Instead, to help build a complete and effective plan, lean on time-tested structures created by entrepreneurs who have come before you.
Business planning is often used to secure funding, but plenty of business owners find writing a plan valuable, even if they never work with an investor.
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.
For example, a business plan for a non-profit might discuss the fit between the business plan and the organization's mission.
Banks are quite concerned about defaults, so a business plan for a bank loan will build a convincing case for the organization's ability to repay the loan.These plans typically have detailed information about the organization or the team making effort to reach its goals.With for-profit entities, external stakeholders include investors and customers, for government agencies, external stakeholders are the tax-payers, higher-level government agencies, and international lending bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, various economic agencies of the United Nations, and development banks.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.Business plans may be internally or externally focused.Externally-focused plans draft goals that are important to outside stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders.The easiest way to simplify the work of writing a business plan is to start with a business plan template.You’re already investing time and energy in planning your small business—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to formatting your plan.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.