How a Template Can Help You
Using simple business plan templates
suited to your business sector and created by a reputable company, can eliminate a lot of time putting together the outline, format, table of contents, and, especially, financial model. Although there is still a great deal of work you must do, even with a template, many hours are eliminated from your preparation time with a template in hand.
The template provides example text for the entire plan, giving you a real sense of what the narrative of each section should look and feel like when completed. This gives an entrepreneur a much greater understanding of what to do than a description of the purpose of each section can.
Finally, using a template rather than writing a plan from scratch should mean that you will need much less expertise in accounting. Although an understanding of accounting methods and an ability to read financial statements will be important for you to develop over time as manager of the business, creating pro forma financial statements generally requires much more financial skill than entrepreneurs start with.
How to Use a Template Correctly
All of the text in the template must be adjusted to reflect the specific local, market, and competitive situation your business faces. Even general research which may serve your purposes should be double-checked and updated if necessary. Proofread through the entirety of the plan and be sure to remove comments or tracked changes when finished to be sure there is no reference that you worked from a template. The result should be as professional looking as any business plan created from scratch, if not more so.
The financials must be adjusted as well, starting with startup costs specific to your situation and research, and then including the operating costs and revenue streams you project. Ideally, you will be adjusting a limited number of pages in the financial section, with the effect of these changes populating through all of the pro forma financial statements.
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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.