Tools for business plan templates and why you need to write a plan

Creating a business plan forces you to be realistic, objective and unemotional about your business

While many business owners have managed to operate a business without one, a written plan can prove integral when seeking investment or stress testing any operational, financial or growth strategies. 

To help you form a solid plan, you can use business plan apps and templates.

Putting a business plan on paper

Why write a business plan?

From helping define your business objectives to securing funding, a business plan can provide a lot of positive results.

• It can clarify the vision for the business and how you’ll achieve that vision.
• It can help you understand what the strengths and weaknesses are of your business model.
• It can show lenders and investors your business’ potential profitability.

What to include in a business plan

If you can answer these questions, you should be able to write a business plan with ease:

• What is your product or service?
• Who will you sell that product or service to?
• How will your offering address a pain point for those customers?
• Does your business have competitors, who are they, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
• How will your business run day-to-day?
• Who will run your business and what are their roles?
• How will you market your business to your target customers?
• How will you secure enough money to fund your business?
• Does your business have a long-term future? Define that future.

If you can confidently answer these, you’ve just formed the bones of your business plan.

MyBizPlan
MyBizPlan is a free Australian Government-created app to help entrepreneurs write and update their business plan. It has handy tips and built-in prompts to keep you focused on growing your business. It’s available from iTunes and Google Play.  

NAB’s interactive business plan template
NAB’s interactive template provides instructional guidance about how to format and write key information that banks will consider before granting a business loan. 

StratPad
StratPad is a step-by-step business plan builder, which includes videos and tutorials. The free version allows you to create a business plan, while subscription options allow you to customise multiple plans. 

Business Plan Premier
Business Plan Premier is a top-rated app on iTunes and has been featured on Entrepreneur.com and other business sites. It costs US$14.99 to download.

I’ve written a business plan – now what?

Writing a business plan isn’t a set-and-forget task.

You should ask people to read and stress test your plan so you can understand whether you’re being unclear or missing key information that could cause operational problems later.

Once you’ve addressed any concerns, you should regularly update the plan to reflect new market challenges, competitors, and any changes you make to your high-level business strategy.

Officeworks

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