If you are seeking funding for our business, you will almost certainly be required to have a business plan which basically explains your operation or your planned operation and how the funds will be used. Also having a well thought-out business plan is just a great place to start regardless if you are seeking funding or not. A business plan will serve as your road map, putting together all the important pieces into an organized, logical sequence which will focus your thinking process.
•Business Plan Pro is a robust Windows based application program that will allow you to build a comprehensive, professional business plan. The finished product is in the type of format the banks and investor capitalists prefer. It includes chart and graphic tools, financial tools and 500 sample plans from various types of businesses. There is an on-line version of this software called Live Plan. This is a subscription service that lets you build and save your business plan on a cloud platform. This is a great tool but it may be over-kill for smaller businesses. I usually recommend this system for businesses seeking over $100,000 in funding or have annual sales exceeding $300,000.
•The Small Business Administration (SBA) has published an online business plan template system that lets you build your own business plan online by completing sections on each component of your business. At the end of the process you will have a completed plan that can be modified later. This one is great for startups, and sole props.
•Enloop has an online business plan builder that also includes a wizard to allow the system to build your financials and cash flow projects. This is a very easy to use system and has a clever scoring system that gives your plan a quality score. Then you keep revising the plan to get your score higher. The basic system is free and you can upgrade for a fee to get more robust financials plus charts and graphs. This one is suitable for most any business.
•Business Planning Central is an online portal that offers several articles and temples on writing business plans, pitching your business to lenders, and getting the funding you are seeking.
Remember your plan isn’t set in stone when you finish it. As you get further along in the process of creating and building your business you will be modifying your plan along the way as appropriate. Having a well-organized, detailed business plan is key to getting financing for your business, but will also help you avoid costly mistakes while keeping you focused in the right areas.