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How to Use a Free Business Plan Template

Writing a business plan is not simple, especially if you’ve never put one together before. And it’s not something you can slop together with little thought put into it. Consider this: many colleges have a separate course in which they teach students how to write a business plan. These intensive courses teach business students and fledgling entrepreneurs how to plan their business, create their business plan and prepare to present their plans to interested business persons like angel investors, venture capitalists and bankers.

But you don’t need a business degree to cobble together an effective strategy for your company’s future growth. Thanks to a variety of free tools online, anyone can create a professional-looking, in-depth business plan. Many people turn to business plan templates. You can find free versions, they’re relatively easy to use and fill out, and they take less time than everything done from scratch, on your own.

But one question remains: is a business plan template right for your particular project, or do you need to consider other options?

Referring To Sample Templates

Before you actually find a business plan template and download it for use, it’s a good idea to go through as many sample business plan downloads as possible. If possible, search for a plan that is particular to your business that includes brand differentiation. That means if you want to set up a restaurant or a catering business, search for sample business plans that are particular to your business. This way you can read the plan and understand what a typical plan requires. You can then note down the headings and specific points that you want to add to your business plan. It will also tell you what a reader is looking for in a business plan.

Finding Templates

Once you know what to look for in a sample business plan, you can start searching for templates. Many great websites offer free templates for users. You can try recognized small business websites like business.gov.au or the princes-trust.org.uk to find authentic templates. However, these templates are not for a particular business. You will have to download a generic template and then put in headings for the business you are setting up. In the end, this can be a little difficult and time-consuming. However, personalizing the template is quite easy, as you have already researched the headings and specific points that are looking for your own business plan.

Creating Your Business Plan on the Template

Once you know what template to use, take the time to download the template. You can check out websites may offer downloaded templates or an online business plan generator that you can use to set up your business plan. If you have chosen a downloaded template, download the template and make sure you create a backup every time you alter the template. As you add the headings, the template will keep changing and once you can complete the template, the business plan will be ready. If you are using an online business plan generator, you will have to open an account at the website. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of the website before you start. The generator will ask your questions that you have to answer. Once you answer the questions, the website will then automatically create a business plan and allow you to download it or it will email the plan to your inbox.

Personalizing the Template

Now that you have the template business plan, go through it and change it again. You should know that although online generators are fine, they use generic language that cannot be personalized or checked by the website. There may be grammar errors, punctuation errors and even data mistakes that may affect your business plan. As a result, sit down with the generated plan and go through it completely. Once you have done so, you will notice mistakes or errors and you can change them immediately. Be particularly careful about mathematical data, images, and graphs. Readers, especially financial readers, evaluate these sections in depth and a mistake in these areas could prove detrimental to your business. Make sure you also go through the financial data projections on the plan and make sure they tally.

Now that you know how to find and personalize the template, we recommend you get going. Take the time to evaluate the business plan that you have created with the help of the template. You should know that templates are available in several different types, and they have to adapt to suit your personal business requirements. If you can afford it, hire a professional business plan writer to read the created business plan. This will be less expensive than asking them to write the entire plan from scratch. However, you should know that no business plan is perfect. If you are happy with what you have created, the business plan will be perfect, as you have written it according to your personal knowledge and experience.