SCORE

By Holly Reisem Hanna

Whether you’re a solopreneur, freelancer or aspiring entrepreneur – you need to have a roadmap for your business. This roadmap is your business plan. A business plan will allow you to develop an overall game plan. It will not only help you to avoid costly mistakes, it will also be your ‘go-to’ document if you need financial funding.

But don’t worry…you don’t have to spend months researching and writing a business plan from scratch. There are many online templates and tutorials that can fast-track the process and get you up and running in no time.

Here are some easy-to-use and FREE resources to get you started:

Freelance Business Plan

If freelancing is your business —this is the business plan for you. In this free 30-minute video, you’ll focus on freelance concerns and issues, such as establishing brand goals, client acquisition, client retention, budgeting and marketing goals. In addition to the video tutorial, you’ll also receive free downloads, including a business plan template and guidance on how to fill out each section, as well as additional resources.

Simple Solopreneur Business Plan

This business plan is simple and can be used for a variety of professions. Simply copy and paste the questions into a Word document or print it out and start filling it out. This template includes 17 key areas that will help you determine your course of action quickly and effectively.

One Page Business Plan

This free one-page template is an accompaniment to Chris Guillebeau’s book The $100 Startup. Simple and straight forward, this document can be completed in one hour. In fact, each question can be answered with one or two sentences. Make sure to check out the other resources section that Chris provides, like his free one-page promotional plan.

Business Plan Template When You Need Funding

While some business owners can skate by without a business plan, if you need funding, it’s an absolute must. Because potential investors want to see a positive return on their investment, you’ll need to create a plan that has some very specific details. This free template from Forbes includes 11 key areas that need to be addressed. If you need additional assistance, the author of the article includes a link to a more extensive business plan template that can be completed in one day.

SCORE’s business planning and financial statements template gallery

If you need further assistance with your business plan, check out SCORE, a non-profit 501c(3) resource partner of the Small Business Administration, which provides free small business advice, educates entrepreneurs and helps small businesses start, grow, and maintain their businesses. SCORE Austin certified mentors are experienced entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and executives with a diverse set of industries and specialties who volunteer their experience and knowledge to help small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve success. It also provides low-cost educational workshops.

About The Author

Holly Reisem Hanna is a work at home mom, professional blogger, and social media correspondent. Her blog, The Work at Home Woman has been named by Forbes as one of the best websites for your career. Holly’s been featured on CNN, Forbes, Working Mother, Real Simple, and Woman’s Day Magazine. Connect with her on Twitter at @Holly_Hanna.

5 simple ways to create an effective business plan