You may have noticed that when it comes to writing your business plan, there are lots of options available to you. A quick Google search brings up lots of business plan examples, templates, and software to help you to write your own plan. But there’s a big problem with basing your business plan on a template or example you’ve found online – and that comes in the form of the thousands of people who are doing the same thing.
What’s Wrong with Using a Business Plan Template?
Simply put, your business is unique, so your business plan should be unique, too. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to business plans. Though some sections may be the same, many factors will dictate what you need to put in your plan, including whether your business is a start-up or already established, the size of your business, the industry you operate in, your product or service, the unique challenges you will face, and more. Some sections may need to be longer or require some sub-headings, some may need to be added in, and others may not be needed at all. If you are following a template to the letter, even if it’s a template created specifically for your industry, you could be restricting yourself to only addressing certain topics. You might even end up leaving out some vital information because its inclusion wasn’t part of the template you followed. Writing something from scratch, while a little more daunting, gives you the scope to say what you really need to say about your business.
Why Should Your Business Plan Be Unique?
Investors and lenders read a lot of business plans, so you need to stand out from the crowd, especially if there is a lot of competition within your market. They might not be quite so enamoured with your business plan if they feel like they’ve read the same one hundreds of times already. By making your plan unique you are differentiating yourself from everyone else, showing your creativity, and giving yourself free rein to demonstrate – in the right words and format for you – that you understand the opportunities and challenges ahead.
If an investor can tell that you have put a lot of effort into writing a plan that best showcases your business idea, this will be much more impressive than if they can tell that you have used a template. A well-formatted, concise plan, using the right kind of language and addressing all the issues necessary, will go a long way to helping you secure funding for your venture – and you will not necessarily be able to do all this simply by following the format of a template.
It might seem like using a template is the easiest and cheapest way to start writing your business plan, but putting in the extra effort to create your own will be more beneficial in the long run. And if you’re presenting your plan to potential lenders or investors, the most important thing is that your plan helps you to secure your funding – so it has to be the best possible representation of your business, and that means it needs to be original.
Luckily there is help available, so you needn’t face the blank page alone. At cbm group we can write your business plan completely from scratch, or we can help you turn anything you’ve already written into a winning business plan. Our business plans are completely bespoke and tailored especially to you, to help you secure funding and achieve your company’s long-term goals. To find out more contact us.