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Who said a business plan has to be a long, complicated document?Some funders are going to want to see a lot of detail, but you can provide that in appendices.Put simply, a business plan is an outline of goals and the steps needed to achieve them, and while not all businesses require a formal business plan, composing a business plan, in general, is an essential step to starting your own business as it lays out what you plan to do to get your business off the ground.
Even broken into sections, it's a long document and a bit of a slog to get through, but it produces a professional-looking and useful business plan.
This is particularly helpful if your idea isn't fully fleshed out and you know you have homework to do--it prompts you for information.
The $100 Startup, the website for the best-selling book of the same name, has a ton of stripped-down resources for entrepreneurs, including this super simplified business plan template.
This one says you just have to answer a few simple questions and will be "done before you know it! A business plan should take time and a lot of homework, but if you've already done that, Law Depot's template is a decent choice.
Larry Kim is the CEO of Mobile Monkey, a chatbot building platform for marketers that enables mobile messaging between businesses and customers via Facebook Messenger.
He’s also the founder of Word Stream, the World’s top PPC marketing software company. It's definitely not the most exciting part of starting a business.The SBA's template is available to fill out online and then download as a PDF.You can go back in and edit it as needed, so don't worry about having everything ready the first time you sit down to tackle it.The article's content is entirely at the discretion of the reporter and editor.You will notice, however, that sometimes we include links to these products and services in the articles.Recently, I shared 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups, an infographic created by Mark Vital over at Funders and Founders.A lot of those mistakes (most of them, in fact) are the result of poor planning.That doesn't mean you have to bust out Word and start the plan from scratch.A template is great--you probably aren't doing anything that hasn't been done before, so it provides a proven structure for your plan. Check out these comprehensive business plan templates you can download for free to get you started: Score is an American nonprofit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground.Reporters and editors don't add those links, nor will they manage them.This advertising model, like others you see on Inc, supports the independent journalism you find on this site.