A clear, succinct business plan is one of the best assets a start-up business can have. It not only assists with things like seeking loans, business partners or grants – it also gives you a roadmap for your future goals and targets. Without a plan you are running blind, making it up as you go along.
A business plan also helps point out areas in which you need to do more research, which can be a great way to discover threats, weaknesses or opportunities you may not have thought about otherwise. Many times we have heard entrepreneurs say they thought they had a great business idea, but then in the process of writing their plan they discovered that the target market was not actually as large as they thought, or that another variation of the product was a more profitable option. Writing your business plan is an excellent chance to examine all aspects of your business and explore the real viability of your idea.
To make the task of writing a business plan a little easier, I have attached a template business plan to use as a guide. Even if you set yourself a goal of writing one page a week, at least you’ve started.
The template is quite long and detailed, but don’t feel like you need to make your business plan equally dense. Pick and choose the areas that are most crucial to your particular business and don’t waffle, always be succinct and to the point. I have seen two page business plans that say everything they need to. But be warned – the sections are there for a reason. If you leave something out don’t let it be just because you are too lazy to do the required research!