To be fit for every purpose, your plan should be straightforward – it should set out where you’re going, how you plan to get there, what makes you different and what could get in the way – with full costings for as much of it as possible. Hit your business’s key points hard: Why are you here? Where are you heading – and how will you get there?
An executive summary will help any readers quickly grasp the main points of your plan.
For example, if you want to start a vegetarian restaurant, a plan for a steakhouse can be a great match.
While the specifics of your actual startup will differ, the elements you'd want to include in your restaurant's business plan are likely to be very similar.
For that to be true for your company, you'll think of part of your business planning process as tracking your actual results against your financial forecast on a regular basis.
If things are going well, your plan will help you think about how you can re-invest in your business.
Think about business planning as something you do often, rather than a document you create once and never look at again.
If you take the time to write a plan that really fits your own company, it will be a better, more useful tool to grow your business.
But, you don't need an exact match for it to be helpful.
Instead, look for a plan that's related to the type of business you're starting.