Business Plans: Examples and Templates

“If you fail to plan. you plan to fail…”

What is a plan?

  • a word picture
  • a visualization of your business
  • written document

1. situation analysis (where you are)
2. objectives (where you’re going)
3. strategy (how to get there)

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan later.”

General Patton

Purpose of a Business Plan

  • dry run – risk free practice, feasibility, survival probability
  • vision onto paper – conceptualize, organize
  • communication tool – goals, directions, guidelines, yardstick, contingencies
  • obtain resources, funding,
  • find weaknesses
  • Manage growth

Every plan is written for someone, with a purpose in mind. You are writing for an audience and you want something from that audience. The style, the parts, the jargon, the organization and emphasis should all be tailored to that specific audience in order to be effective. Carefully choose your audience and set your objectives before writing.

Target Audience

  • Yourself
  • Team Members – Attract partners, expected contributions
  • Management, attract key employees
  • Regulators – town council, obtain permits
  • Community – acceptance
  • Stockholders, banks/lenders and investors- prospectus or broker brochure, live presentations
  • Investors/Partners
  • Suppliers
  • Other Businesses – form strategic alliances