If you’re just starting a business, you need a business plan. In many ways, your business plan is your roadmap—it not only guides you and other key stakeholders as you grow your business, but it also shows investors, lenders, or potential partners where your business is headed. Therefore, a successful business requires a well-thought-out business plan.
A business plan is a formal written document containing business goals, the methods on how these goals can be attained, and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. It also describes the nature of the business, background information on the organization, the organization's financial projections, and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve the stated targets. In its entirety, this document serves as a road map that provides direction to the business.
A good business plan acts as a dynamic blueprint for running and expanding your business, according to Inc.com. To write a business plan you can use, however, it is necessary for you to understand the main purposes of one.
A formal business plan is necessary to show all interested parties — employees, investors, partners and yourself — that you are committed to building the business.
The business plan should clearly lay out the long-term milestones that are most important to the success of your business.
Creating the business plan forces you to analyze the competition. All companies have competition in the form of either direct or indirect competitors, and it is critical to understand your company’s competitive advantages.
How good is this opportunity? The business plan process involves researching your target market, as well as the competitive landscape, and serves as a feasibility study for the success of your venture.
How exactly will your business make money? This is a critical question to answer in writing, for yourself and your investors. Documenting the revenue model helps to address challenges and assumptions associated with the model.
A formal business plan is the basis for financing proposals. The business plan answers investors’ questions such as: Is there a need for this product/service? What are the financial projections? What is the company’s exit strategy?
Writing a business plan may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. As long as you take some time, include essential information, and follow a handful of simple steps, you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect plan. To help you through the process, we’ve developed this guide on how to write a business plan, step by step. We’ll take you through each step and section so that you’ll be able to get yours completed in no time.
Although this is one of the most common ways to write a business plan, it’s not the only way. Therefore, as you’re learning how to write a business plan for yourself, you might find it helpful to consult different templates and examples.
If you’re searching for business plan templates, you’ll find various options online, including fillable PDFs, Word documents, and software platforms. For a great place to start, you can download our business plan templates for your industry here.
* The free templates above are provided for reference only, for all legal matters, you should always talk to a professional.
After downloading the free template, if you need to fill in it or modify the content of the template, you may need a powerful PDF editor. Using PDF Reader Pro, you can add your own details and use these templates to design for your own needs, editing the PDF more conveniently.
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