Business plans have long been a critical document for new businesses. Are they still relevant? If so, what best practices and data can help you create a winning document that will help your business get the funding you need and ensure your venture lasts? Before digging into the best way to craft a business plan to help you crush it, and spending hours or numerous dollars on commissioning one, do you even need one? A decade ago anyone you approached with a business idea without a plan would have laughed and shooed you away. Even your friends and family, or the most aggressive angel investors.
Why Look at Business Plan Samples Before Writing a Business Plan
Maybe you think you don't need a step-by-step guide to writing a great business plan. Maybe you think you don't need a template for writing a business plan. After all, some entrepreneurs succeed without writing a business plan. Does a business plan make startup success inevitable?
The world's oceans are acidifying — but it's happening twice as fast off California
The financial section of your business plan determines whether or not your business idea is viable and will be the focus of any investors who may be attracted to your business idea. The financial section is composed of four financial statements: the income statement, the cash flow projection, the balance sheet, and the statement of shareholders' equity. It also should include a brief explanation and analysis of these four statements. Think of your business expenses as two cost categories: your start-up expenses and your operating expenses. All the costs of getting your business up and running should be considered start-up expenses.
Whatever your reason for writing a business plan, the task will probably still feel like a homework assignment. A business plan is a roadmap describing a business, its products or services, how it earns or will earn money, its leadership and staffing, its financing, its operations model, and many other details essential to its success. Investors rely on business plans to evaluate the feasibility of a business before funding it, which is why business plans are commonly associated with getting a loan. Business planning is often used to secure funding, but plenty of business owners find writing a plan valuable, even if they never work with an investor. We'll also send you updates on new educational guides and success stories from the Shopify newsletter.