Starting a business is one of the most nerve-racking and scariest things you’ll ever do. However, on the other side of starting, is immense reward and accomplishment. To help you get over the hurdle of having a cohesive starting plan, we compiled a list of the best free business plan templates we could find.

Why is it essential to have a business plan? 

There are endless reasons to have a cohesive business plan, here are few:

  • If you’re seeking funding or a loan
  • A roadmap for leadership
  • Make decisions with confidence
  • Set specific, achievable and measurable goals
How to start mapping out your business plan: 

A good point of departure when mapping out your business plan is to have the following:

  • Clarity on what your main idea is and figure out your niche
  • Narrow down your competition and market
  • Set a budget and be clear on the capital you have at your disposal
  • Document everything

According to Standard Bank, a business plan should have the following:

  • Executive Summary of Information
  • Company Description
  • The opportunity, Industry and Market
  • The Business Strategy
  • Management and Operations
  • The Marketing Plan
  • The Financial Plan

We compiled a few free business plan templates you can use to ensure that you’re on the right path: 

Standard Bank Business Plan (word doc + PDF)

Standard Bank offers a free business plan template for SME’s. The model is invaluable coming from a financial institution that renders business loans and funding; they know the criteria they look for when considering a business loan application.

Download the template here: Business Plan Template (word doc) is a great platform that fosters and mentors small businesses. They feature an abundance of tools that are useful to small businesses.

Download the template here:

Law Depot Business Plan Template

Law Depot offers a free business plan template for new businesses. The step-by-step guide starts with selecting your industry and takes you through several steps; their mechanism seamlessly takes you through conducting SWOT analyses, marketing, product, and operations. In the end, you can download or print your personalized business plan.

Download your template here:

Microsoft Business Plan Templates

Microsoft also has a comprehensive repertoire of business plan templates. All you have to do is pick the one that suits your business. You can either edit the template online or download it as a document and edit it in that format. From PowerPoint presentations to word documents with different looks and feel, variety is abundant. Search business templates and explore what they have to offer. 

Download the templates here:

Legal Templates Business Plan Template 

Legal Templates offers an array of free business plan templates; from coffee shops to daycare businesses, clothing and retail. Select your chosen field or opt for the generic business plan. The website walks you through the various sections of a business plan.

Download the templates here:

National Intellectual Property Management Office Business Plan Template

The NIPMO government agency features a cohesive free business plan template. The guide needs you to fill in your business information.

Download the template here:

Invest time in getting your business plan right because the growth and success of your business will flow from that plan. Doing it yourself is a cost-effective way plus, it’ll help you know all the ins and outs of your business from ground-level.