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Business Plan Template: Information and Resources
Business Plan Template for a Startup Business
Here you will find a sample startup business plan template, along with information and resources on creating and writing the business plan. Includes a sample word template and instructions.
A well thought out business plan typically takes several weeks to complete. Much of that time is spent in research and planning. That’s why the business plan can be of such help to a new business – it gives you an opportunity to do research in ways you may not have considered previously.
A business plan is composed of a narrative and the supporting financial worksheets that explain your business and your goals for your business. The narrative sections are the heart of the business plan. The narrative is divided into several sections, with questions to help guide your writing efforts.
The business plan is divided into several sections. You can choose to work on a section of the plan in whatever order works best for you, with one exception: the Executive Summary. The executive summary summarizes all the data about your business and gives readers a quick, well-thought out overview of the business. It's essential to work through the other sections before you complete the executive summary – the data you entered in the other sections help you accurately summarize your business for the executive summary.
You'll find that one of the most important elements of writing your business plan isn't the actual writing process, but the research and planning processes. Planning your business gives you a rare opportunity to study and research all the elements of a successful business, and develop a very systematic approach to starting your business. By doing your research up-front, you can avoid costly mistakes.
The first time you work through the business plan, you'll try to answer the questions in each section. Some of the questions may require you to do a little research on the general market for your business, some you'll know the answer to right away. When you write the plan up, you'll write the answers to the question in an essay form. You'll keep your answers through but brief. Once you finish writing the sections, you'll go back and complete the executive summary.
After you complete your business plan, you will go back through and edit what you've written. It will take you several edits to finally get your business plan to a final state for other readers. In fact, it's a good idea to seek help with the edits, just to get input and help with smoothness and clarity.
The following business plan template is for a generic business. Of course, you may need to make changes to incorporate specifics of your unique business into the plan. In the following section, we'll explain some of the ways you can make specific changes to your plan.
Here are some of the areas to think about when making changes to your business plan. Continue reading
This section is brief, lots of bullet points to highlight the business goals. Continue reading
This section explains the marketing plan, economics, products and services. Continue reading
This section explains competitive analysis and the marketing plan. Continue reading
This section covers daily operation of the business: the location, equipment, people, processes, and surrounding environment. Continue reading
This page explains about management, organization, startup expenses, and capitalization. Continue reading
The financial portion of the business plan consists of a 12-month profit and loss projection, a four-year profit and loss projection (optional), a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a break-even calculation. The appendices to the business plan include details and studies used. Continue reading
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