Essentials of A Business Plan Template
It is critical to write down your plan for your business whether launching a start-up or maintaining an established enterprise. A commercial entity can only succeed when goals are clearly stipulated and planned for well in advance of commencement. Write down what you want to achieve with your business and your chances of hitting your goals will be a lot more realistic.
Establishing the uniqueness of your business venture is critical, especially when viewed by investors or funders, and you should ensure to package your business in a way that covers all basic aspects of enterprise. You can utilize a free template as model to help you construct a plan. However, it is important to recognize that a template is merely an outline of what your business plan should include and not the business plan itself.
There are scores of software programs that will help you to structure your business plan. The image to the left is a typical outline of the components that make up most business plans. Begin with summary of the business.
Do not simply copy & paste information from pre-made business plan templates you may have found online. Those business plans, while based on your market/niche were not created with your specific business in mind.
This is a critical error often made by startup entrepreneurs who are in a hurry to get their business plan written. This shortcut will ultimately bite you in the end, especially if you fail to perform your own Primary & Secondary research.
Business Plan Templates are guides that help you to better understand what should be included in your own business plan and to give you an overview of the structure an flow of a plan.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of research. It will greatly increase your ability to (1) understand your market and (2) communicate that to your team and potential investors. Another great exercise to perform is a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
Watch the video below to gain insight in how to use this exercise as part of your business plan creation process.