How to Build a Business Plan That Stands Out (Free Template)
There are lots of templates out there that you can use to build your business plan, but none will really stand out from the rest. If you want to build a unique business plan that sets you apart from the competition, try using this template to create something truly special.
This template has everything you need in order to craft an eye-catching business plan that will help you get funding and investors for your business. In just minutes, you can fill in this template and have your plan ready to go!
The market analysis
Before you start writing your business plan, you need to understand the market you’re entering. Who are your potential customers? What needs do they have that your business can address? What are the trends in your industry? Answering these questions will help you create a detailed and compelling business plan.
It’s also important to include this information in the executive summary of your plan so investors know what they’re getting into before they decide whether or not to back you. Once you’ve gathered your data, list it out on an Excel spreadsheet like this:
The marketing strategy
A marketing strategy is a critical part of any business plan. It’s important to have a detailed and well-thought-out marketing strategy in order to attract and retain customers. Here are seven elements of a successful marketing strategy:
- Define your target market. Who are your potential customers? What needs do they have that your product or service can address?
- Research your competition. What are they doing well? What could they improve upon? How can you differentiate yourself from them?
- Develop a pricing strategy. How will you price your product or service in order to be competitive and profitable?
- Create a promotional plan. How will you get the word out about your business? Will you use social media, radio ads, newspaper ads, email campaigns, and direct mailings? The more specific your promotional plan is, the easier it will be for you to measure its effectiveness.
- Create a communications strategy. Communications refer not only to marketing and advertising but also to employee communications—which often has just as much impact on customer retention as marketing does! Your communications strategy should include at least one internal communications goal per year and at least one external communications goal per year.
The financial forecast
Your business plan should include a financial forecast that covers the next three to five years. This section should include your income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet. Your income statement will show how much revenue your business is bringing in.
Your cash flow statement will show how much money is going out of the business. And your balance sheet will show your business’s assets and liabilities. If you’re struggling with this part of the process, check out this free template. It walks you through all the steps needed to create a detailed business plan that stands out.
Recommended reading list
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
- The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Zander and Benjamin Zander
- Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde 8. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
- Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath