17 August 2014

Business Models, Plans & Templates

free business resources, helping hand

Free Downloads & Business Templates

Our very own helping hand.

There are plenty of business templates available. Some of the best models are kept hidden, others are available but not used properly. Below are some useful business models and downloads. Hope they help.


Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. SWOT is one of the most commonly used business models. It looks at the business as a whole and can be really useful when applied with honesty.

The problem with SWOT is that it is commonly misunderstood, so please check out the guide to using SWOT before utilising the template which can be downloaded below;

SWOT analysis templateSWOT analysis template download as fillable pdf


Guide to SWOT analysis, dummy copy

SWOT Dummy template and guide as download pdf



LePEST is an older business model that whilst less used these days is probably more apt than ever. LePEST looks at external factors to your business, typically defined as those which bite you but you never saw coming. The acronym LePEST stands for, Legal, Political, Economic, Social & Technological.

It covers the main external influences on your business and gets you to think about how you can identify, plan and prepare for them. Lenders still look at these issues and typically use this type of model to determine their appetite to lend in different sectors.


LePEST business model templateLePEST business model fillable template as pdf download


LePEST dummy filled templateLePEST guidance notes as pdf download



Developed by Michael Porter, this model looks at your business product rather than the enterprise as a whole. It would not be unusual for a business to have different Porter Models for each sector of their business.

Porter Models look at different areas of pressure exerted on a business product or service. Use the guide to Porter Models before downloading, you may also find that the best person to complete this for your business is someone unconnected, it tends to produce more useful results.


Porter analysis fillable pdf templatePorter Analysis template as fillable pdf download


Porter Analysis GuidePorter Analysis guide, pdf download




This forms the basis of most commercial lending assessments. It is either used by lenders to assess creditworthiness or is incorporated into credit scoring systems. PAR stands for Person, Amount, Repayment.

The idea of using the PAR model is to give you a heads-up on how your business application looks in the eyes of a lender. It is not a common business tool but one we like to use when looking at borrowing requests, it is aimed at encouraging you to see things from the lender’s perspective and be better prepared when applying for borrowing.

You can download a fillable pdf template and guide to PAR below;


PAR downloadable pdf guide to using PARPAR guide for using, pdf download


PAR fillable pdf templatePAR, fillable template to download as pdf


Pre-Lending Thinklist

This is a process to be undertaken before applying for commercial finance. The theory is that if you get the basics right and avoid the major pitfalls then you stand a better chance of getting your commercial finance application approved.

There is no rocket science here, it just puts a structure to reviewing things before sending your application in. Our experience shows that if you get the basics right then the likelihood of being approved is much higher. As said it is not rocket science.

Have a look at our quick guide to the Pre-Lending Thinklist and download the template here – Resource-Pre-Lending-Thinklist


Pre Lending Check, fillable pdf

Pre-Lending Application Thinklist, fillable pdf download


Guide to using the pre-application lending thinklist

Pre-Lending Application, guide to using the Thinklist, pdf download



This is an old one but it has stood the test of time. RECoIL is a model that looks at what the business has in terms of resources, what ideas it has for growth and whether it has the necessary skills to achieve these aims. It is an older business model but the basics still apply.

Where RECoIL comes in useful is when a business is making plans for the future, it helps identify what shortcomings exist and whether the business has the requisite abilities to meet it’s ambitions. The purpose of this model is for the business’s own internal judgements to be made, it encourages you to think about different areas of your business to other models.

RECoIL can be useful when use prior to writing or updating a business plan as it covers many of the areas required within a business plan and encourages thinking around them earlier in the process.

Often misunderstood, RECoIL looks at;

  • What resources the business has, both physical and intellectual
  • What experience the owners, team and staff have both inside and outside the company
  • What controls are in place, internal systems, external monitoring etc
  • Where the ideas come from. Not just marketing but product development, strategy, market research etc
  • What the leadership does and how it functions. Who influences things, is their influence positive or right for where the business is heading. Are there barriers to change, attitude to change and external pressures such as family, debt, commitments etc

ReCOIL business model, pdf guide & fillable form

RECoIL fillable pdf download


Product Life Cycle

The Product Life Cycle is a business model tool which encourages you to look at whereabouts in it’s lifespan a product (or service) is. It looks at the product rather than the business as a whole, in this way it differentiates from most other commonly used business models.

Different actions are required at different stages of the product’s life cycle, recognising whereabouts the product is enables a business to invest correctly and plan for future product or allocation or resources.


Product Life Cycle fillable pdf template

Product Life Cycle, fillable pdf template to download


Product Life Cycle, downloadable pdf guide to using

Product Life Cycle, pdf download guide


Cash Flow, P&L, Forecasting Template

This is an open source financial forecasting template which can be downloaded modelled and amended as required. It is best suited for smaller businesses looking to generate a forecast or simple projections. It fits well for companies looking to apply for small lending amounts.

The download is in xls format, can be amended to suit. It is an open source document where we have added comments to explain different parts in an attempt to simplify things.


Forecast Cashflow, P&L TemplateCashflow, P&L Forecasting template .xls download


Networking, Referrals & Introductions

For most businesses networking is essential to build reputation and to obtain new business opportunities. One of the common mistakes people make is to be too broad in what they want or to not identify to other people the type of business they really want.

There is a great saying that ‘I don’t know anyone but I do know someone’. Too many people when networking say things like ‘I can works with anyone’ or ‘I want to work with companies who have trouble managing their admin’, all probably correct but how would someone know that a company is struggling with their admin? You wouldn’t.

Clare Chaney of TAB came up with these two profile forms to enable businesses to clearly identify the type of referral they want and the type of introduction they want. Please download the forms, fill them out and use them when networking. It can be good to print off and hand out, you will get better referrals as a result.


Ideal referral template. Help get introductions networkingMy Ideal Referral. A profile form to help get more referrals networking 


Ideal contact profile, results at networkingMy Ideal Introduction. A profile form to make better connections networking


Cross Option Agreements

A Cross-Option agreement is set up to allow the partners or shareholders in a company to purchase the shares of another should that person die. It is an agreement that commits the remaining shareholders to make the purchase and commits the beneficiaries to sell at a pre agreed price.

The purpose of Cross-Option agreements are to protect the surviving parties in a business and to ensure the shareholding is quickly resolved at a time of distress.

Cross Options are often backed by a life insurance policy which will pay out to the remaining parties a sum suitable to purchase the shareholding from the beneficiaries.

Templates are provided below, however these should be used with care. It is always best to consult your commercial IFA or legal advisor before signing to ensure the correct set up and structure is being used. More details are availablbe about Cross Options and common questions around Cross Option agreements.


Cross Option agreement template 1Cross Option Agreement, template from Brightgrey


Cross Option Agreement template 2Cross Option Agreement, template from Scottish Provident