To start your small business journey off on the right foot, download our small business plan template and break down your idea into actionable components.
Before you can start your business, you need to find your niche, seek out financial backing and create a plan to bring your idea to fruition. Our small business plan template will guide you through every step of the way.
What Is a Small Business Plan Template?
Our small business plan template outlines the business, product or service that you want to launch, as well as detail the market you’re targeting, the goals and objectives of the venture and how you propose to achieve them.
The business plan is one of the three pillars any new idea must stand on to be successful. The other two are a marketing plan and a financial plan. These will be touched upon in part within the small business plan template and then included in full as supporting documents.
Why You Need a Small Business Plan Template
The main reason for a small business plan template is to show off your idea in the best possible way to attract investors by collecting all the points that show why your business, product or service is viable.
The other reason is that nothing is possible without a plan. Launching a new business, product or service is a project, and a project without a plan is like a boat without a rudder. It might not sink, but it’s unlikely to get where you want it to go.
There are more detailed reasons to take the time and effort required to fill in our small business plan template. For example, a bank and investors will not even let you in the door without a business plan. The same is true for any potential partners.
On top of all that, the template provides broad strokes as to how to implement your idea. All of which is vitally important if you sway your investors and need to make the plan into a reality.
Once you have investors on board, you need to turn your small business plan into a viable project. Project management software like ProjectManager can help. Our Gantt charts and worksheets can organize tasks, track costs, allocate resources and more. Plus, live dashboards give you a high-level view of performance to catch issues before they become problems. With project management software, you can plan, track and report on everything that matters. We’ll help you make your small business plan a successful venture.
When to Use a Small Business Plan Template
You should use a small business plan template when you’re getting ready to shop your idea to the bank, investors or a partner. Before using our template, you’ll want to have done all the necessary due diligence.
In other words, once you have the idea for the business, product or service, you need to do market research to see where it fits in the larger commercial landscape. Then, you’ll need to figure out how much capital you’ll need to realize the idea.
Once you have all the work done for your proposal, then you can start the process of filling in the small business plan template. The more thorough your preparation, the more convincing your plan and the more likely you’ll get it off the ground.
Who Should Use the Small Business Plan Template?
Anyone who is planning to run a business needs to use our small business plan template. It’s your roadmap, as already stated, and provides you with a plan forward by outlining objectives, establishing priorities and more.
You’ll also need this small business plan template if you already have an established business and are looking for buyers to sell it to. This is also true if you’re looking to determine the value of your business says for taxes or estate planning.
How to Use ProjectManager’s Small Business Plan Template
Our free small business plan template for Word makes it easy to collect all the data you need to make your business plan a winner. Just follow the directions—we make sure you don’t miss any steps.
This section collects the contact information for your company, including the address, website, phone and email. You’ll also want to add the contact at your company who is responsible for managing the small business plan.
Here’s where you lay out your idea. Your executive summary is the elevator pitch, something that encapsulates your idea in only a few sentences. Here, you can touch on the market opportunity, offer an overview of how you’ll manage the venture, what gives you a competitive advantage, company background, etc.
Business Description and Structure
Describe your business and what you’re selling, whether that’s the process by which you manufacture the product, your access to materials, how you deal with inventory and logistics, etc. If you’re a service provider, then explain your value to the customer base. You might want to go into any strategic alliances you’ve built, what intellectual property your own, etc.
Market Research and Strategies
You’ve done the market research, and here is where you provide a summary of it and how you’ll strategically market yourself to take advantage of your position in the marketplace. You’ll want to include sales forecasts, any deadlines you’ve set (including milestones) and to what extent public relations will play into your strategy. This is also a place to add customer testimonials.
Management and Personnel
It helps to build confidence and give investors a sense of what kind of risk they’re dealing with if you can provide profiles of your executive and management team. In fact, anyone who will be instrumental in executing the business plan should be included. Their skills and experience can go a long way to realizing your small business plan.
List all the attached documents, especially those financial ones that support your marketing and organizational sections. Include projections for the next few years. This is also where you can detail the amount of funding you require to turn the plan into an actuality.
How to Use a Small Business Plan Template with ProjectManager
ProjectManager is award-winning software that helps you organize your plan and execute it more effectively. Once you’ve filled in your small business plan template, the real work begins. Our tool helps you create a schedule and manage your resources to successfully deliver your plan.
Gantt Charts to Plan
Use our Gantt chart project view to input your tasks or import the task list from any spreadsheet. You can also use one of the many industry-specific templates loaded into the tool to get you started. Then add durations for your tasks and they’ll populate the timeline side of the Gantt, giving you a full picture of the entire plan laid out chronologically.
Dashboards to Track
When you execute your plan you need to monitor its actual progress to make sure you’re on track. Our real-time dashboard collects status updates and automatically monitors your schedule, costs and other vital metrics, displaying them in easy-to-read graphs and charts. This high-level view helps you catch issues before they become problems.
Reports for Your Stakeholders
Keeping executives and other stakeholders in the loop is also important. One-click reporting makes it simple to get data on the performance of your plan as it’s executed and then share those reports. They can even be filtered to give stakeholders the only information they want.
There’s so much more that ProjectManager does to make sure your plan is a success. From unlimited file storage to collecting all the documents in a central hub to resource management to make sure your teams have a balanced workload, we allow you to make your plan and implement it.
What Other Templates Can Help With a Small Business Plan?
Our small business plan template collects a lot of information, but in order to have a thoroughly thought-through plan, you’ll want to use some of the other free project management templates we have free on our website.
Project Charter Template
For your plan to work you need to have a project charter. Our free project charter template helps you figure out the scope of your project, identify objectives and deliverables and even start figuring out the tasks, resources and costs for the work to come.
Statement of Work Template
The statement of work outlines the course of your project plan, including activities, deliverables and the timetable. It defines these essential components of any plan and acts as the first step in your journey to creating a project plan. The free statement of work (SOW) template lays it all out for you.
Project Proposal Template
Before the plan comes the proposal. It’s the pitch to get your project approved so you can then create a plan. The free project proposal template sets the stage and all you have to do is add the details. When approved you have already made the first step towards a plan, which makes it that much easier.
If you’re looking for more information about business and planning, then check out the resources page on our website. We have tutorial videos, blog posts and guides that address every aspect of project management. Here are just a few relevant articles.
- 15 Free Word and Excel Templates for Business
- Strategic Planning in Business
- Why You Need a Reliable Business Continuity Plan
- How to Choose a Project Planner That’s Right for You
ProjectManager is a cloud-based tool that gives you real-time data to make better decisions when managing your project. Organize your teams, help them collaborate and drive your project more efficiently to a successful end. Join the tens of thousands of teams that already use ProjectManager and take your free 30-day trial today.