Why do I need a business plan?
So you want to start a company? You want to be an entrepreneur… The glory of running your own business is a great driver for most people who want to start something of their own. However, before you dive in, you need to think carefully about your plan. You need to do the numbers and find out who else is out there and what they are offering which could affect your plans. For example, you might want to open a coffee shop, but you are unaware that someone else has opened one across the road from your desired location. You might end up with competition that will negatively affect your product sales despite you actually have a great product.
So a business plan is a great place to start. I thought it best to have a post on it, although it is a well researched and well covered topic. So instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I have come up with a list of other websites that have a comprehensive look on what a business plan is and how you can use them.
What is a business plan?
It is a written document that outlines the nature of your business. In it the founder of a company outlines what their company is about, what they anticipate in sales, what their marketing strategy is and how their organization will be structured. One typically includes their perceived strengths and weaknesses and makes plans to mitigate weaknesses and amplify strengths. It is really a detailed work plan that helps you move from an idea to a comprehensive outline of your project. Having a plan in place helps you communicate better with potential funders as well as potential partners.
You cannot manage what you cannot measure. The same is true for a startup. A plan put down on paper helps you clarify your thoughts and helps you think through potential challenges. It crystallizes your thoughts so you are less likely to waste time on activities that will affect your bottom line.
So here is my list so far. Check out each one and feel free to try out the free templates.
- Larry Kim of Mobile Monkey has 10 types of business plans with varying degrees of complexity. He lists those that are free to download. You can find his post here!.
- Law Depot has list of templates arranged by type of business with options from retail, construction, food, real estate and even IT. You can find their list here!
- Bplans have a list of over 500!!! Don’t get overwhelmed. They are arranged by category. So it might be a good idea to only look through the specific category you want. You can find their list of 500 here!
I am sure I will update this list with time, but for now I hope this will give you a huge head start. Take your time, but my recommendation is to give it a big writing push for couple of days, your business plan should be complete by then.
Leave a comment in the comment box and let us know which template worked best for you. Go get that business started!