Free Simple Business Plan Template
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Your business plan is the document that adds structure to your proposal and helps you focus your objectives on an achievable and realistic target. It should cover every aspect of what your business journey will look like, from licensing and revenue, to competitor and sector analysis.
Writing a business plan doesn't need to be a difficult process, but it should take at least a month to be done properly.
In today's capricious business climate there's a lot to consider, such as the impact of political challenges like Brexit. These details are especially important in today's bad economy. Investors are looking for entrepreneurs who are aware of the challenges ahead and how to properly plan for them.
Below, you'll find everything you need to create a concise, specific and authoritative business plan. So let's get started turning your idea into a reality!
Our below guide will give you detailed advice on how to write a quality business plan. But first, you need to know what to include – and that's where a high quality template can help.
We recommend creating an account with monday to use this template – doing so means you can start your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot.
What to include in your business plan template
There's a lot of information online about how to write a business plan – making it a confusing task to work out what is and isn't good advice.
We're here to cut through the noise by telling you exactly what you need to include for a business plan that will satisfy stakeholders and help develop a key identity for your brand. By the end, you'll have a plan to make even Alan Sugar proud and can get started with the most exciting part – running your business.
Throughout this guide, we've featured an example business plan template for a new restaurant opening in Birmingham called ‘The Plew'. In each section, you'll be able to see what the contents we're describing would look like in a ‘real-life' document.
What to include in your business plan:
- Executive Summary
- Personal summary
- Business idea
- Your product or service
- Market analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Cash forecast
- Operations and logistics
- Backup plan
- Top tips for writing a business plan
- Business plan template UK FAQs
1. Executive summary
This section is a summary of your entire business plan. Because of this, it is a good idea to write it at the end of your plan, not the beginning.
Just as with the overall business plan, the executive summary should be clearly written and powerfully persuasive, yet it should balance sales talk with realism in order to be convincing. It should be no more than 1,000 words.
It should cover:
- Mission statement – what is your company's purpose?
- Business idea and opportunity – what unique selling point (USP) will you provide?
- Business model – how will your business operate?
- Business objectives – what are you aiming to achieve?
- Target market – who is your customer base?
- Management team – who are the owners/senior staff?
- Competition – who are you competing against?
- Financial summary – can you prove the business will be profitable?
- Marketing strategy – what is your marketing plan and associated costs?
- Timeline – how long will it take to launch/grow your new business?
It sounds like a lot – but don't feel you have to spend hours putting this together. Here's what the above information for an executive summary might look like when put into our example business plan template for ‘The Plew':
Startups' business plan template example: executive summary
2. Personal summary
Investors want to know who they're investing in, as much as what. This is where you tell people who you are, and why you're starting your business.
Outline your general contact details first, giving your telephone number, email address, website or portfolio, and any professional social media profiles you might have.
Run through this checklist to tell the reader more about yourself, and put your business ambitions into context.
- What skills/qualifications do you have?
- What are you passionate about?
- What is/are your area(s) of industry expertise?
- Why do you want to run your own business?
Here's what our two fictional co-founders of ‘The Plew' might write in their personal summaries for our example business plan. CEO Gabrielle Shelby, has highlighted her expertise in the restaurant industry, while CFO Freya Moore outlines her accounting and finance knowledge.
Startups' business plan template example: personal summary
Richard Osborne, founder and CEO of UK Business Forums, says personality is important in a business plan.
“Having a strong, personal reason at the heart of your business model will help keep you going and give you the motivation to carry on,” he affirms.
3. Business idea
This section is essentially to offer a general outline of what your business idea is, and why it brings something new to the market.
Here, you should include your general company details, such as your business name and a one-line summary of your business idea known as an elevator pitch. This section should also list a few key business objectives to show how you plan to scale over the next 1-3 years.
We also recommend carrying out a SWOT analysis to tell investors what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are for your business idea. Think about:
- Strengths: ie. why is this a good time to enter the sector?
- Weaknesses: ie. what market challenges might you encounter?
- Opportunities: ie. what demand is your product/service meeting in today's market?
- Threats: ie. how will the business be financed to maintain liquidity?
In the template below, you can see a breakdown of the above information for ‘The Plew'. At the top is its mission statement: “to craft an unforgettable dining experience in a chic atmosphere.”
Startups' business plan template example: business idea
Need a business idea? We've crunched the numbers and come up with a list of the best business ideas for startup success in 2023 based on today's most popular and growing industries.
4. Your products or services
Now it's time to explain what you are selling to customers and how will you produce your sales offering.
Use this section to answer all of the below questions and explain what you plan to sell and how. Just like your business idea outline, your answers should be concise and declarative.
- What product(s) or service(s) will you sell?
- Do you plan to offer new products or services in the future?
- How much does the product or service cost to produce/deliver?
- What is your pricing strategy ?
- What sales channels will you use?
- Are there legal requirements to start this business?
- What about insurance requirements?
- What is the growth potential for the product or service?
- What are the challenges? eg. if you're looking to sell abroad, acknowledge the potential delays caused by post-Brexit regulations.
What insurance and licensing requirements do you need to consider?
Depending on what your business offers, you might need to invest in insurance or licensing. Our How To Start guides have more details about sector-specific insurance or licensing.
Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, and Employers' Liability are the most well-known types of business insurance. We've listed some other common other licensing and insurance requirements below:
In our example product/service page for ‘The Plew”s business plan, the founders choose to separate this information into multiple pages. Below, they outline their cost and pricing, as well as sales strategy. But they also include an example menu, to offer something a bit more unique and tantalising to the reader:
Startups' business plan template example: product list and pricing strategy
5. Market analysis
This section demonstrates your understanding of the market you are entering, and any challenges you will likely face when trying to establish your company.
This section pulls all of your target market and customer research together to indicate to stakeholders that you are knowledgable about the sector and how to succeed in it.
- Who is your typical customer and where are they are based? Describe the profile of your expected customers eg. average age, location, budget, interests, etc.
- How many customers will your business reach? Outline the size of your market, and the share of the market that your business can reach.
- Have you sold any products/services to customers already? If yes, describe these sales. If no, have people expressed interest in buying your products or services?
- What have you learned about the market from desk-based research? What are the industry's current challenges, and how has it been affected by the economic downturn?
- What have you learned about the market from field research? (eg. feedback from market testing like customer questionnaires or focus group feedback).
What is your marketing strategy?
Once you've highlighted who your rivals are in the market, you can provide details on how you plan to stand out from them through your marketing strategy. Outline your business' USP, your current marketing strategy, and any associated advertising costs.
‘The Plew' identifies its target audience as young, adventurous people in their mid-30s. Because of the restaurant's premium service offering, its audience works in a well-paid sector like tech:
Startups' business plan template example: customer analysis
6. Competitor analysis
This section demonstrates how well you know the key players and rivals in the industry. It should show the research you have carried out in a table format.
Begin by listing the key information about your competitors. Don't worry about sounding too critical, or too positive. Try to prioritise accuracy above all else.
- Business size
- Product/service offering
- Sales channels
Competitors will take two forms, either direct or indirect. Direct competitors sell the same or similar products or services. Indirect competitors sell substitute or alternative products or services.
Here's a breakdown of the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, and threats presented by a competitor restaurant for ‘The Plew' called Eateria 24. At the bottom, the founders have written what learnings they can take from the chart.
Startups' business plan template example: competitor analysis
Check out our list of the top competitor analysis templates to download free resources for your business, plus advice on what to include and how to get started.
7. Cash forecast
Outline your financial outlook including how much you expect to spend, and make, in your first year
All of your considered costs can be put into one easy-to-read document called a monthly cash forecast. Cash forecasts contain:
1. Incoming costs such as sales revenue, customer account fees, or funding.
2. Outgoing costs such as staff wages or operating expenses. The latter can cover everything from advertising costs to office supplies.
For those firms which have already started trading, include any previous year's accounts (up to three years) as well as details of any outstanding loans or assets.
Annual cash forecast: what is it?
By conducting 12 monthly cash forecasts, you can create an annual cash forecast to work out when your company will become profitable (also known as breakeven analysis) . You will break even when total incoming costs = total outgoing costs.
In your annual cost budget, make sure to also include month opening/closing balance. This is important to monitor for accounting, particularly for year-end.
- Opening balance = the amount of cash at the beginning of the month
- Closing balance = the amount of cash at the end of the month
The opening balance of any month will always be the same as the closing balance of the previous month. If you are repeatedly opening months with a negative closing balance, you need to adjust your spending. Here's an example of what ‘The Plew's financials might look like in its first year of operation:
Startups' business plan template example: cash forecast
8. Operations and logistics
Explain how your day-to-day business activities will be run, including key business partnerships around production and delivery.
List all of the behind the scenes information about how your business will operate. Include:
- Management team – who do you plan to hire as senior staff and why?
- Premises – where will you be based? What will be the cost?
- Materials – what materials/equipment will you need to make your product/service?
- Staffing – how many employees will you hire? How much will they cost?
- Insurance – what insurance do you need for production?
Detail how your customers will receive your product or service. Include:
- Distribution – how will you sell your product to customers?
- Transport – how will you transport the product/service to customers or partners?
- Insurance – what insurance do you need for delivery?
C.) Supplier analysis
Lastly, you should carry out a supplier analysis. Write down 2-3 suppliers you plan to use as part of your business operations and evaluate them on factors like location and pricing.
In our example business plan for ‘The Plew', the founders have chosen to present this information in an easily-digestible chart, breaking down the leadership and employees into two different areas: product development and operations.
Startups' business plan template example: staffing section
9. Backup plan
Explain how you will manage any surprise losses if your cash forecast does not go to plan.
In the event that your business does not go to plan, there will be costs to incur. A backup plan outlines to potential investors how you will pay back any outstanding loans or debt.
In the short-term:
If your cash-flow temporarily stalls, what steps could you take to quickly raise money or make savings? For example, by negotiating shorter payment terms with your customers.
In the long-term:
If you've noticed a drop in sales that seems to be persisting, what changes can you make that would improve cash flow longer term? For example, can you do more of your business online to reduce rent fees?
To placate investors even further, it's a good idea to include details about potential support channels you can utilise (eg. a business network or contact) who might be able to help if you get caught in a sticky cash-flow situation.
Startups' 5 top tips for writing a business plan
- Keep your predictions realistic. Your business plan should showcase your knowledge of the sector and what's achievable. It's not about impressing investors with big numbers or meaningless buzzwords.
- Don't go over 15 pages. Business plans should be engaging, which means sticking to the point and avoiding a lot of long-winded sentences. Keep your executive summary to less than 1,000 words, for example.
- End with supporting documents. Use your appendix to include product diagrams or detailed research findings if these are helpful to your business case.
- Get a second pair of eyes. Everyone misses a spelling error or two – invite a trusted business contact or associate to look over your business plan before you send it anywhere.
- Leave enough time to write! It's exciting to think about getting your business up and running – but planning is an important step that can't be rushed over. Spend at least a month on writing to get all the details correct and laid-out.
Now that you're up to speed on everything a business plan needs to include, we recommend using the free monday.com business plan template to jot down your ideas.
At Startups.co.uk, we're here to help small UK businesses to get started, grow and succeed. We have practical resources for helping new businesses get off the ground – use the tool below to get started today.
What Does Your Business Need Help With?
Designing a business plan is very important for laying the foundation of your business. Ensure you spend an appropriate amount of time filling it out, as it could save you many headaches further down the line.
Once your plan is complete, you'll then be ready to look at other aspects of business set-up, such as registering your company. Sound daunting? Don't worry!
Our experts have pulled together a simple, comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in 2023, which will tell you everything you need to know to put your new plan into action.
- Can I write a business plan myself? Absolutely! There are plenty of resources available to help, but the truth is a business plan needs to reflect the owner's personal ambitions and passion - which is why entrepreneurs are best-placed to write their own.
- How long should a business plan be? We recommend your business plan is kept to a maximum of 15 pages. Keep it short and concise - your executive summary, for example, should be no more than 1,000 words.
- Is it OK to copy a business plan? While not technically illegal, copying a business plan will leave you in a poor position to attract investment. Customising your plan to your unique business idea and industry specialism is the best way to persuade stakeholders that you have a winning startup formula.
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4 Free Business Plan Templates: Where to find them and what you get
While some people argue about whether you need a business plan to be successful, you almost certainly will need one when opening bank accounts and seeking funding. Fortunately there are some good free business plan templates and advice online. Here we will review 4 of the best covering what you get and where to find them.
1) Gov.uk – The ‘write a business plan’ page of the UK government’s website includes advice and a selection of different business plan templates so you can select which one is best for your business.
2) The Prince’s Trust – Although The Prince’s Trust specialise in supporting young people their business plan template is available to anyone. At 16 pages it is substantially shorter than the one from Business Link and is less formal in tone. The Prince’s Trust plan also goes into more depth on the logistics of how the company is going to work and the reasons for starting it up.
3) Microsoft Word – Microsoft have a start-up business template which you can download. When you open it up in word it runs to 28 pages and is full of questions, advice and points to consider. Compared to The Princes Trust and Business Link plans it is a lot more text heavy and takes some reading. It is also a lot more focussed on the financials of the company than the other two plans, concentrating on accounts payable, pricing and other financial planning considerations.
4) Your Bank – One of the main reasons people do a business plan is because their bank asks them to. If this is your motivation then it makes sense to use a template your bank will like. Our business banking partners HSBC have a business plan tool, Natwest have an online form and Barclay’s offer plenty of advice . Many of the other main UK banks also have templates or advice online. Using the bank’s own forms should mean that you tick all of the boxes and answer all of the questions they are likely to be looking at which can only help make your meeting go more smoothly.
Whichever template you choose it is important that you invest the time to get your plan right before you try to use it. Most of these plans require you to do a considerable amount of research into your target market, customers and competitors. Don’t leave it until the night before your bank meeting to get it done!
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Free business plan template
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Download a business plan template and start bringing your ideas to life. Choose a one-pager, or multi-pager. Or try Xero accounting software for free.
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Fill in the form to get a free business plan template as an editable PDF. We’ll send a one-pager and a multi-pager to choose from.
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Getting started with the business plan template
We’ll send you two types of business plan template – a one-pager and a multi-pager. Choose the one that’s right for you. They come with instructions to help fill them out.
Doing a business plan will improve your idea. It helps you think about your business from different points of view. The process will flag up unseen risks, but also new opportunities. Aside from helping refine your idea, a business plan will move it forward. It’ll give you a concrete set of steps to go from ‘I should’ to ‘I did’.
One-page business plan template
Great for making a start
Helps you pin down the main idea
Easy to update as things evolve
Multi-page business plan template
Ideal for nailing down the details
Required by most investors and lenders
Good if you face big startup costs
Tips to help with your business plan
Don’t obsess over every detail to start with. That will make the plan long and hard to change. Keep it short and concise initially.
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Example business plans
Put together your business plan with our tips.
Where can I find an example of a business plan?
If you’re preparing to write your first business plan and are looking for some useful resources and advice on what elements to include you have come to the right page.
It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan when you’re starting up a business. We have our own section devoted to business planning where there are lots of articles and links to information on writing business plans . The content can show you how to prepare a high quality plan using a number of easy-to-follow steps but also contains more specialist information to help you really fine tune your document, plus advice on presentation and targeting.
If you are specifically looking for advice as a franchisee, check out our article on the 11 things you need to include in a franchise business plan .
There are a range of other sources you may also want to use. An often overlooked source is your Bank who may well have information, examples and templates of business plans:
- Barclays template and checklist [pdf]
- Lloyds sample plan [downloadable pdf – see section 4]
The Prince’s Trust offers downloadble pdf, MS Word and Excel templates . They also offer personal advice on completing a plan through their Enterprise programme if you are selected to work with them.
Slideshare has lots of business plans uploaded, which you can browse through here . We liked this thorough 26 page example from The Business Plan Team , as well as a template created by former Deloitte Management Consultants here , and a good example of a colourful, visual plan suitable for a trendy food business here .
An interesting interactive free business plan creator is offered by LawDepot . On the website you are stepped through 7 simple steps using a well-designed graphic interface, and at the end you can output the subsequent plan ready to fill in. There are 12 industries to choose from and it has sections for company structure, product, marketing, SWOT, operations and ‘Fine Details’.
Other Web Resources: Business Plan Templates
You can find examples of business plans for different types of businesses at:
- ACCA – the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants have 3 example business plans for three different business sectors: Cafe, Import Business, UK Ltd business seeking finance.
- Bplans – owned and operated by Palo Alto Software Inc., the site has free plans to download and it also has examples for lots of different types of individual or specific market sectors.
- Expert Hub – based in South Africa, this site has 21 example business plans for different categories.
- Start Up Loans – offer a downloadable .docx template.
- Invest Northern Ireland – have a .doc business plan template to download here
- StartUps.com – have four sample plans that you can access from Google Drive (note, this is a USA site so the examples are US-based, although the formats could still work for a UK business).
- Examples.com – 20+ example downloadable .pdf plans for different sectors.
Finally, how about a video on the subject? Quite a few examples on Youtube.
How about this one from Craig Frazier?
Further reading on business plans:
- Advice and the basic tips of writing a business plan
- A check list of what should be in your business plan
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Writing Your Business Plan
A business plan is a document that will not only help you to evaluate your business idea, but it will also provide you with focus and direction. It should set out what you want to achieve and how you intend to achieve it.
Download A Business Plan (Word) Template Here
Making A Request For Funding
If you have identified that you will need to borrow money to start your business, then a detailed business plan will be required and will play a vital role in making a successful application for finance. A lender or investor will want to see that you can pay back any loans or provide them with a return on their investment.
Do's and Dont's
- Do think about the audience for your business plan and write it accordingly.
- Don’t forget to update your business plan regularly. Business planning is not just for start-up businesses!
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Business Plan template
What is a business plan.
A Business Plan is a written document that describes your core business objectives and how you plan to achieve them over a set period of time. It is designed to help you, and others, understand how you plan to generate money and make your business sustainable. A Business Plan often includes information about your goals, strategies, marketing and sales plans and financial forecasts. Read on below for more information about the key sections of a Business Plan.
Download your copy of the Business Plan template now. The document includes a Personal Survival Budget template and a Cash Flow Forecast template, which are also required for your application:
The guide is an annotated version of the Business Plan template with notes from our Business Advisers about what type of information, examples and evidence to include in order to help us understand you and your business. While we encourage you to use this Business Plan template, it is not mandatory and you are welcome to submit your own Business Plan template provided it details similar information.
Please note, the following documents should open on any device with a document viewer and editor but for the best user experience, we recommend editing this Business Plan template on a desktop.
Why is a Business Plan important?
There are many great reasons why it is worth your time creating a Business Plan – even if you’re not quite ready to apply for a Start Up Loan. Here are just seven:
A Business Plan:
- Provides a structured way of organising your thoughts and clarifying your idea.
- Helps you set out your goals and spot any potential problems in achieving these goals.
- Gives you a clear strategy to follow when things get busy.
- Is often essential for securing external finance for your business (and is required if you’re applying for a Start Up Loan).
- Allows you to measure your progress as you go along.
- Ensures all of your team are working towards the same vision.
- Helps you plan for the future.
Key sections of a Business Plan:
A Business Plan can include whatever information you feel is required to best convey how you are planning to make your business sustainable and, when it comes to applying for a Start Up Loan, the following are the core sections we require.
Your business and key objectives: A brief description of your business and its core products or services. This section also includes a clear and concise overview of the goals your business is trying to achieve over a set period of time. Sometimes these are broken down as short, mid and long-term goals, but it helps if they’re measurable (how will you know if you have achieved this?) and realistic (can you achieve this with the money, resources and time you have?).
If you are applying for a Start Up Loan, you will of course also need to detail how you intend to use the money if you’re successful. Our Loan Assessment team will want to see that the Start Up Loan will support your overall business objectives.
Your skills and experience: An overview of your experience as it relates to your business. If you’ve previously worked in a similar business, or have experience running another business, this will help provide confidence that you are in a good position to start up. Even if this is all brand new to you, think about any transferable skills you’ve developed, life experiences you’ve had or training you’ve completed that may be useful.
Your target customers, market and competition: A summary of key insights that demonstrate you have a strong understanding of your customers (and how to identify them), your market (and how to position yourself within it) and your competitors (and how to differentiate yourself from them on factors like price, quality, brand etc).
Your sales and marketing plans: This section is all about how you are planning to attract customers. You might include information about where you’ll distribute your products, what your branding and logo will be and what pricing you’ll apply. Additionally, you will need to demonstrate how you will spread the word about your product/services in order to generate demand, such as using social media, exhibiting at a trade conference or investing in online advertising.
Your operational plans: This will be different depending on your business model, but may include information on where you’ll trade (like a home office or external premises), the number of staff you’ll need to employ, what their roles will be and any equipment or tools you’ll need to run your business. You can also use this section to detail any processes that are important to your operations, as well as any industry, tax or legal regulations related to your business. It’s also good to think about any risks you may face, how you will overcome them and what you will do if things don’t go to plan.
Financials Many business plans include a financial section, which outlines how you’ll fund all of the activities you’ve outlined and what revenue you expect to generate. Because we ask you to complete a Cash Flow Forecast as part of your Start Up Loan application, we don’t require too much detail on this in your Business Plan. Rather, these two documents should be complementary.
Check out our Cash Flow Forecast guide and template >>
Writing a Business Plan – our top tips:
The tips below have been prepared by our Business Advisers and Loan Assessment team to help you understand some of the key things that will strengthen your application. For more in-depth advice, read our guidelines on how to write a Business Plan .
- Demonstrate that you understand your market and customer. For our Loan Assessment team to feel comfortable that your business plans are viable, they will want to see that there is a market who wants and needs your product/service, that you have thought about how you’ll set yourself apart from competitors and that you know how to attract your customers. Any market research you can do, like a simple online survey, looking up industry reports or interviews with potential customers will help.
- Use evidence and examples to back up any statements you make. It’s always more powerful when you can prove what you’re saying with hard facts, whether it’s with a strong statistic, a customer quote, examples of similar activity or other research. It doesn’t have to be detailed – sometimes it will be sufficient to include a link to further information – but it will help our loan assessment team feel more confident that your business plan is viable.
- Make sure everything ties together by linking every strategy to your core objectives. The purpose of a Business Plan is to show what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them so remember to put your objectives at the heart of your plan. For example, if one of your goals is to generate 10 new sales per month, then in your marketing section you’ll need to think about how many sales each promotional channel needs to deliver in order to support this objective.
- Consider any risks you face and how you will overcome them. Every business has risks so don’t shy away from referencing these in your business plan. Demonstrating that you are aware of your key risks. Having a clear plan for how to reduce or overcome these is something that will set your business plan apart and give our loan assessment team confidence that you’re ready for the challenge.
- Be as clear and concise as possible and avoid waffle. Remember, we’re not looking to see every single detail about how your business will operate, rather we just need to know enough information to give us confidence that you have a clear plan in place. You might like to use bullet points, graphs, tables and subheadings to help you keep your content focused and help you avoid the temptation to go into too much detail.
- Presentation matters: proof read, review and format your document. As with most things in life, first impressions count. Use clear headings, structure your document in a clear order and check you’ve used consistent fonts throughout. Remember, you don’t have to be a writer or a designer to prepare a professional looking document. Most importantly, double check that you haven’t made any spelling or grammatical errors. It can be a good idea to have someone proof read your work for you once you’re finished to pick up anything you might have missed.
Learn new skills
Start Up Loans has partnered with the Open University to offer a range of free courses.
A Business Plan can include whatever information you feel is required to best convey how you are planning to make your business sustainable and, when it comes to applying for a Start Up Loan, the following are the core sections we require (our Business Plan template includes them).
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Business plan template for small businesses, startups, & entrepreneurs
Business planning can feel complicated. it doesn't have to be. start putting pen to paper today with your free business plan template download..
Our free template includes:
- Detailed instructions
More than just a template, you'll learn how to write a winning business plan.
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Your plan is formatted the way lenders and investors expect.
- Fill-in-the-blanks simplicity
You don't need to be an expert. This template makes business planning easy.
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Whether you're writing a business plan to validate your business idea, secure funding, or grow your existing business – our template will help you achieve your goals.
Business plan template FAQ
What is a business plan template?
A business plan template is a document designed to help streamline your ability to write a business plan. It handles the structure and organization so that you can focus on filling in the blanks and defining the key aspects of your business.
Why choose this business plan template?
There are a few key features that make this business template more functional and effective than your average template.
- Written by planning experts: This business plan template wasn't just thrown together. It was crafted by seasoned planning experts with a combined 40 years of experience writing and reviewing business plans. Throughout this template, you find their expert tips and tricks, along with detailed instructions.
- Free course access: When you download your business plan template, you'll get access to a week-long email course covering critical business planning mistakes to avoid.
- Works with other Bplans resources: Need additional guidance to write your business plan? Our free business planning guide is built to support this template—giving you even more detailed walkthroughs for each section.
- Designed for funding: Even if you're not going right to the bank, using this template will prepare you to pursue funding and impress potential investors whenever you're ready. This template ensures your plan is in SBA format.
What is included in this business plan template?
This template includes definitions, guidance, and examples for every business plan component needed to start, fund, and grow your business. After downloading the full template, you'll receive instructions for how to fill out each of the following sections.
Executive summary: The brief summary of your business plan that introduces everyone to your business, the problem you solve, and what you're asking from your readers. It's the first chapter of your business plan and the last thing you write once you have the details from your full plan.
Problem & solution: More than a simple description of your products and services - here you define the problem you're solving and the value you provide. It's also your chance to showcase any initial traction that shows you're on the right track.
Market analysis and target market: A detailed assessment of the market you intend to enter, including the size and value of the market, potential customer segments, and their buying patterns.
Competition: Show that you know who your competitors are, what advantages you have, and how you're positioning your business to be competitive.
Marketing & sales: Describe how you'll reach and sell to potential customers with a detailed sales plan and chosen marketing channels.
Operations: What makes your business run? Outline the day-to-day workflows, and what still needs to be set up for your business to deliver a product or service.
Milestones & metrics: Set goals for your business that include the dates and people responsible to accomplish them. This is what you'll use to manage responsibilities, track growth, and execute your larger strategy.
Company overview and team: Provide a brief rundown of the legal and structural components of your company including your history, current team, and gaps you need to fill.
Financial plan: Create well-structured and accurate financial statements to help you pitch to investors, land funding, and achieve long-term success. All without the help of a financial advisor or a degree in accounting.
Appendix: While not required, this last section of your business plan is a great place to drop in additional documents that support and strengthen the rest of your plan.
What file formats are available for this business plan template?
You can download and use this business plan template as a Google Doc, .docx (Microsoft Word), or PDF.
Can you print out this template?
This is a printable business plan template that can be downloaded and printed no matter which format you choose.
Why should you start with a business plan template?
Starting with a good business plan template (like this one) includes everything you need to get started. It helps you organize your thoughts, and provides guidance, instructions, and examples to create an investor-ready and SBA-approved business plan format. It really speeds up the planning process. Oh, and it's 100% free!
Why do you need a business plan?
Writing a business plan will help you develop a strategy for success, reduce the risk of starting a business, explore new business ideas, attract investors, and get funding. Learn more about how you can get value out of your business plan .
Is writing a business plan easy?
Using a business plan template can make writing a business plan easier. Additionally, if you focus on just getting your information down quickly, with the expectation that you'll revisit and revise your plan, you can speed up and simplify the process .
What are the 5 elements of a business plan?
While there are more than five sections of a business plan, you can group the key elements of a plan into the executive summary, business opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan. Thinking of the plan in this way can help you break up the writing process and make tackling each strategic component a separate and focused task.
Can someone write your business plan for you?
If you're still struggling to write your business plan even when using a template, you can look into hiring a professional business plan writer. We even have a free resource to help you ask just the right questions to make sure you find the right plan writer.
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To achieve success, you must plan for it. But what should you include in your plan?
The Business Plan Builder is an interactive tool that quickly and easily creates a custom business plan, just by having you answer questions about your business.
The result is a clean, professional plan, that is both informative and convincing. Start your own business plan today.
How does the Business Plan Builder work?
As the head of your business, you'll need to understand all aspects of your business in order to keep it running like a well-oiled machine. Your business plan will organize every element of your business strategy from location and staff, to finances and investors; providing a clear map for you to follow and return to during the many different stages of your business' lifespan. The Business Plan Builder simplifies the process by combining all the data and charts into one easy-to-use, interactive tool that covers the 3 main parts of the business plan:
Business Basics Outlining the details of the products or services you will sell, your objectives and key members; are the first steps to defining the path you will take to launch your new business. This is where you transform your idea into a business.
Market Research Having identified the basics, like what products/services you'll offer and who is your intended customer; it's time to back up your claims. Good market research will highlight who your competition is and what advantages you have over them.
Business Financials Potential investors and lenders expect you to provide them with all the financial information they need to decide whether to fund your business, including: accurate revenues, balance sheets, cash flow analyses, and income statements.
It's as simple as filling in the blanks
The Business Plan Builder covers these essentials, and more. By answering various questions about your product or service, its location, the employees, and how you plan on selling it; a detailed profile of your business is generated, including your sales & marketing strategies; your customers & competition; and the money you will spend and make year over year.
Business is about numbers, but not everyone is a financial whiz. The Builder is equipped with several interactive tables that allow you to simply punch in a few numbers and automatically have the calculations done for you. No need to worry about having the right formula, they're all built in to the tool. The Business Plan Builder eliminates the need to hire an expensive professional. Not only will you be able to develop your business plan but you will have expert guidance along the way and a dedicated business plan expert who will review your completed business plan and provide feedback and recommendations .
Get Access and Start Using the Business Plan Builder
Start building your complete, professional business plan today, step-by-step guidance.
Get clear instructions for every section of the plan. We'll ask you questions and you provide the answers. The Business Plan Builder provides clarification and examples for every question it asks, so you'll always know exactly how to answer to get the best results for you plan.
Business Plan Quality Score™
The UKStartups Business Plan Quality Score™ (BPQS), is a predictive algorithm that helps forecast how attractive your plan may be to potential lenders and investors.. The score evaluates the strength of your business plan and financial forecasts as you write it, and gives you an idea of where you're ahead and what areas need work.
Avoid struggling to understand how to complete a Break-even Analysis or figure out your Balance Sheet. The Business Plan Builder does all the math for you. The interactive calculators make it a quick and simple to gather your business financials.
Sample Business Plans
Access a library of sample business plans, from all types of industries. Gain insight on what is expected from businesses similar to yours and get ideas for how to make your plan more enticing. Get a little inspiration when you need it.
Ready to try it out? Get started today.
Start building your very own customized professional business plan today ..
Still have question? Contact us by calling 0203 1370 268 or fill out the contact us form here .
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Bed and breakbeat: guests go crate-digging at UK’s only ‘vinyl hotel’
Vinyl Pimp, in Hackney, east London, offers free night in warehouse to a guest spending £250 or more on records
“M ost of the guests are a little twitchy when it comes to checkout because they haven’t slept,” says Valentine Comar. The French DJ is standing between towers of shelving that house more than 27,000 records at her workplace – the UK’s only “vinyl hotel”.
The one-room lodging offers a unique proposition: a free night’s stay at an east London warehouse stocked with every genre of music, on the condition that a guest spends £250 or more on records (and a further £100 for each extra guest).
The surroundings are suitably Hackney: graffitied shutters, hipster cafes and craft breweries. Inside, one large room serves as accommodation with a sturdy, mezzanine bed, comfy sofas and – naturally – a sleek record player. A stage with DJ decks sits next to the tightly packed shelves of carefully catalogued records.
In its early months the quirky proposition, named Vinyl Pimp, has attracted crate-digging clientele from all over the globe, booking via social media. Staying tonight is Evangelos Rossetos, a 43-year-old software entrepreneur who has 15,000 records back home in Greece, and has DJed at clubs in Mykonos. “I saw some posts online about this amazing place for those who like to dig into records,” he says. “It’s a pleasure to come here. I lose records in my own collection for a year or more, then find them – this is so well organised.”
The hotel is the latest venture from the serial entrepreneur Luk Man Hon, a Hong Kong native who moved to the UK in the 1990s for school and, after studying business at the University of Plymouth and abandoning a career in sales, began to monetise his passion for records, particularly dance music from techno to trance.
Luk moved to east London as the area was being transformed in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games. He began by taking on small record collections and selling them online on behalf of collectors, on commission rather than paying upfront. “The trends move faster in dance music than other genres, it has a shelf life so people sell their collections or sell because life changes, they have kids,” Luk says. (Notably, this venture pre-dated the recent vinyl revival – his customers were committed turntablists.)
Misty-eyed, he recalls then snapping up a bounty of 24,000 records – charting dance music from 1983 to 1993 – gathering dust in a garage in Chelmsford, Essex. He paid £10,000 in 2015 after just half an hour of flicking through its rare contents. He quickly sold the records on for £150,000.
Luk lived in the warehouse and allowed buyers to visit, but his grumbling housemate soon insisted he opened a store nearby instead. Luk was a reluctant shopkeeper and when the pandemic hit, coinciding with a proposed rent rise, he shut it down in favour of returning to his warehouse model. Brexit dented online sales from Europe, putting extra focus on attracting customers in person.
“Customers had been staying late into the night, people didn’t want to rush their decision. I figured they could stay in the room and I didn’t need to charge them a fee,” Luk says, standing by a shelving unit of unsorted new stock, which includes immaculate commemorative box sets from David Bowie and the Sheffield pioneers Warp Records . “I didn’t want to Airbnb, it erodes the culture within neighbourhoods,” he adds.
after newsletter promotion
The warehouse hosts about eight guests a month, often DJs or couples celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Huge bags of mail fill one corner, as the business also handles distribution for several record labels, and stacks of firewood are stored for Luk’s other business – a bustling canalside barbecue joint inspired by a trip to a restaurant in Texas after participating in a poker tournament.
He still lives on site and readily admits “it’s not a five-star hotel – the door isn’t even painted”. The speakers are only allowed to blast until midnight, but guests can carry on browsing and listening on headphones.
“They’re often a little twitchy when they leave, because they’ve been up all night,” Comar says. She has to price up the stack of records selected, many of them rare. “They get nervous [about how much they’ve spent], it’s not simply a checkout and ‘bye’ situation.”
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Faked audio of Sadiq Khan dismissing Armistice Day shared among far-right groups
Organiser of Armistice Day Cenotaph event backs pro-Palestine march
Far-right groups plot London rally against pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day
Five arrested at King’s Cross in London after pro-Palestinian sit-in banned
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DVLA business plan 2023 to 2024
Our business plan 2023 to 2024 details what we will deliver in the year.
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This business plan sets out our approach and the key performance measures for 2023 to 2024.
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