Free Business Plan Software for Small Businesses and Farms
Threre is a great new tool that can help you make a business plan for your business. It is called AgPlan, from the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota. IF YOU AREN’T A FARMER KEEP READING, since AgPlan has a Small Business plan tool that is designed for any kind of small business. In fact, there are four free tools that you can use:
Ag – Commodity The Ag-Commodity business plan is designed for traditional farms and ranches that primarily produce commodities.
Ag-Value Added The Ag Value-Added business plan is designed for farms and ranches who are focusing on at least one value-added activity.
Small Business The Small Business plan is designed for any kind of small business.
Commercial Fishing The Fishing business plan is designed for commercial fishing businesses that harvest fish.
A business plan is a written document that states your business goals and objectives as well as provides detail on your business: marketing plans, financial statements, projections, management principles and organizational structure. A business plan is a written guide to your current business, or a proposed business. This plan will assist you in the loan process, and will also provide a map for you to follow.
The AgPlan program is designed to be used on line. You simply register by putting in your e-mail address and a password to get in. You create the business plan by filling in the windows on the screen, but there are helpful guidelines for each part. For example, under the Executive Summary section the tip is: “The Executive Summary is the first page of your business plan, but it should be the last section you write. Summarize the key points that you have written in your business plan in the Executive Summary including a brief description of your business. It should also include your mission statement, goals, credit request, and a description of the keys that will make your business successful.” Below is a screen shot of the program.
You can add a photo to the front page, change the font or insert tables if that helps tell your story. You can work on it, then log off if needed, and come back to it later to finish it. If you have someone you work with such as a partner, banker, consultant, etc., you can allow them to review your plan, and, if you give them permission, they can help you edit the document. When completed, you can print out a very professional looking business plan. I have set up an account for myself and as far as I can tell the program is very robust.
Take a look at AgPlan at http://agplan.umn.edu/
Source: Gene McCluer, OSU Extension, Hardin County