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Whether your business is a start-up or a mature business with years of experience a Business Plan will be an important resource.  Writing a business plan allows you to cautiously think through every strategy your company needs to start or breakthrough to new platforms of success.  It gives the business owner the opportunity to future pace their business thinking so it can better prepare for and handle any challenges or opportunities that may come our way. 

While a thorough business plan is better for your company – sometimes writing one is very hard and technical, primarily if you’ve never written one before. This is where a business plan template comes in.

Writing a business plan can be overwhelming, but a template will make the process easier and more manageable for you and your team. Business plan templates will guide you every step of the way.

A template usually covers the following parts:

  •  Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Products and Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Management and Organization
  • Start-Up Expenses and Capitalization
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendices

 The Appendices are comprised of documents that supplement the material in the body of the plan. These might be leases, contracts, purchase orders, intellectual property, key manager’s resumes, market research documents, or anything that supports assumptions or statements made in the business plan.

Business Plan Template Pros and ConsPROs
A good business plan template can help you structure your thoughts and ideas. It can provide a parameter for which you can follow, especially if you do not know where to start. It will show you the general layout of a standard business plan, so you know what goes where and that you’re not leaving out anything important.

A great business plan template will also suggest strategies for each step of your plan and show you what an investor-ready and SBA-approved business plan should look like.

CONs
Even if there are benefits to using a business plan template, it may not be the best way to complete your plan. It will still require a lot of work. For example, you have to compute projections for your financial spreadsheets – you have to do it yourself, or you’ll have to hire someone to do it.

You have to know enough about the entire process to be confident that you’re getting the right numbers in the right place. So, if you don’t know what you’re doing in the first place, the process of writing your business plan may not be more comfortable with a template than without it.

Finally, merging data from Excel into your Word document is harder than it looks. It’s hard to keep everything completely updated as you make the necessary changes to your numbers, incorporating the right charts and graphs into your business plan is harder than it looks.

Conclusion
In creating a business plan, whether using a template or not, it is a valuable part of launching any new business venture. Formats and business plan templates may have evolved, and original documents like pitch decks are becoming even more critical, but you know that it is necessary.

Though without going through this process, many business people or entrepreneurs will find that they have considerable gaps in their ideas and may fall short when it comes to handling questions from serious investors.

Being Contrarian
If you actually read this post in full, then I must apologize because you have completely wasted your time.  If you know FOCUS31 at all you know that the 9-Point template we describe above is HOGWASH!  Yes, you will need that kind of Business Plan Template if you are going to the bank or an investor.  For your own purposes all of that other nonsense is just telling a story, a story you already know.  

If you want to get a fast start as a start-up, if you want to break through to new platforms of Revenue success as a growing or maturing business then all you need is an Operation Business Plan Template.   That template should include guidelines for creating:

  1. A Vision Statement
  2. A Mission Statement
  3. A Set  of Annual Objectives
  4. A Set of Strategy Statements 
  5. A Set of Action Plans

That’s it.  

If you’d like to start now with a best-in-class Business Plan Template then email James@FOCUS31.com and we’ll send you a FREE copy of our Conquer The CHAOS Business Planning  Workbook.

 WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?

James Burgess, Focus31, CHAOS- FREE Business Planning1.You can find out more about what a business plan is and its importance with the international best-selling book CHAOS; How Business Leaders Can Master the Power of Focus. Get your FREE copy HERE

2. Use our FREE business planning program FOCUS Yourself; A 7 Module Business Plan Program. This is not a business plan template, it is a full business plan that is EASY and FAST, making your plan SUSTAINABLE and entirely PRACTICAL. Start your business plan NOW

3. Not sure why you need a small business plan? REGISTER for a FREE FOCUS Discovery Consultation where you will talk business, your business, with international best-selling author James Burgess

4. Challenge yourself to FOCUS Your Business In Just 30-Days and learn how to build a business that will THRIVE not just survive with our FREE webinar HERE.