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They need some evidence that an entrepreneur has done her due diligence, and really does know what she's talking about. That said, business plans today don't look like the business plans of 10 years ago.Investors are shifting their priorities to reflecting the changing market, and they have less and less time to read lengthy business documents.
Download the business plan template, and review our guide on writing a business plan for additional information.We’ve filled out a sample business plan as a companion to our template, featuring a fictional ecommerce business.Our fictional business creates custom greeting cards with your pet’s paw prints on them, and the founder of the business is writing a plan to help understand the market, as well as the logistics and costs involved, to give themselves the best chance of success before they launch.Few, if any, entrepreneurs daydream about their plans and think, "This would look great in two dimensions of black and white type." And yet entrepreneurs who complete a business plan are 21% more likely to grow their businesses, and are twice as likely to secure investment capital and/or loans.While business plans continue to be scorned—if not totally ignored—by some new business owners, the truth is that potential investors, partners, and business mentors want to see something in writing. has been on a steady incline since 2010, so what makes you stand out?The substance of a good business plan hasn’t really changed as much as the presentation.Investors still need the same inspiration and assurances, but they have less time and more opportunities to invest.Get your free business plan template This free business plan template includes the following sections: In our business plan template, each section includes an overview of the most important information to cover and guidelines on how to approach writing and researching each one.There are some high-level strategic guidelines beyond the advice included in this free business plan template that can help you write an effective, complete plan while minimizing busywork.How much detail each of those areas needs, and what kind of information should supplement them, will depend largely on the business, industry, and market.Rather than consider what you want to tell an audience, think about what your audience wants to see.