A Simple Business Plan Template To Help You Create Your Own Plan

Having a nice business plan is crucial to your business’ success. There is a popular saying ‘If you don’t plan, you plan to fail.’ Not only a business plan will help you understand your business, but it can help you find some mistakes you’ve made and made improvements in your operations. Also, there is no bank or a financial institution that will finance your venture without this plan. Writing in details about your business also will help you make the things clearer for you, revealing issues you haven’t thought about. Here is a simple tutorial about how to write such a plan and what it should contain.

Before you start, see some tips on writing a business plan, they will help you complete this task faster, better and more efficiently.

Making a Business Plan – Outline

1. Contents

2. Executive Summary

2.1. A short and complete description of your business model and strategy. This section should make it clear how your business is going to work and make profits. You will write it the best, if you write it the last. It should summarize your whole business plan in not more than 2 pages.

3. Description of Your Business

3.1. Mission statement
3.2. Vision
3.3. Growth potential, your growth expectations
3.3. What are your main business goals
3.4. A short history of the company, if any

4. Description of the Market

4.1. What is your industry, industry trends, industry description
4.2. What specific needs of the market will be satisfied?
4.3. Description of your target market
4.4. Who is your customer? – general profile
4.5. Current and potential market share
4.6. Description of your main competitors

5. Your Products and Services

5.1. Detailed description of the products and services offered – what exactly will you offer and at what prices.
5.2. Their competitive advantages – price, quality, service, location, no competition, etc.
5.3. Value delivered
5.3. Intellectual property protection

6. Business Management Description

6.1. Legal structure – corporation, Ltd, partnership, etc.
6.2. How exactly your company will be organized – organizational structure
6.3. Valuable intangible assets – licenses, patents, brands
6.4. Biographies of your key managers and employees

7.Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy

7.1. Detailed description of your market
7.2. Main market segments
7.3. Detailed profile of your customer
7.4. Why your product should be bought, what are the exact needs it satisfies, what is the value it provides?
7.5. Potential demand for your products and services. Sales projections.
7.6. Who are your main suppliers, what are their terms and prices?
7.7. Channels of distribution.
7.8. Main sales strategy – how your products will be sold?
7.9. Advertising strategy
7.10.Promotion and placement

8. Financial Plan and Management

8.1. Startup financing needed
8.2. How are you going to finance your venture – loans, grants, partnerships, own capital
8.3. Repayment plan, if credit will be used
8.4. Projected income statement for the next year
8.5. Projected balance sheet for the next year
8.6. Projected cash flow statement for a year

9. Financial Valuation

9.1. Return on investment (ROA) for your business
9.2. Internal rate of return (IRR) for your business project.
9.3. Cost of the capital and profitability ratios
9.4. Projected cash flows for 5 years

10. Exit Strategy

A decent business plan has an exit strategy. What will you do, if the things go wrong? This is your liquidation plan.

5 More Advanced Templates You Can Download Now

If you need more advanced templates, here are some amazing online resources where you can find professional and completely free business plan templates:

  1. The site of the Australian business community contains some good materials and templates that will help you make your plan. There are videos, checklists and many other helpful documents. You can get them here: http://www.business.gov.au/business-topics/templates-and-downloads/Pages/default.aspx
  2. The site of the Business Development Bank of Canada is another great place, where you will find many helpful information on the matter: http://www.bdc.ca/EN/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/templates-business-guides/Pages/business-plan-template.aspx
  3. The Small Business Association in the United States have a wonderful site with many cool business plan templates. To be more accurate, they have an entire site dedicated to startups and small businesses, you can have it here: https://www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan/1
  4. This is for the lazy ones. #100 Startup has created 1 page business plan templates that contain only the most important information needed. They are in pdf format and are downloadable for free here: http://100startup.com/#resources
  5. And here is one even cooler site where you can make your business plan online, right here, right now. You just need to follow the wizard and answer the questions and you will end up having it in a few steps. This might be the easiest and the fastest way to create a professional plan right now: http://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/business-plan/

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