Small Business Plan Templates
For those who have a small business, starting one is not an easy thing at all. From conceptualizing ideas, planning, setting up business operations to marketing and advertising ideas – there are a lot of things to be done. However, with the help of a little planning and careful research, you can make your business grow. Here are some small business tips:
Research. Before writing the actual business plan itself, gather all the information and content necessary to tell what is in it. Turn to several templates, samples, guides, and other business plan templates for help. You may want to include a traditional business plan, or just an executive summary to get your reader involved more fully in your ideas.
Executive Summary. An executive summary should not only include the background and concept of your company. It also has to set out your mission statement, as well as set out your plans for funding, operations, and marketing. Often these are included in the templates as supplemental documents, since they do not take away from the importance of the main points.
Dropshipping. You have probably heard about dropshipping, but what is it? Basically, your small business plans should contain a section on dropshipping, since this is the most popular method of selling e-books online and almost certainly the way that future customers will learn about you. Dropshipping involves a wholesale distributor, usually an individual, who ships products to your customer.
Set up goals. Your business plans should contain a goal for growth, as well as one for profitability. Establish specific goals for e-business sales and customer service. Include a business plan for marketing and advertising. It can be hard for dropshipping businesses to compete with large companies that have years of experience in research and development, but you can make the most of a small budget by establishing goals early on.
Business funding. Small business plans often use the traditional business plan format, using the “procedure” as the main body of the document. However, you can simplify the process of laying out financial obligations by using a procedure called an alternative costing. You first create a list of funding sources, such as angel investors or other individuals, and then determine how you plan to obtain those funds, through a variety of available options. Alternate costing enables you to lay out alternative funding requests in a separate table, which allows you to track and revise costs as they occur.
Financial projections. Your small business plan format will likely include some form of financial projection, either in the form of a statement of income or monthly expenses, or in the form of a percentage growth rate (such as 3%) for sales and expenses. Some vendors, especially those who provide drop shipping services, require you to include these types of projections as part of your application. However, you can use any projection that you prepare in good faith, as a guide to your actual results. If you are going to offer dropshipping services, it is easy to make errors in the number of product orders or employee payrolls that you expect to receive.
Use of other names. Many people use their business name when preparing their government-business services and financial forecasts. However, using a misleading name (i.e., “The X Company”) can create a bad impression, should you ever need to borrow money or sell your company. Small business plans should always use their real names, even if they’re on paper.
Not describing your target market. Even though you’ve chosen to represent global companies, it doesn’t mean you can’t also represent local ones, even if they aren’t considered international corporations. If you have a service for dropshipping businesses targeting college students, for instance, you might not want to reference this target market in your funding request, but you could mention it in a separate section. Also, never underestimate the power of social media. When you describe your target market in detail, potential customers may be more likely to find your company online, rather than in the yellow pages.
Not describing your industry in depth. Many small business plan templates include a simple description of one industry, such as the furniture industry. They may also skip right to a brief list of your company’s key players and then hope that you’ll understand what makes them unique. However, your real industry can provide plenty of insight into how your business could be positioned to succeed. For instance, if you sell kids’ furniture, you can talk about how the recent downturn in the economy has affected the housing market in general and then talk about how your business will position itself to take advantage of the downturn in the housing market. On your funded proposal, you should include details about your industry or company’s core market, as well as an industry comparison (such as the furniture industry’s revenue and market growth compared to other types of industries, such as automobiles and technology).
Not including a business plan template. This is a common mistake, especially among companies that are using social media to promote their company. While a company description and executive summary are a great way to get people to learn about your company, if you don’t include a detailed business plan afterwards, people will feel confused as to how your company plans to succeed.