Instead, to help build a complete and effective plan, lean on time-tested structures created by entrepreneurs who have come before you.
Business planning is often used to secure funding, but plenty of business owners find writing a plan valuable, even if they never work with an investor.
We’ve filled out a sample business plan as a companion to our template, featuring a fictional ecommerce business.
Our fictional business creates custom greeting cards with your pet’s paw prints on them, and the founder of the business is writing a plan to help understand the market, as well as the logistics and costs involved, to give themselves the best chance of success before they launch.
That said, it may not include the specific details or structure preferred by a potential investor or lender.
If your goal with a business plan is to secure funding, check with your target organizations—typically banks or investors—to see if they have a template you can follow to maximize your chances of success.The easiest way to simplify the work of writing a business plan is to start with a business plan template.You’re already investing time and energy in planning your small business—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to formatting your plan.Once you’ve done the strategic work, it’s time to put it into action and write your plan.Download the business plan template, and review our guide on writing a business plan for additional information.Get your free business plan template This free business plan template includes the following sections: In our business plan template, each section includes an overview of the most important information to cover and guidelines on how to approach writing and researching each one.There are some high-level strategic guidelines beyond the advice included in this free business plan template that can help you write an effective, complete plan while minimizing busywork.Entrepreneurs today need to capitalize on the opportunities inherent in modern business plan structures, the doors they open with investors, and how they help build a business off the page.As long as entrepreneurs have dreamed big dreams, they have also been burdened with the task of trying to capture those dreams on business plans.Download the business plan example Although even the best-crafted plan may not survive its first contact with reality, the act of planning is still invaluable for your business.To make sure your efforts are focused on the highest-value parts of planning, like clarifying your goals, setting a strategy, and understanding the market and competitive landscape, lean on a business plan template to handle the structure and format for you.