General Business Articles
Business Plan Templates
Q: I have an idea for a business. I have some financing but will require additional start-up capital. Everyone that I have approached has told me I need a business plan. I have never written a business plan, so I considered buying a business plan template over the Internet. Is this a good way to start?
A: Business plan templates are used by professional business consultants all of the time. They ask you all of the questions that you need to be able to provide answers for. In many cases individuals who start to write their business plans, without the aid of a template will forget important aspects of their business.
Financiers see hundred’s of business plans a week and yours must sell them on your business concept and prove to them that you understand all of the aspects of the business you want to start.
I highly recommend the business plans templates from Business-Planning-4-You.com. They have specific business templates for:
A business plan must answer twelve basic questions:
- What problem exists that your business is trying to solve?
- Where is the potential consumer/user pain?
- What does it cost to solve that problem now?
- How deep and compelling is the pain?
- What solutions does your business have to resolve this problem?
- What will the customer pay you to solve this problem?
- How will solving this problem make the company a lot of money?
- What alliances can you leverage with other companies to help your company?
- How big can this business get if given the right capital?
- How much cash do you need to find a path to profitability?
- How will the skills of your management team, their business knowledge, and track record of execution make this happen?
- What is the investors' exit strategy?
Remember, the business plan is an "argument" in which you need to state the problem and pain and then provide your solution with supporting data and analogies.
I have found, that in most cases, when someone says they cannot write a business plan it is because they have not thought out all of the aspects of their proposed business or they have thought out all the aspects and there are holes in the concept.
If you cannot write your thoughts down, it is usually because you have not spent enough time developing them.
After you have written your plan and before you pass it on to a financier, have a friend or relative read it and then have them verbally explain how your new business venture will work.
If they cannot understand the plan or cannot explain the business concept to you from what you have written there is a very good chance that a financier will not understand the business concepts either.
If they have questions you should incorporate the answers into the plan or clarify an answer so that the question is automatically resolved when the financier reads it.
Remember, that you know what the business is about and anything you write will probably be self explanatory to you and make a great deal of sense to you - the business plan should make sense and be self explanatory to others as well.
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