SCORE Small Business Blog

Starting: A Great Business Plan Template to Get You Going
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Every business needs a plan of action; at the very least a 12-month roadmap of where you’re going. Now, if you’ve got a great idea and you’re just getting the business up and running then a plan is even more essential. The value of a business plan has been debated but the skinny is that a good plan highlights the business strategy, direction, and key deliverables for the next 1 to 3 years, with a specific emphasis on the next 12 months. This is so that the management team, key stakeholders, and potential investors can get in alignment. Notice I didn’t say a long business plan, which was more typical 10+ years ago when plans were often in excess of 40 or 50 pages! Many business plans, especially those prepared by MBAs tend to be extraordinarily long-winded. I came from this exact same background and I fell in to this trap. I wrote pages and pages describing the industry, competitive landscape, and excruciating detail about what my product was going to be and wasted the time that I could’ve better spent outlining the concrete steps to actually get my product launched (which was NuKitchen, the diet delivery service which was my first business). These areas are important but a couple of pages would have been sufficient.

So, I’ve been using a robust plan template that was initially created by our Chief Technologista, Darlene, which can be modified for just about any business (or business idea). It’s comprehensive so you only need to use the parts that are relevant for you. Feel free to download it here. Now, we used this template to create a real business plan for a company that we helped get funding for- so we know it works. Feel free to review this sample SNC plan and apply it to your own business.

Start planning and keep me posted on your progress!

Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides tools to plan, fund, and launch a new business. Also author of WickedStart: Guide to Starting a New Venture with Passion and Purpose, Bryan is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed.
www.wickedstart.com | Facebook | @WickedStart | LinkedIn | More from Bryan

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Discussion (1) Comment

  1. As a visual artist who creates paintings, I attempted to fill in one of these types of business plans.

    I failed miserably.

    I did have great success with resources from a book called The Right Brained Business Plan and The Creative Entrepreneur.

    While my business plan is not as structured and strict, it is still a business plan that can be translated into only words. The business plan format suggested by both books is a creative and much easier way of thinking through challenges such as financing, resources, and venues. The strategies answer the same elements as in the all inclusive template provided by SCORE, but the way to answer seems more intuitive.

 

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