Business plan templates force you to fill in a really long form, one step at a time, in a linear fashion.
Do you know any business that grew in a straight line and didn’t need any adjustments or changes along the way? Can you think of a single business owner whose success rested squarely on their ability to follow their business plan to the letter?
Me neither. That’s why business plan templates don’t work.
They can be helpful for organizing your thoughts, but on their own, they won’t teach you to think like a business owner, to make the critical decisions that drive the success of your company, or get funding.
A great business plan WILL do those things. A template won’t. Not by itself.
So when I talk to someone who’s really excited about starting their business and she tells me she just bought a great template that will help her…
Well first I give her my business card, because I think she’ll need it later.
But I also ask her if she knows who her ideal customer is, because a great business plan starts from there – not from any template.
What’s been your experience using a business plan template? Did you pay for it, or was it free? Let us know in the comments.
Photo credit: stevendepolo