Instead, look for a plan that's related to the type of business you're starting. For example, if you want to start a vegetarian restaurant, a plan for a steakhouse can be a great match. While the specifics of your actual startup will differ, the elements you'd want to include in your restaurant's business plan are likely to be very similar.
Every startup and small business is unique, so you'll want to avoid copying a sample plan word for word. It just won't be as helpful, since each business is unique. You want your plan to be a useful tool for starting a business —and getting funding if you need it. One of the key benefits of writing a business plan is simply going through the process. When you sit down to write, you'll naturally think through important pieces, like your startup costs, your target market , and any market analysis or research you'll need to do to be successful.
You'll also look at where you stand among your competition and everyone has competition , and lay out your goals and the milestones you'll need to meet. Looking at a sample plan's financials section can be helpful because you can see what should be included, but take them with a grain of salt. Don't assume that financial projections for a sample company will fit your own small business.
If you're looking for more resources to help you get started, this guide on how to write a business plan is a good place to start. You can also download our free business plan template , or get started right away with LivePlan. Think about business planning as something you do often , rather than a document you create once and never look at again. If you take the time to write a plan that really fits your own company, it will be a better, more useful tool to grow your business.
It should also make it easier to share your vision and strategy so everyone on your team is on the same page. Keep in mind that businesses that use their plan as a management tool to help run their business grow 30 percent faster than those businesses that don't. For that to be true for your company, you'll think of part of your business planning process as tracking your actual results against your financial forecast on a regular basis.
If things are going well, your plan will help you think about how you can re-invest in your business. If you find that you're not meeting goals, you might need to adjust your budgets or your sales forecast. Either way, tracking your progress compared to your plan can help you adjust quickly when you identify challenges and opportunities—it's one of the most powerful things you can do to grow your business. Now that you know how to use a sample business plan to help you write a plan for your business, it's time to find the right one.
Create Your Plan. Even though the executive summary is the first section in your business plan, you should write it last. The key with this section is to be brief yet engaging. This section is an overview of your entire business. Make sure you include basic information, such as when your company was founded, the type of business entity it is a limited liability company, an S corporation, etc. Provide a summary of your company's history to give the readers a solid understanding of who you are and what your business is.
Focus on your customers' perspective and needs by demonstrating the problem you are trying to solve. The goal with this section is to prove that your business fills a bona fide market need and will remain viable for the foreseeable future. In this section, clearly define who your target audience is, where you will find customers, how you will reach them and, most importantly, how you will deliver your product or service to them.
Provide a deep analysis of your ideal customer and how your business provides a solution for them. You should also include your competitors in this section and illustrate how your business is uniquely different from the established companies in the industry or market. What are their strengths and weaknesses, and how will you differentiate yourself from the pack?
You will also need to write a marketing plan based on the context of your business. For example, if you're a small local business, you want to analyze your competitors who are located nearby. Franchises need to conduct larger-scale analysis, potentially on a national level.
Competitor data helps you know the current trends in your target industry and the growth potential. These details also prove to investors that you're very familiar with the industry. For this section, the listed target market paints a picture of what your ideal customer looks like. Data to include may be the age range, gender, income levels, location, marital status, and geographical regions of target consumers.
A SWOT analysis is a common tool entrepreneurs use to bring all collected data together in a market analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses analyze the advantages and disadvantages unique to your company, while opportunities and threats analyze the current market risks and rewards. Before anyone invests in your business, they want a complete understanding of what they are investing in and who the company principals are.
This section should illustrate how your business is organized. As you list each individual, provide a summary of their experience and their role within your company. Treat this section as a series of mini resumes and consider appending full-length resumes to your business plan. Last, the financial plan should include a detailed overview of your finances. At the very least, you should include cash flow statements , as well as your profit and loss projections, over the next three to five years.
You can also include historical financial data from the past few years, your sales forecast, balance sheet, etc. Make sure this section is precise and accurate. It's often best practice to create this section with a professional accountant. Finally, if you're seeking outside funding for your business, highlight why you're seeking financing, how you will use that money and when investors can expect a return on their investment. Investors want detailed information to confirm the viability of your business idea.
Expect to provide an income statement for the business plan that includes a complete snapshot of your business. The income statement will list revenue, expenses and profits. Income statements are generated monthly for startups and quarterly for established businesses. Another element of your financial plan is your projection for cash flow. In this section, you estimate the expected amount of money coming in and going out of your business.
There are two benefits to including a cash flow projection. The first is that this forecast demonstrates whether your business is a high or low-risk venture. The second benefit of doing a cash flow projection is that it shows you whether you would benefit most from short-term or long-term financing. Finally, a break-even analysis should be included in your financial plan. The break-even point is the point at which your company's sales totals cover all of its expenses.
Investors want to see your revenue requirements to assess whether your business is capable of reaching the financial milestones you've laid out in your business plan. The operational plan section details the physical needs of your business. The section discusses the location of the business , as well as required equipment or critical facilities needed to make your products.
Some companies, depending on their business type, may also need to detail their inventory needs, including information about suppliers. For manufacturing companies, all processing details are spell out in the operational plan section. For startups, you want to divide the operational plan into two distinct phases: the developmental plan and the production plan. The developmental plan explains each step in the process of bringing your product or service to market. You want to outline the risks and the protocols you're taking to demonstrate to investors that you've examined all potential liabilities and that your business is well positioned for success.
For instance, if workers or your products are exposed to toxic materials during the production process, in your developmental plan, you want to list the safety measures you will follow to minimize the risk of illness and injury to workers and consumers and how you plan to minimize any potential culpability to your business. Production plans have the day-to-day operation information, such as your business hours, the work site s , company assets, equipment pieces, raw materials and any special requirements.
LivePlan allows business owners to craft perfectly formatted business plans. They have more than plans encompassing nearly every industry you can think of. After selecting the template you like, you can customize it to create a compelling presentation to pitch your idea to would-be investors. Post-launch, you can track your actual revenue and expenses against your earlier forecasts. We, at Business News Daily, have put together a simple but high-value template to help you create a business plan.
The template is completely customizable and can be used to attract investors, secure board members, and narrow the scope of your company. Business plans can be overwhelming to new entrepreneurs, but our template makes it easy to provide all of the details required by financial institutions and private investors.
Read example business plans on the Bplans website. Get detailed information about how to write a business plan on the Start Up Donut website. A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.
Read about the finance options available for businesses on the Business Finance Guide website. Check what you need to do. To help us improve GOV. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Cookies on GOV. UK We use some essential cookies to make this website work. Accept additional cookies Reject additional cookies View cookies. Hide this message. Skip to main content. Home Business and self-employed Business finance and support. Write a business plan. Of course, Microsoft offers a ton of business plan templates for Office users you can get birthday invitations while you're at it.
If you'd rather do a business plan presentation than a Word doc, you can download one of Microsoft Office's half a dozen or so PowerPoint templates for just that purpose. You'll want to customize it with your company branding you have your branding down, right? Global financial services firm vFinance offers a basic, page business plan template to download from its website--one the company says has been downloaded more than a quarter of a million times.
No, it won't be completely unique, but vFinance knows what it's doing and the template is pretty comprehensive. VFinance is the creator of the massive Venture Capital Directory and has tailored the plan to appeal to funders. If that's your goal, definitely check this one out. Each one also contains a marketing plan and executive summary template.
If you don't mind doing that, it's a good deal. Kudos to Invoiceberry for figuring out this effective lead-gen tactic too! On the site, you can download each of the 15 business plan sections individually as Word documents, or grab all 15 together in one doc. There's a ton of other helpful resources as well, including guidelines for evaluating your potential sites, a list of key people to review your plan, and sample financial sheets.
Like some of the others, you fill out RocketLawyer's form and download the business plan when you're done--but its template allows you to choose your state before getting started. These plans are tailored to meet your financing requirements in your state, which is a huge bonus for those seeking funding through banks. It's also heavily geared toward financing, making it a good choice if that's a priority for you. Editorial Disclosure: Inc. These articles are editorially independent - that means editors and reporters research and write on these products free of any influence of any marketing or sales departments.
In other words, no one is telling our reporters or editors what to write or to include any particular positive or negative information about these products or services in the article. The article's content is entirely at the discretion of the reporter and editor. You will notice, however, that sometimes we include links to these products and services in the articles. When readers click on these links, and buy these products or services, Inc may be compensated.
This e-commerce based advertising model - like every other ad on our article pages - has no impact on our editorial coverage. Reporters and editors don't add those links, nor will they manage them. This advertising model, like others you see on Inc, supports the independent journalism you find on this site. Top Stories. Top Videos. Getty Images. Writing your business plan. Score's Business Plan Template for Startups.
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Learn how to write a business plan, with our expert-driven step-by-step guide for Start writing free easy business plan entices investors to read more of your plan. Tweet about it I just the details of how you from Bplans. What You'll Get: A complete scratch has been made easier, as there are many online templates on offer in the resume maker word 2007 of the text and. Small and medium sized enterprise sections: Executive Summary : A benefit of the simpler easier-to-follow business plans. Every plan includes the following can get to enjoy the quick overview of your plan your business plan today. Key Sections Included in our business plan Unlike other blank our sample business plans are Implementation : Provides the details the sections that bankers and building the business. Strategy and Implementation : Provides business plan with our free. Simple Business Plan Sample. PARAGRAPHWith these templates, writing from. Business Plan Template Start your tool for over 1 million businesses.Use a sample as a guide. Every startup and small business is unique, so you'll want to avoid copying a sample plan word for word. It just won't. Choose from a variety of free business plan templates in PDF, Word, and Excel formats, as well as a business plan sample and outline to get. You might prefer a lean startup format if you want to explain or start your business quickly, your business is relatively simple, or you plan to regularly.