Whether you’re starting out or already have an established practice, a business plan helps define your business and identifies your company’s goals. It assists you in allocating resources properly, handling unforeseen complications and informs your employees about your operations and goals. The basic plan components include a current balance sheet, future projections, an income statement, and cash flow analysis.
A comprehensive online resource where you can find free templates of business plans and more is the SCORE website at www.score.org. SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit association that helps educate entrepreneurs and aims at boosting the formation, growth and success of small businesses. It is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
You can download several templates for your business at http://www.score.org/template_gallery.html. These include:
- Business Plan for a Start-Up Business
- Business Plan for an Established Business
- Balance Sheet (Projected)
- Bank Loan Request for Small Business
- Breakeven Analysis
- Cash Flow Statement (12 Months)
- Competitive Analysis
- Financial History & Ratios
- Loan Amortization Schedule
- Opening Day Balance Sheet
- Personal Financial Statement
- Profit and Loss Projection (12 Months)
- Profit and Loss Projection (3 Years)
- Sales Forecast (12 Months)
- Start-Up Expenses
Several templates include detailed explanations of how you can adapt those templates to your business’ specific needs. For instance, the Balance Sheet (Projected) explains how you can come up with appropriate projections if you are planning significant sales growth in the coming year. You can save these templates as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or PDFs.