Thinking of starting a business? Working for yourself is awesome, but it can also be a risky prospect: Your income depends upon your success, and many small businesses fail. One of the key things that sets successful companies apart from those that don't make it is a solid plan for success. A business plan can create a roadmap to profitability and business growth, but it's up to you to create a detailed plan.
A business plan will help guide your decisions as you start your companywill give you an idea of whether the business is viable, and will help you to qualify for loans or attract investors -- but making a plan isn't as simple as it seems. If you're thinking of starting a company, or if you have a start-up but no business plan in place, these three categories of resources can provide you with invaluable help. Talking with experts who understand the business planning process is a surefire way to make a solid business plan.
The good news is that this doesn't have to cost you a fortune. There are even some free sources of professional advice you can tap into. You can also hire paid business-plan consultants, although costs vary. If you go this route, ask for referrals from trusted sources and check reviews of anyone you're considering working with.
Today, there's an app for everything -- including creating a business plan. In fact, there is a wide range of different programs for your mobile devices or computer that walk you through the business planning process. Options include:. These suggested tools are free or very-low-cost. There are also apps and programs that cost hundreds of dollars. Compare features and reviews before deciding which app or tool is right for you.
Thanks to the Internet, there's an endless array of resources available to those who want to write a business plan -- including comprehensive templates and guides. While your best option may be to search for templates in the form you prefer, there are also plenty of general tools out there to suit any business.
3 Ways to Get Help Writing a Business Plan
These include:. Looking at these resources can help you understand not only what sections should be in your business plan and what information to include, but also the types of language used in these professional documents. Creating a business plan may seem daunting. But don't let your fear or reluctance to create a plan stop you from moving forward. Just use these tools to get your plan underway, and you'll be ready to start providing products or services to customers before you know it.
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But you also might need help with collecting, managing, and presenting information in an efficient, cost-effective way. Business owners need tools that help them include the right information for their plan too.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources that can make your plan more accessible, professional, and comprehensive. Try these five tools to create a business plan for your company. Templates give you a framework that makes your business plan look better. After all, first impressions mean a lot. It helps ensure consistency across headline sizes and fonts, color palette, and other visual elements.
There are many business plan templates online, including free downloadable versions. These templates can often be converted to Microsoft Word for easier input. Plus, they align with different industries and business segments.
Templates also come in varying lengths and styles from one-page business plans to more complex plans that run 40 pages or more. Use business planning software to guide you through what to fill out and where. These tools provide clear models you can follow. Think of it as a recipe for your business plan. Most software bundles these services together. These elements can help potential investors more easily comprehend things like financial projections and balance sheets.
Some software plans provide graph and chart capability as an integrated feature.
5 tools that help with writing a business plan
A planning tool that takes your raw data from a source like an Excel chart and transforms it into visually stunning, easy-to-understand charts or graphs saves you considerable time and frustration.
It helps you build a compelling case for your business idea. Charting and graphing software also gives you data presentation options. Choose from pie charts, bar graphs, radar plots, and more to see which style offers the clearest picture.
A database enables you to keep track of data about competitors or potential customers. You can also use a database to show current sales, cash flow, or interest from your target audience. A database gives you effective ways to compile, organize, and access information for your business plan.
As a result, you can easily transfer and use this info to build out your business plan, including charts and graphs. As a busy entrepreneur working long hours, you may not always be able to work on your business plan from one place. Cloud-based applications make it easy to create a business plan from anywhere you have an internet connection. Many apps keep a continually updated version of your document, or make it easy for a business advisor or mentor to add feedback through suggested edits or comments.
You can then see the changes they make to your business plan, and choose to accept or reject suggestions, or respond to comments. Do you want a stronger executive summary? Or do you need help making your financial data easier to digest? Have a budget in mind and get recommendations.Astronomy is a branch of science that deals with various celestial objects and phenomena.
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This article was co-authored by Helena Ronis. She has worked in product and the tech industry for over 8 years, and received her BA from Sapir Academic College in Israel in There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewedtimes. A business plan refers to a written document that comprehensively outlines what your business is, where it is going, and how it will get there.
The business plan outlines in specific terms the financial objectives of your business, and how it will position itself to achieve those goals in the context of the current market environment. In addition, the business plan is an indispensable tool to attract business capital.
This article will outline how to create one step-by-step. To write a business plan for a small business, start by writing an executive summary that briefly outlines your business. Follow that with a company description that explains your business in more detail. You'll also want to include sections on your target customers, how your business will be structured, and what products or services you will offer.
Finally, conclude your business plan with a section on your marketing strategy and also a funding request for potential investors.
For help writing each section of your business plan, read the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker.
Help Writing a Business Plan. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Article Summary. Part 1 of Determine the type of business plan you will use. While all business plans share the common objective of describing a businesses purpose and structure, analyzing the marketplace, and creating cash flow projections, the types of plans differ. There are three major kinds. The mini plan. This is a shorter plan likely 10 pages or lessand is useful for determining potential interest in your business, further exploring a concept, or starting point to a full plan.
This is a great starting point.To help you on your business quest, carve out time to talk with the following five people. One of the first people you should talk with about this new venture is your spouse.
It sounds like a no-brainer, right? Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software makers of Bplanshas been open about his experience of bootstrapping his business and its impact on his relationship with his spouse. A lawyer can give you advice and draw up the legal paperwork to make sure your business structure meets your goals and limits liability, Arney says. A lawyer can also help you define business relationships. Check out this article for advice on finding the right lawyer for your business.
A lot of new business owners assume an accountant is just someone you call to handle taxes. An expert advisor can help you make better business decisions with confidence. Getting a little advice from someone in the business world is also a good idea.
Ideally, this person will be able to give you advice for years to come—not just as you plan your business, but also as your business grows.
They offer free business mentorship opportunities all around the US. Entrepreneurs sometimes obtain at least part of their financing through a traditional bank loan. You may want to ask your business adviser to recommend a banker, or you could ask other business colleagues for a suggestion.
Having a real relationship with a bank can be helpful if you ever want to apply for that loan or line of credit. The smart way to start a business is with as much information as possible.
It was updated in Average rating 4. Vote count: No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post. Read Starting By: Lisa Furgison. Your spouse One of the first people you should talk with about this new venture is your spouse.
A business coach or mentor Getting a little advice from someone in the business world is also a good idea.A successful business plan makes a difference between getting your business idea off the ground or never being able to take the flight.
In a nutshell, the ability to write a business plan will convince investors that your idea is worth is easier said than done. That is where business plan software comes into play.
But there are multiple options to choose from.How to Write a Business Plan - Entrepreneurship 101
That is why we have curated this list of our top picks for the business plan software available to you. However, before we delve further into the subject, you need to know what you are purchasing. Therefore, it is super-important to know a bit about your would-be future investment before doling out a huge amount of cash.
Many people have come up with amazing ideas over the centuries, but you will find that not everyone has managed to convert these ideas into a valued business. The fact is, converting a great idea into a legitimate and convincing business plan is not as easy as one would hope. It is a mammoth undertaking to create a plan to get your business started, funded, and generating revenue for the business to take off.
A business plan software aims to help you write a business plan that will help you obtain business capital or business loans. The software is usually aimed at helping entrepreneurs, business developers, and start-ups.
Narrowing down our list to just the top business plan software available was quite a feat, what with there being so many to choose from. After much research, review, and consideration we managed to limit the list to just the cream of the crop. We will go over each tool in detail and discuss its prominent features and the pricing plans available. However, if you wish to simply go over each in a glance, scroll down below for a concise comparison of all the tools we picked in our overview table.
Enloop is a cloud-based business plan software. With almostusers, it is a great option to consider if you want a software that helps you create a plan catered to a bank or an investor in a short amount of time. With a load of valuable features, Enloop is a tool that can help make the process of making a convincing plan easier and faster. The tool gathers personal financial information and alongside financial data in the industry.
Such features reportedly help to create financial reports and ratios that can be analyzed and used in your plan. Bizplan helps with your presentation for your business plan.
The software incorporates functionality and refined visuals into your plans to make it more memorable. Bizplan helps you create business plans that are catered to attracting investors and thus be able to acquire finances for your business.
The software is a complete business planning tool and is loaded with customizable features along with learning resources and online help.
GoSmallBiz is a user-friendly business planning application that provides step-by-step templates with built-in advice modules. Founded by Fran Tarkenton, GoSmallBiz allows you to create the exact documents you need as a business owner.
PlanGuru is one of the leading forecasting and budgeting software available. Therefore, it can be seen more as a financial reporting software than a business plan creator.
However, the features offered in PlanGuru have made it land a place in the list of our top picks.Where do you see yourself ten or five years from now? This question perhaps is inherently frequently asked during job interviews. Why do you ask? It does not matter whether it is a home business plan or whatsoever, but the idea is in gauging a person who has a vision and plans to accompany that vision. Starting a small business can be daunting.
Now, take your time to look at the following business plan examples and determine how you can start. Business Plan Example 2. Sample Business Plan 3.
Sample Business Plan Outline 4. Sample Business Plan Template 5. Immigration Business Plan 6. Business Plan Guidelines Template 7. Joint Venture Business Plan 8.
Kayak Business Plan 9. Sample Insurance Agency Business Plan Business Plan Template Easy to Print Business Plan Template Simple Business Plan Outline Template Plan for Startup Business Event Business Plan Example Mini Business Plan Family Business Plan Business Plan Outline Restaurant Business Plan Example Bakery Business Plan Insurance Agency Business Plan Business Investment Plan Business Continuity Plan Business Planning Template Company Business Plan Business Plan Checklist Farm Business Plan Housing Business Plan Example Free Business Plan Social Enterprise Business Plan How do you define a good business plan?
What are the primary purposes of a business plan? A business plan has plenty of purposes.
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