That doesn't mean you have to bust out Word and start the plan from scratch.A template is great--you probably aren't doing anything that hasn't been done before, so it provides a proven structure for your plan. Check out these comprehensive business plan templates you can download for free to get you started: Score is an American nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground.Recently, I shared 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups, an infographic created by Mark Vital over at Funders and Founders.
That doesn't mean you have to bust out Word and start the plan from scratch.
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Business plans vary in terms of content depending on the type of business being undertaken.
However, all business plans should include the following sections: Executive summary – This should be no more than two pages long and will be an introduction to the rest of the document. Where do you want your business to be in five, ten years time?
Any funder worth his or her salt wants to see it right off the bat.
Moreover though, a solid business plan is a living document that will continue to guide your efforts as your business grows.Larry Kim is the CEO of Mobile Monkey, a chatbot building platform for marketers that enables mobile messaging between businesses and customers via Facebook Messenger.He’s also the founder of Word Stream, the World’s top PPC marketing software company. It's definitely not the most exciting part of starting a business.Who said a business plan has to be a long, complicated document?Some funders are going to want to see a lot of detail, but you can provide that in appendices.Its template, available as a PDF or Word download, asks a whopping 150 questions and is generic enough to customize for most types of businesses.The Refining the Plan resource that comes with it is helpful, especially if this is your first crack at writing a business plan.The 0 Startup, the website for the best-selling book of the same name, has a ton of stripped-down resources for entrepreneurs, including this super simplified business plan template.This one says you just have to answer a few simple questions and will be "done before you know it! A business plan should take time and a lot of homework, but if you've already done that, Law Depot's template is a decent choice.Bad location, a marginal niche, having no specific user in mind, raising too much or too little money--all of these issues can be prevented or at least mitigated with good planning.Creating your business plan is more than just getting your ideas down on paper for potential funders to see.