A business plan template is a product which can give your writing a significant jump start, shaving hours and maybe days off of your business plan development time. Rather than working on a plan from scratch, pulling together directions and guidance from multiple websites or sources, using a business plan template offers you direct and practical guidance on how to create a full business plan all in one package.
The template should include directions to show how to customize it to reflect your specific business. This may come within the template itself or in a separate set of instructions. Regardless, the effect is like having a business plan consultant with you, nudging you in the right direction throughout your writing process.
A business plan template comes pre-formatted, with appropriate fonts, colors, and sections. The cover sheet, table of contents, headings, and page layouts will be preset. All of this work allows you to sidestep concerns about your format and presentation style, and move on to focus on the ideas behind the plan’s major sections.
Graphics and Charts
A template may present many potential spots for graphics and charts to replace text. This will make your plan much more attractive and save you the time of developing these graphics yourself.
A financial model in Excel or a similar program will give you a significant short cut when it comes to the financial section. After entering your financial assumptions (such as average price, units you expect to sell, revenue growth rates, startup costs, and operating costs), the model should automatically generate valid pro forma financial statements in the format required by funders (generally, greater detail for the first one to three years, with annual numbers for the first five years of operation. Not only do you not need to be an accounting whiz to use such a template, but you can quickly and easily try out different financial assumptions and see how they change your statements and return over the years.