What Is A Business Plan And Why Write One?
A business plan is a clearly written analysis of your company. It explains the industry in which you compete, your company’s goals and objectives, and you rplan to meet these goals. It also provides a management tool that allows you to guide your business, and measure your success against projected goals; which, in-turn, allows you to assess whether you are meeting you goals or not.
- A business plan can help you obtain financing or investors
- A business plan organizes and formalizes your business thinking process
- A business plan clarifies the questions that may arise in managing your business
Depending on the kind of business you are starting you need a business plan that is specific to your market or niche.
Different Kinds of Business Plans
Below is an example of a short business plan with cover letter.
The next example is a plan that was written for a Technology (Hosting) company 3 - 4 years ago, which enabled the owner to secure an exit from the business. In terms of structure it is fairly typical of any business plan. However, there are some specific issues that were addressed for a technology business that de-risked the plan for investors.[slideshare id=14151429&doc=busplanexample-120903041758-phpapp02&type=d]
Business Plan Templates
Below are examples of the kinds of business plan templates that are available are:
- Retail and Online Store
- Medical and Health Care Services
- Restaurant, Cafe and Bakery
- Beauty Salon and Barber Shop
- Day Care Services and Children's Products
- Education and Training
- Fitness Center and Sports
- Real Estate
- Wedding and Event Planning
- and lots more...
Keep in mind that most templates are designed to give you a general overall viewpoint of the necessary components of a business plan in that marketplace.
Contrary to what many people do, simply populating the fields with information is IMHO a flawed approach.
Many prospective business owners take the following approach and it can lead to disaster.
They find a sample business plan template online, download it and simply fill in the blank spaces with their information and then print it out.
In their minds they believe they have saved themselves a lot of time and effort using a template to create their business plan, but unfortunately the plan they've produced will in most cases not "past muster" when it comes to acquiring funding or if used when approaching prospective investors.
All they have managed to do is print off someone else's idea of a business plan.
If and when asked to explain or define the information in the plan, they fall short because they have not spent the time developing a plan based on their own research and exploration of their market.
With 5 Step Business Start® we do not focus solely on the "business plan". While this document is essential if you are seeking funding, our experience has shown us that too many startup entrepreneurs are in a hurry to create a business plan before they have performed other steps which provide the information critical for a successful business plan.
Instead, we begin with your idea/concept and guide you through proven steps that result in not just a winning business plan, but lead to building a sustainable business.