A business plan template allows a business owner to create a document that will outline the company’s mission, the purpose of its business, how the company plans on entering into and eventually expanding into new markets, and the goals that must be met in order to reach those goals. Many companies use a template as a guide in developing a business plan so that they have a written plan that can be used by potential investors or financial institutions if necessary. Most business owners are not comfortable writing their own business plans and may find themselves taking a business proposal to a bank or other lender to see if they are able to qualify for an unsecured loan. If you are not comfortable creating a business plan for your company, then a template may be exactly what you need to produce a well-written document.
The result document may be provided to bankers or other financial institutions in order to secure funding for your business or provide information about the company to potential investors. A standard business plan typically contains a single document separated into several chapters including a detailed description of your company, an analysis of the economy, competitor analysis, market research and analysis, the goals and/or objectives of your company, and other business information.
While it is recommended that you personally write your plan, you may want to consider purchasing a business plan template to give you a head start. These templates include sections on each topic that can be easily copied and pasted into your business plan.
The most popular business plan template is the one available from the Harvard Business Review. They also offer a Business Plan Template from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) which includes a detailed description of how the plan is developed, who it was created by, and how it can help you financially. Finally, there is the Business Plan Template from the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
You may be wondering what type of information a business plan template should include so it may be wise to purchase a few different types before you decide. Some business plans require information such as a list of the major funding sources for your company, your management team’s qualifications, and experience with your product or service, a list of potential customers, the company’s products or services, projected sales figures and revenue projections, any major challenges that you foresee, an assessment of your competitive advantages, and disadvantages, and a budgeting plan in case financing is needed.
As with any form of writing, your writing should be well researched and contain concise and precise information. If you are not comfortable with using a template to create your business plan, then you may want to hire a business attorney, accountant, business mentor, or consultant who can assist you in developing a plan that will meet the requirements of your state’s governing body.
When you purchase a business plan template, be sure that the template you select provides an easy to read format so that it can easily be copied and pasted into the format in which you intend to use to produce your plan. In addition, you may want to select a template that includes graphics and bullet points to make it easier for you to create your plan.
Many people begin their quest for business plans by using one template but quickly find that they become overwhelmed with the many details that come with making a plan. Once you have prepared your document, then you will find that making changes as necessary can be accomplished very easily. A business plan template helps you focus on the more important aspects of the plan such as what you hope to accomplish with your company and how you will reach those goals.