The 15 best resources for business plan help - free or under £100

Business plans are a crucial step towards making your business a reality, solidifying ideas and creating structure. They also help established businesses firm things up, and they're an absolute must if you want to get bank finance, private investment or a small business grant.

We often get asked for advice on putting together a business plan. It may be one of the most important steps, but it's also often the most unfamiliar and daunting. Fear not - we've pulled together the 15 best resources out there that won't break the bank. In fact, loads of them are completely free.

On Smarta

1.    More than 500 free business plan templates
2.    Our guide on how to write a business plan
3.    Our section on business plans

Free online courses

4.     Online business planning course from
5.    Free 16-session online business course (go for section two of the course, detailed on the homepage, for content specifically on business plans)
6.     Free online seven-day planning course sent to your email address
7.    This free course comes in five daily emails, from Business Plan Academy


8. directory of business plan courses
9.    A business planning workshop from Palo Alto, on January 21 2010, in London (costs £99.99 but you may get a training grant if you're a small business with more than five employees)
10.    Listings of 250 free day-long business planning workshops all across the UK in the coming month
11.    Free day-long course for anyone who hasn't yet written down their ideas formally into a plan, from Roehampton University, on January 4 2010
12.    Free five-day course in Ilford from the Business Training Centre, in January 2010
13.    More than 90 business planning courses across the UK, with some around the £100 mark (though many are more expensive)
14.    Business Plan Bootcamp (about a third of the way down that page), costing £50 for five hours
15.    A course from the British Library Business & IP Centre on business planning, costing £99 on January 21 2010


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