Business plans can be overwhelming. They take a great amount of diligence and work to create. They require all kinds of information that isn't always available and many people think they need help writing a business plan. I am here to tell you that you don't.
A business plan is large document that outlines what a business plans to do - how they will operate. They take a significant amount of time to create and are most often created before a business is opened. For this reason, many people seek help in writing a business plan and there are many different options ranging from free templates to expensive consultants who assist in the writing process.
But I believe you don't need help writing a business plan. Here is why. From my experience, a business plan is usually written for one of two reasons.
The first reason one would write a business plan would be to get a loan. In business school, I was told that you had to have a business plan to get a loan. I have talked to a number of bank loan officers, however, who state they really don't use a business plan in making a credit decision. You see, if your sales projections are just that - a mere speculation of optimistic earnings - a loan officer will be more interested in other things, such as collateral that they can use to secure your debt. I am not saying you don't need a business plan to get a loan. What I am saying is to talk to your loan officer first and see what they need from you.
The second reason a business plan would be written would be to use it as an operating outline to run a business. A business plan, however, often requires great amounts of speculation. While it does help one think through marketing strategies, there are great amounts of work that are done that are never utilized. For this reason, wouldn't it be more effect to focus efforts on the areas that will make a major impact on the business? Areas like your sales funnel, strategy, and marketing could easily be addressed without needing to create a full business plan.
So let's hack this concept that you must have a business plan to start a business. Forget creating a business plan and focus on the two or three areas that will have the greatest impact on your business.