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6 Useful tools for writing an effective business plan

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One of the first things you should do when starting a business is to develop a sound business plan. An effective business plan will serve as the roadmap for you to follow and provide the necessary actions to take to grow your business. You will also need a business plan to show to potential investors in order to secure funding.

If you are thinking of starting a new business, this article is a guide to six useful tools that will help you create an effective business plan:

Business plan tutorials

There are many business plan tutorials readily available on the internet. These guides will help you determine what you need to include in your business plan, what you should not include, how to prepare the financial sections, and examples and tips for writing each section effectively. Just by going through one or two tutorials, you will be able to fully understand what goes on into an effective, comprehensive business plan and how you can start writing it.

Business plan writers

Not everyone is a great writer, so if you don’t have the skills to write your business plan from scratch, you may want to engage help from professional business plan writers. They are experts in the field so they know exactly what needs to go into your business plan, and how to make it look great. Working alongside a professional business plan writer can be a great collaboration as you can discuss with them your needs and vision for the business, the steps you want to take to develop the business, and then the writers will design the flow and put it down in concrete words for you. Their strength is in writing a business plan that is to the point, easy to communicate, and clear to follow.

Business plan software

There are various software options on the web that can provide step-by-step instructions and even customizable templates for you to create the perfect business plan. This software often has extra features, such as progress tracking, real-time business plan sharing, and account software integration which enables you to create financial reports. Some software tools even allow you to create one-page pitches with visually-appealing layouts. You can also build financial forecasts easily without having to use complicated spreadsheet analysis. All you need to do is enter your monthly sales and costs and the software will calculate your financial data and returns for you, along with easy-to-visualize charts and graphs. These software options are great tools for you to get started on developing a strong business plan.

Business plan apps

You can write your business plan anytime, anywhere on your smartphone using business plan apps. They offer professional sample business plans, tutorials, business planning resources, and financial and other reports. Some apps even provide you with a community of entrepreneurs from whom you can get advice in terms of creating your business plan and running the business. With more and more apps available for different aspects of business planning and building, there is nothing that you cannot do remotely these days.

Online accounting service

If you are not knowledgeable in the field of accounting or finance, you may have trouble developing and analyzing financial data for your business plan. Hence, seeking a professional’s advice, in this case, would be a great idea. You cannot have a good business plan with a financial section that does not make sense or is impossible to achieve so make sure you get help from an accountant or financial expert to go over the financial data for you. Most new businesses fail because they underestimate or miscalculate how much money they will need and so do not budget accordingly in their business plan.

SME Business groups

In every country, there usually are some Small & Medium Business groups that you can participate in with a small fee, or sometimes even for free if they are local nonprofit groups. These SME organizations provide counseling to new businesses, and the counselors are often retired business people with lots of experience. Being part of these groups will not only help you grow your network but also allow you to receive mentoring and training opportunities from experienced counselors, who will also be able to help guide you on your business plan development.

By implementing these six useful tools, you will be on the right track towards creating a strong and effective business plan. Remember that the business plan is the foundation of a successful business, so you should invest adequate time and effort into developing a sound business plan that will ultimately help your business reach its goals and objectives.

About Faye Ferris

Faye Ferris is the APAC Sales and Marketing Director for BusinessesForSale.com, one of the world’s largest online global market places for buying and selling small-to-medium sized businesses. Faye is passionate about helping Australian small business succeed and regularly writes about entrepreneurship and business management.   Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/youareyourboss

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