Business Planning Templates
The first step in planning your business venture, clarifying your ideas, aims and objectives, is to write a business plan.
Your plan is an essential document to ensure your ideas are feasible and is critical for banks. In addition, new suppliers and larger customers may require this document for credit checks. It's also helpful to track progress against your original targets.
Writing Your Business Plan - Downloads
We have three templates you can use to do your business plan kindly offered by SCORE and Bank of Scotland. There are two for preparing the narrative of your plan (One for a startup business and the other for an existing business) and a cash flow template.
- Template for startup businesses: pdf startup template.
- Template for existing businesses: pdf existing business template.
- Financial planning spreadsheet for startup businesses: Excel financial plan template.
These free business plan templates can help you quickly write a business plan. First, you can download the templates as Adobe PDF files to your computer. Then, you can click each of the template links below to open now or right click your mouse to save for later use.
A basic business plan outlines the answers to questions about your intentions, such as:
- Is there a demand for your products?
- How are you defining your customer demographics?
- What are your explicit strengths and weaknesses?
- Can you mitigate threats and exploit new market opportunities?
- Are your competitors aggressive or passive?
- Have you assigned key employees to your tactical plans?
- How robust are your financial plans?
Structure of Business Plans
Here's the basic structure in summary from the downloads above:
It's best to write this section last after you've prepared the rest of your plan because this is simply a summary of the whole plan. It should ideally be one page, but two pages are equally acceptable.
This area covers the fundamentals of your business, including:
- Mission statement
- Company goals and objectives
- Business philosophy
- The industry you're in
- Legal ownership and key employees
Products and Services
Describe your key products, services, pricing strategy and margins.
Detail your marketing activities, including market research, market trends, market size, external market economics, and barriers to entry. As your market is made up of customers, describe their characteristics.
You also need detailed information about your competitors and why you'll be able to take market share from them. And finally, you'll need information about your promotional activities to reach out and entice your potential customers to purchase your products.
This part describes how you're going to produce your products together with distribution methods to get products to your customers and your wholesale suppliers.
Management and Staff
People are behind all successful businesses, so including the key people and advisors is essential.
Startup Costs Budget
If you're starting a new business, you should detail the costs you'll incur while starting up before the day to day operations commence. For most companies, this is the amount they'll need initial funding for to begin trading.
Your financial plans should contain enough detail (i.e., monthly) for the first year, then quarterly or yearly for the following two years. You should include a profit and loss account, a cash flow forecast and a Balance Sheet together with a break-even analysis.
Additional Business Planning Help
Use the following sites to get additional business planning templates to assist starting your business.