If you’re preparing to write your first business plan and are looking for some useful resources and advice on what elements to include you have come to the right page.
It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan when you’re starting up a business. We have our own section devoted to business planning where there are lots of articles and links to information on writing business plans. The content can show you how to prepare a high quality plan using a number of easy-to-follow steps but also contains more specialist information to help you really fine tune your document, plus advice on presentation and targeting.
If you are specifically looking for advice as a franchisee, check out our article on the 11 things you need to include in a franchise business plan.
There are a range of other sources you may also want to use. An often overlooked source is your Bank who may well have information, examples and templates of business plans:
The Prince’s Trust offers downloadble pdf, MS Word and Excel templates. They also offer personal advice on completing a plan through their Enterprise programme if you are selected to work with them.
Slideshare has lots of business plans uploaded, which you can browse through here. We liked this thorough 26 page example from The Business Plan Team, as well as a template created by former Deloitte Management Consultants here, and a good example of a colourful, visual plan suitable for a trendy food business here.
An interesting interactive free business plan creator is offered by LawDepot. On the website you are stepped through 7 simple steps using a well-designed graphic interface, and at the end you can output the subsequent plan ready to fill in. There are 12 industries to choose from and it has sections for company structure, product, marketing, SWOT, operations and ‘Fine Details’.
Other Web Resources: Business Plan Templates
You can find examples of business plans for different types of businesses at:
- ACCA – the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants have 3 example business plans for three different business sectors: Cafe, Import Business, UK Ltd business seeking finance.
- Bplans – owned and operated by Palo Alto Software Inc., the site has free plans to download and it also has examples for lots of different types of individual or specific market sectors.
- Expert Hub – based in South Africa, this site has 21 example business plans for different categories.
- Start Up Loans – offer a downloadable .docx template.
- Invest Northern Ireland – have a .doc business plan template to download here
- StartUps.com – have four sample plans that you can access from Google Drive (note, this is a USA site so the examples are US-based, although the formats could still work for a UK business).
- Examples.com – 20+ example downloadable .pdf plans for different sectors.
Finally, how about a video on the subject? Quite a few examples on Youtube.
How about this one from Craig Frazier?
Further reading on business plans:
- Advice and the basic tips of writing a business plan
- A check list of what should be in your business plan