That’s why we put together a free business plan template to help you get started.
Get the template It’s tempting to dive right into execution when you’re excited about a new business or side project, but taking the time to write a business plan and get your thoughts on paper allows you to do a number of beneficial things: A business plan can be as informal or formal as your situation calls for, but even if you’re a fan of the back-of-the-napkin approach to planning, there are some key benefits to starting your plan from an existing outline or template.
Get your free business plan template This free business plan template includes the following sections: In our business plan template, each section includes an overview of the most important information to cover and guidelines on how to approach writing and researching each one.
There are some high-level strategic guidelines beyond the advice included in this free business plan template that can help you write an effective, complete plan while minimizing busywork.
We’ve filled out a sample business plan as a companion to our template, featuring a fictional ecommerce business.
Our fictional business creates custom greeting cards with your pet’s paw prints on them, and the founder of the business is writing a plan to help understand the market, as well as the logistics and costs involved, to give themselves the best chance of success before they launch.However, many traditional companies weren't concerned about the upstart Dot-Coms and didn't try to move at "Internet time".Their online initiatives started slowly to "test the waters".Once you’ve done the strategic work, it’s time to put it into action and write your plan.Download the business plan template, and review our guide on writing a business plan for additional information.Download the business plan example Although even the best-crafted plan may not survive its first contact with reality, the act of planning is still invaluable for your business.To make sure your efforts are focused on the highest-value parts of planning, like clarifying your goals, setting a strategy, and understanding the market and competitive landscape, lean on a business plan template to handle the structure and format for you.When a company's key business strategy is an exit strategy, and when the interest of managers, suppliers and even customers focused on stock options rather than performance, planning became cumbersome.But the real risk for investors became apparent as many of these businesses failed or were taken over by other companies.That said, it may not include the specific details or structure preferred by a potential investor or lender.If your goal with a business plan is to secure funding, check with your target organizations—typically banks or investors—to see if they have a template you can follow to maximize your chances of success.