A business plan template in its simplest form is a guide for your business that outlines goals and details of how you plan to achieve those goals.
While every business has huge benefit to gain from going through the business planning process, only a small subset needs the formal business plan template required for seeking investors or supporting a commercial loan.
Depending on your business needs, there are different types of business plans you may want to consider to know what you should go for.
There are 3 types of business plans:
- The one page plan
- The Internal business plan
- External business plan
THE ONE PAGE BUSINESS PLAN
This is also called “the Pitch” or “Business Model”. Exactly what it sounds like, it is a quick summary of your business delivered on a single page, so concise and straight to the point.
A one page business plan can serve 2 purposes:
- It introduces the business to outsiders, such as investors
- It is also a great tool for start-ups. It is an expanded version of jotting your ideas.
The only possible difference between a one page business plan and a good executive summary is that the one page plan fits on one page and the traditional executive summary can extend 2 or 3 pages.
How to Write a One Page Business Plan
A one page business plan/Executive summary MUST contain the following:
- Customers’ problem
- Your solution
- Business model (the money making strategy of your business)
- Target market (who your customers are and how many are they)
- Competitive advantage
- Management team
- Financial summary
- Funding required.
To find out more about what each of the components above entails, check out how to write a modern business plan – the standard format here.
THE INTERNAL BUSINESS PLAN
This type of business plan focuses exclusively on business strategy, milestones, budget, forecast and review schedule for monthly review and revision.
This plan is a management tool to guide the growth, think through strategic decisions and measure progress towards growth. It is plan for both startups and existing business.
EXTERNAL BUSINESS PLAN
This is the formal/standard business plan designed to be read majorly by investors to convince them to fund your business and also, it is used to support a loan application.
External business plan is an extension of the internal business plan. It is a well-polished and presented plan. It details how potential funds will be used (investors want to know this).
Finally, external business plan place more emphasis on the team that is building the company. Investors invest in people rather than ideas. So it is critical to include biographies of the key team members and how their ideas and experience is going to help grow the company.
No matter the type of business plan you’ll be using, these key elements must appear:
Review schedule (this acknowledges that it is the part of the business planning process, in which results and metrics will be reviewed and revised regularly), strategy summary, milestones, responsibilities, metrics (numerical goals that can be tracked), and basic projections (ales, costs, expenses, and cash flow).
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