A Guide on How to Write a Business Plan: Tips, Examples, and Free Templates

A Guide on How to Write a Business Plan: Tips, Examples, and Free Templates
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Integrity and Accuracy

Poet John Greenleaf Whittier once said, “As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.” This statement is so true, especially when it comes to writing your vision and mission statement and your business plan.

Your plan can be short or long but it must be realistic, honest and accurate; business plan readers will spot erroneous data or errors right away as they are experts on reading these plans. Because most plans are utilized to obtain loans, funding, grants or investors, swaying from reality is never a good idea—especially if you want to convince the reader why your business will succeed.

Business owners can hire professional organizations to write their plans for them. However, a report in Forbes Magazine quotes venture capitalist expert Jim Casparie: “The price tag (for a business plan) could run from $5,000 to $40,000 including market research, legal and financial expertise.”

Bright Hub realizes most business owners and those interested in buying or starting a business can’t afford to spend any extra money—even to write a business plan, so here we offer a collection of articles on how to accomplish this task including important elements it must contain. We also include free forecasting templates you’ll need as exhibits for your plan to ensure its purpose achieves what you want and need.

Tips on Where to Begin

Before you begin writing your plan

Before you begin to tackle the actual writing of your plan, there are some business plan basics you should review. First do you have a vision and mission statement and do you know the difference between the two? Here, we offer some of must-have basics on business plans in general, the value of business plans and the top mistakes business owners make when writing a plan.

Exhibits, Forecasting and More

Forecasting is important

Beyond the actual writing contained within your plan that focuses on what your business is on track to accomplish, you will need to create exhibits such as an opening day balance sheet, income and expense statements or forecasts, and small business budgets.

Next up in our library are tips and advice on how to create these exhibits with 100 percent free templates you can download and use instantly.

Specific Business Plan Examples

Business plan examples

Using examples is a good idea for writing the perfect business plan. For this purpose, our Bright Hub expert writers have creates many specific business plans to help you get an idea on the outline and how the plan should flow.

From auto body shops to candy stores and more, here are some great examples to aid you in getting started on your plan.

Enticing Lenders and Investors

Finding investors and lenders

Once you have your plan written it serves many purposes. It can be used as an annual tool to compare projections to actual financials or it can be used to seek out lenders, investors and even venture capitalist.

How do you go about presenting your business plan, and what do those interested in your business look for in a plan? Next up, we offer some tips and advice on these topics.

Bonus Tips and Software Recommendations

More free tips and examples

We finish up our guide to everything you need to know about business plan writing with some extra tips and advice not offered above, including software you can purchase to ensure the plan you write comes out in the correct format and will serve its purpose whether it be for investors or lenders.

Have Questions?

Here at Bright Hub, we know you may have a question not answered here in our collection of articles on all the ins and outs of a business plan. If so, please drop us a comment with your question and we’ll find the answer for you as quickly as possible.