Even broken into sections, it's a long document and a bit of a slog to get through, but it produces a professional-looking and useful business plan.
This is particularly helpful if your idea isn't fully fleshed out and you know you have homework to do--it prompts you for information.
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Recently, I shared 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups, an infographic created by Mark Vital over at Funders and Founders.
A lot of those mistakes (most of them, in fact) are the result of poor planning.
Its template, available as a PDF or Word download, asks a whopping 150 questions and is generic enough to customize for most types of businesses.
The Refining the Plan resource that comes with it is helpful, especially if this is your first crack at writing a business plan.
Bad location, a marginal niche, having no specific user in mind, raising too much or too little money--all of these issues can be prevented or at least mitigated with good planning.
Creating your business plan is more than just getting your ideas down on paper for potential funders to see.