Another disadvantage is that a template in some instances can be a waste of time and ineffective. Most templates appear to be extensive but when closely evaluated, are unnecessary sections that are irrelevant to your planning needs. As you eliminate those unimportant parts, it will leave you with an incomplete business plan outline that's close to being useless. Sometimes you have to forget about performance numbers, growth projections and other typical "pie in the sky" business plan drivel and focus on the one basic necessity that all small businesses (including start_ups) need in order to grow and thrive: Ways to bring in the cash. And if you're just starting out, this will be even more critical to your success since the most important activities of any new business are to generate prospective customers, sell them products and services to keep the business growing. Far too many entrepreneurs believe that by using downloaded templates, they can cut short the planning process and cut down the planning cost. Keep in mind, the real value of doing a business plan is not having the finished product, but the process of research and thinking about your business in a systematic way. A template alone is not enough to make a good plan it takes other variables such as the skills of writer, planning skills and tools working together for the best outcome. Although templates are one of the most helpful things that happened in business planning, before you even consider using one for your plan, decide if it limits your imagination or flexibility to grow your business.
If you need to present a marketing plan to your boss then it is very important that the format used for the plan is appealing. Using an attractive format with proper charts, graphs etc. can really make a difference but at the same time designing the marketing plan can be a chore. So if you have to present your plan to your bosses but do not have the time then you can simply buy a template.