The key to deciding between using information as prescribed in a business plan template or writing your own depends on the complexity of the venture and the purpose of the plan.
Decide exactly what you need in the business plan
The first rule for drafting a successful business plan is deciding exactly what your business plans on doing. This could be a service or a product – whatever it is; it is the cornerstone of your enterprise and needs to be well defined. What need is it satisfying?
Is it just a road map, a business model, or is it aimed at raising money to start the business? If you are starting something simple that does not contain many variables, you can get by with a standard plan outline and perhaps use a template quite successfully.
Choose a plan
There are two kinds of plans – informal business plan and a formal plan.
- An informal plan is a road map of the business and acts as a guide to the day-to-day operations, marketing and expansion plans for the business.
- A formal business plan on the other hand is a detailed document, prepared for the primary purpose of securing funding for the business.
If you have partners, factors such as how the partnership will work, payment terms, contract length, timing of payments and so on must be included.
Budgets are crucial
The budget process is a key part of running a business successfully and achieving a strategy. It gives business owners a current assessment of the business as well as a roadmap for the future.
It is essential to have an up to date business plan in order to secure financing, ranging from an overdraft facility or bank loan to venture capital funding.
The business budget is a living document that should be continuously updated and revised.
Appealing to investors
The financials can enhance or harm your business plan’s chances in the capital-raising process. By doing the research to develop realistic assumptions, based on actual results of your or other companies, the financials can bolster your firm’s chances of winning investors.