What is a Business Plan and Business Plan Templates for PowerPoint

A business without a business plan is like a boat sailing aimlessly in the sea. It might find land or fall prey to a storm! A business plan is meant to help entrepreneurs plan and understand the road ahead, so they can try to steer the business towards its desired destination. In this post we will give you an overview of what is a business plan, alternatives to a business plan and free business plan PowerPoint templates.

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document which describes the goals of a business, how the goals will be achieved and a timeline regarding the achievement of the goals. Such a document also describes the organization, the nature of the business, financial forecasts and strategies. A business plan is a blueprint regarding the direction the business is to be steered towards. Business plans usually contain a description of products or services, market analysis and marketing strategy, budget, financial plan, operating costs and projected revenue and performance.

A business plan is used by new companies to give direction to the business, whereas companies which are well established use business plans for new ventures. The document detailing the business plan must include the costs and benefits of the decisions made.

what is a business plan

Key Components of an Effective Business Plan

No two business plans are likely to be the same, however, every business plan will have goals, product and service-related details, financials, trends, etc. Below are a few of the key components of an effective business plan.

Executive Summary: An executive summary would be at the start of your business plan, describing what the business aims to achieve, details of products or services and other key highlights. This section should be compelling and might even be best to start writing once you’re done with the rest of the business plan, so that you can have a clearer picture regarding what to include in it.

Introduction of the Company: Whether you’re a startup or an established business, you should introduce your company in your business plan. You can also highlight your key strengths, such as your team which might consists of experienced people from the industry.

Products and Services: A business plan needs to describe the products and/or services in detail. This section would have a detailed explanation of what you’re selling, its utility, expected lifespan, its benefit for consumers, etc.

Market Analysis: This would include the situation on ground. Does the market have ample room for a new company? Is your product going to create a new type of market with a unique new product? You might even want to discuss your strengths and weakness or add a SWOT analysis.

Marketing Strategy: In this section you will explain a clear strategy for selling to your consumers. This might include details of the market segment and should include information regarding the distribution channel and how you intend to attract customers.

Financial Planning: This section will detail the financial planning, forecasts and for established business, it might include information such as balance sheets and other financial statements.

Budget: For a business to be successful, it must know its fixed and variable costs, expenditure on investment and other business expenses. You will require explaining everything from salaries, rent to manufacturing, marketing, and other costs for this section.

Alternatives to Business Plans

There can be various viable alternatives for a business plan, especially for small businesses and startups. These can help entrepreneurs reach out to customers, increase profits and raise business awareness. Furthermore, they can be alternative methods for strategizing for a business as an alternative to business plans.

Business Model Canvas

An alternative to a conventional business plan can be a Business Model Canvas. This strategic management template can help entrepreneurs to think through the key aspects of their business. A Business Model Canvas visually displays elements describing a company’s value proposition for a product, customers, infrastructure and finances.

Lean Canvas

This is a one-page document for deconstructing the key ideas behind a business. It has been adapted from the Business Model Canvas. It replaces complex business plans with a simple, one-page model.

Tools to Aid, Track and Implement Your Business Plan

There are a number of tools and apps, which can help aid the implementation of a business plan. While the list can be infinite due to the plethora of tools available, we have listed a few popular apps that you can use to track and implement your business plan.

Business Brief

A business brief is meant to promote products or services, provide solutions or raise awareness regarding the business. Business briefs can be effective for reaching customers, increasing awareness regarding a business, product or service and to increase profits for a business.

Trello

Trello is widely used by project managers and businesses to organize, prioritize and manage projects and businesses using lists, cards and workflow automation.

Gust

Gust.com is a platform which helps startups to manage their plans for a new business. Gust can be used for making corporate plans, secure corporate communication and to find the best ways to raise funds for investment.

LivePlan

LivePlan is a platform where you can plan, fund and find ways to grow you business. With LivePlan you can have a Live business plan for planning, monitoring and progress of your business goals, as well as find various handy templates for taking your business plan forward.

Microsoft Excel

For a sole proprietor or a small business, a simple Excel sheet might be good enough to plan, organize and forecast their earnings. Excel can be a powerful tool for tracking and implementing your business plan using formulas, tables and Gantt charts.

business plan alternatives

Google Sheets

As an alternative to Microsoft Excel, small business owners or entrepreneurs can simply use Google Sheets to plan, organize and forecast their earnings. Google Sheets can also be a powerful tool for tracking and implementing your business plans.

Recommended Business Plan Templates

We have compiled a list of a few free business plan templates for PowerPoint to help you create and present your business plans using easy to edit and visually appealing slides. One of the best ways to track a business plan is with the use of PowerPoint slides. You can create these easily in PowerPoint and keep an eye on your business plan progress. Furthermore, you can also use the slides created for tracking purposes as a presentation handy for presenting the progress of your business plan. Here are a few recommended templates you can use for this purpose.

Free Business Plan Slides for PowerPoint

This is a free PowerPoint template by SlideModel, which gives editable slides with objects which can be selected and edited within sample slides. You can use this high-quality free business plan PowerPoint template for creating neat looking business plans for discussing your plan with data, trends, customizable diagrams and charts.

Other than PowerPoint, you can also use this free business plan template with Keynote and Google Slides.

free business plan slides for powerpoint

Go to Download Free Business Plan Slides for PowerPoint

Effective Business Plan PowerPoint Template (41 Slides)

The Effective Business Plan PowerPoint Template is a presentation design template with 41 useful slides that you can use to prepare your business plan presentations. This template can be used as a framework and tool to include a variety of business plan slides including Executive Summary slide, presentation slides for Vision, Mission and Company Values, Core Competences slide and space to add external environment, Strategy slides, Plans and Objectives, Business Strategy and Operating Plan slides, and then a section where you can include the Financial information, eg. to make a Break-Even Analysis or present financial projections.  Additionally, there are some slides useful to represent a SWOT analysis and critical success factors.

Effective Business Plan PowerPoint Template

Go to Effective Business Plan PowerPoint template by SlideModel

Free Business Plan Template for Google Slides

When talking about the best business plan templates for Google Slides, one must consider the fluidity and clean look of this free business plan template. The template comes with a grayish and white layout for slides and provides a comprehensive set of slides to help you design your business plan from start to finish. You can also use the icons slide to copy useful business plan icons for use in your slides.

business plan google slides template

Go to Free Business Plan Template for Google Slides

Conclusion

A business plan can be the lifeline for a new venture, startup or existing business looking to expand. Business plans are not only great for planning the road ahead but also to attract investment and focus on key areas a business needs to consider for making a venture successful. Some businesses might do away with a business plan in favour of alternative models, however, in the long-term, a comprehensive business plan might be inevitable, especially for medium size or large corporations looking to expand their horizon.

About Farshad

Farshad is a Tech Blogger from Pakistan who has worked for numerous international Technology Blogs. He is a former systems engineer and has been associated with the IT industry for the past 8 years, rendering professional services related to desktop administration, networking, SEO and Blogging.

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