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That’s why a scope of work (or, SOW) is such an important document for any project manager.A SOW brings together everything from work details, to schedules, terms, and expected outcomes to not only define exactly what should be done on a project.Even if you eventually omit sections, you’ll save yourself time and energy by starting with a framework already in place.
The easiest way to simplify the work of writing a business plan is to start with a business plan template.
You’re already investing time and energy in planning your small business—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to formatting your plan.
Here’s a basic outline of what you should include: Before you get into the project specifics, it’s important to get the highest-level information down. Is it a service that’s being performed or a product that’s being built? The introduction can also cover the types of formal agreements that the SOW can be used to create later, such as: With the basics out of the way, it’s time to address why this project is being done.
Start with an explanation of the project, the context around it, and the business objectives it’s trying to solve or expected outcomes.
Therefore, it needs to be especially clear, use language everyone understands, and set detailed tasks, deliverables, and other services.
A good SOW avoids some of the biggest project management traps, such as: It’s a lot to ask.Usually that’s a client (aka you) and an agency, vendor, or contractor (aka the outside team you’re working with).As a project manager, you’ll use a SOW to make sure expectations are clear and agreed-upon, and that both you and whomever you’re working with know exactly While a project proposal helps get you buy-in for internal projects, a SOW is used when working with outside teams.But if you pull it off, an SOW will ensure you, your stakeholders, and the outside teams you’re working with all have a clear idea of what a “successful” project looks like, and how you’re going to get there.Alright, so we have a basic understanding of what a SOW is and what its purpose is. A SOW is a detailed doc that the people you’re collaborating with will reference back to throughout the project and therefore needs some very specific information to be valuable.This template is designed to ensure you’re thinking through all of the important facets of starting a new business or growing an existing one.It’s intended to help future small business owners consider the full scope of running a business, and identify functional areas they may not have considered or where they may need to level up their skills as they grow.The sample is set up to help you get a sense of each section and understand how they apply to the planning and evaluation stages of a business plan.If you’re looking for funding, especially through venture capital, this example won’t be a complete or formal look at a business plan, but it will give you a great place to start and ideas about which sections to expand.We’ve filled out a sample business plan as a companion to our template, featuring a fictional ecommerce business.Our fictional business creates custom greeting cards with your pet’s paw prints on them, and the founder of the business is writing a plan to help understand the market, as well as the logistics and costs involved, to give themselves the best chance of success before they launch.