Sample business plans can be a great tool as you start to develop your own. By reading full business plans, especially samples for similar businesses to yours, you can learn a lot about what your plan should look like as a final product. To get a head start on your business plan development by using a plan sample, start by choosing a good sample and then take care to learn what you can without plagiarizing its content.
Choosing a Good Sample
How do you know whether the sample plan you are looking at is worth the paper it is written on? While it could be an actual, successful business plan with the company name or other specifics removed, it could be an amateur-written version which was never submitted for funding. It is always difficult to know for sure, so you will have to get a sample plan from a source you can trust. Look for websites created by individuals or companies with a vested interest in your success, whether they are government agencies (such as the Small Business Administration), non-profits (like SCORE), or businesses with a track record of helping clients create successful business plans.
What To Learn
The sample you use can give you a good sense of overall structure and it’s important that you learn how to format a business plan. There is a relatively standard format for business plans, and the sample will demonstrate that as well as show what type of information to include in each section within.
However, the content of a sample plan, even if it is for the same type of business you are starting, should never be copied. The words of your plan should be your own and very specific to your business situation, even if some sections of the sample seem applicable to yours.
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