging data from Excel spreadsheets into your Word document is harder than it looks.
Good software will include step-by-step guidance, video tutorials, automatic financial forecasting, automatic formatting, and chart creation, plus much more. So, if using software is the right fit for you, you can spend more time starting your business and less time planning. If you have any business plan questions, please feel free to ask our business plan experts on Twitter or Facebook.
The outline of our business plan template appears below. It is simplified a bit for this page, so we encourage you to download the Word version to get instructions for each section, as well as a cover page, table of contents, legal disclaimer, and more. Need a faster way to write your business plan? LivePlan is the 1 planning tool for over , businesses.
Jumpstart your business plan by downloading our free business plan template in Word format. Used by over , entrepreneurs, our investor-approved template will save you time and make the business planning process much easier.
Writing a Business Plan
This form cannot be loaded because consent has not been given for marketing. Ready to get the business plan template? Why you should start with a business plan template: With all the options available for business planning, is a template the best place to start? The template: The outline of our business plan template appears below. Our guide has detailed instructions, and takes you through the planning process from start to finish. If you want to see real business plans from other companies, take a look at our library of sample business plans.
A few minutes on Google will provide plenty of free business plan template options. This is the most critical part of your business planning. If you never flesh out a full business plan, make sure you create a fantastic executive summary. This brings together all of the key elements of your plan and will often be the make or break document which decides whether commercial lenders or investors will have any interest in seeing the rest of your documentation or pursuing a relationship with you.
For additional guidance, you may want to review the Executive Summary Template that I recently covered on Forbes as well. List what products and services your company has been formed to create. How are you solving the main problem and are serving the community with your business? This is another section which is an absolute must-have, even if you never develop a fully fledged business plan in its entirety.
Business Plan Template for Startups and Entrepreneurs—Free Download
This holds key information that all financiers and potential investors are going to want to know. Even if you hope to just get away with using a pitch deck to raise the capital you need. This is also a vital guide for yourself as a founder, and for your growing team as to what needs to be done and how. This is your opportunity to organize and demonstrate your understanding of this industry and business. This section of your business plan will help you to identify your own needs, and demonstrate to investors and other licensing bodies and agencies that you are the team to get this job done.
Provide an honest snapshot of where you are and where you reasonably hope to go, providing you secure the funding you need.
Business Plan Template: A Step-by-Step Guide For Entrepreneurs
In this section you may also be including startup cost and capitalization requirements, or funding and loan requests. Startup costs should be thorough, have some additional cushion built in, and focus on development of physical product or intellectual property and growth.
Not what you want to pay yourself as a salary. If fundraising, be sure to include a repayment schedule for any loans, use of funds, runway to follow up fundraising rounds, and the milestones you expect to achieve by then. Do your best. Get outside input from an expert. Otherwise, chances are you will have missed your window of opportunity by a long way.
It is also crucial to understand that nothing in this document is set in stone.