Where can I find a sample business plan?
Enter the words ‘Business Plan Template’ into Google search and you’ll encounter 39.8 million hits in under a second, each one offering Business Plan templates and examples at the click of a button.
With all these options and other resources available to entrepreneurs, how do you choose a template for your business plan? You could have someone else do this for you. T
here isn’t anything wrong with employing the assistance of a business consultant, but I advocate using a few key components to form the framework of your business plan and then fleshing it out on your own.
It is after all, your business plan, so shouldn’t you be the one to record what your idea is?
Why should you do a business plan?
Your business plan gives the reader an idea of your business vision and how you plan to achieve it. It includes future plans for your products and financial forecasting. The reader may be a potential investor, a financier or someone assisting with your marketing package.
Your plan enables the reader to get a feel for your business and to make informed decisions around it. If you apply for finance, the finance house or bank will more than likely ask for your business plan. It speaks to the industry knowledge and experience of the entrepreneur as well as relevant marketing, operational and financial planning.
But your business plan is not only for others to read, it is a reference for you as an entrepreneur. It keeps you on track, reminds you of where you are heading and why you are in business.
So what makes up the framework?
Your business plan should cover the following:
- Business and industry information: the type of legal entity you are running, what’s happening in your industry and how compliant you are with requirements of that industry
- Product/service information: your business concept and why it will be a success. Product details such as costing and pricing information
- Target market information: who will pay money for your concept – the link between your product and its success
- Marketing: how are you going to take your place in the market and ensure the sale of your product?
- Operations and management: do you/your staff have the experience and qualifications to properly run the business?
- Financial projections and requirements: Talk factual and accurate numbers. Include requirements for the establishment of the concept and projections of what returns you expect to see. Get someone to help you if you are uncertain about the financial aspect. Underestimating requirements is often the downfall of a potentially great business.
Reviewing your business plan
Your business plan is a dynamic document. It needs to be reviewed as goals are met or missed; product(s) grow and change; legislation impacts your industry, as economic factors impact your enterprise. Keep it relevant and current.