Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Why Free Business Plan Templates Aren’t Always a Good Idea

When you’re looking for business plan templates, you’ll probably come across umpteen sites that offer free business plan templates, and if you are like most people, you’ll probably be sorely tempted to try them. After all, free is most people’s favorite price range! Often you may be better of using professional business plan services to get your business plan done and kick your business of in the right way.

However, while even free business plan templates can be useful when writing a business plan, they may not be the solution to all your business-planning problems.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you should think twice before you choose a free business plan template.


When you pay for business plan templates, or software, you’re dealing with a company, who employs professionals to ensure that their business plan templates and software is free of any possible errors. They spend time and money on research and development, to make sure that they business plan templates and tools they offer are as accurate as they can possibly be.

When you use paid for business plan templates, you can also query the accuracy of the template you are using, which means if you pick up a discrepancy, it can be repaired.


Free business plan templates do not always contain all of the information you need to include in yours. Since leaving important information out of your business plan could be the thing that sinks your hopes of finding funding, that means that when you use a free business plan template, you still have to check, manually, that you have included everything necessary in your plan.

That is not necessarily a bad thing – if you have the time to go through the business plan you have created using a template, but it is something you might want to bear in mind.


There are many things to consider when it comes to the relevancy that you get from a business plan template – whether it is a free one or a paid for one.

First, there is the question of whether it is geographically relevant. Most parts of a business plan are the same around the world, however, there may be specific legal and other requirements that are geographically relevant to you, and not in the template you’re using (or vice versa.) Again, regardless of which template you use, you will need to ensure this.

You will also need to ensure that the business plan template you use allows you to convert the financial sections of the plan into your local currency, or the currency you plan to use in your business plan. The numbers may not change, but it will look unprofessional if you do not even have the right currency symbol on your plan!

Finally, there is the type of business you are writing a business plan for. There are plenty of generic free business plan templates out there, but in most cases, having a business plan template based on a business idea that most closely matches your own is a much better idea, and easier to use!

If you can find a business plan that is as close as possible to the business you are planning to start, you will be able to modify and alter it quickly and easily.

What is Best for You?

If you need to write a business plan, and don’t know where to start, and if you don’t have the budget to spend on business plan services or templates, then free business plan templates can be a great thing.

However, you must bear in mind the old saying ‘you get what you pay for.’ A free business plan template is a great tool, but it still requires a large amount of input from you, if it is going to give you the results you want. If you can afford to buy a high quality, tailored business plan template, then you will have a solution that will save you time and frustration – but either way, it’s up to you, and your needs and circumstances.


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