Any funder worth his or her salt wants to see it right off the bat.
Moreover though, a solid business plan is a living document that will continue to guide your efforts as your business grows.
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.
It walks you through getting started, marketing, product, competitive analysis, SWOT, and more, with a window below the input fields to show you the plan as you work away at it.
You can download it free with a trial subscription, but you'll have to remember to cancel it within the week if you don't plan to continue using it. writes about products and services in this and other articles.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.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.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.And you want to get to there, a point in the future (usually three to five years out), at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and increased assets.Your plan shows how you will get from here to there.Its template, available as a PDF or Word download, asks a whopping 150 questions and is generic enough to customize for most types of businesses.The Refining the Plan resource that comes with it is helpful, especially if this is your first crack at writing a business plan.