Business Plan Writing 101: Parts of Business Plan Templates

So you have found that the Internet is a vast resource of templates for various business forms, including business plan templates. If you think you can use some of them and you are looking at downloading, take extra caution. You need to be sure that they will serve your particular purpose, especially if you are eying to use a business plan template. Not all businesses are the same, so you need to make sure that while you use the template, you should also customize templates enough so that they speak on your behalf, and communicates your identity and value proposition accurately.

To help you work on a business plan, it pays to know the major parts that business plans typically contain. A business plan is touted as the most crucial document that a business owner or entrepreneur will ever develop before he launches his business. The business plan sets the direction of the company, especially during its start-up years. It is also the document that investors look at when they are deciding whether or not to put their money in the business venture. As such, business plan templates should contain the structure of the company, its revenue and growth goals, as well as its future plans.

So what are the parts of an effective business plan?

The first section should contain the executive summary. Here, you sum up the important points of the entire business plan in such a way that it piques the interest of investors who don’t have the luxury of time to read through the entire document. The gist of the business plan should be laid out in a three- to five-minute read, underscoring the key issues and should not be more three pages. While it is presented first, the executive summary is prepared last, when the rest of the plan has been drafted.

The next section is a description of the business. The purpose of this section is to provide detailed information about the company, as well as the products or services that it plans to offer. This is also the place for putting your company’s mission statement and milestones.

The third section contains the market analysis, which aims to present the company or business venture in the light of the market situation. Here, you talk about how you position your company in the market landscape so that your readers will have a better understanding of the prospects of your business. Make sure to include a discussion of your industry, your target markets and your competition.

Next, your readers, especially the investors, need to know that the people who will lead the company can be trusted with their money. As such, the business plan has to have a section on the management team. In addition, investors also need to have an understanding of the process of your business. As such, your plan has to have a section on your operations, including your go-to-market strategies.

Investors also have to apprised of the risks that they will be taking if they do decide to put their money on your business venture. As such, have sections on critical risks and financial projections, where you describe in detail the risks that are avoidable and expected, as well as how these risks relate to your ROI projections.

Finally, the best business templates are those that have room for appendices. These appendices provide supporting documents to the claims that you made in the entire business plan. They come in handy once the investors have initially decided favorably, and would like to scrutinize the plan better before they sign on the dotted line.