Why I Hate Business Plan Templates

Everyone says you need a business plan before you launch a new company. You definitely need one if you require financing of any kind. Chances are that if you’re writing your own business plan, you’re working your way through a business plan template.

And the template probably looks something like this one from the US-based resource, SCORE.

SCORE’s template is a good one. It’s also typical. Business plan templates tend to treat each section of the plan as independent from the rest, but that’s never actually the case. Have you ever seen a small business with a Marketing department that never spoke to anyone in Finance? Every part of a business is integrated with the rest. And the business plan is no different. You write some Business Overview, and then you update your Marketing Strategy, which reminds you to look again at your Competition, and that helps you determine Pricing for the Financial Projections. While working on that, you realize your Marketing budget is too high, so you go back and revisit the Marketing Plan again.

You don’t run a business by doing the same things in the same order every day. And you can’t write a business plan in order, either.

Templates bug me, which is why I created a business plan writing guide. They aren’t solutions to the frustrations entrepreneurs face when they are trying to get from ‘idea’ to ‘open’. They are just starting points. Templates don’t help you think like a business owner; they assume that you already do.

Have you found a business plan template that you like? Let us know in the comments.