Here's a completely free business plan template structure that I use to write business plans and is used in all my pre-written plans you can download from this site.
It may look like a lot of work but if you already have a business idea or are developing an existing business then you'll likely have most of the information to hand already to do a business plan.
Structure of a good business plan ?
This business plan template is formatted for banks and other lenders. It is also in the format so it guides you through the journey of your business as I explained above. Start at the beginning (ie: analyse where you are now), and take time to complete all sections. At the end of the day you want people to buy your products so spend time on analysing who your customers really are and why they want your product.
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- VISION - what do you want to be ?
- ANALYSIS - where are you now ?
- EXTERNAL ANALYSIS - current situation only
- The economy & business environment
- The Market Place
- Competition - who are they, what do they offer
- Market share - in each key market
- E-commerce/ technology
- INTERNAL ANALYSIS - current situation only
- Your business - products and services - trends and description
- Customers and Marketing
- Sales Template
- Group structure
- Management Team/ HR
- SWOT analysis (from your analysis above)
- Relative strengths
- Relative weaknesses
- Where are you going and how are you going to get there?
Marketing Strategies - your plan
- Marketing Mix (4 ps - product, place, pricing, promotion) - Sell the benefits of your products
- Target market
- Positioning statement
- Branding strategy
- Product strategy
- Pricing strategy
- Distribution strategy
- Promotional strategy
- Customers - acquisition, maintain - also see Ansoff matrix below
- Resourcing requirements
- The finance plan for your business plan
- Investment from you ?
- The people involved
Write a business plan for you
OK, the last piece of advice before moving on. You should have a plan now. If not do it today. It won't take long. Believe me, your business plan should be no more than 20 pages (basically a page for each of the sections outlined above). You don't need fancy business planning software to help you achieve your goals in any case.
To make life easier I have put together some sample business plans that you simply edit and adapt for your business right away. No stress, no heartache.
Additionally you can make use of my business plan template where you can see what you need in your business plan so you can think about where you are going to get all of the information you need.
Download this business plan template to your computer
You can also download this template onto your computer right now. I have developed this in Microsoft Word so anyone can use it (PC or MAC) -- additionally, I'll enrol you in my free business planning course - in just 7 lessons I'll show you how to write your business plan - just complete your details below.
The course shows you how to write a business plan in 7 easy steps. Good luck and let me know how you get on!