Our Review Of 3 Free Business Plan Resources

A solid business plan is essential to the success of any new business venture. But how can you create one that business plan resources help secure fundingworks for you? Fortunately, there are many free business plan resources available, and we’ve taken a look at some popular options to let you know which ones you should plan on using for yourself.

What Is a Business Plan And Why Do You Need It?

A business plan is a document that outlines the financial and operational goals, milestones and challenges of a business. When used correctly, it can help you accomplish the following:

  • Secure funding from lenders

  • Project and predict future revenue

  • Identify potential risks and determine ways to overcome them

  • Market to future customers, investors and employees

A Look At 3 Free Business Plan Resources

Now that you know why you need a business plan, here are some online resources that can show you how to create one.

SCORE

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Association is a nonprofit organization that connects aspiring entrepreneurs with established business leaders. An official partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE also provides articles, templates and tools and workshops for creating different aspects of a business plan, including starting up, marketing, finance and managing growth.

What’s great about it?

There are hundreds of in-depth articles on each topic, providing a wealth of knowledge to draw upon.

What’s the downside?

There is a lot of great information to be found, but finding it can be a bit of a challenge. While you can select and deselect the type of advice you are looking for (template and tool, workshop, blog post) and sort by date or rating, you may have to sift through a lot of content before finding the specific piece you are looking for.

What’s our advice?

Potential navigation issues aside, SCORE provides a great platform for learning how to create a business plan. We highly recommend utilizing it.

Enloop

Enloop is an online tool that streamlines the process of writing a business plan.

What’s great about it?

Enloop automates the time consuming process of creating the business plan. More than a template, it actually creates basic text and sections that you can easily edit, delete or merge. It also automatically creates accurate financial forecasts based on your inputs, generating sales, profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheet forecasts instantaneously. At the end, you’ll receive an Enloop Performance ScoreTM, which assesses the strength of your business and its viability.

What’s the downside?

Enloop is one of many free business plan resources

Enloop is mostly focused on the financial aspects of a business plan. Thus, it is a great way to secure funding and stay on top of your finances, but it might not be the best resource for ongoing operational planning. Additionally, while the basic features are free, premium options can cost you up to $40 a month.

What’s our advice?

If you’ve never written a business plan before, check out the free options and see if it helps. You may want to add more premium features, but even $40 a month is a small price to pay for a great business plan.

Bplans.com

As the name might indicate, Bplans.com is an online community dedicated solely to the development of business plans. In fact, it contains the single largest collection of sample business plans anywhere.

What’s great about it?

Along with the unrivaled volume of sample business plans, Bplans.com features articles from renowned business experts on topics such as planning, funding, starting and managing a business. Their sister site, Mplans.com, also has sample marketing plans that you can utilize. Everything is well organized and easy to navigate through.

What’s the downside?

While the content on Bplans is valuable and free, the site is owned by a software company, and therefore it’s no surprise that they want to sell you software – LivePlan. LivePlan is a business planning automation tool similar to Enloop but without a free option. Pricing starts at $20 a month or $140 a year.

What’s our advice?

Utilize the free articles and advice. Then, if the free version of Enloop doesn’t work for you, or if you want to try a different software solution, check out LivePlan.

What’s Your Plan?

If you are interested in becoming a Bin There Dump That franchise operator, we can help you go from planning to profitability. Our franchise leadership teams will assist a new franchise operator with business plan development, helping them enhance their ability to secure funding. During our initial training sessions, we also provide financial forecasting to help franchise operators balance their budgets and project sales.

To learn more, download your free franchise kit today!

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