You can find additional ideas on what to consider before even using this free business plan template at this link – How to write a business plan.
This post has links where you can download the free business plan template, as well as links to a variety of other free resources. Some of these, like the free goal achievement system has a series of e-mails that support the program. If you only want to get the template just unsubscribe from everything else – its very easy. I am in the business of providing value and building trust and relationships, not spamming people.
Download the Free Business Plan Template here
The formal plan can be written by using my free business plan template. In this post I am focusing on helping you make decisions by suggesting what you should think about.
1 Executive Summary
This is not essential for yourself, but it can be a powerful way to focus on what is really important. Once this whole plan below has been written, write this. You need to write it as if it is the only document an investor or potential partner will read – real or imagined. What will convince them to invest or even buy half of/ the whole business? At the least you should show your profit, sales and the market size and potential. Then describe how the business will be managed to achieve the sales and profit targets. Lastly include any relevant issues that will convince a person that the business has potential, will be well run and make a profit.
Write down your dreams and aspirations. What do you want to accomplish? What do you dream of?
3 Strategy – marketing and company analysis
Market: Who are your current and potential customers? Who will want to buy your products? Describe them. Company: What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of your business? What are the Opportunities that you should pursue in future? What Threats to your business do you have to counter? A SWOT analysis.
4 Strategic Objectives
Write down your sales, gross profit and net profit targets – this should be clear from your initial reflection. What will your market positioning and competitive standing be? What will your reputation be? What do you want customers, staff and suppliers to say about you?
5 Marketing Strategy
How will you market yourself? What opportunities are there that you should pursue? What prices can you charge, what products/services will you provide, where will you be located (physically, online, etc.), and how will you promote yourself to your market.
6 Sales Plan
Once you have the attention of your market how will you convert this into sales? That means you need to ask for the order. The simple sales process is 1. prospecting, 2. getting the appointment, 3. build the sales, and 4. close the sale (ask for the order). How will you find new customers? How will you convince prospective customer to allow you to even talk to them and tell them what you have to offer? How will you build the sale? What sales techniques is required? You actually have to ask for the money, which, if not done, means every other effort in your business has gone to waste. Remember to download the free business plan template. It is available in Word and Open Office format.
7 Organization Plan
Who will do what? What are each person responsible for achieving and what tasks do they need to perform to achieve the result? Even if one person has many roles, this is a useful exercise to help your clarify what exactly needs to be achieve and how to achieve it.
8 Management and Leadership
Who will manage and lead the business? Who will manage and lead specific aspects or teams? How will you motivate and encourage people?
9 People Strategy
Who type of staff do you need? What should their attitude be? This may be the most important indicator of their success and employees. What skills and experience should they have? How will you find staff? How will you motivate, inspire and encourage them?
This is quite different for many businesses. This is where you should write down the recurring activities that are required to run the business and make sales and profit.
11 Financial Strategy
How will you keep you records? How will you produce the necessary financial report to enable you to manage? Which are required yearly, monthly, weekly, daily? This is about reporting on the results that you are targeting in your strategy. What reports are needed to reflect your budgeting and financial forecasting? I hope this discussion on how to use the free business plan template has helped you. Best wishes with your plans. Enter your e-mail and name to download the free business plan template right now.