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Free Business Plans - Free Business Plan Templates and Sample Business Plans

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Do you think owning your own business is the right path for you? Is there a product or service that your hometown is lacking? Starting your own business can provide higher earning and growth potential, flexible work hours, and the opportunity to be your own boss. While the U.S. Small Business Administration reports that about half of small businesses fail within the first five years, there are steps you can take to be one of the successes. Writing a business plan can not only secure you necessary funding, it can make sure you thoroughly prepare and plan. Those that diligently research and write a detailed business plan dramatically increase their chance of success because they will have analyzed the competition, financial feasibility, and capital needed to begin. Are you now asking yourself where do I start? There are literally thousands of free business templates and free sample business plans online. In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration recommends you spend time looking at business plans in your field before beginning work on your own as it is the best way to learn about your industry.

The Basics
A business plan is a description of your business and the market, your goals and how you will meet them, what potential problems you may encounter and how you will combat them, and a marketing plan. It will also spell out the organizational structure of your business as well as the capital require to start your business and keep it going until you break even. Although there is no ONE way to write a business plan, all plans include the same basic information. As you search the internet for free sample business plans and templates, look for sections on the Company, the Market, the Product/Service, the Management/Advising Team, Marketing, Strategies, and Financial Analysis. The exact business plan format and order can vary. Also be sure to include a Title Page, Table of Contents, and Executive Summary.

Executive Summary
This is one page of the highlights and should be written last.

Business Description
What is the name of your business and what type will it be? (Sole proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation, etc) Include business history if it is a business already in existence. Tell where the business will be located and describe the facilities.

Describe the product or services you will provide and focus on customer benefits. Include your operating procedures. If it is a product, what is its source? Do you have plans to add future products or services?

Market Analysis
This is where you can discuss a growth in your market and how you are going to fill a gap. Who are your biggest competitors and how are you unique? What/who is your target market? Who is your potential customer and what will make them buy your product/service?

This is where you will describe your marketing, pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies. The more detailed the section, the better.

Management Team/Advisors
Describe what personnel is needed, the organizational structure and include key job descriptions. It is not a bad idea to also have a list of people who can be advisors in the early days of your business. This can help in the loan process.

Financial Analysis
Finally, the financial section should contain your projected Profit & Loss and Cash Flow statements along with your projected Balance Sheet and Break-Even Analysis. It is recommended to get help from your accountant or other business advisor to complete this section.

Helpful Organizations
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/sbdclocator/SBDC_LOCATOR.html
/> SBDCs offer classes called Starting a Business in (Your State), How to Write a Business Plan, Business Strategies for Social Media and much more. SBDCs offer start-up assistance and consulting services to help write financial and marketing plans, loan requests and much more. OK TO KEEP

SCORE http://www.score.org
/> SCORE is made up of retired business owners and executives who volunteer their time and expertise (both in-person and online).

Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov
/> SBA is an independent government agency intended to help small business grow and succeed. The SBA provides financial aid and counsel to small businesses.

Good luck on your new venture! Remember, take advantage of the free business plan templates and sample business plans that you can find online.

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