There a number of challenges you face when starting a business. If you’re prepared and have a strong business plan, you’ll be ready to deal with anything thrown your way.
Before you start writing your business plan you should make an outline.
For example, your business plan sections might include:
- Title page
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Market strategies
- Product design & development
- Operations & management plan
- Finance factors
Once you have your plan’s structure in place you’ll need to add meat to the bone. But how do you write a business plan for your startup that will put you in a position to succeed?
Start with these 19 free business plan resources:
1. Y Combinator’s Startup Library
Y Combinator helps startups get through their first phases of funding and their free startup library is full of helpful business planning resources.
To apply to Y Combinator and ask for their financial assistance, it is necessary to fill out an application form. The philosophy of Y Combinator founders implies a lack of total control over projects they fund, and, in their opinion, it is the reason why startups succeed.
Of course, this service also provides a useful blog that includes articles and posts concerning how to write a startup business plan and steps to turn it into reality. So feel free to read it and get a piece of useful information.
2. Cleverroad’s Business Plan Guide
Writing a business plan for a startup doesn’t have to be boring and excessively formal. Nowadays, entrepreneurs can use a business model canvas that is a more agile form of the traditional business plan. A living document that can guide you as you grow your business.
If want to know what you should include in your business plan, this step-by-step guide can help.
3. Entrepreneur’s 12-Step Startup Guide
Entrepreneur is a famous magazine and website that posts news, articles, and guides about entrepreneurship, business management, and everything in between.
Their 12-step startup guide just one fo their resources full of interesting tips on creating a business plan and launch a startup wisely.
Bplans offers startups and business owners tips to enhance their business. Bplans contains a vast number of free sample business plans, and it also provides users with tools and interactive calculators to manage their business more efficiently.
It’s a phenomenal resource for startups.
SCORE is a non-profit organization that serves as a marketplace for volunteers experienced in helping small businesses grow and succeed.
The platform provides mentoring services to new entrepreneurs including various on-demand webinars and courses on topics from startup business strategies to finances and management.
Apart from that, they offer a free startup library of practical business-building resources.
SBA or U.S. Small Business Administration is the organization that’s been around since 1953, established to help small business owners and entrepreneurs properly build their business.
Today the SBA’s website includes guides and tools on how to write business plans and run your business successfully.
Apart from this, SBA provides customers with financial assistance and funding programs to take loans, find investors, use security bonds, and so on.
Inc is an online magazine similar to Entrepreneur. It’s a great daily resource for business owners and CEOs looking for practical/useful advice on marketing, sales, raising capital, and so on.
And of course, they have great business guides like this on how to write the perfect business plan.
8. Cayenne Consulting
CayCon consulting agency that specializes in drawing up business plans, creating pitch decks, and making financial forecasts.
If you’re looking for hands-on help, they can help you determine how your startup business plan should look, develop a business strategy, and present your project idea to investors.
9. Lean Planning
Lean business planning is a strategic approach to business plan writing created by Tim Berry, the founder of Bplans.
It proposes business plans should include the following areas of concern: strategy, tactics, AMMS (Assumptions, Milestones, Metrics, and Schedule), forecasts of sales, and expenses.
The Lean Planning website includes free how-to-guides and tips for executing business plans that not only won’t “suck”, but they’ll also put you in a position to succeed.
1o. Business Model Generation
Business Model Generation is a book written by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur considered to be a deskbook for any who wants to change their business for better and lead it to success.
It’s a book that has gained enormous popularity among long-time business owners and startups alike as it includes strategic ideas and tools that help businesses find and articulate their core value proposition. An excellent resource for writing a business plan.
11. Shopify’s Business Plan Guide
Shopify is a popular SaaS platform for eCommerce and its website includes a lot of helpful information for small business owners including how to write a business plan, how to set KPIs, and so on.
In fact, this business plan writing guide may be all you need to get started.
Mplans is another awesome resource created by Tim Berry’s network. It offers entrepreneurs both software solutions and marketing resources including eBooks on public relations, marketing strategy, branding, and a vast number of free sample marketing plans.
If you already built your plan with a detailed approach to marketing, start here.
ExpertHub is another amazing online resource for business owners. In this article, they provide you with a comprehensive business plan format guide.
It’s a full guide to the business plan contents including standard business plan format for these 10 basic elements:
- The overview
- Executive summary
- General company description
- The opportunity
- Industry and market
- Your strategy
- The team
- Marketing plan
- Operational plan
- Financial plan
- The appendix
Startups.com bills itself as the world’s largest launch platform for startups, providing education and tools to walk aspiring founders through the entire startup process. It includes resources on education, business planning, mentorship, customer acquisition, funding, and staffing.
Moreover, Startups.com has its library where you can find playbooks, videos, founder stories, and expert pieces of advice. Visit a website to check out it in detail and make your idea real.
StartupNation is full of practical information about launching, running, and growing your business. It was created by two entrepreneurial brothers with loads of business experience. The site contains insightful articles from experts on a variety of business topics.
Apart from the website’s content, it also has community forums where business people can interact with each other and share their opinions and ideas.
Futurpreneur is a non-profit organization that offers young entrepreneurs mentoring, support, and financing. There are more than 3000 volunteer mentors who give startups advice.
Apart from coaching and mentoring, Futurpreneur also contains online resources with tools, articles, and interactive business plan writers.
17. Fast Company’s Creative Business Plan Guide
If you’re a creative and you’re considering starting a new venture or taking your work to the next level, but feel unsure about the steps, this guide will get you going.
It details everything you need to know about how to write a business plan.
18. Forbes’ Business Plan Tips
In this Forbes piece, the author points out that the key issue is not whether to write a business plan or not but how to write a business plan.
There are many ways to do it. Some of these ways are efficient, and some of them are not. Here’s what you need to do it right.
19. Growthink’s Business Plan Template & Guide for Entrepreneurs
This business plan template and guide is the result of 20 years of research into the types of business plans that help entrepreneurs and executives raise funding and build thriving companies.
It’s primarily for those who have never created a business plan, but there’s plenty of advice for those who have written one or many plans before.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of the blog series Start Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.