50 Startup Templates to Guide Your Startup Journey

Updated on: 28 March 2024 | 19 min read
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Starting a new venture can be both thrilling and challenging, and having the right tools at your disposal can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ve curated a collection of essential templates designed to simplify every aspect of your startup journey. Whether you’re in the initial planning stages or navigating growth and innovation, these startup templates are here to streamline your processes, boost efficiency, and set you on the path to success.

Templates for Situational Analysis

Startups can use the following templates to gain valuable insights into their business environment, enabling them to make informed decisions and develop effective strategies for success.

Learn how to conduct an effective situation analysis with our easy guide to performing an situation analysis.

1. SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to identify and understand the internal and external factors that can impact your startup. It helps in identifying areas of advantage, areas needing improvement, potential opportunities for growth, and potential threats to success.

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2. PESTLE Analysis

PESTLE stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors. A PESTLE analysis is a framework used to analyze the external macro-environmental factors that can impact a business. It helps in understanding the broader context in which a business operates and identifying potential risks and opportunities arising from these factors.

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3. Customer Journey Map

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the steps and stages a customer goes through when interacting with a product, service, or brand. It helps startups understand the customer experience from initial awareness through to post-purchase support, enabling them to identify pain points, opportunities for improvement, and moments of truth.

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4. Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of a typical user of a product or service. It is based on research and data about real users and helps businesses understand the needs, goals, behaviors, and preferences of their target audience. Buyer personas are used to inform product development, marketing strategies, and user experience design.

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5. Perceptual Map

A perceptual map is a visual representation of how consumers perceive competing products or brands relative to each other based on certain attributes or dimensions. It helps businesses understand their position in the market and identify opportunities for differentiation.

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6. BCG Matrix

The BCG (Boston Consulting Group) Matrix is a strategic planning tool used to analyze a company’s portfolio of products or business units based on their market growth rate and relative market share. It categorizes products or business units into four quadrants: Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks, and Dogs, each requiring different strategies for management.

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7. Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis is the process of identifying, evaluating, and understanding the strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and performance of competitors in the market. It helps businesses identify competitive threats and opportunities, benchmark their own performance, and develop effective strategies for differentiation and competitive advantage.

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8. Customer Segmentation

A customer segmentation template is a tool used to divide a market into distinct groups of customers with similar characteristics, needs, behaviors, or preferences. It helps businesses tailor their marketing strategies, products, and services to better meet the needs of different customer segments.

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Templates for Business Planning & Development

These planning and development templates provide structured frameworks for organizing and executing various aspects of launching and growing a new business. And they help entrepreneurs outline their business goals, strategies, and operational plans in a systematic manner.

9. Lean Canvas

A one-page business plan format that helps startups quickly and efficiently define and communicate their business model, focusing on key elements such as customer segments, problems, solutions, unique value propositions, channels, revenue streams, cost structure, and key metrics.

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10. Business Model Canvas

Business model canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows businesses to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot their business model in a visual format. It includes nine building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure.

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11. Business Plan

A comprehensive document outlining the startup’s mission, vision, target market, value proposition, marketing strategy, financial projections, and other key aspects of the business. You can use the business plan template when preparing to launch the startup or seeking funding, to provide a detailed roadmap and justification for the business strategy and financial projections.

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12. Organizational Chart

A graphical representation of the startup’s structure, illustrating the hierarchy of roles and reporting relationships within the organization. It can be used when hiring employees or scaling the team, to define roles and responsibilities and establish clarity in reporting lines.

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13. Process Map

The process map visual representation of the startup’s workflows and processes, detailing the sequence of steps involved in delivering a product or service or internal service. Use it to visualize and document key processes within the organization when optimizing operational efficiency or onboarding new employees.

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14. Budget Planning

A tool for business planning and managing the startup’s finances, including revenue projections, expense forecasts, and allocation of funds across various categories. It comes in handy when setting financial goals, creating budgets for different departments or projects, or tracking expenses to ensure financial health and sustainability.

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15. Profit and Loss Statement

Profit and loss template is a financial statement that summarizes the startup’s revenues, costs, and expenses over a specified period, resulting in either a profit or loss. Use it when evaluating the financial performance of the startup, monitoring profitability, and making informed decisions about resource allocation and business strategy.

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16. Marketing Plan

This outlines the startup’s marketing objectives, strategies, tactics, and budget allocation to reach and engage with its target audience effectively. The marketing plan is useful when launching a new product or service, entering new markets, or scaling marketing efforts, to create a cohesive and data-driven plan for reaching and converting customers.

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17. Social Media Strategy

A framework for planning and implementing the startup’s social media marketing efforts, including goals, target audience, content strategy, and performance metrics. You can use it when establishing or optimizing the startup’s presence on social media platforms, to build brand awareness, drive engagement, and generate leads or sales.

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18. Content Calendar

Content calendar template is a schedule outlining the creation and publication of content across different marketing channels, ensuring consistency and alignment with the startup’s overall marketing strategy. It’s used to plan content creation and distribution, to maintain a consistent presence and engage with the target audience effectively over time.

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19. Business Roadmap

A Business Roadmap is a visual representation or strategic document that outlines the goals, initiatives, timelines, and milestones a startup plans to achieve over a specific period. It serves as a guiding framework to align the organization’s efforts toward achieving its strategic objectives.

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20. Business Outcome Concept Map

A tool for visualizing and communicating the desired business outcomes and the strategic initiatives required to achieve them. You can use this when defining strategic objectives and initiatives, to ensure alignment across the organization and focus efforts on driving meaningful business results.

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21. Business Case

A business case template is a document that outlines the rationale, potential benefits, costs, and risks of a proposed business initiative or project. It is used when a startup wants to evaluate the feasibility of a new project, investment, or strategic initiative. This template helps in making informed decisions by providing a structured analysis of the proposed venture.

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22. Business Proposal

A business proposal template is a formal document that presents a solution to a problem or opportunity, including a description of the problem, proposed solution, implementation plan, and financial considerations. It is used when a startup wants to pitch ideas, products, or services to potential clients, partners, or investors.

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23. Contingency Plan

A contingency plan outlines how the startup will respond to unexpected events that might disrupt its operations or slow it down. Startups use it when they want to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities and develop proactive strategies for mitigating or managing them.

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Templates for Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

These types of startup templates provide structured frameworks that help entrepreneurs make informed decisions and solve complex problems. By using these templates, you can analyze situations, identify options, evaluate alternatives, and implement solutions.

24. 5 Whys

The 5 whys template is a problem-solving technique used to identify the root cause of a problem by asking “why” repeatedly. The 5 Whys template provides a structured format for conducting this analysis, helping teams to uncover deeper insights into the underlying causes of issues and develop effective solutions.

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25. Decision Tree

A graphical representation of decision-making processes, mapping out different possible outcomes and the associated probabilities, costs, and benefits to aid in choosing the best course of action.

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26. Force Field Analysis

The force field analysis is a framework for analyzing the driving forces (factors supporting change) and restraining forces (factors resisting change) related to a decision or problem, helping startups understand the dynamics at play and develop strategies to overcome resistance.

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27. Six Thinking Hats

The six thinking hats technique is a method for exploring a problem or decision from different perspectives, represented by six metaphorical hats (e.g., white for facts, red for emotions, black for risks), to encourage holistic and creative thinking.

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28. Fishbone Diagram (Ishikawa Diagram)

The fishbone diagram is a visual tool for exploring the various factors contributing to a problem, categorizing them into categories such as people, process, equipment, environment, and management (the 5 M’s), to identify potential causes and solutions.

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Templates for HR and Team Management

Here are some pre-designed templates to help assist startups effectively manage various aspects of human resources (HR) functions. These templates provide a structured approach to tasks such as hiring, onboarding, performance management, and employee relations.

29. Employee Performance Review

The performance review template structures performance evaluations for employees, including criteria, feedback, goals, and development plans, facilitating constructive discussions and goal setting for continuous improvement.

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30. Employee Onboarding

The employee onboarding template is a structured document or checklist that guides the process of integrating new employees into a startup. It outlines the steps, tasks, and activities required to ensure a smooth transition for new hires and helps them become productive members of the organization as quickly as possible.

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31. Expense Report

Employees use expense report template to itemize and submit their business-related expenses. Using this template, they can provide details of business expenses, such as travel, meals, or supplies, along with receipts or supporting documents.

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32. Skills Inventory

A skills matrix template, also known as a competency matrix or skills inventory matrix, is a visual tool used to assess and track the skills and competencies of individuals or teams within an organization. It is commonly used during workforce planning, performance evaluation, training needs analysis, project staffing, and succession planning.

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33. Employee Journey Map

An employee journey map is a visual representation of the various stages, touchpoints, and experiences an employee goes through during their tenure with a company, from recruitment to departure. Startups use this template to understand and improve the employee experience by mapping out key interactions, emotions, pain points, and opportunities for engagement or improvement at each stage of the employee lifecycle.

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34. Roles and Responsibility

An employee roles and responsibility template is a tool used to clarify and communicate the roles and responsibilities of individual employees within an organization. It outlines the specific tasks, duties, and areas of accountability for each employee, ensuring clarity and alignment in their respective roles. This chart helps employees understand their responsibilities, promotes accountability, and facilitates effective collaboration and coordination among team members.

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35. Team Charter

A team charter template is a document that outlines the purpose, goals, roles, responsibilities, and expectations of a team. It serves as a blueprint for how the team will operate and collaborate to achieve its objectives. Teams can use this to align their efforts, clarify expectations, and work together more effectively to achieve their goals.

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36. Career Growth Plan

A career growth plan template is a structured document that helps individuals outline their professional development goals and the steps needed to achieve them. Using this template they can take a proactive approach to their professional development, set clear goals, and chart a course for success in their careers.

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37. OKR Goal Setting

An OKR (Objectives and Key Results) goal setting template is a structured framework used by individuals or teams to define and track their objectives and key results. Teams can use this to set ambitious yet achievable goals, track progress transparently, and drive continuous improvement and innovation in their work.

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38. 9-Box Model

The 9 box model template, also known as the performance-potential matrix or the talent matrix, is a visual tool used for talent management and succession planning. Organizations can use this to gain insights into their talent pool, identify future leaders, and strategically invest in talent development initiatives to drive long-term success and growth.

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Templates for Effective Meetings

Use these meeting templates to streamline meeting processes, improve communication and collaboration, and make sure that meetings are purposeful, productive, and aligned with organizational goals and priorities.

39. Meeting Agenda

A meeting agenda template outlines the topics, discussions, and objectives for a meeting, making sure that all participants are prepared and aligned on what will be covered. Use this template before every meeting to set clear expectations, prioritize agenda items, and keep discussions focused and productive.

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40. Event Planning

An event planning template is a comprehensive document that outlines all aspects of organizing an event, such as conferences, seminars, product launches, or networking events. Use this template when planning any type of event for your startup. It helps make sure that all details are considered, tasks are delegated, deadlines are met, and resources are allocated effectively to create a successful and memorable event.

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41. Workshop Template

A workshop template is a structured framework for conducting interactive and collaborative sessions for achieving specific learning objectives, skill development, problem-solving, or ideation. You can use it when organizing workshops for your startup, whether for internal training, team building, innovation sessions, or client engagement.

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42. Brainstorming

A brainstorming template provides a structured format for generating and capturing ideas from participants during brainstorming sessions. You can use it when conducting brainstorming sessions to tackle challenges, explore opportunities, generate creative solutions, or foster innovation within your startup.

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43. Ice Breaker Template

An ice breaker template consists of fun and engaging activities or questions designed to help participants relax, build rapport, and establish a positive atmosphere at the beginning of a meeting, workshop, or team event. Use this template at the start of meetings, workshops, or team gatherings to break the ice, encourage interaction, and create a sense of camaraderie among participants.

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Templates for Managing the Projects

Use these project management templates to effectively plan, execute, and monitor startup projects, ensuring successful delivery and alignment with business objectives.

44. Project Proposal

A project proposal template is a document that outlines the scope, objectives, deliverables, timeline, budget, and resource requirements of a proposed project. It provides stakeholders with the necessary information to evaluate the project’s feasibility and make informed decisions.

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45. Work Breakdown Structure

A work breakdown structure templates are hierarchical decomposition of project tasks and deliverables into smaller, more manageable components. It provides a visual representation of the project scope and serves as the basis for project planning and scheduling. Use it to identify all the work required to complete the project and organize it into a structured framework for better management and control.

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46. Project Plan

A project plan template details the activities, resources, timelines, and milestones required to complete a project. Use this template to create a roadmap for project execution, helping to manage tasks, dependencies, and resources efficiently.

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47. Kanban Board

A kanban board template is a visual tool used to manage and track the flow of work in a project or team. I It enables teams to visualize work progress, identify bottlenecks, and prioritize tasks.

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48. Eisenhower Matrix

An Eisenhower matrix template, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, is a prioritization tool that categorizes tasks based on their urgency and importance. It helps individuals or teams focus on tasks that are both urgent and important, while delegating or eliminating tasks that are less critical.

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49. Project Charter

A project charter template formalizes the initiation of a project, outlining its objectives, scope, stakeholders, constraints, and high-level timeline. Use this template at the beginning of a project to gain agreement and alignment among stakeholders on project goals and scope.

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50. Stakeholder Map

A stakeholder map template is a visual representation of project stakeholders and their relationships with the project. It identifies stakeholders' interests, influence, and level of involvement in the project, helping to manage stakeholder expectations and communication.

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From planning business strategies to managing projects, these templates will help you streamline processes, improve efficiency, and foster success in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship. Need more templates? Check out our diagram community to explore 1000+ templates spanning across use cases and industries.

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Author

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Amanda Athuraliya Communications Specialist

Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.

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