How to choose a free business plan template
If you want to get your business off to a flying start in 2017, there is no better way than to commit your plans to paper, regardless of whether you are a start-up business or an established business. A free business plan template can be used to develop your business plan. A good free business plan template will:
- describe your current situation
- establish your vision and goals
- develop strategy and action plans
- get you where you want to go.
A great free business plan template will enable you to create a 3 way financial forecast, which consists of:
- a balance sheet
- profit and loss
- cash-flow forecast
To succeed with your plans you need to understand the numbers. You can’t delegate the understanding of the numbers to someone else, and you must understand all three control documents yourself because they all work together. We run a free short introduction to the 3 way financial forecast, which includes how to choose and use the best forecasting tools available. Please contact us if you are interested in a plain English free business coaching session designed for startups through to established businesses. In this free business coaching session you will learn:
- What is a balance sheet?
- What is a profit and loss statement?
- What is a cash-flow forecast?
- How these control documents work together?
- How to read and understand key management ratios?
- How the cash cycle works to grow your business and increase your profit?
8 things to look for in a business growth plan that gets results
- Nothing happens without a sale! Make sure your plan includes a high performance sales and marketing strategy
- Avoid business plans with lots of narrative (words). You want to get results, and not get tangled up in a “word-fest”. We hold firmly to the belief that simplicity is essential, which can be summed up as “less words, more meaning.
- A template can only achieve so much, it is how you use it that counts.
- The simple fact is that it takes more time to create a simple plan that cuts out all the fluff than it does to create a long one.
- Many simple business plan templates have built in SWOT tools (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.) A better alternative is a strengths based approach that looks at the business from a S.O.A.R perspective (Strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results) SWOT or SOAR? Find out more.
- Choose a simple business plan template that automatically generates a one page business plan that you can use as a quick reference guide.
- A cloud based template may cost a small subscription fee, but it makes the plan easily accessible by you and your business coach or adviser anywhere you have internet access. Many business plans are left to gather dust once they have been created.
- Keeping the plan alive and current is very important. Your business plan may change once you get into the implementation phase. Rapidly adapting to new information and circumstances is one of the key attributes of successful entrepreneurs.
Summary of things to look for in great business plan template:
- Integrated sales and marketing plan
- 3 way financial forecast
- Built in one page business plan
- Cloud based is desirable
- SOAR don’t SWOT
- Integrate with Xero, MYOB or Quickbooks
Choose a free business plan template that suits your needs from these Australian business plans:
Here are some links to free business plan templates and resources that you might find helpful. They all have their individual pros and cons, so choose something that is pleasant to use and works for your unique situation.