Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Select a Business Plan Template

Many business people think that the process of writing a business plan ends after you edit out grammatical mistakes. Your business plan may be flawlessly written, but poor formatting and a boring appearance may turn off investors. If you want to peak the interest of harried investors, you should select a business plan template with impeccable design and pleasing aesthetics


  1. Choose an Appropriate Template for Your Business Plan

    • Look over sample business plan templates before you make a purchase. Most software companies allow you to review a simulated business plan that has been created using standard formatting and editing tools. You can select plan templates through software providers like Polo Alto Software to ensure you make the right decision (see Resources below).
    • Decide the color scheme that you wish to use before you select a business plan template. Most businesses choose simple colors that are meant to accentuate the contents of the report rather than upstage your plan. If you have signature colors on your logo, you should find a template with similar colors.
    • Ensure that your business plan can fit completely into a template. Basic templates may not feature the correct number of sections for your particular business plan. Get a word count and dimensions for each section of your plan to figure out the applicability of a particular template.
    • Check a prospective business plan template for available fonts and title design. While writing your plan, you may not give much thought to the type of font you desire. Test out different fonts and header designs that are available with a template to determine how it fits with your personal design aesthetic.
    • Measure photos, diagrams and graphs you have in your business plan to determine how they fit into a template. If your plan includes any of these visual aids, you need boxes that can hold your images at the appropriate level of resolution.
    • Speak with your staff and outside observers to determine how a template fits into your public profile. Your plan’s appearance can help decide whether investors decide to read beyond your mission statement. Place your plan in several templates and present them to staff members in order to gauge their responses.

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