General Business Plan Template

A business plan template can be an extremely valuable asset for any new business. However, before you just run right out and grab one at your local bookstore because it is a new business owner recommendation, make sure you know what it is and what it does before you invest your hard-earned dollars on one. A lot of people think they are getting a plan that they can modify to fit their particular business idea only to find out that the resulting business is not viable. This is due to a lack of clear direction and business planning. A general business plan template is designed to help you achieve this goal.

A general business plan template is a blueprint that guides you through the steps necessary to create a successful business. The template outlines each section of the plan in great detail and can be used as the foundation upon which to structure the rest of your plan. This type of plan template comes in many different formats including; word documents, excel spreadsheets and Power Point presentations. Each format allows you to customize it to meet your specific business requirements. Some of the features you may find included in each format include:

Time Tracking – You want to spend the time necessary tracking your progress towards your ultimate goals. By tracking your time you will be able to see where your time is being utilized and what is holding you back from success. This is important if you are going to use your plan as a template to start your own business or expand an existing business. The more focused you can be on your plans the more likely success is going to be. You don’t want to waste your time on tasks that have absolutely no chance of success.

Market Research – Many people overlook the importance of market research when creating a general business plan template. Without doing this research you may be assuming that your market has the same buying power as you do. The reality is that the buying power of your market and your competitors’ changes all the time. By doing some research you will ensure that your plans and strategies remain relevant. You never know when someone else will come up with an idea that will take your business and your products to whole new levels.

Budgeting – When planning your budget always make sure that you keep track of every single penny you spend. If you spend $1000 on a report one month, it doesn’t mean that you will spend that same amount the next month. It’s important that you allow enough time for the bills to process so you do not overspend. You want to avoid getting into debt so making sure you know exactly how much money you have left to spend makes your financial planning process easier.

Income/ Bills – Include your income and any debts you currently have. Include the monthly cost for all your expenses including your housing. Estimate the maximum you can spend every month before your income and then add that number to your current income to get your disposable income. This will show you your bottom line, which is your goal for the future.

Selling Points – Every business needs a list of their key selling points so that they can advertise to you. A general business plan template should include a section on what your business is good at and why people should buy from you. Your top selling points may consist of; low prices, customer satisfaction, fast delivery, quality, and customer service. A key selling point is an effective marketing tool that you can use to advertise to your customers.

Marketing – Make sure that your general business plan includes a section that describes your marketing plan. This is the section that will tell you where you are spending your time and money. Each marketing effort you put into your business should include a target audience and an effective way to reach them. A template can guide you through the process of creating an effective marketing plan.

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