8 questions on how to write a business plan template
Angelica A.
April 27, 2020
  |  

8 questions on how to write a business plan template

Angelica A.
April 27, 2020
  |  

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Learning how to write a business plan template doesn't have to be tricky. It's one of the first things on any business founder's list when reaching third parties about a startup. But it doesn't need to be complicated. Let's get you covered on business plan template basics, and a bit beyond that. 

What is a business plan template?

A business plan is typically a written statement on a new business' objectives. It also summarizes how to achieve said goals. And, in doing so, it mostly relies on strategies. 

A business plan template is a stock form of a document or presentation. The design should help users fill in customized details. Mostly based on pre-given material,  it already outlines what your business plan basics should be. 

When will I need a business plan?

As we said, you'll need a business plan whenever you need to give anyone interested in your startup an informed idea about your company's overall constitution. We're speaking about business-related people here. Teasers and trailers are better material for fans and other informal parties who're looking for more info on your startup.

Now, you might also be asked for a business plan when you open a bank account. And that might also be the case when you file for visas for your collaborators. It might also be needed as you go into more substantial fundraising, apply to government grants or startup accelerator programs. 

When will I not require a business plan?

We'll get to defining what constitutes a business plan. And we'll do that to help you know how to write a business plan template. However, let's first burst an enormous bubble in regards to business plans and startups:

There is no certainty at all that any investor will ever request a business plan from you. The TLDR (too long, didn't read) response - or lack of one - can certainly apply if you end up sending a long-form doc like these out to investors. Most might not even be as courteous as to reply to that.

So, it's great to have a business plan. Yet, venture capitalists and angel investors won't typically rely on them. 

On the contrary, those are a bit too formal for the startup business world.  The truth is that a business plan is usually too long and a waste of an investor's time.

Writing a business plan might easily take about 100 hours to finish. In a very competitive market, that might mean your product, the market, and user base behavior or patterns will have shifted. And that can make the new document somewhat obsolete from the very start. 

The above is probably and partly why Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup relies more heavily on startup experimentation rather than business plan development, by the way.

How is a business plan different from a pitch deck?

Precisely because of what we just outlined, a pitch deck, in its diverse variations, is what investors look for most. Rather than a 40 to 100-page formal document in .doc form, investors rely more heavily on 15-20 slide business presentations. We here mean a startup's full pitch deck with financials and all.

It's okay to consider the business pitch deck a more straightforward and more contemporary form of a traditional business plan write-up in a way, especially when it comes to tech or online businesses. 

What does a business plan include?

Especially at a company's early stages, a business plan will define who your working team is and what your target market is like, for example. It needs to convey your business intentions and clarify your ideas on how to be profitable. 

All in all, a business plan is a document that specifies what you intend on doing differently than the rest of your competitors, what your company and customer values are, and more. 

As an outline to all of a business' constitutive elements, a full business plan should at least include the following:

Business description

Executive summary

SWOT analysis

Competitor analysis

Market analysis

Go-to-market strategy

Financial summary

In considering how to write a business plan template, please take into account that you're trying to give investors and any stakeholders a factual document. The goal is for them to assess better if they invest in your startup. You're thus letting them know almost everything in regards to your business. 

So definitely introduce your team and each person's role and value. Explain the problem you're addressing with your company. Describe what your solutions are and define what opportunities you see.  Also, add financial aspects to your business' projections and future vision. 

Include how you plan on reaching profitability if you've already figured out. State your ideas alongside your goals and how you plan on achieving those objectives. 

Also, use stories to explain:

1- How you will target your product or service 

2- What your precise audience is

3- Your specific solution 

4 - The exact problem you're addressing

Outline in your business plan any resources you'll use or need to scale your business. Include marketing sales plans and timelines for those. 

Then be very clear about what it is you require from the investor or possible startup partner precisely. Be specific about what you intend on doing with the raised funds and how those will grow your business in favorable terms for profitability. 

How long is a business plan?

The most traditional business plan is a text .doc. It usually consists of 20-40 pages. Some can stretch out into the 50s to 100 pages. However, you can also make it as short as a 1-page summary. Stay on the shorter side, if possible.

What good is a business plan?

Whether ever requested from you or not, learning how to write a business plan template is an excellent practice for you to put your thoughts in order. 

It also helps summarize what your objectives are and narrow down your path to achieving those. See it, too, as an outstanding startup exercise to help define your interests. It should also shed light on your vision, company facts, how you go about inserting yourself in a market, being profitable, and generating revenue, to name a few factors.

What are business plan presentation formats?

When thinking about how to write a business plan template, know there are diverse presentation formats from which you can choose. These are just design variations on how to best present a business plan.

With over 100+ business presentation templates, Slidebean makes free business plan templates available. Most are available as a free PDF download, as well. And each one of them can be edited directly on Slidebean.

From non-profit startups to those in the online business, we've got tons of specific business plan examples for you. Check them out! What we do is provide a unique fill-in-the-blank interface. And we use artificial intelligence to rearrange the content. So, get to editing and impress with outstanding business presentation design.

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