What is a Business Plan?
From the name itself, a business plan is a compilation of information, objectives, plans, and strategies about your business; it's what gives direction to your business. It contains a lot of important and useful data about your company which you need to place on high security so as to avoid getting it in the wrong hands. Thanks to today's technological advancements, you won't have to keep manually saving your business plan outlines and documents especially these confidential plans. Now, you can make use of Google's own online office productivity suite which contains features that help you to easily write, revise, and share your documents.
How to Create Business Plans Using Google Docs
If you're just starting to draft your business plan and would want to collaborate with your team without actually taking the time to hold short meetings, consider creating that plan through Google Docs. You can use one of their business plan templates or you can choose to create your own. Here's how:
1. Open the Document
Open your Google Mail account and proceed to Google Docs. Click to open a new blank document.
2. Design the Cover Page
Having a cover page makes your business plan look attractive and stand out among the rest. To insert your business logo, just click Insert or the image logo above the ruler. Once you've inserted the image, you can see a statement above the ribbon that says, "All changes saved in Drive." This means that even if your computer shuts down or if you've accidentally dismissed the page, your document is already saved in Google Drive and is still available for your perusal once you go back to Google Docs. Next, write down your company name, contact information, and other details.
3. Draft the Table of Contents
On the next page comes your Table of Contents. Just click Insert, choose Table of Contents, then pick which design is most suitable to you. Start writing your headings and subheadings such as the parts of a generic business plan. And since you won't be able to complete this page yet, just decide what font style to use here and for the pages thereafter. The font styles must be the same or at least closely similar to each other.
4. Plan and Write
This is where you write down your actual business operational plan. It's highly recommended to have individual pages for each part of your plan, but the decision rests with you. Also, don't forget to highlight your headings and subheadings; you can choose to have them in bold, italicized, or underlined.
5. Set Page Numbers
With Google Docs, you can place page numbers on the pages with ease or use a pre-made document template. To do so, click Insert and choose Header and Page Number, then click Page Number and you can choose which type of page numbering you want to use. After this, go back to your Table of Contents and click the curved arrow on the side to automatically update it with your page numbers.
6. Proofread and Share
Run through your strategic business plan one more time before sharing it with your coworkers. To share, just click the blue Share button on the upper right corner of the screen. Afterward, you can choose to send it to them or you can just get a shareable link.