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As a business owner or leader, one of the best ways to succeed is to avoid making costly mistakes. For example, one common misconception when starting a business is that writing a business plan is a dead practice. On the contrary, having a comprehensive business plan is more or less like having a road map.
Here is why you need a business plan, and how to write one, including a review of the nine (9) best business plan examples for your startup.
A PDF editor can help you easily deliver a professional-looking business plan in PDF format. Learn how to develop a great business plan with the best PDF solution for small businesses.
In this article
Part 1. Why You Need a Business Plan To Start Your Business
For starters, here are some reasons you need a business plan to start your business:
You can assess the viability of your business idea
Not every business idea is profitable once you gain footing in the market. A crucial part of formulating a business idea entails thoroughly analyzing market trends, potential clients, and competition. Your findings after your research will determine whether your business idea will help you generate revenue or not.
It helps you get funding
Investors will feel more confident in releasing funds to your business when you have a business plan because they are more likely to get a return on their investment. Without a comprehensive business plan, it is tough to convince potential investors to lend you money.
It gives you a sense of direction
Operating your business without a plan is like driving to an unknown destination without a roadmap. You can use your business plan to guide you on how to structure your business and run it effectively to achieve its overall goals.
It helps you achieve your goals
A well-written business plan should contain a list of crucial business objectives and goals. Once you veer off track, your business plan will set you back on the right path and help you focus on the things that matter the most.
Part 2. Business Plan Format and Business Plan Outline
Now that you understand why it is crucial to have a business plan for your small business, let's explore more about the business plan format or outline you should use.
There are so many formats out there that you might be confused about which is best for your business. Fortunately, business plans are not a one-size-fits-all kind of affair. It would be best to choose the outline that best suits your business when writing a business plan.
There are two main categories of business plans. The first is the traditional business plan, which uses a standard structure and requires you to explain in-depth in every section. Traditional business plans are very long and can take up to a dozen pages. If you anticipate approaching an investor in the future, you are better off using a traditional business plan.
On the other hand, learning startup business plans are more laid back, even though they use the standard structure of a conventional plan. However, they fall under the category of one-page business plans, and you can finish drafting one in about one hour. The main focus is to summarize the key elements of your plan and not go into too much detail.
Part 3. Tips for Writing a Business Plan
Again, you need to craft a good plan from the onset. Here are practical tips for writing a business plan sample:
Set clear goals
You will not go far in preparing your business plan if you don't understand your why. Clear goals keep you on the right track and help you know what you are working to achieve.
Ensure your business plan is readable and concise
A rule of thumb when writing a business plan is to ensure it doesn't exceed 20 pages. If you have additional information you think is essential, you can include it in the appendix section.
Understand your audience
Your audience could be your internal team or potential investors who will peruse your business plan. Therefore, it would be wise to consider who will read your plan as you select your language, tone, and level of detail within the plan.
Conduct thorough research
Numerous business plan sections will rely on factual information from reliable sources and thorough research. Therefore, you need to invest time searching for crucial information that will beef up your business plan and help you better understand your business environment.
Use a business plan template
Even though we mentioned there is no wrong or right way to create a business plan, it still needs to have a semblance of structure. A business plan outline can take the hassle away from creating a structure from scratch and indicate all the areas you may have missed during the drafting process.
One trick when searching for the right business plan format is to find templates that make choosing the right one a breeze. Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor is an example of an excellent PDF editing tool that comes with many templates in various styles and designs.
You can find the right strategic plan business template with top-tier editing features within this tool to edit your PDF and convert it to multiple formats like ppt business plan, business plan template word, or business plan in excel.
The beauty is that Wondershare PDFelement allows you to share your final business plan with your teammates, supervisors, and potential investors.
Watch the video below to fully understand PDFelement's features you can leverage to create a professional-looking business plan.
Part 4. 9 Business Plan Examples for Different Startups
Now to the fun part of this article. Let's look at various examples of business plans you could use for your startup:
1. Sample Business Plan for Online Clothing Store
If you have decided to run an online clothing store, your business plan should contain two main parts; a financial forecast and a detailed plan of your project, team members, business strategy, and objectives.
The first and most crucial step to creating a sample business plan for an online clothing store would be to conduct thorough market research. The findings from your study will help you understand who you are up against and the various market trends. The following steps include determining your target clients, setting a reasonable price, creating a polished website, and figuring out your marketing strategies.
Here is a guide where you can get more info on creating a business plan for your online clothing store.
2. Coffee Shop Business Plan Example
Coffee is a heavenly beverage that helps you kick-start your day in the best way possible. As you plan to serve the best coffee your clients have ever tasted, don't forget to draft a coffee shop business plan. Ideally, it shouldn't be longer than 30 pages and could include visual elements such as photos and charts to make it pop.
Here is a detailed coffee shop business plan example.
3. Daycare Business Plan Examples
A Daycare is a highly profitable business to start, especially with the rising number of working parents with nowhere to leave their young ones during the day. However, you might need lots of funding to secure equipment and make your space safe and welcoming for the kids.
When drafting your daycare business plan, it would be wise to include your financial projection business plan and experience in the industry to increase your chances of securing funding from investors.
Here are some nice daycare business plan examples.
4. Real Estate Business Plan
Real estate requires lots of time, effort, and energy to ensure you attract clients and close as many deals as possible. Therefore, a real estate business plan is crucial to ensure all your hard work doesn't go up in flames. It would be wise to use a business plan that suits your needs. For instance, there are unique business plans for new agents, team leaders, brokers, individual agents, and real estate teams.
5. Other Business Plans
The startup business plan discussed above is not confined to a particular business. You could tailor it to suit your unique business needs. Stay tuned to learn more about other business plans you could use for your startup.
Small business plan
As the name suggests, this simple business plan for small businesses is suitable for you if you are trying to gain a foothold in the market.
This written document should include a table of contents, an executive summary, a description of your company, a thorough analysis of your target market, financial forecasts, funding requirements, and a detailed breakdown of your management team. It would also be wise to include appendices such as permits, legal documents, licenses, and patents. You can check out this guide to learn more about creating a simple business plan.
Business plan cover page example
A business plan is not complete without a good cover page. This business plan cover page example is from Wondershare PDFelement, an excellent editing tool for all your business plan needs. If you are unsure what cover page would suit your business plan, you could peruse the business plan cover page template in this platform and choose the template business plan that tickles your fancy.
Executive summary example business plan
An executive summary is a one-to-two-page section that provides an overview of your business plan. The goal is to ensure the reader understands what to expect. Critical components of an executive summary example in a business plan include the company history, management, mission statement, competitive advantage, products, financial projections, and funding requirements.
You can learn more about creating a bespoke executive summary business plan.
Financial projection business plan
The financial projection step in your business plan is delicate and tricky but very essential to the success of your business. This forecast enables you to predict how much revenue your business will generate over a certain period. Once you have your financial plan in business plan example in place, you can work hard to ensure you meet or surpass your target by the end of the financial period.
Here is a detailed guide on the tools you can use to create a financial forecast for your business.
SBA template business plan
An excellent way to obtain funds for your startup would be to get a loan from the Small Business Administration. An SBA business plan will increase the likelihood that your loan gets approved. The SBA business template plan below will make your work easier and ensure you have filled in all the necessary fields before you submit your application.
Check out this guide on creating an SBA business plan and the templates
Entrepreneurship is a bold step into the unknown that entails many highs and lows. One day you are winning, and the next, you ask yourself whether you made the right decision. The best way to succeed is to have the right business plan.
Take your time to understand in detail why you need a business plan, and how to write one. The good thing is that you can find excellent business plan examples for students and entrepreneurs to get you started. Once you have a comprehensive plan, say a business plan for a restaurant example, if you are planning to start a hotel business, then you are good to get started!