Business Plan Templates: How to Choose
Choose the Company, Then the Template
A good piece of advice is to start by choosing an experienced, reputable company for a template. Look for a company that has assisted entrepreneurs in creating successful (meaning funded) business plans and can speak to its track record. Look for a company that employs experienced business consultants who have worked with hundreds or thousands of clients in the past. Once you've found a company that fits these criteria, choose the template that is most closely related to the business sector you will start your company in. If it is slightly different, do not worry. It should still provide you with a head start in your writing above a more generic template and especially above writing a plan from scratch.
Major Features to Look For
Look for a template which comes with a customizable financial model in Excel to allow you to generate and modify financial statements for the plan easily. Look also for a template which includes instructions or a guide to put it to use. If this is unclear, ask the creators whether a guide or instructions are included. Customizing a template can be a confusing process if no instructions are available.
Finally, try to find a template which acts as a sample business plan by including example language within each section to guide you towards your own plan. If the template merely includes guidance in each section as to what kind of information to include, it is not any more useful than a business plan book or outline.
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