How to Use Microsoft Excel to Create a Business Plan

By Stephanie Ellen

A business plan is an essential component of starting and running a successful business. A business plan can help you get a bank loan, promote growth in your company and provide guidelines for you to follow as your business grows. Business plans don't have to be written from scratch; a Microsoft Office template can be downloaded to your computer as a starting point. The template gives you the essential categories and information that needs to be included in a professional looking and complete business plan.

Step 1

Write down answers to the core questions that are vital to a successful business plan: What products or services does your business provide and to whom does it provide those products or services? What needs does you business fill? Why will customers purchase those items or services from you? How will your business reach potential customers? How will you reach your potential customers? How will you get the funds to start or expand your business?

Step 2

Click the "Microsoft Office" button and then click "New."

Step 3

Click "Plans and Proposals" in the left-hand column.

Step 4

Click "Business Plans" and then click "Business Plan sample."

Step 5

Click "Download" to install the template on your computer. The template will automatically open up in Excel.

Step 6

Tailor the business plan to suit your company's needs. The sample business plan works much like a sample resume; most of the fields will need to be replaced with specific information about your own company. For example, delete the generic business name and replace it with your company's business name. Use the answers you generated earlier to fill out the core components of the plan.