We often ask business owners to include a business plan when they apply for bank finance. Consider that, in the same way as you would test-drive a vehicle before purchasing it, we need information about your company before we partner with you.
Any funder worth his or her salt wants to see it right off the bat. Moreover though, a solid business plan is a living document that will continue to guide your efforts as your business grows. A lot of those mistakes (most of them, in fact) are the result of poor planning. Bad location, a marginal niche, having no specific user in mind, raising too much or too little money--all of these issues can be prevented or at least mitigated with good planning.
Sample business plans and templates can help you develop a professional document that will serve as an in-depth marketing tool to convince others of your venture s potential for success. However, creating your own plan can be a complex process, and you may need the assistance of a professional (like an accountant) depending on the type of business you have (or want to run), and what you are seeking in terms of investment.
That does not mean you have to bust out Word and start the plan from scratch. A template is great--you probably are not doing anything that has not been done before, so it provides a proven structure for your plan. Pretty much everything on it can be customized.
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