Growthink's Business Plan Template Review
Can you write your business plan in 8 hrs or less?

Growthink's Business Plan Template Review  by Marc Kneepkens

Growthink, the company founded by Dave Lavinsky in 1999, has raised billions of dollars for its clients. With products such as 'Angel Investor Funding Formula', 'VC Pitch Formula', 'Grant Guide', and 'Crowdfunding Formula', they have had a huge impact in helping entrepreneurs get funded. More about these products at the bottom of this page. Over 250,000 entrepreneurs have used their products, and over 2000 customized business plans have been written by the company. That is quite an accomplishment.

We decided to check out their Business Plan Template to see if it really came up to the requirements. As professional business plan reviewers, we see investment proposals and business plans every day. More than 50% of these don't even get opened. More than 95% of these have absolutely no chance to ever see any interest and/or funding.



Dave gives three reasons why entrepreneurs never write their business plan:

  1. No time
  2. Don't know what to write
  3. Don't know how to do the 'Financials'.

And no matter what some may think: if you don't have a solid business plan, you won't get any funding.

Now how can you deal with that? Entrepreneurs are bright people with wonderful ideas, however, they are not accountants, presenters, copywriters, editors and legal experts, all at the same time.

"Going around in circles?"

Dave came up with an efficient and practical solution: an interactive business plan template, in which the essential questions are asked, the actual information that investors want to know first. Information and guidance are provided. The answers can be put right on the template, and can be chosen from several different options, and then be adapted to your personal situation. Of course, it is a whole lot more than that, but by starting and dealing with the essential questions first, in the right way and in the right order, a very readable and to the point business plan gets created.

For example: Any business plan should start with the 'one liner description of the company'. When investors or business plan reviewers scan through many investment proposals, they don't want to have to read the whole business plan to find out what it's about. They want to see quickly, systematically, easily... what you have and what you want.

If I, the Investor or Business Plan Reviewer, have to read through the first 2-3 pages of a business plan trying to establish what in the world you want and need, I stop. Period. You need to be able to do this in the first line, then give an essential overview in the 'Executive Summary', the first page or two. Then, and only then, you must have caught my attention: is this a sector I am looking for? Is this in the investment range I want to work with? Does this look professional? Do they have an interesting and competitive product, and do they have a professional team to execute it? I don't need to read any more than that to know these first points.

In the 'Ultimate Business Plan Template', Dave covers the 10 essential questions that investors ask. In the following 15 minute introductory presentation he covers the first 4. Dave always gives something of value in every presentation he makes. The value in this one covers the first 4 essential points that you have to include and deliver with your business plan. To see what I am talking about, check the presentation here. Take out 15 minutes of your time, it's worth it.

Check the 'Ultimate Business Plan Template' presentation here. Watch Dave explain how it works.

Growthink's business plan template addresses all of these issues very efficiently. They go straight to the point, not wasting your own time, or the investor's. Dave even claims that you can do this in 8 hrs or less. Really? Not weeks or months? 8 hrs, get it over with, say what needs to be said, nothing more, and say it the right way.

Executive Summary, Industry Analysis, Customer Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Marketing Plan, Operations Plan, Management Team, Financial Plan... it's all there, nothing more, nothing less.

"But wait a minute, what about the financials" you might say! The financials, the usual big hurdle, how to deal with that? Dave says real simply, "Just type in the numbers". The projections and all necessary projections will be presented nicely and neatly in a 'Word' document and on an 'Excel' spreadsheet. Easy.

Conclusion of our review of Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template? They pass with flying colors, first class, exactly what is needed to get the job done.

What about the claim to do it in 8 hrs or less? Absolutely, it's possible. Of course, you need to know the potential of your business and everything about it. Do you? I'm sure, you're the only one who can. It's all yours, and it's in your hands to push the button. You may get, like Dave says, 'investors lining up to have a part of it'.

We, the business plan reviewers, are very happy to receive business plans made this way. What a pleasure to deal with them and pass them on to the right investors.

Check the 'Ultimate Business Plan Template' presentation here. Watch Dave explain how it works.

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