In our article How to write a business plan template, we covered what a business plan is. We also included information as to when you’ll need it. And we touched upon when it won’t be requested and what that involves. Now, let’s go deeper into how to write a startup business plan template. We’ll start by revising a business plan’s traditional structure step by step.
An important disclaimer: If you want to attract an angel investor or a VC, we are always inclined to recommend a pitch deck instead of a business plan. However, we understand that some institutions (particularly banks, government agencies, and NGOs) still request the traditional business plan format and we want to help you save as much time as possible with these tips!
Here’s a reworded list of all ten steps for ease of reference:
Step 1: Create a cover page
Step 2: Add an executive summary
Step 3: Stating the vision and mission
Step 4: Describing the business
Step 5: SWOT definition
Step 6: Competitor analysis
Step 7: Market dissection
Step 8: Go-to-market strategies
Step 9: Operations plan
Step 10: Financial projections
Step 1- Create your cover page
Your cover page will, of course, be first. Make sure that includes a name, title, contact information, and a startup tagline as much as possible.
As a note to this, also get ready to prepare your table of contents. Those are easier to add once you have your headers, but bear in mind for now that you will indeed need a table of contents section. It’s just kind to do that, every time.
Step 2- Adding an executive summary
One of the most challenging aspects of knowing how to write a startup business plan template is being able to come up with a one-page summary of a business. The synopsis is a business plan’s vital area. And this section is called the executive summary.
The exec summary is so relevant to an excelling startup business plan that some companies will only render this as its final business plan template. So make sure text and font are the perfect choices to go with the most suitable design overall.
Step 3- Stating your vision and mission
Create a place for the company mission and vision to be visible in a statement each.
For the mission statement, extend to max 1-2 paragraphs about why a startup exists. These are general overviews of the company.
Describe your organization, define its primary function, and make your startup objectives clear. Think of your company’s goals and consider its sets of beliefs.
A business’s future aspirations should comprise its business vision.
Step 4- Describe your business
For the business description, go into further detail about your company than you did for the step prior.
The focus here lies on what your startup does and how it will be profitable.
Step 5- Define your SWOT
SWOT is a regular business exercise to outline a company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). NGOs and government units refer to these a lot for any decisions they need to make.
Its results should be a clear picture of the market, including an appreciation of the industry and its competition.
This part of learning how to write a startup business plan template is not a component of a pitch deck in these exact terms. We have a standalone model devoted entirely to the SWOT analysis that you can use instead.
Step 6- Show an analysis of your competitors
For this step, zoom in on the competition to describe what they’re doing. If there’s a way to elaborate on their traction, even better. Convey a real feel for competitors. It works in your favor to show as much command of the state of their businesses as possible.
After that, focus on showing how the company plans on behaving differently than the stated competition.
Step 7- Dissect the market
A founder or entrepreneur knows which market they have chosen as a target to insert a startup product or business. Allow this section to analyze the market thoroughly and then show off knowledge.
While you need to describe the state of the market in general, make room to reveal its maturity, as well. How large or small the chosen market is and what potential we can derive from it are crucial elements to this market analysis section.
Step 8- Tell us how you’ll go-to-market
Given the step prior, all you need now is to clarify the strategies with which the startup plans to insert in the targeted market successfully. It should allow for a description of any experimenting as a business’ first steps.
You don’t need to pull out every detail that makes up a business strategy but focus on at least a couple of customer acquisition and growth strategies along with the fundamental overview of their implementation.
Step 9- Summarize the business plans to operate
Titled as an operations plan, provide a quick summary of how the business intends to operate.
Elaborate on how the startup intends to reach productivity expansion, where the planned office location is, and even describe the company’s hiring processes.
Making real good use of this section will help define timelines. Working with staff can help create goals and specific tracks to achieve those metrics or milestones. Think tactically about this.
Step 10 - Disclose financials
Yet, only affirm what 12-month projections would be in terms of cash flow. Break it down into a simple 4-5 year one, as well.
Now, a primary difference here with business startup pitch decks is that you wouldn’t here speak of raising funds or x amount of money to get a business where it needs to go. On the contrary, leave all fundraising out of it and focus on detailing your financial projections as outlined above.
Making business plan templates
As a summary of how to write a startup business plan template, consider all these ten steps to set up a shell.
Customizable sections for mandatory fields ease the work. Reduce how long it takes you to deliver another version of your business plan next time you sit to it. If invested in several business ideas, you can test your business plans with a template that you’ve already tailored to your exact preferences.
With over 100+ presentation templates at your disposal, we’ve learned a thing or two about the ease they facilitate. With Slidebean, though, you can focus on AI-powered design to have stunning business presentations with which to pitch startups.
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