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How to Write a Business Plan, Step by Step

Rosalie Murphy

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

1. Write an executive summary

2. describe your company, 3. state your business goals, 4. describe your products and services, 5. do your market research, 6. outline your marketing and sales plan, 7. perform a business financial analysis, 8. make financial projections, 9. add additional information to an appendix, business plan tips and resources.

A business plan is a document that outlines your business’s financial goals and explains how you’ll achieve them. A strong, detailed plan will provide a road map for the business’s next three to five years, and you can share it with potential investors, lenders or other important partners.

Bizee

Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing your business plan.

» Need help writing? Learn about the best business plan software .

This is the first page of your business plan. Think of it as your elevator pitch. It should include a mission statement, a brief description of the products or services offered, and a broad summary of your financial growth plans.

Though the executive summary is the first thing your investors will read, it can be easier to write it last. That way, you can highlight information you’ve identified while writing other sections that go into more detail.

» MORE: How to write an executive summary in 6 steps

Next up is your company description, which should contain information like:

Your business’s registered name.

Address of your business location .

Names of key people in the business. Make sure to highlight unique skills or technical expertise among members of your team.

Your company description should also define your business structure — such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation — and include the percent ownership that each owner has and the extent of each owner’s involvement in the company.

Lastly, it should cover the history of your company and the nature of your business now. This prepares the reader to learn about your goals in the next section.

» MORE: How to write a company overview for a business plan

how to make business plan template

The third part of a business plan is an objective statement. This section spells out exactly what you’d like to accomplish, both in the near term and over the long term.

If you’re looking for a business loan or outside investment, you can use this section to explain why you have a clear need for the funds, how the financing will help your business grow, and how you plan to achieve your growth targets. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity presented and how the loan or investment will grow your company.

For example, if your business is launching a second product line, you might explain how the loan will help your company launch the new product and how much you think sales will increase over the next three years as a result.

In this section, go into detail about the products or services you offer or plan to offer.

You should include the following:

An explanation of how your product or service works.

The pricing model for your product or service.

The typical customers you serve.

Your supply chain and order fulfillment strategy.

Your sales strategy.

Your distribution strategy.

You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.

Lenders and investors will want to know what sets your product apart from your competition. In your market analysis section , explain who your competitors are. Discuss what they do well, and point out what you can do better. If you’re serving a different or underserved market, explain that.

Here, you can address how you plan to persuade customers to buy your products or services, or how you will develop customer loyalty that will lead to repeat business.

» MORE: R e a d our complete guide to small business marketing

If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financials yet. However, if you’re an existing business, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.

You may also include metrics such as:

Net profit margin: the percentage of revenue you keep as net income.

Current ratio: the measurement of your liquidity and ability to repay debts.

Accounts receivable turnover ratio: a measurement of how frequently you collect on receivables per year.

This is a great place to include charts and graphs that make it easy for those reading your plan to understand the financial health of your business.

» NerdWallet’s picks for setting up your business finances:

The best business checking accounts .

The best business credit cards .

The best accounting software .

This is a critical part of your business plan if you’re seeking financing or investors. It outlines how your business will generate enough profit to repay the loan or how you will earn a decent return for investors.

Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan.

Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections. Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.

List any supporting information or additional materials that you couldn’t fit in elsewhere, such as resumes of key employees, licenses, equipment leases, permits, patents, receipts, bank statements, contracts and personal and business credit history. If the appendix is long, you may want to consider adding a table of contents at the beginning of this section.

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Here are some tips to help your business plan stand out:

Avoid over-optimism: If you’re applying for a business loan at a local bank, the loan officer likely knows your market pretty well. Providing unreasonable sales estimates can hurt your chances of loan approval.

Proofread: Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors can jump off the page and turn off lenders and prospective investors, taking their mind off your business and putting it on the mistakes you made. If writing and editing aren't your strong suit, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer, copy editor or proofreader.

Use free resources: SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers a large network of volunteer business mentors and experts who can help you write or edit your business plan. You can search for a mentor or find a local SCORE chapter for more guidance.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers , which provide free business consulting and help with business plan development, can also be a resource.

On a similar note...

Find small-business financing

Compare multiple lenders that fit your business

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Business Plan Templates

Free Download

business-plan-template

2 Essential Templates For Starting Your Business. Available as an interactive PDF or a Google Docs template.

With this business plan template, you'll be able to:

  • Write a company description that sells your story
  • Plan for the future: lay out goals and metrics for success
  • Describe your product line in detail and plan for how to stand out from competitors
  • Consider any legal formalities that require attention when starting your business
  • Put together necessary financial projections to make a strong start
  • Create your buyer persona and determine your product/marketing fit

business plan template

Build A Business Plan That Works

Available as a one-page interactive PDF and a full template on both Google Docs and Microsoft Word!

Whether you’re starting a business or drafting a formalized document with  your current business goals, it’s important to clearly defi ne the scope of all aspects of the venture — from mission, to target customers, to fi nances, and beyond.

When just starting out, it can be tempting to think of a business plan as simply your company’s name and a description of your product or service. But in reality, planning a business involves thinking through a lot more details.

In this business plan template we’ll guide you through the steps of writing company and product descriptions, setting sales and marketing goals and plans, and thinking through legal and fi nancial logistics. We've included a  plain text, designed , and  completed example version of this template. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you write a business plan.

A business plan is a formal written document that you can use to identify the purpose of your company, make important decisions about your future and help grow your company. HubSpot's free business plan templates provides guidance to establishing your company mission, customer research, competition, and a business strategy to profitability.

Why do I need to fill out the information requested?

We will always keep your personal information safe..

We ask for your information in exchange for a valuable resource in order to (a) improve your browsing experience by personalizing the HubSpot site to your needs; (b) send information to you that we think may be of interest to you by email or other means; (c) send you marketing communications that we think may be of value to you. You can read more about our privacy policy here .

Where can I get a free business plan template?

HubSpot's Free Business Plan Templates are the best way to create a professional, thorough business plan. The templates include instructions and everything you need to know about starting your company.

Is this really free?

Absolutely.

Just sharing some free knowledge that we hope you’ll find useful. Keep us in mind next time you have marketing questions!

What are the basic format of a business plan?

A business plan is a written document that outlines the company's goals, strategy and implementation. The format of the plan varies depending on the type of organization (e.g., for-profit or nonprofit) and size, but most plans share some common features such as an overview, executive summary, and financial information.

What is the best business plan template?

A great business plan template clearly defines the scope of the venture -- from mission, to target customers, to finances, and beyond. HubSpot's business plan template will guide you through the steps of writing company and product descriptions, setting sales and marketing goals and plans, and thinking through legal and financial logistics.

What is needed to start a business?

If you're thinking about starting a business, you'll need to do some research first. You can't just start a business without doing any market research. Market research will tell you if there's an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. After that, write your business plan so that you know how much money and time it will take for the project to succeed. Use HubSpot's free business plan template today!

Set yourself up for success with this business plan template

Download the free business plan template.

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business-plan-web

Business Plan Template

Collaborate with your team, craft your business plan, and present your ideas visually with the Business Plan Template.

Trusted by 65M+ users and leading companies

About the Business Plan Template

A solid business plan is the key to the success of any project. That's why we have designed a comprehensive business plan template that makes organizing and outlining your business objectives a breeze. This template will help you streamline your process and visualize your goals, creating a roadmap for your business journey.

What's a business plan template?

A business plan template is a pre-structured framework that outlines the core aspects of a business plan. It helps organize and detail key components, providing a clear picture of what the business aims to achieve. Miro's business plan template includes:

Problem: Identify the core problem that the business plans to solve.

Solution: Outline the solution to address the problem.

Resources: Detail the resources required, including time, workforce, and materials.

Benefit: Define the benefits of implementing the proposed solution.

Risks: Analyze potential risks and how they will be mitigated.

Scope: Describe the extent and limitations of the project.

Stakeholders: List the parties involved and their interests.

Costs: Estimate the financial aspects of the project.

Metrics: Identify the key performance indicators to measure success.

How to use the business plan template in Miro

Using Miro's business plan template is an effortless and effective way to craft your business strategy. Here's a step-by-step guide to making the most of this template:

Choose the template: Select the business plan template from Miro's Template Library, tailored to fit any business type.

Define the problem: Identify the core problem your business intends to solve. Use Miro's tagging feature to add relevant tags for easy reference.

Outline the solution: Describe how your product or service addresses the problem. Use Miro's automated diagramming to create flow diagrams or charts illustrating the solution process.

List the resources: Detail all necessary resources, including time, workforce, and materials. Create categories and use color coding to organize them effectively.

Highlight the benefit: Define the benefits and why your solution is preferable. Incorporate visual aids like icons to emphasize key points.

Analyze the risks: List potential risks and their mitigation strategies. Use sticky notes to jot down thoughts and ideas collaboratively.

Describe the scope: Clarify the project's limitations and extent.

Identify stakeholders: List the parties involved using symbols or avatars to represent various stakeholders.

Estimate costs: Break down the financial aspects using tables or charts to present the information clearly.

Determine metrics: Set key performance indicators and use Miro's graphs to visualize the success measures.

Customize your plan: Add, remove, or change any fields to suit your specific project. You can expand the quadrants, adding data or other artifacts as needed.

Collaborate and share: Invite team members to collaborate in real time, adding comments and feedback. Miro's collaboration features support seamless teamwork.

To finish, prepare a presentation. With features like frames and the Presentation Mode , you can visually guide stakeholders through your strategy. And remember, ensure that all details are accurate and aligned with your goals.

With this quick guide and Miro's various sets of features, creating a business plan becomes a collaborative and creative process. The ability to visualize, tag, and present your plan ensures a rich and engaging experience for everyone involved. Whether you're a startup or an established business, Miro's business plan template offers the flexibility and robustness needed to succeed in today's competitive landscape.

Can I customize the business plan template in Miro?

Yes, add, remove, or change any fields to fit the specific needs of your project.

How can I share the business plan template with my team?

Miro's collaboration tools make it easy to share your template with team members, either through a direct link or by inviting them to your workspace.

Is the business plan template suitable for small businesses and startups?

Yes, the template is designed to be flexible and can be adapted to businesses of any size, including startups and small enterprises.

Get started with this template right now.

Impact Effort Matrix Thumbnail

Impact/Effort Matrix Template

Works best for:.

Project Management, Strategic Planning, Prioritization

Growing organizations have countless to-do’s and only so many hours in a day (or weeks before a big launch) to get them done. That’s where an impact effort matrix comes in. It gives you a quick visual guide to help prioritize your tasks and know exactly what’s worth doing. Using our template, you can create a matrix that organizes your activities into four main categories: quick wins that are low effort, effort-intensive projects that provide long-term returns, fill-ins that are low effort but low value, and time-wasters.

Value Stream Map Thumbnail

Value Stream Mapping Template

Project Management, Strategic Planning, Mapping

A value stream map can help you refocus your business on steps that actually provide value to your customers, cutting out wasteful and inefficient processes. With this template, you and your process team can collaborate on a value stream map today.

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Meeting Organizer Template

Meetings, Workshops, Project Planning

When it comes to ideas generated during a meeting, you want quantity AND quality. So why choose? Our meeting organizer template will maximize your meeting’s chances of yielding lots of great ideas. It will give you a simple, efficient way to design any activity (including meetings and daily planning) and make sure remote teammates know just what the meeting aims to accomplish. And you can give your meeting organizer power by connecting Miro to your favorite apps and services: Atlassian’s JIRA, Google Drive, Slack, Trello, DropBox and OneDrive.

scope-work-thumb-web

Scope of Work Template

Project management, Planning

The Scope of Work Template from Miro brings structure, clarity, and efficiency to project planning. It's more than just a template—it's an adaptable and dynamic platform that adapts to your unique project needs. Join thousands of satisfied users and make the Scope of Work Template a part of your project management toolkit.

Go to Market Strategy Thumbnail

Go-to-Market Strategy Template

Marketing, Desk Research, Strategic Planning

It doesn’t matter how innovative or effective a new product is — if it doesn’t get noticed and adopted by the right audience, the product won’t get off the ground. That’s where your Go-to-Market Strategy comes in. It’s a single resource that houses all of your research, insights, and data, and includes your business plan, target audience, marketing approach, and sales strategy. A GTM is especially important for any startups who grow fast, have to make split-second decisions, and have to be fully in sync.

editorial-calendar-thumb-web

Editorial Calendar Template

Marketing, Strategic Planning, Project Planning

If your company is like most, content is a big thing. You create more of it (and a lot faster) than you create almost anything else. It includes blogs, newsletters, social media posts, ads, and more—and it requires ideating, writing, editing, and publishing. That’s why every content team needs an editorial calendar. The template will let you easily create a calendar that empowers your team to plan strategically, keep things organized (by content type, writer, channel, and delivery date), and finalize/post all content on schedule.

BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Free business plan template for small businesses

  • Cecilia Lazzaro Blasbalg
  • Dec 7, 2023

Free business plan template for your new business

Creating a successful business is about more than launching a business website or hanging a shingle on your front door. It requires a well-crafted plan that keeps you on track, anticipates obstacles and acts as a concrete roadmap for launching or improving your small business.

Business planning allows you to clarify your vision while providing information to both intrigue and reassure potential investors. The process may seem daunting, but creating a business plan isn’t difficult—and templates like the one below can help simplify the process even further.

Ready to launch your business? Create a website today.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is used by small business owners and entrepreneurs when starting a new business venture. It’s a strategic document that outlines the goals, objectives and strategies of your new or expanding business, including the company's vision, target market, financial projections and operational plans.

A business plan can attract potential partners, convince investors and banks to help you raise capital, and serve as a resource for future growth. Most importantly, you’ll be able to use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, operate and manage your new venture, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, a partnership or something larger.

Who needs a business plan?

Every business owner needs a business plan. They’re an essential tool for any person or entity interested in starting a business . There are many benefits, including:

Defining your business idea

Clarifying the market and competitive landscape

Outlining your marketing strategy

Stating your value proposition

Identifying/anticipating potential risks

Seeking investments from banks and other sources

Setting benchmarks, goals and key performance indicators (KPIs)

A business plan also gives you a way to assess the viability of a business before investing too much time or money into it. While all business involves risk, taking the time to create a plan can help mitigate fallout and avoid potentially costly mistakes.

When creating a business plan, it's important to establish your business goals up front and be prepared to spend time researching the market, performing a competitor analysis and understanding your target market .

Download Wix’s free business plan template

Creating a successful business plan is no easy feat. That’s why we’ve put together a simple, customizable, and free-to-download business plan template that takes the guesswork out of getting started. Use it to create a new business plan or to refresh an existing one.

Download your free Wix business plan template

Lean startup versus traditional business plan formats

In terms of types of business plans , there are two main formats to choose from: traditional and lean.

Traditional business plan format

A traditional business plan includes every detail and component that defines a business and contributes to its success. It's typically a sizable document of about 30 to 50 pages that includes:

Executive summary: The executive summary contains a high-level overview of everything included in the plan. It generally provides a short explanation of your business and its goals (e.g., your elevator pitch ). Many authors like to write this section last after fleshing out the sections below.

Company description: A company description should include essential details like your business name, the names of your founders, your locations and your company’s mission statement . Briefly describe your core services (or products if you’re writing an eCommerce business plan ), but don't go into too much detail since you’ll elaborate on this in the service/product section. Wix offers some helpful mission statement examples if you get stuck. It’s also a good idea to create a vision statement . While your mission statement clarifies your company’s purpose, a vision statement outlines what you want your company to achieve over time.

Market analysis: One of the most extensive sections of the business plan, this section requires that you conduct market research and write your conclusions. Include findings for the following: industry background, a SWOT analysis , barriers/obstacles, target market and your business differentiators.

Organization and management: This is where you outline how your business is structured and who's in charge, including founders, executive team members, board members, employees and key stakeholders. To this end, it can be helpful to create a visual layout (e.g., org chart) to illustrate your company structure.

Service or product line: Create a detailed list of your current and future products and services. If you’re still working on your idea, create a concept statement to describe your idea or product. You should also include a proof of concept (POC), which demonstrates the feasibility of your idea. Wherever applicable, include diagrams, product images and other visual components to illustrate the product life cycle.

Marketing and sales: Detail how your business idea translates into selling and delivering your offerings to potential customers. You can start by outlining your brand identity, which includes the colors and fonts you plan to use, your marketing and advertising strategy, and details about planned consumer touchpoints (like your website, mobile app or physical storefront).

Financial projections and funding requests: Include financial statements, such as a balance sheet, profit-and-loss statement (P&L), cash flow statement and break-even analysis. It's not uncommon for a business plan to include multiple pages of financial projections and information. You’ll also want to mention how much funding you seek and what you plan to do with it. If you’ve already secured funding, provide details about your investments.

essential parts of a business plan

Lean startup business plan format

A lean startup business plan—also referred to as a “lean canvas”—is presented as a problem/solution framework that provides a high-level description of your business idea. A lean plan is a single-page document that provides a basic overview of the most essential aspects of your business. It’s a good way to dip a toe into business planning since it doesn't require the same level of detail as a traditional plan. This includes:

Problem: What problem does your product or service solve, or what need does it fulfill?

Solution: How do you intend to solve it?

Unique value proposition (UVP): Why should people use your product or service versus someone else’s?

Unfair advantage: What do you have that other companies don’t?

Customers: Who are your ideal customers?

Channels: How will those customers find you?

Key metrics: How do you define success? How will you track and measure it?

Revenue streams: How will your business make money?

Cost structure: What will you spend money on (fixed and variable costs)?

Benefits of a business plan template

Business plan templates offer numerous benefits for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. Here are some key advantages:

1. Save time and effort: Templates provide a pre-defined structure, eliminating the need to start from scratch. This frees up valuable time and effort that can be invested in other crucial aspects of business development.

2. Improve structure: Templates ensure a consistent and organized approach to presenting your business plan. This makes it easier for potential investors, lenders and advisors to understand your vision and evaluate the feasibility of your business. 3. Enhance professionalism: Using a well-designed template demonstrates professionalism and seriousness to external stakeholders. This can significantly impact their perception of your business and increase their confidence in your venture. 4. Guide your thought process: Templates act as a helpful framework, prompting you to consider all the key elements of your business plan and ensuring you haven't overlooked any critical areas. 5. Ensure completeness: Templates often include checklists and prompts to ensure you cover all essential information, minimizing the risk of missing crucial details. 6. Standardize formatting: Templates ensure a consistent and uniform appearance throughout your business plan, contributing to a more polished and professional presentation. 7. Access to expert knowledge: Many templates are developed by experienced business professionals or organizations, incorporating best practices and insights gained from successful ventures. 8. Adaptability and customization: While templates offer a basic structure, they can be easily customized to reflect the unique characteristics and needs of your specific business. 9. Cost-effectiveness: Templates are generally available for free or at a low cost, making them an accessible and budget-friendly option for entrepreneurs. 10. Increased success rate: Studies have shown that businesses with well-developed plans are more likely to succeed. Templates can help you create a comprehensive and persuasive plan, increasing your chances of securing funding and achieving your business goals.

Tips for filling out your business plan template

The hardest part of a journey is always the first step, or so the saying goes. Filling out your business plan template can be daunting, but the template itself is meant to get you over that crucial first hurdle—getting started. We’ve provided some tips aimed at helping you get the most from our template.

These are best practices—they’re not rules. Do what works for you. The main thing to remember is that these tips can help you move more easily through the planning process, so that you can advance onto the next (exciting) step, which is launching your business.

Consider your goals: What is the purpose of your business? Are you looking to expand, launch a new product line or fund a specific project? Identifying your goals helps you prioritize important information in your business plan.

Fill out what you can: You may already have a vague—or specific—idea of what you want your business to achieve. Go through each section of the template and fill out what you can. We suggest leaving the executive summary blank for now, since it'll be the last thing you write.

Be realistic: Even though this document is meant to serve as a marketing tool for potential investors, don't exaggerate any numbers or make any false promises.

Dig into the research: Nothing's more motivating than getting some intel about your competitors and your market. If you're truly stuck, a little research can help motivate you and provide valuable insight about what direction to take your business. For example, if you plan to start a landscaping business, learn about the specific pricing offered in your area so that you can differentiate your services and potentially offer better options.

Get help from others: Bouncing your ideas off a friend, mentor or advisor is a great way to get feedback and discover approaches or products to incorporate into your plan. Your network can also give you valuable insight about the industry or even about potential customers. Plus, it's nice to be able to talk through the challenges with someone who understands you and your vision.

Revise and review: Once complete, step back from your plan and let it "cook." In a day or two, review your plan and make sure that everything is current. Have other people review it too, since having another set of eyes can help identify areas that may be lacking detail or need further explanation.

Once you’ve completed your business plan template, it can become a meaningful resource for developing your mission statement, writing business proposals and planning how to move forward with the marketing, distribution and growth of your products and services.

After launch, you can also analyze your value chain to identify key factors that create value for your customers and maximum profitability for you. This can help you develop a more effective business plan that considers the entire value chain, from research and development to sales and customer support.

Business plan template FAQ

What is the easiest way to write a business plan.

The easiest way to write a business plan is to utilize a template. Templates provide a structured format and guide you through each section, simplifying the process of creating a comprehensive plan.

Is there a template for how to write a business plan?

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How to Write a Business Plan (Plus Examples & Templates)

  • 3 years ago

Have you ever wondered how to write a business plan step by step? Mike Andes, told us: 

This guide will help you write a business plan to impress investors.

Throughout this process, we’ll get information from Mike Andes, who started Augusta Lawn Care Services when he was 12 and turned it into a franchise with over 90 locations. He has gone on to help others learn how to write business plans and start businesses.  He knows a thing or two about writing  business plans!

We’ll start by discussing the definition of a business plan. Then we’ll discuss how to come up with the idea, how to do the market research, and then the important elements in the business plan format. Keep reading to start your journey!

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is simply a road map of what you are trying to achieve with your business and how you will go about achieving it. It should cover all elements of your business including: 

  • Finding customers
  • Plans for developing a team
  •  Competition
  • Legal structures
  • Key milestones you are pursuing

If you aren’t quite ready to create a business plan, consider starting by reading our business startup guide .

Get a Business Idea

Before you can write a business plan, you have to have a business idea. You may see a problem that needs to be solved and have an idea how to solve it, or you might start by evaluating your interests and skills. 

Mike told us, “The three things I suggest asking yourself when thinking about starting a business are:

  • What am I good at?
  • What would I enjoy doing?
  • What can I get paid for?”

If all three of these questions don’t lead to at least one common answer, it will probably be a much harder road to success. Either there is not much market for it, you won’t be good at it, or you won’t enjoy doing it. 

As Mike told us, “There’s enough stress starting and running a business that if you don’t like it or aren’t good at it, it’s hard to succeed.”

If you’d like to hear more about Mike’s approach to starting a business, check out our YouTube video

Conduct Market Analysis

Market analysis is focused on establishing if there is a target market for your products and services, how large the target market is, and identifying the demographics of people or businesses that would be interested in the product or service. The goal here is to establish how much money your business concept can make.

Product and Service Demand

A search engine is your best friend when trying to figure out if there is demand for your products and services. Personally, I love using presearch.org because it lets you directly search on a ton of different platforms including Google, Youtube, Twitter, and more. Check out the screenshot for the full list of search options.

With quick web searches, you can find out how many competitors you have, look through their reviews, and see if there are common complaints about the competitors. Bad reviews are a great place to find opportunities to offer better products or services. 

If there are no similar products or services, you may have stumbled upon something new, or there may just be no demand for it. To find out, go talk to your most honest friend about the idea and see what they think. If they tell you it’s dumb or stare at you vacantly, there’s probably no market for it.

You can also conduct a survey through social media to get public opinion on your idea. Using Facebook Business Manager , you could get a feel for who would be interested in your product or service.

 I ran a quick test of how many people between 18-65  you could reach in the U.S. during a week. It returned an estimated 700-2,000 for the total number of leads, which is enough to do a fairly accurate statistical analysis.

Identify Demographics of Target Market

Depending on what type of business you want to run, your target market will be different. The narrower the demographic, the fewer potential customers you’ll have. If you did a survey, you’ll be able to use that data to help define your target audience. Some considerations you’ll want to consider are:

  • Other Interests
  • Marital Status
  • Do they have kids?

Once you have this information, it can help you narrow down your options for location and help define your marketing further. One resource that Mike recommended using is the Census Bureau’s Quick Facts Map . He told us,  

“It helps you quickly evaluate what the best areas are for your business to be located.”

How to Write a Business Plan

Now that you’ve developed your idea a little and established there is a market for it, you can begin writing a business plan. Getting started is easier with the business plan template we created for you to download. I strongly recommend using it as it is updated to make it easier to create an action plan. 

Each of the following should be a section of your business plan:

  • Business Plan Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Description of Products and Services

SWOT Analysis

  • Competitor Data
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Expenses Strategy 

Pricing Strategy

  • Distribution Channel Assessment
  • Operational Plan
  • Management and Organizational Strategy
  • Financial Statements and/or Financial Projections

We’ll look into each of these. Don’t forget to download our free business plan template (mentioned just above) so you can follow along as we go. 

How to Write a Business Plan Step 1. Create a Cover Page

The first thing investors will see is the cover page for your business plan. Make sure it looks professional. A great cover page shows that you think about first impressions.

A good business plan should have the following elements on a cover page:

  • Professionally designed logo
  • Company name
  • Mission or Vision Statement
  • Contact Info

Basically, think of a cover page for your business plan like a giant business card. It is meant to capture people’s attention but be quickly processed.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 2. Create a Table of Contents

Most people are busy enough that they don’t have a lot of time. Providing a table of contents makes it easy for them to find the pages of your plan that are meaningful to them.

A table of contents will be immediately after the cover page, but you can include it after the executive summary. Including the table of contents immediately after the executive summary will help investors know what section of your business plan they want to review more thoroughly.

Check out Canva’s article about creating a  table of contents . It has a ton of great information about creating easy access to each section of your business plan. Just remember that you’ll want to use different strategies for digital and hard copy business plans.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 3. Write an Executive Summary

An executive summary is where your business plan should catch the readers interest.  It doesn’t need to be long, but should be quick and easy to read.

Mike told us,

How long should an executive summary bein an informal business plan?

For casual use, an executive summary should be similar to an elevator pitch, no more than 150-160 words, just enough to get them interested and wanting more. Indeed has a great article on elevator pitches .  This can also be used for the content of emails to get readers’ attention.

It consists of three basic parts:

  • An introduction to you and your business.
  • What your business is about.
  • A call to action

Example of an informal executive summary 

One of the best elevator pitches I’ve used is:

So far that pitch has achieved a 100% success rate in getting partnerships for the business.

What should I include in an executive summary for investors?

Investors are going to need a more detailed executive summary if you want to secure financing or sell equity. The executive summary should be a brief overview of your entire business plan and include:

  • Introduction of yourself and company.
  • An origin story (Recognition of a problem and how you came to solution)
  • An introduction to your products or services.
  • Your unique value proposition. Make sure to include intellectual property.
  • Where you are in the business life cycle
  • Request and why you need it.

Successful business plan examples

The owner of Urbanity told us he spent 2 months writing a 75-page business plan and received a $250,000 loan from the bank when he was 23. Make your business plan as detailed as possible when looking for financing. We’ve provided a template to help you prepare the portions of a business plan that banks expect.

Here’s the interview with the owner of Urbanity:

When to write an executive summary?

Even though the summary is near the beginning of a business plan, you should write it after you complete the rest of a business plan. You can’t talk about revenue, profits, and expected expenditures if you haven’t done the market research and created a financial plan.

What mistakes do people make when writing an executive summary?

Business owners commonly go into too much detail about the following items in an executive summary:

  • Marketing and sales processes
  • Financial statements
  • Organizational structure
  • Market analysis

These are things that people will want to know later, but they don’t hook the reader. They won’t spark interest in your small business, but they’ll close the deal.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 4. Company Description

Every business plan should include a company description. A great business plan will include the following elements while describing the company:

  • Mission statement
  • Philosophy and vision
  • Company goals

Target market

  • Legal structure

Let’s take a look at what each section includes in a good business plan.

Mission Statement

A mission statement is a brief explanation of why you started the company and what the company’s main focus is. It should be no more than one or two sentences. Check out HubSpot’s article 27 Inspiring Mission Statement for a great read on informative and inspiring mission and vision statements. 

Company Philosophy and Vision

The company philosophy is what drives your company. You’ll normally hear them called core values.  These are the building blocks that make your company different. You want to communicate your values to customers, business owners, and investors as often as possible to build a company culture, but make sure to back them up.

What makes your company different?

Each company is different. Your new business should rise above the standard company lines of honesty, integrity, fun, innovation, and community when communicating your business values. The standard answers are corporate jargon and lack authenticity. 

Examples of core values

One of my clients decided to add a core values page to their website. As a tech company they emphasized the values:

  •  Prioritize communication.
  •  Never stop learning.
  •  Be transparent.
  •  Start small and grow incrementally.

These values communicate how the owner and the rest of the company operate. They also show a value proposition and competitive advantage because they specifically focus on delivering business value from the start. These values also genuinely show what the company is about and customers recognize the sincerity. Indeed has a great blog about how to identify your core values .

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement communicate the long lasting change a business pursues. The vision helps investors and customers understand what your company is trying to accomplish. The vision statement goes beyond a mission statement to provide something meaningful to the community, customer’s lives, or even the world.

Example vision statements

The Alzheimer’s Association is a great example of a vision statement:

A world without Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia.

It clearly tells how they want to change the world. A world without Alzheimers might be unachievable, but that means they always have room for improvement.

Business Goals

You have to measure success against goals for a business plan to be meaningful. A business plan helps guide a company similar to how your GPS provides a road map to your favorite travel destination. A goal to make as much money as possible is not inspirational and sounds greedy.

Sure, business owners want to increase their profits and improve customer service, but they need to present an overview of what they consider success. The goals should help everyone prioritize their work.

How far in advance should a business plan?

Business planning should be done at least one year in advance, but many banks and investors prefer three to five year business plans. Longer plans show investors that the management team  understands the market and knows the business is operating in a constantly shifting market. In addition, a plan helps businesses to adjust to changes because they have already considered how to handle them.

Example of great business goals

My all time-favorite long-term company goals are included in Tesla’s Master Plan, Part Deux . These goals were written in 2016 and drive the company’s decisions through 2026. They are the reason that investors are so forgiving when Elon Musk continually fails to meet his quarterly and annual goals.

If the progress aligns with the business plan investors are likely to continue to believe in the company. Just make sure the goals are reasonable or you’ll be discredited (unless you’re Elon Musk).

You did target market research before creating a business plan. Now it’s time to add it to the plan so others understand what your ideal customer looks like. As a new business owner, you may not be considered an expert in your field yet, so document everything. Make sure the references you use are from respectable sources. 

Use information from the specific lender when you are applying for lending. Most lenders provide industry research reports and using their data can strengthen the position of your business plan.

A small business plan should include a section on the external environment. Understanding the industry is crucial because we don’t plan a business in a vacuum. Make sure to research the industry trends, competitors, and forecasts. I personally prefer IBIS World for my business research. Make sure to answer questions like:

  • What is the industry outlook long-term and short-term?
  • How will your business take advantage of projected industry changes and trends?
  • What might happen to your competitors and how will your business successfully compete?

Industry resources

Some helpful resources to help you establish more about your industry are:

  • Trade Associations
  • Federal Reserve
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

Legal Structure

There are five basic types of legal structures that most people will utilize:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

Partnerships

Corporations.

  • Franchises.

Each business structure has their pros and cons. An LLC is the most common legal structure due to its protection of personal assets and ease of setting up. Make sure to specify how ownership is divided and what roles each owner plays when you have more than one business owner.

You’ll have to decide which structure is best for you, but we’ve gathered information on each to make it easier.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the easiest legal structure to set up but doesn’t protect the owner’s personal assets from legal issues. That means if something goes wrong, you could lose both your company and your home.

To start a sole proprietorship, fill out a special tax form called a  Schedule C . Sole proprietors can also join the American Independent Business Alliance .

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is the most common business structure used in the United States because an LLC protects the owner’s personal assets. It’s similar to partnerships and corporations, but can be a single-member LLC in most states. An LLC requires a document called an operating agreement.

Each state has different requirements. Here’s a link to find your state’s requirements . Delaware and Nevada are common states to file an LLC because they are really business-friendly. Here’s a blog on the top 10 states to get an LLC.

Partnerships are typically for legal firms. If you choose to use a partnership choose a Limited Liability Partnership. Alternatively, you can just use an LLC.

Corporations are typically for massive organizations. Corporations have taxes on both corporate and income tax so unless you plan on selling stock, you are better off considering an LLC with S-Corp status . Investopedia has good information corporations here .

There are several opportunities to purchase successful franchises. TopFranchise.com has a list of companies in a variety of industries that offer franchise opportunities. This makes it where an entrepreneur can benefit from the reputation of an established business that has already worked out many of the kinks of starting from scratch.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 5. Products and Services

This section of the business plan should focus on what you sell, how you source it, and how you sell it. You should include:

  • Unique features that differentiate your business products from competitors
  • Intellectual property
  • Your supply chain
  • Cost and pricing structure 

Questions to answer about your products and services

Mike gave us a list  of the most important questions to answer about your product and services:

  • How will you be selling the product? (in person, ecommerce, wholesale, direct to consumer)?
  • How do you let them know they need a product?
  • How do you communicate the message?
  • How will you do transactions?
  • How much will you be selling it for?
  • How many do you think you’ll sell and why?

Make sure to use the worksheet on our business plan template .

How to Write a Business Plan Step 6. Sales and Marketing Plan

The marketing and sales plan is focused on the strategy to bring awareness to your company and guides how you will get the product to the consumer.  It should contain the following sections:

SWOT Analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Not only do you want to identify them, but you also want to document how the business plans to deal with them.

Business owners need to do a thorough job documenting how their service or product stacks up against the competition.

If proper research isn’t done, investors will be able to tell that the owner hasn’t researched the competition and is less likely to believe that the team can protect its service from threats by the more well-established competition. This is one of the most common parts of a presentation that trips up business owners presenting on Shark Tank .

SWOT Examples

Examples of strengths and weaknesses could be things like the lack of cash flow, intellectual property ownership, high costs of suppliers, and customers’ expectations on shipping times.

Opportunities could be ways to capitalize on your strengths or improve your weaknesses, but may also be gaps in the industry. This includes:

  • Adding offerings that fit with your current small business
  • Increase sales to current customers
  • Reducing costs through bulk ordering
  • Finding ways to reduce inventory
  •  And other areas you can improve

Threats will normally come from outside of the company but could also be things like losing a key member of the team. Threats normally come from competition, regulations, taxes, and unforeseen events.

The management team should use the SWOT analysis to guide other areas of business planning, but it absolutely has to be done before a business owner starts marketing. 

Include Competitor Data in Your Business Plan

When you plan a business, taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of the competition is key to navigating the field. Providing an overview of your competition and where they are headed shows that you are invested in understanding the industry.

For smaller businesses, you’ll want to search both the company and the owners names to see what they are working on. For publicly held corporations, you can find their quarterly and annual reports on the SEC website .

What another business plans to do can impact your business. Make sure to include things that might make it attractive for bigger companies to outsource to a small business.

Marketing Strategy

The marketing and sales part of business plans should be focused on how you are going to make potential customers aware of your business and then sell to them.

If you haven’t already included it, Mike recommends:

“They’ll want to know about Demographics, ages, and wealth of your target market.”

Make sure to include the Total addressable market .  The term refers to the value if you captured 100% of the market.

Advertising Strategy

You’ll explain what formats of advertising you’ll be using. Some possibilities are:

  • Online: Facebook and Google are the big names to work with here.
  • Print : Print can be used to reach broad groups or targeted markets. Check out this for tips .
  • Radio : iHeartMedia is one of the best ways to advertise on the radio
  • Cable television : High priced, hard to measure ROI, but here’s an explanation of the process
  • Billboards: Attracting customers with billboards can be beneficial in high traffic areas.

You’ll want to define how you’ll be using each including frequency, duration, and cost. If you have the materials already created, including pictures or links to the marketing to show creative assets.

Mike told us “Most businesses are marketing digitally now due to Covid, but that’s not always the right answer.”

Make sure the marketing strategy will help team members or external marketing agencies stay within the brand guidelines .

This section of a business plan should be focused on pricing. There are a ton of pricing strategies that may work for different business plans. Which one will work for you depends on what kind of a business you run.

Some common pricing strategies are:

  • Value-based pricing – Commonly used with home buying and selling or other products that are status symbols.
  • Skimming pricing – Commonly seen in video game consoles, price starts off high to recoup expenses quickly, then reduces over time.
  • Competition-based pricing – Pricing based on competitors’ pricing is commonly seen at gas stations.
  • Freemium services –  Commonly used for software, where there is a free plan, then purchase options for more functionality.

HubSpot has a great calculator and blog on pricing strategies.

Beyond explaining what strategy your business plans to use, you should include references for how you came to this pricing strategy and how it will impact your cash flow.

Distribution Plan

This part of a business plan is focused on how the product or service is going to go through the supply chain. These may include multiple divisions or multiple companies. Make sure to include any parts of the workflow that are automated so investors can see where cost savings are expected and when.

Supply Chain Examples

For instance, lawn care companies  would need to cover aspects such as:

  • Suppliers for lawn care equipment and tools
  • Any chemicals or treatments needed
  • Repair parts for sprinkler systems
  • Vehicles to transport equipment and employees
  • Insurance to protect the company vehicles and people.

Examples of Supply Chains

These are fairly flat supply chains compared to something like a clothing designer where the clothes would go through multiple vendors. A clothing company might have the following supply chain:

  • Raw materials
  • Shipping of raw materials
  • Converting of raw materials to thread
  • Shipping thread to produce garments
  • Garment producer
  • Shipping to company
  • Company storage
  • Shipping to retail stores

There have been advances such as print on demand that eliminate many of these steps. If you are designing completely custom clothing, all of this would need to be planned to keep from having business disruptions.

The main thing to include in the business plan is the list of suppliers, the path the supply chain follows, the time from order to the customer’s home, and the costs associated with each step of the process.

According to BizPlanReview , a business plan without this information is likely to get rejected because they have failed to research the key elements necessary to make sales to the customer.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 7. Company Organization and Operational Plan

This part of the business plan is focused on how the business model will function while serving customers.  The business plan should provide an overview of  how the team will manage the following aspects:

Quality Control

  • Legal environment

Let’s look at each for some insight.

Production has already been discussed in previous sections so I won’t go into it much. When writing a business plan for investors, try to avoid repetition as it creates a more simple business plan.

If the organizational plan will be used by the team as an overview of how to perform the best services for the customer, then redundancy makes more sense as it communicates what is important to the business.

Quality control policies help to keep the team focused on how to verify that the company adheres to the business plan and meets or exceeds customer expectations.

Quality control can be anything from a standard that says “all labels on shirts can be no more than 1/16″ off center” to a defined checklist of steps that should be performed and filled out for every customer.

There are a variety of organizations that help define quality control including:

  • International Organization for Standardization – Quality standards for energy, technology, food, production environments, and cybersecurity
  • AICPA – Standard defined for accounting.
  • The Joint Commission – Healthcare
  • ASHRAE – HVAC best practices

You can find lists of the organizations that contribute most to the government regulation of industries on Open Secrets . Research what the leaders in your field are doing. Follow their example and implement it in your quality control plan.

For location, you should use information from the market research to establish where the location will be. Make sure to include the following in the location documentation.

  • The size of your location
  • The type of building (retail, industrial, commercial, etc.)
  • Zoning restrictions – Urban Wire has a good map on how zoning works in each state
  • Accessibility – Does it meet ADA requirements?
  • Costs including rent, maintenance, utilities, insurance and any buildout or remodeling costs
  • Utilities – b.e.f. has a good energy calculator .

Legal Environment

The legal requirement section is focused on defining how to meet the legal requirements for your industry. A good business plan should include all of the following:

  • Any licenses and/or permits that are needed and whether you’ve obtained them
  • Any trademarks, copyrights, or patents that you have or are in the process of applying for
  • The insurance coverage your business requires and how much it costs
  • Any environmental, health, or workplace regulations affecting your business
  • Any special regulations affecting your industry
  • Bonding requirements, if applicable

Your local SBA office can help you establish requirements in your area. I strongly recommend using them. They are a great resource.

Your business plan should include a plan for company organization and hiring. While you may be the only person with the company right now, down the road you’ll need more people. Make sure to consider and document the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the current leadership structure and what will it look like in the future?
  • What types of employees will you have? Are there any licensing or educational requirements?
  • How many employees will you need?
  • Will you ever hire freelancers or independent contractors?
  • What is each position’s job description?
  • What is the pay structure (hourly, salaried, base plus commission, etc.)?
  • How do you plan to find qualified employees and contractors?

One of the most crucial parts of a business plan is the organizational chart. This simply shows the positions the company will need, who is in charge of them and the relationship of each of them. It will look similar to this:

Our small business plan template has a much more in-depth organizational chart you can edit to include when you include the organizational chart in your business plan.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 8. Financial Statements 

No business plan is complete without financial statements or financial projections. The business plan format will be different based on whether you are writing a business plan to expand a business or a startup business plan. Let’s dig deeper into each.

Provide All Financial Income from an Existing Business

An existing business should use their past financial documents including the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement to find trends to estimate the next 3-5 years.

You can create easy trendlines in excel to predict future revenue, profit and loss, cash flow, and other changes in year-over-year performance. This will show your expected performance assuming business continues as normal.

If you are seeking an investment, then the business is probably not going to continue as normal. Depending on the financial plan and the purpose of getting financing, adjustments may be needed to the following:

  • Higher Revenue if expanding business
  • Lower Cost of Goods Sold if purchasing inventory with bulk discounts
  • Adding interest if utilizing financing (not equity deal)
  • Changes in expenses
  • Addition of financing information to the cash flow statement
  • Changes in Earnings per Share on the balance sheet

Financial modeling is a challenging subject, but there are plenty of low-cost courses on the subject. If you need help planning your business financial documentation take some time to watch some of them.

Make it a point to document how you calculated all the changes to the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement in your business plan so that key team members or investors can verify your research.

Financial Projections For A Startup Business Plan

Unlike an existing business, a startup doesn’t have previous success to model its future performance. In this scenario, you need to focus on how to make a business plan realistic through the use of industry research and averages.

Mike gave the following advice in his interview:

Financial Forecasting Mistakes

One of the things a lot of inexperienced people use is the argument, “If I get one percent of the market, it is worth $100 million.” If you use this, investors are likely to file the document under bad business plan examples.

Let’s use custom t-shirts as an example.

Credence Research estimated in 2018 there were 11,334,800,000 custom t-shirts sold for a total of $206.12 Billion, with a 6% compound annual growth rate.

With that data,  you can calculate that the industry will grow to $270 Billion in 2023 and that the average shirt sold creates $18.18 in revenue.

Combine that with an IBIS World estimate of 11,094 custom screen printers and that means even if you become an average seller, you’ll get .009% of the market.

Here’s a table for easier viewing of that information.

The point here is to make sure your business proposal examples make sense.

You’ll need to know industry averages such as cost of customer acquisition, revenue per customer, the average cost of goods sold, and admin costs to be able to create accurate estimates.

Our simple business plan templates walk you through most of these processes. If you follow them you’ll have a good idea of how to write a business proposal.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 9. Business Plan Example of Funding Requests

What is a business plan without a plan on how to obtain funding?

The Small Business Administration has an example for a pizza restaurant that theoretically needed nearly $20k to make it through their first month.

In our video, How to Start a $500K/Year T-Shirt Business (Pt. 1 ), Sanford Booth told us he needed about $200,000 to start his franchise and broke even after 4 months.

Freshbooks estimates it takes on average 2-3 years for a business to be profitable, which means the fictitious pizza company from the SBA could need up to $330k to make it through that time and still pay their bills for their home and pizza shop.

Not every business needs that much to start, but realistically it’s a good idea to assume that you need a fairly large cushion.

Ways to get funding for a small business

There are a variety of ways to cover this. the most common are:

  • Bootstrapping – Using your savings without external funding.
  • Taking out debt – loans, credit cards
  • Equity, Seed Funding – Ownership of a percentage of the company in exchange for current funds
  • Crowdsourcing – Promising a good for funding to create the product

Keep reading for more tips on how to write a business plan.

How funding will be used

When asking for business financing make sure to include:

  • How much to get started?
  • What is the minimum viable product and how soon can you make money?
  • How will the money be spent?

Mike emphasized two aspects that should be included in every plan, 

How to Write a Business Plan Resources

Here are some links to a business plan sample and business plan outline. 

  • Sample plan

It’s also helpful to follow some of the leading influencers in the business plan writing community. Here’s a list:

  • Wise Plans –  Shares a lot of information on starting businesses and is a business plan writing company.
  • Optimus Business Plans –  Another business plan writing company.
  • Venture Capital – A venture capital thread that can help give you ideas.

How to Write a Business Plan: What’s Next?

We hope this guide about how to write a simple business plan step by step has been helpful. We’ve covered:

  • The definition of a business plan
  • Coming up with a business idea
  • Performing market research
  • The critical components of a business plan
  • An example business plan

In addition, we provided you with a simple business plan template to assist you in the process of writing your startup business plan. The startup business plan template also includes a business model template that will be the key to your success.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our business hub .

Have you written a business plan before? How did it impact your ability to achieve your goals?

Brandon Boushy

Brandon Boushy lives to improve people’s lives by helping them become successful entrepreneurs. His journey started nearly 30 years ago. He consistently excelled at everything he did, but preferred to make the rules rather than follow him. His exploration of self and knowledge has helped him to get an engineering degree, MBA, and countless certifications. When freelancing and rideshare came onto the scene, he recognized the opportunity to play by his own rules. Since 2017, he has helped businesses across all industries achieve more with his research, writing, and marketing strategies. Since 2021, he has been the Lead Writer for UpFlip where he has published over 170 articles on small business success.

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Blog Business

How to Create a Business Plan to Win Over Investors (7+ Business Plan Templates)

By Midori Nediger , Jul 11, 2023

Business Plan Blog Header

A compelling business plan is essential to every new and growing business.

It’s the primary document that prospective investors use to evaluate the potential of a business, going hand in hand with a business pitch deck .

For a business plan, you need to organize a lot of information into a single, easy-to-read document. More than that, your business plan’s design should be engaging, inspire confidence in your stakeholders and motivate them to back your company and its vision. 

Gone are the days when designing a business plan from scratch was a time-consuming and challenging task. Today, business plan templates offer a convenient solution by providing pre-designed layouts that simplify the process.

In this blog, I’m going to break it down for you. I’ll share the six things you need to know to put together a compelling, engaging business plan. Ready to get started now? Venngage’s online Business Plan Maker  lets anyone create a winning business plan quickly and easily.

Just so you know, some of our business plan templates are free to use and some require a small monthly fee.  Sign-up  is always free, as is access to Venngage’s online drag-and-drop editor.

Click to jump ahead:

  • How to format your business plan

Startup business plan templates

Simple business plan templates.

  • How to write your business plan
  • How to design an engaging executive summary
  • How to use charts and graphs to present data
  • How to communicate growth strategies in your business plan
  • How to present financial data in your business plan

1. How to format your business plan

To format your business plan:

  • Start with a clear title page.
  • Include an executive summary.
  • Provide a company description.
  • Conduct a market analysis.
  • Describe your product or service offering.
  • Outline your marketing and sales strategy.
  • Include organizational or business structure and management information.

A typical business plan is an in-depth document and covers every facet of your business (present and future). Creating a traditional business plan makes sense when you have a clear growth plan for the next three to five years, are in need of major funding, or want to attract long-term partners.  

A professional business plan typically has the following sections: 

  • Table of Contents
  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Service or product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Funding request
  • Financial projections
  • An appendix

A business plan can span a dozen or more pages because it presents the big picture, as complete as possible, to reassure others to invest in you. Investment can mean a few different things – usually financial, but also as partners or employees. 

The sections that can take a lot of research and add to the bulk of your business plan are your market analysis, marketing and sales plans, and financial projections. 

These are the sections that demonstrate your business acumen, your long-term vision, and your accountability. Whereas, sections like the executive summary are meant to grab attention, inspire and get people excited about your business. 

Start with a business plan template

To get started on your business plan, save yourself some time and use a template.

Most business plan templates will include things like a cover page, table of contents and the main sections you need. It will also have pre-formatted pages with placeholder text and charts that you can swap out. 

Green Simple Business Plan Template

It takes time to do market research, present growth plans, put together financial projections, analyze your customer base, create competitor breakdowns…the list goes on.

The last thing you want to do is spend precious time formatting the resulting document. 

Save time by building your business plan from an existing business plan template, and customize it with your own content.

With a clean, consistent structure and clear headings, this template is the perfect starting point:

business plan template

Then you’re free to customize the template with helpful visual elements like charts, tables, and diagrams, that will make your pitch deck impossible to resist.

A Venngage business plan template is designed to help you communicate visually  and explain complex ideas easily. The right business plan template for you depends on the length and detail of your business plan, your brand and style, and the different sections you want to cover.

If your small business doesn’t have a dedicated design team, but you still need to learn how to write a business plan to present to investors–build off of a pre-designed business plan template:

Simple Business Plan TemplateSimple Business Plan Template

There are just a handful of our business plan templates that can be customized in the Venngage editor. Browse more business plan templates,  choose one that’s best for you and start editing right away.

Structuring your startup business plan involves organizing it into sections such as executive summary, company description, market analysis, product/service offering, marketing and sales strategy, financial projections, and operational plan.

Here are some business plan template examples:

startup business plan template

Short Business Plan Template

short business plan template

Number your pages and include a table of contents

A table of contents is crucial to help readers navigate your document and quickly find specific sections that are of interest to them.

It’s a good idea to include page numbers, main section headings, and section subheadings here for easy reference.

business plan template

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure that your business plan design feels clean and professional and doesn’t distract from your content. You want your information, not your formatting, to be the focus!

2. How to write your business plan 

Crafting a solid business plan is vital for the success of your venture. It serves as a roadmap that outlines your objectives, strategies, and financial projections. Here are three tips for writing your business plan to ensure it’s easy to read, appears professional and is memorable.

Use bulleted lists, bold text, and a clear type hierarchy for ‘skimmability’

Business plans need to be understandable at a glance to attract funding . Investors are looking for information that will help them understand your business quickly and without much effort.

Take a look at this snippet of the business plan template from above:

business plan

What stands out to you?

To me, the large green headers pop out first, making it easy to scan through the sections to find what I want to focus on.

This is because there’s a defined type hierarchy, giving more visual weight to the headers over the body text.

business plan

Next, the unique selling points of this business–superior quality products, unique glass carving and brass inlays, and excellent service–jump out. Because they’re presented in an indented list , they’re easier to see at a glance, which will likely make them more memorable.

Finally, I’m drawn to the bolded stats–“top 30% of the industry” and “4 out of 5 households spent money on renovation”.

Key statistics like these can go a long way towards convincing your investors that you’re worth their time and money. If you’re going to include them within larger paragraphs, make sure they stand out by increasing their font weight.

To sum up: make your report skimmable. Draw attention to important takeaways with indented lists, bolded text, and a clear type hierarchy.

Consider using a one-column or two-column grid

business plan

If your business plan contains only text, stick with a single-column layout that reinforces the linear flow of the document. If your business plan includes some supporting data in the form of charts and tables, use a two-column layout to juxtapose text with its corresponding data.

Maintain page margins that set text at a readable line length

When we read long passages of text, the ease at which we read depends on how the text flows on the page. Something called line length (the number of characters in a horizontal line of text) plays a huge role in readability, and is something you should consider when formatting your business plan.

To dictate line length, designers and typesetters play with the width of page margins (the edges of a document that don’t contain any text or images) with the aim of maximizing readability.

It’s generally accepted that the ideal line length sits somewhere between 40 and 90 characters per line. Any longer or shorter and you’ll find that something feels “off” about your document.

business plan

How do you achieve this in your business plan?

If you use a single-column layout, use nice wide margins (1 ½ to 2 inches) to limit your text to less than 90 characters per line.

business plan template

With a two-column layout, you might need to use narrower margins (possibly as little as ½ an inch on either side) to make sure there’s enough space for at least 40 characters per line of text.

business plan template

The last thing to remember about margins and line length–don’t play around with them from page to page. Use consistent margins across your whole document.

3. How to design an executive summary

An executive summary is a snapshot of your business plan. It should be concise and hook your readers. It should reassure stakeholders that your business plan will be a worthwhile read.

How you choose to structure your executive summary is key. You can deliver a lot of excellent information that simply gets lost in a sea of text and paragraphs. Even if someone reads through it entirely, they may have missed something.

To make key information stand out, use vibrant headings, incorporate visuals throughout, and break up the layout of your text.

Executive Summary Business Plan Template

Not every investor looks for the same thing. Some will care more about who you or your executive team are, while another is interested solely in the financials of the business. Identifying each section makes it easy for readers to find exactly what they’re looking for.

You can also list out the key takeaways, briefly explaining them in the executive summary. If your reader finds everything they needed to know in the executive summary, they’ll happily move onto the rest of the business plan.

Executive Summary Blue Business Plan Template

4. Use one feature color to tie your business plan together

Color should be used with restraint in professional documents like business plans. Instead of adding color solely for aesthetic purposes, think of color selection as another tool to highlight information you want your reader to focus on and to tie the document together.

You shouldn’t need more than a single color (ideally one of your brand colors ) to achieve this in a business plan.

In business plan charts, color should be used only to clarify trends and relationships. Use color to emphasize single important data points, differentiate between real and projected values, or group related data:

business plan template

In the rest of your business plan, keep color to a minimum. At most, use it to make headers stand out or to highlight key points in long-form text, diagrams, or tables.

The nice thing about keeping document colors this simple? It’s hard to mess up, and without any complex design work, it creates a sense of cohesion and unity within a document.

4. How to use charts and graphs to present your data

Since your business plan should be backed by solid data, you might want to include some of that data as evidence, in the form of  charts, tables or diagrams . Even simple visuals can communicate better than long paragraphs of text.

I’ll touch on some specific types of charts commonly used in business plans next, but first let’s review a few general chart design tactics.

Use descriptive titles and annotations to spell out chart takeaways

Avoid generic headers whenever possible. Maximize your chart’s value and impact by providing takeaway messages right in the title.

business plan

In the same vein, add direct annotations to data points or trends that support your case.

business plan

Repeating key messages within a chart, in the title, annotations, and captions, may improve viewers understanding and recall of those messages .

Aid understanding of market size and market share with area charts and pie charts

A market potential analysis is a fundamental pillar of your business plan. Market size and market share are two major components of a market potential analysis.

These numbers are typically in the millions and billions (the bigger the better, really), but most people have trouble grasping the meaning of such big numbers . At a surface level we can understand that one billion is one thousand times larger than one million, but we often struggle to comprehend what that really means.

This is the perfect opportunity to add some visual aids to your business plan.

Use bubble charts to represent market size

Bubble charts are useful for showing general proportions among numbers. Check out this one from our redesigned version of AirBnb’s first pitch deck :

business plan

Without having to think about the absolute values of these very large numbers, we can quickly see how they relate to one another.

While bubble charts are good for making quick, general comparisons, they’re less useful when it comes to precise measurements. To help readers make slightly more accurate judgements of proportion:

Use pie or donut charts to represent market share and market composition

Pie and donut charts are the industry standard for showing market share and market composition, since they’re the most widely understood method for representing part-to-whole relationships.

The way Uber breaks down their market with a simple donut chart makes their biggest segment (a key takeaway) really stand out, while the subtler differences between the smaller segments are still evident.

business plan

When you present a market analysis, use pie charts, donut charts, or bubble charts to aid the reader understanding proportions and part-to-whole relationships.

Use histograms and bar charts to represent demographic distributions in market segmentation summaries

Another part of analyzing market potential is about identifying and understanding target customers. This means segmenting customers by geography, interests, demographics…really anything that might affect purchasing behaviour.

Two standard metrics that most businesses include in a market segmentation summary are customer age and gender. These data are easily summarized in a histogram, with bars that represent age group distribution.

business plan template

Bar charts can then be used to contrast the key behaviors and lifestyle choices of the top consumer segments.

business plan template

Histograms and bar charts are standard features of a market segmentation summary. Use them together to identify and present information about top customer segments.

Outline major milestones with a Gantt chart

Stakeholders will want to see that you have a concrete plan in place to help you reach your revenue goals. When formulating your goals, use the SMART principle to provide your stakeholders with a very clear vision of how you intend to achieve them. 

Use a Gantt chart (a sort of modified bar chart) to outline the major milestones and phases of your business strategy. Try to include a multi-year plan, broken down by quarter and by project or department.

business plan

You can create your own Gantt chart with Venngage.

5. How to communicate growth strategies in your business plan

No matter how impressive your product line or services, your business won’t just magically grow. You concrete marketing and sales plans in place, and effectively communicate strategies to your stakeholders.

Start by acknowledging your target market – who are you going after? This is what your marketing and sales efforts will revolve around after all.

Demonstrate an understanding of the competitor landscape. You will always have direct or indirect competition, and showing how your planning accounts for it is key. Then you can talk about actual plans and strategies you wish to implement.

Present your target audience with persona guides

A product may great on its own. But its value is determined when there is a clear and obvious market for it. You can point out shortcomings of your competition, but you also need to show that your target audience exists and how you’re serving them.

A persona guide provides a great deal of context to readers of your business plan. It’s the best way for them to understand who cares about your product or service, how it aligns with their lifestyle and needs, and why your marketing and sales tactics will work.

Business Plan Persona Guide Template

A persona guide needs to be detailed, and share an intimate understanding of your target audience. The more you can divulge, the more reassuring your research and overall business plan will be.

Business Plan Detailed Persona Guide Template

Even if you don’t have a substantial customer base, you can still create an ideal persona guide to show who you’re pursuing.

Business Plan Ideal Persona Guide Template

Highlight competitors and differentiate yourself with a SWOT analysis

Every business plan should include an analysis of the competitive landscape–an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of competitive businesses.

In terms of visuals, this competitive analysis is typically summarized in a SWOT analysis matrix .

Business Plan SWOT Analysis Template

You can also present the SWOT analysis as a table or a list. The layout is up to you, but you want to focus on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in relation to your competition.

Business Plan SWOT analysis Table Template

While the SWOT analysis framework provides valuable insights, it’s not the entire reflection of your competitive landscape. For example, it doesn’t make it easy to see at a glance the qualities that differentiate your business from your competitors.

To highlight those offerings that set you apart from your competitors, a comparison matrix is more effective. Take a look at these two templates:

Business Plan Competitor Comparison Template

With a direct competitor comparison, it’s easy to present the key differentiators between the existing options for a product or service, and your business.

Alternatively, a “ Magic Quadrant ” can be useful when you’re focused on comparing across two main metrics ( key differentiators ):

business plan

Finally, in a competitive market, there are going to be a lot of players who compete directly or indirectly with you.  A breakdown of them all may not be necessary. Instead, you can point visually to the space that you will address, that has been so far ignored up to now.

To do that, a prioritization chart can be used. By plotting competing businesses on a prioritization chart, you highlight experiences existing competitors focus on, and where your business falls. 

business plan

Use roadmaps to present your marketing and sales plans

To explain any long-term marketing or sales plan, you want visuals. It’s easier to break down strategies you’ll be deploying every month or each quarter, when you can actually show what you’re talking about.

Keep in mind, those reading your business plan may not be marketers or sales executives. Being able to lay out your approach in a way that’s organized, shows how much thought you’ve given to your growth strategies.

You can design a simple roadmap that points to what you’ll be doing throughout the year. The more detailed you can get, the better.

Business Plan Marketing roadmap Template

You can also present your product roadmap , with your marketing roadmap how the business will be growing overall.

Business Plan Product Roadmap Template

You don’t need to use a traditional roadmap layout, either. Experiment with different formats as you may find one easier to work with than another. As long as the time period for different strategies is clear, your roadmap will be easy to understand.

Business Plan Marketing Roadmap Template

6. How to present financial data in your business plan

Presenting financial data isn’t easy. You have to crunch a lot of numbers before you can share projections with confidence. You’ll also need to explain how you arrived at the numbers and prepare for your answers.

Understanding how to organize your information is key to walking potential investors and other stakeholders through your projections.

Use organizational flow charts and summary tables for budget breakdowns and financial summaries

The financials section of your business plan will get a lot of attention from stakeholders. Simple bar charts and pie charts won’t suffice, as they can’t present financial data in very much detail.

If your business has already been operating for some time, stakeholders will expect a detailed report of revenues and expenses. Tables are usually the best choice for this kind of financial summary, as they provide an unbiased view of the numbers and allow stakeholders to look up specific values.

business plan templates

If you’re interested in highlighting a particular trend, however, you may want to include a line chart featuring a smaller snapshot of your financial data:

business plan templates

If you’re just starting your business and you don’t have any detailed revenue data, you can still provide useful information about your budget. Outline higher-level budget allocation with an organizational flow chart .

business plan

Use line or bar graphs to visualize financial trends

You can use different types of graphs to also show how your business has performed thus far. 

You can share results over the course of a year with a line graph. This is effective to show an overall set of trends and growth rates. 

Business Plan Sales Chart Template

You can also compare previous years to highlight how your business has grown.

Your audience should be able to draw conclusions from your data within seconds. If there is simply too much information, or it’s hard to find important information, they will lose interest. 

Business Plan Revenue Projection Template

Looking for a business plan software to help save time and reduce errors? Pick from one of these 7 best business plan software to get started.

A quick summary 

A business plan is the one key document that every young business needs to present their vision to potential investors and other stakeholders.

The quality of a business plan can make or break a young business Here’s a quick recap of what we covered for you to keep in mind:

  • Get started with a template
  • Use a table of contents and numbered pages
  • Use lists, bold headings and aim for skimmability
  • Consider using a one-column or two-column
  • Maintain page margins
  • Use headings to identify the most important information
  • Use one thematic color palette for your design
  • Use descriptive titles and annotations
  • Use area and pie charts to explain market size and market share
  • Use pie/donut charts to visualize marketing share and market composition
  • Use bar charts and histograms to capture demographics data
  • Highlight major milestones with a gantt chart
  • Identify your target audience using persona guides
  • Differentiate yourself with a SWOT analysis/competitor chart
  • Use roadmaps to visualize your marketing and sales plans
  • Use flow charts and summary tables for financial breakdowns
  • Use line or bar graphs for financial trends and projection

You can always reference this post as you work on your business plan. I’ve also included additional blog posts you can reference for specific areas of your business plan.

More Resources for business planning and growth:

Growth Strategy Checklist: Plan Your Business Goals With These 5 Templates

Growth Strategy Checklist Template Blog Post Header

What is a Marketing Plan and How to Make One?

marketing plan header

How to Communicate Strategy Effectively Using Visuals [Templates]

communicating strategy header

30+ Business Report Templates That Every Business Needs [+ Design Tips]

30+ Business Report Templates That Every Business Needs

  • Strategic planning |
  • Business plan

Business plan template

If you’re looking for a way to start your business off on the right foot, a business plan template can help you establish the foundation for your strategy. Get started in a few clicks with Asana’s free business plan template.

Sign up to use this template.

INTEGRATED FEATURES

Recommended apps.

You’re pumped—you just thought of the greatest business idea ever. You want to get started, but you don’t have a plan laid out. You need a loan to get your idea off the ground, and the bank wants to see an in-depth business plan. We’re here to help.

What is a business plan template?

A business plan template is a framework that helps you solidify your ideas in an organized format. Our free business plan template walks you through how to create a new business from scratch, or re-imagine your existing business in a new market.

What components are included in a business plan template?

Our business plan template covers what an organization wants to achieve within three to five years. By using our template, you’ll have a place to capture all of the major information you need in order to complete your business plan. That includes:

Company description : Information like your executive summary , your company’s mission statement and vision, and your founder’s bio. 

Product and services: A high-level overview of what your company provides, including core products or services. This may also include how your product is developed, any potential screenshots or prototypes of your product, and pricing plans.

Marketing plan: How you plan to bring your product into market at a high level. You can add information like a SWOT analysis , target market research, and brand positioning in this section.

Financial plan: Important financial information such as balance sheets, a break-even analysis, and your cash flow projections. 

Management and organization information: Information on your company’s founders, executive team, and the board of directors.

How to use our free business plan template

Using Asana’s free business plan template is simple. Start by creating a new project with our free template. From there, add relevant information for your specific business plan in the sections provided in our template. If there’s more information you want to include in your business plan, you’re free to add sections, custom fields, or additional tasks to make this template fit your needs.

Integrated features

Goals . Goals in Asana directly connect to the work you’re doing to hit them, making it easy for team members to see what they’re working towards. More often than not, our goals live separate from the work that goes into achieving them. By connecting your team and company goals to the work that supports them, team members have real-time insight and clarity into how their work directly contributes to your team—and company—success. As a result, team members can make better decisions. If necessary, they can identify the projects that support the company’s strategy and prioritize work that delivers measurable results. 

Reporting . Reporting in Asana translates project data into visual charts and digestible graphs. By reporting on work where work lives, you can reduce duplicative work and cut down on unnecessary app switching. And, because all of your team’s work is already in Asana, you can pull data from any project or team to get an accurate picture of what’s happening in one place.

Milestones . Milestones represent important project checkpoints. By setting milestones throughout your project, you can let your team members and project stakeholders know how you’re pacing towards your goal. Use milestones as a chance to celebrate the little wins on the path towards the big project goal. 

Project Overview . Project Overview is your one-stop-shop for all important project context. Give your team a bird’s-eye view of the what, why, and how of your project work. Add a project description to set the tone for how you’ll work together in Asana. Then, share any important resources and context—like meeting details, communication channels, and project briefs—in one place.

Microsoft Teams . With the Microsoft Teams + Asana integration, you can search for and share the information you need without leaving Teams. Easily connect your Teams conversations to actionable items in Asana. Plus, create, assign, and view tasks during a Teams Meeting without needing to switch to your browser.

Slack . Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack. 

Google Workplace . Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.

Gmail . With the Asana for Gmail integration, you can create Asana tasks directly from your Gmail inbox. Any tasks you create from Gmail will automatically include the context from your email, so you never miss a beat. Need to refer to an Asana task while composing an email? Instead of opening Asana, use the Asana for Gmail add-on to simply search for that task directly from your Gmail inbox. 

How do I create a business plan template?

Instead of taking the time to create a business plan from scratch, start the process off with Asana’s free template.To further customize your template, add evergreen information about your specific business, such as your business model, company name, address, mission statement, value proposition, or target audience. Adding these details to your template lets you avoid documenting this information from scratch every time you create a new business plan.

What components should I include in a business plan template?

Business plan templates typically contain five main sections: a company description, products and services, a marketing plan, basic management and organization information, and your current financial plan.

How long should my business plan be?

Short answer—as long as you need it to be. The long answer is that your business plan should have the answers to specific questions on how your business is run, from the perspective of an investor. The goal of a business plan is to highlight your business strategy for the next three to five years. This means any important operational, financial, and strategic information should be included. 

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10 Free Business Plan Templates in Word, Excel, & ClickUp

ClickUp Contributor

February 13, 2024

Turning your vision into a clear and coherent business plan can be confusing and tough. 

Hours of brainstorming and facing an intimidating blank page can raise more questions than answers. Are you covering everything? What should go where? How do you keep each section thorough but brief?

If these questions have kept you up at night and slowed your progress, know you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve put together the top 10 business plan templates in Word, Excel, and ClickUp—to provide answers, clarity, and a structured framework to work with. This way, you’re sure to capture all the relevant information without wasting time. 

And the best part? Business planning becomes a little less “ugh!” and a lot more “aha!” 🤩

What is a Business Plan Template?

What makes a good business plan template, 1. clickup business plan template, 2. clickup sales plan template, 3. clickup business development action plan template, 4. clickup business roadmap template, 5. clickup business continuity plan template, 6. clickup lean business plan template, 7. clickup small business action plan template, 8. clickup strategic business roadmap template , 9. microsoft word business plan template by microsoft, 10. excel business plan template by vertex42.

A business plan template is a structured framework for entrepreneurs and business executives who want to create business plans. It comes with pre-arranged sections and headings that cover key elements like the executive summary , business overview, target customers, unique value proposition, marketing plans, and financial statements.  

A good business plan template helps with thorough planning, clear documentation, and practical implementation. Here’s what to look for:

  • Comprehensive structure: A good template comes with all the relevant sections to outline a business strategy, such as executive summary, market research and analysis, and financial projections 
  • Clarity and guidance: A good template is easy to follow. It has brief instructions or prompts for each section, guiding you to think deeply about your business and ensuring you don’t skip important details
  • Clean design: Aesthetics matter. Choose a template that’s not just functional but also professionally designed. This ensures your plan is presentable to stakeholders, partners, and potential investors
  • Flexibility : Your template should easily accommodate changes without hassle, like adding or removing sections, changing content and style, and rearranging parts 🛠️ 

While a template provides the structure, it’s the information you feed it that brings it to life. These pointers will help you pick a template that aligns with your business needs and clearly showcases your vision.

10 Business Plan Templates to Use in 2024

Preparing for business success in 2024 (and beyond) requires a comprehensive and organized business plan. We’ve handpicked the best templates to help you guide your team, attract investors, and secure funding. Let’s check them out.

ClickUp Business Plan Template

If you’re looking to replace a traditional business plan document, then ClickUp’s Business Plan Template is for you!

This one-page business plan template, designed in ClickUp Docs , is neatly broken down into the following sections:

  • Company description : Overview, mission, vision, and team
  • Market analysis : Problem, solution, target market, competition, and competitive advantage
  • Sales and marketing strategy : Products/services and marketing channels
  • Operational plan : Location and facilities, equipment and tools, manpower, and financial forecasts
  • Milestones and metrics: Targets and KPIs

Customize the template with your company logo and contact details, and easily navigate to different sections using the collapsible table of contents. The mini prompts under each section guide you on what to include—with suggestions on how to present the data (e.g., bullet lists, pictures, charts, and tables). 

You can share the document with anyone via URL and collaborate in real time. And when the business plan is ready, you have the option to print it or export it to PDF, HTML, or Markdown.

But that’s not all. This template is equipped with basic and enterprise project management features to streamline the business plan creation process . The Topics List view has a list of all the different sections and subsections of the template and allows you to assign it to a team member, set a due date, and attach relevant documents and references.

Switch from List to Board view to track and update task statuses according to the following: To Do, In Progress, Needs Revision, and Complete. 

This template is a comprehensive toolkit for documenting the different sections of your business plan and streamlining the creation process to ensure it’s completed on time. 🗓️

ClickUp Sales Plan Template

If you’re looking for a tool to kickstart or update your sales plan, ClickUp’s Sales Plan Template has got you covered. This sales plan template features a project summary list with tasks to help you craft a comprehensive and effective sales strategy. Some of these tasks include:

  • Determine sales objectives and goals
  • Draft positioning statement
  • Perform competitive analysis
  • Draft ideal customer persona
  • Create a lead generation strategy

Assign each task to a specific individual or team, set priority levels , and add due dates. Specify what section of the sales plan each task belongs to (e.g., executive summary, revenue goals, team structure, etc.), deliverable type (such as document, task, or meeting), and approval state (like pending, needs revisions, and approved).

And in ClickUp style, you can switch to multiple views: List for a list of all tasks, Board for visual task management, Timeline for an overview of task durations, and Gantt to get a view of task dependencies. 

This simple business plan template is perfect for any type of business looking to create a winning sales strategy while clarifying team roles and keeping tasks organized. ✨

ClickUp Business Development Action Plan Template

Thinking about scaling your business’s reach and operations but unsure where or how to start? It can be overwhelming, no doubt—you need a clear vision, measurable goals, and an actionable plan that every member of your team can rally behind. 

Thankfully, ClickUp’s Business Development Action Plan Template is designed to use automations to simplify this process so every step toward your business growth is clear, trackable, and actionable.

Start by assessing your current situation and deciding on your main growth goal. Are you aiming to increase revenue, tap into new markets, or introduce new products or services? With ClickUp Whiteboards or Docs, brainstorm and collaborate with your team on this decision.

Set and track your short- and long-term growth goals with ClickUp’s Goals , break them down into smaller targets, and assign these targets to team members, complete with due dates. Add these targets to a new ClickUp Dashboard to track real-time progress and celebrate small wins. 🎉

Whether you’re a startup or small business owner looking to hit your next major milestone or an established business exploring new avenues, this template keeps your team aligned, engaged, and informed every step of the way.

ClickUp Business Roadmap Template

ClickUp’s Business Roadmap Template is your go-to for mapping out major strategies and initiatives in areas like revenue growth, brand awareness, community engagement, and customer satisfaction. 

Use the List view to populate tasks under each initiative. With Custom Fields, you can capture which business category (e.g., Product, Operations, Sales & Marketing, etc.) tasks fall under and which quarter they’re slated for. You can also link to relevant documents and resources and evaluate tasks by effort and impact to ensure the most critical tasks get the attention they deserve. 👀

Depending on your focus, this template provides different views to show just what you need. For example, the All Initiatives per Quarter view lets you focus on what’s ahead by seeing tasks that need completion within a specific quarter. This ensures timely execution and helps in aligning resources effectively for the short term.

This template is ideal for business executives and management teams who need to coordinate multiple short- and long-term initiatives and business strategies.

ClickUp Business Continuity Plan Template

In business, unexpected threats to operations can arise at any moment. Whether it’s economic turbulence, a global health crisis, or supply chain interruptions, every company needs to be ready. ClickUp’s Business Continuity Plan Template lets you prepare proactively for these unforeseen challenges.

The template organizes tasks into three main categories:

  • Priorities: Tasks that need immediate attention
  • Continuity coverage: Tasks that must continue despite challenges
  • Guiding principles: Resources and protocols to ensure smooth operations

The Board view makes it easy to visualize all the tasks under each of these categories. And the Priorities List sorts tasks by those that are overdue, the upcoming ones, and then the ones due later.

In times of uncertainty, being prepared is your best strategy. This template helps your business not just survive but thrive in challenging situations, keeping your customers, employees, and investors satisfied. 🤝

ClickUp Lean Business Plan Template

Looking to execute your business plan the “lean” way? Use ClickUp’s Lean Business Plan Template . It’s designed to help you optimize resource usage and cut unnecessary steps—giving you better results with less effort.

In the Plan Summary List view, list all the tasks that need to get done. Add specific details like who’s doing each task, when it’s due, and which part of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) it falls under. The By Priority view sorts this list based on priorities like Urgent, High, Normal, and Low. This makes it easy to spot the most important tasks and tackle them first.

Additionally, the Board view gives you an overview of task progression from start to finish. And the BMC view rearranges these tasks based on the various BMC components. 

Each task can further be broken down into subtasks and multiple checklists to ensure all related action items are executed. ✔️

This template is an invaluable resource for startups and large enterprises looking to maximize process efficiencies and results in a streamlined and cost-effective way.

ClickUp Small Business Action Plan Template

The Small Business Action Plan Template by ClickUp is tailor-made for small businesses looking to transform their business ideas and goals into actionable steps and, eventually, into reality. 

It provides a simple and organized framework for creating, assigning, prioritizing, and tracking tasks. And in effect, it ensures that goals are not just set but achieved. Through the native dashboard and goal-setting features, you can monitor task progress and how they move you closer to achieving your goals.

Thanks to ClickUp’s robust communication features like chat, comments, and @mentions, it’s easy to get every team member on the same page and quickly address questions or concerns.

Use this action plan template to hit your business goals by streamlining your internal processes and aligning team efforts.

ClickUp Strategic Business Roadmap Template 

For larger businesses and scaling enterprises, getting different departments to work together toward a big goal can be challenging. The ClickUp Strategic Business Roadmap Template makes it easier by giving you a clear plan to follow.

This template is packaged in a folder and split into different lists for each department in your business, like Sales, Product, Marketing, and Enablement. This way, every team can focus on their tasks while collectively contributing to the bigger goal.

There are multiple viewing options available for team members. These include:

  • Progress Board: Visualize tasks that are on track, those at risk, and those behind
  • Gantt view: Get an overview of project timelines and dependencies
  • Team view: See what each team member is working on so you can balance workloads for maximum productivity

While this template may feel overwhelming at first, the getting started guide offers a step-by-step breakdown to help you navigate it with ease. And like all ClickUp templates, you can easily customize it to suit your business needs and preferences.

Microsoft Word Business Plan Template by Microsoft

Microsoft’s 20-page traditional business plan template simplifies the process of drafting comprehensive business plans. It’s made up of different sections, including:

  • Executive summary : Highlights, objectives, mission statement, and keys to success
  • Description of business: Company ownership and legal structure, hours of operation, products and services, suppliers, financial plans, etc.
  • Marketing: Market analysis, market segmentation, competition, and pricing
  • Appendix: Start-up expenses, cash flow statements, income statements, sales forecast, milestones, break-even analysis, etc.

The table of contents makes it easy to move to different sections of the document. And the text placeholders under each section provide clarity on the specific details required—making the process easier for users who may not be familiar with certain business terminology.

Excel Business Plan Template by Vertex42

No business template roundup is complete without an Excel template. This business plan template lets you work on your business financials in Excel. It comes with customizable tables, formulas, and charts to help you look at the following areas:

  • Highlight charts
  • Market analysis
  • Start-up assets and expenses
  • Sales forecasts
  • Profit and loss
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow projections
  • Break-even analysis

This Excel template is especially useful when you want to create a clear and visual financial section for your business plan document—an essential element for attracting investors and lenders. However, there might be a steep learning curve to using this template if you’re not familiar with business financial planning and using Excel.

Try a Free Business Plan Template in ClickUp

Launching and running a successful business requires a well-thought-out and carefully crafted business plan. However, the business planning process doesn’t have to be complicated, boring, or take up too much time. Use any of the above 10 free business plan formats to simplify and speed up the process.

ClickUp templates go beyond offering a solid foundation to build your business plans. They come with extensive project management features to turn your vision into reality. And that’s not all— ClickUp’s template library offers over 1,000 additional templates to help manage various aspects of your business, from decision-making to product development to resource management .

Sign up for ClickUp’s Free Forever Plan today to fast-track your business’s growth! 🏆

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Free Business Plan Templates in Excel

By Joe Weller | September 27, 2020

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In this article, we’ve rounded up an extensive list of free business plan templates and samples for organizations of all sizes. You can download all of the plans in Excel. 

Included on this page, you’ll find business plan templates in Excel , business plan checklists in Excel , business plan financial templates in Excel , and more.

Business Plan Templates in Excel

These Excel business plan templates are designed to guide you through each step of a well-rounded strategy that supports your marketing, sales, financial, and operational goals.

Business Plan Template in Excel

Business Plan Template

This Excel business plan template has all the traditional components of a standard business plan, with each section divided into tabs. This template includes space to provide the executive summary, target audience characteristics, product or service offering details, marketing strategies, and more. The plan also offers built-in formulas to complete calculations for sales forecasting, financial statements, and key business ratios.

Download Business Plan Template

Excel | Smartsheet

One-Page Business Plan in Excel

how to make business plan template

To check the feasibility of your business concept, use this single-page business plan template. The template allows you to jot down the core details related to your idea. This template also includes room for you to provide concise information about what you do, how you do it, why you do it, who your idea serves, your competitive advantage, your marketing strategies, and your success factors. At the bottom of this one-page plan, you’ll find a table to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Find more downloadable single-page plans and examples at “ One-Page Business Plan Templates with a Quick How-To Guide .”

Download One-Page Business Plan

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet

Sample 30-60-90-Day Business Plan for Startup in Excel

Sample 30 60 90 Day Business Plan for Startup Template

This 90-day business plan is designed for startup companies to develop a 90-day action plan. This template gives you room to outline the following: main goals and deliverables for each 30-day increment; key business activities; task ownership; and deadlines. This template also includes a built-in Gantt chart that adjusts as you enter dates. Visit “ 30-60-90-Day Business Plan Templates and Samples ” to download more free plans.

Download 30-60-90-Day Business Plan for Startup

For more free business plans in a wider variety of formats, visit “ Simple Business Plan Templates .”

Business Plan Checklists in Excel

These business plan checklists are useful for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who want to organize and track the progress of key business activities.

Business Planning Checklist with Timeline in Excel

Business Planning Checklist with Timeline

Use this checklist to keep your business planning efforts on track. This template enables you to add tasks according to each phase of your plan, assign an owner to each task, and enter the respective start and end dates. The checklist also enables you to create and color-code a visual timeline when you highlight the start and end dates for each task.

Download Business Planning Checklist with Timeline Template

Business Plan Checklist with SWOT Analysis in Excel

Business Planning Checklist with SWOT Analysis

Use this business plan checklist to develop and organize your strategic plan. Add the name of the business activity, along with its status, due date, and pertinent notes. This template also includes a separate tab with a SWOT analysis matrix, so you can evaluate and prioritize your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Download Business Plan Checklist with SWOT Analysis - Excel

Business Startup Checklist in Excel

how to make business plan template

This checklist template is ideal for startup organizations. It allows you to list and categorize key tasks that you need to complete, including items related to research, strategic relationships, finance, development, and more. Check off each task upon completion to ensure you haven’t missed or overlooked any important business activities. Find additional resources by visiting “ Free Startup Plan, Budget & Cost Templates .”

‌Download Business Startup Checklist Template

Business Plan Financial Templates in Excel

Use these customizable templates to develop your organization’s financial plan.

Business Startup Costs Template in Excel

how to make business plan template

Use this template to estimate and track your startup and operational costs. This template gives you room to list line items for both funding and expenses; you can automatically calculate totals using the built-in formulas. To avoid overspending, compare budgeted amounts against actual amounts to determine where you can cut costs or find additional funding.

Download Business Startup Costs Template

Small-Business Budget Template in Excel

how to make business plan template

This simple business budget template is designed with small businesses in mind. The template helps you track the income and expenses that you accrue on a monthly and yearly basis. To log your cash balances and transactions for a given time frame, use the tab for cash flow recording.

Download Small-Business Budget Template - Excel

Startup Financial Statement Projections Template

Startup Financial Projections Template

This financial statement projections template includes a detailed profit and loss statement (or income statement), a balance sheet with business ratios, and a cash flow statement to analyze your company’s current and future financial position. This template also comes with built-in formulas, so you can calculate totals as you enter values and customize your statement to fit the needs of your business.

‌ Download Startup Financial Statement Projections Template

For additional templates to help you produce a sound financial plan, visit “ Free Financial Templates for a Business Plan .”

Business Plan Marketing and Sales Templates in Excel

Use these downloadable templates to support and reinforce the marketing and sales objectives in your business plan.

Sales Forecast Template in Excel

how to make business plan template

This sales forecast template allows you to view the projected sales of your products or services at both individual and combined levels over a 12-month period. You can organize this template by department, product group, customer type, and other helpful categories. The template has built-in formulas to calculate monthly and yearly sales totals. For additional resources to project sales, visit “ Free Sales Forecasting Templates .”

Download Sales Forecast Template

Marketing Budget Plan in Excel

Marketing-Budget-Plan-Template

This marketing budget plan template helps you organize and plan your campaign costs for key marketing activities, such as market research, advertising, content marketing , and public relations. Enter the projected quantity and cost under each campaign category; the built-in formulas enable you to calculate projected subtotals automatically. This template also includes a graph that auto-populates as you enter values, so you can see where your marketing dollars are going.

Download Marketing Budget Plan Template

Other Business Plans in Excel

Use these business plan templates to conduct analyses and develop a plan of action that aligns your strategy with your main business objectives.

Business Action Plan Template in Excel

how to make business plan template

Use this basic action plan template to develop a roadmap for reaching your goals. Add a description of each action item, assign the responsible party, and list the required resources, potential hazards, key dates, and desired outcome. You can use this template to develop an action plan for marketing, sales, program development, and more. 

Download Business Action Plan Template

Business Plan Rubric in Excel

how to make business plan template

Once you complete your business plan, use this rubric template to score each section to ensure you include all the essential information. You can customize this rubric to fit the needs of your organization and provide insight into the areas of your plan where you want to delve more deeply or remove unnecessary details. By following these steps, you can make certain that your final business plan is clear, concise, and thorough.

Download Simple Business Plan Rubric

Competitive Analysis Template in Excel

how to make business plan template

This template enables you to analyze the competitive landscape and industry for your business. By providing details related to your company and competitors, you can assess and compare all key areas, including the target market, marketing strategies, product or service offerings, distribution channels, and more.

Download Competitive Analysis Template

Excel  | Smartsheet

For additional free templates for all aspects of your business, visit “ Free Business Templates for Organizations of All Sizes .”

Turbo-Charge Your Business Plans with Templates from Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

Free Business Plan Template

how to make business plan template

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

Thank you for downloading the offer.

I believe that reading sample business plans is essential when writing your own.

sample business plans and examples

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As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, it’s easier for you to learn how to write a good one.

But what does a good business plan look like? And how do you write one that’s both viable and convincing. I’ll walk you through the ideal business plan format along with some examples to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Business Plan Format

Business plan types, sample business plan templates, top business plan examples.

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game. To me, the same logic applies to business.

If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare for battle before breaking into a market.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, I’m sure you’re wondering where to begin.

how to make business plan template

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get your free template.

First, you’ll want to nail down your formatting. Most business plans include the following sections.

1. Executive Summary

I’d say the executive summary is the most important section of the entire business plan. 

Why? Essentially, it's the overview or introduction, written in a way to grab readers' attention and guide them through the rest of the business plan. This is important, because a business plan can be dozens or hundreds of pages long.

There are two main elements I’d recommend including in your executive summary:

Company Description

This is the perfect space to highlight your company’s mission statement and goals, a brief overview of your history and leadership, and your top accomplishments as a business.

Tell potential investors who you are and why what you do matters. Naturally, they’re going to want to know who they’re getting into business with up front, and this is a great opportunity to showcase your impact.

Need some extra help firming up those business goals? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free course to help you set goals that matter — I’d highly recommend it

Products and Services

To piggyback off of the company description, be sure to incorporate an overview of your offerings. This doesn’t have to be extensive — just another chance to introduce your industry and overall purpose as a business.

In addition to the items above, I recommend including some information about your financial projections and competitive advantage here too.:

Keep in mind you'll cover many of these topics in more detail later on in the business plan. So, keep the executive summary clear and brief, and only include the most important takeaways.

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

This example was created with HubSpot’s business plan template:

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

This executive summary is so good to me because it tells potential investors a short story while still covering all of the most important details.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Start with a strong introduction of your company, showcase your mission and impact, and outline the products and services you provide.
  • Clearly define a problem, and explain how your product solves that problem, and show why the market needs your business.
  • Be sure to highlight your value proposition, market opportunity, and growth potential.
  • Keep it concise and support ideas with data.
  • Customize your summary to your audience. For example, emphasize finances and return on investment for venture capitalists.

Check out our tips for writing an effective executive summary for more guidance.

2. Market Opportunity

This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market.

The main question I’d ask myself here is this: Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will my product fill that gap?

More specifically, here’s what I’d include in this section:

  • The size of the market
  • Current or potential market share
  • Trends in the industry and consumer behavior
  • Where the gap is
  • What caused the gap
  • How you intend to fill it

To get a thorough understanding of the market opportunity, you'll want to conduct a TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis and perform market research on your industry.

You may also benefit from creating a SWOT analysis to get some of the insights for this section.

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

I like this example because it uses critical data to underline the size of the potential market and what part of that market this service hopes to capture.

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

  • Focus on demand and potential for growth.
  • Use market research, surveys, and industry trend data to support your market forecast and projections.
  • Add a review of regulation shifts, tech advances, and consumer behavior changes.
  • Refer to reliable sources.
  • Showcase how your business can make the most of this opportunity.

3. Competitive Landscape

Since we’re already speaking of market share, you'll also need to create a section that shares details on who the top competitors are.

After all, your customers likely have more than one brand to choose from, and you'll want to understand exactly why they might choose one over another.

My favorite part of performing a competitive analysis is that it can help you uncover:

  • Industry trends that other brands may not be utilizing
  • Strengths in your competition that may be obstacles to handle
  • Weaknesses in your competition that may help you develop selling points
  • The unique proposition you bring to the market that may resonate with customers

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

I like how the competitive landscape section of this business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

It also highlights specific industry knowledge and the importance of location, which shows useful experience in this specific industry. 

This can help build trust in your ability to execute your business plan.

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

  • Complete in-depth research, then emphasize your most important findings.
  • Compare your unique selling proposition (USP) to your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Show a clear and realistic plan for product and brand differentiation.
  • Look for specific advantages and barriers in the competitive landscape. Then, highlight how that information could impact your business.
  • Outline growth opportunities from a competitive perspective.
  • Add customer feedback and insights to support your competitive analysis.

4. Target Audience

Use this section to describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?

If your immediate answer is "everyone," you'll need to dig deeper. Here are some questions I’d ask myself here:

  • What demographics will most likely need/buy your product or service?
  • What are the psychographics of this audience? (Desires, triggering events, etc.)
  • Why are your offerings valuable to them?

I’d also recommend building a buyer persona to get in the mindset of your ideal customers and be clear on why you're targeting them.

Target Audience Business Plan Example

I like the example below because it uses in-depth research to draw conclusions about audience priorities. It also analyzes how to create the right content for this audience.

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

  • Include details on the size and growth potential of your target audience.
  • Figure out and refine the pain points for your target audience , then show why your product is a useful solution.
  • Describe your targeted customer acquisition strategy in detail.
  • Share anticipated challenges your business may face in acquiring customers and how you plan to address them.
  • Add case studies, testimonials, and other data to support your target audience ideas.
  • Remember to consider niche audiences and segments of your target audience in your business plan.

5. Marketing Strategy

Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy. I’d suggest including information:

  • Your brand positioning vision and how you'll cultivate it
  • The goal targets you aim to achieve
  • The metrics you'll use to measure success
  • The channels and distribution tactics you'll use

I think it’s helpful to have a marketing plan built out in advance to make this part of your business plan easier.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler.

In my opinion, it really works because it offers a comprehensive picture of how they plan to use digital marketing to promote the community.

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

  • Include a section about how you believe your brand vision will appeal to customers.
  • Add the budget and resources you'll need to put your plan in place.
  • Outline strategies for specific marketing segments.
  • Connect strategies to earlier sections like target audience and competitive analysis.
  • Review how your marketing strategy will scale with the growth of your business.
  • Cover a range of channels and tactics to highlight your ability to adapt your plan in the face of change.

6. Key Features and Benefits

At some point in your business plan, you'll need to review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services.

Laying these out can give readers an idea of how you're positioning yourself in the market and the messaging you're likely to use. It can even help them gain better insight into your business model.

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

In my opinion, the example below does a great job outlining products and services for this business, along with why these qualities will attract the audience.

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

  • Emphasize why and how your product or service offers value to customers.
  • Use metrics and testimonials to support the ideas in this section.
  • Talk about how your products and services have the potential to scale.
  • Think about including a product roadmap.
  • Focus on customer needs, and how the features and benefits you are sharing meet those needs.
  • Offer proof of concept for your ideas, like case studies or pilot program feedback.
  • Proofread this section carefully, and remove any jargon or complex language.

7. Pricing and Revenue

This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams. Your pricing strategy must be solid enough to turn a profit while staying competitive in the industry. 

For this reason, here’s what I’d might outline in this section:

  • The specific pricing breakdowns per product or service
  • Why your pricing is higher or lower than your competition's
  • (If higher) Why customers would be willing to pay more
  • (If lower) How you're able to offer your products or services at a lower cost
  • When you expect to break even, what margins do you expect, etc?

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

I like how this business plan example begins with an overview of the business revenue model, then shows proposed pricing for key products.

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

  • Get specific about your pricing strategy. Specifically, how you connect that strategy to customer needs and product value.
  • If you are asking a premium price, share unique features or innovations that justify that price point.
  • Show how you plan to communicate pricing to customers.
  • Create an overview of every revenue stream for your business and how each stream adds to your business model as a whole.
  • Share plans to develop new revenue streams in the future.
  • Show how and whether pricing will vary by customer segment and how pricing aligns with marketing strategies.
  • Restate your value proposition and explain how it aligns with your revenue model.

8. Financials

To me, this section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to figure out funding strategies, investment opportunities, and more.

 According to Forbes , you'll want to include three main things:

  • Profit/Loss Statement - This answers the question of whether your business is currently profitable.
  • Cash Flow Statement - This details exactly how much cash is incoming and outgoing to give insight into how much cash a business has on hand.
  • Balance Sheet - This outlines assets, liabilities, and equity, which gives insight into how much a business is worth.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details I’d include in this section.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet is a great example of level of detail you’ll need to include in the financials section of your business plan.

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

  • Growth potential is important in this section too. Using your data, create a forecast of financial performance in the next three to five years.
  • Include any data that supports your projections to assure investors of the credibility of your proposal.
  • Add a break-even analysis to show that your business plan is financially practical. This information can also help you pivot quickly as your business grows.
  • Consider adding a section that reviews potential risks and how sensitive your plan is to changes in the market.
  • Triple-check all financial information in your plan for accuracy.
  • Show how any proposed funding needs align with your plans for growth.

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others could be charts or graphs.

The formats above apply to most types of business plans. That said, the format and structure of your plan will vary by your goals for that plan. 

So, I’ve added a quick review of different business plan types. For a more detailed overview, check out this post .

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

If you’re planning to start a small business, preparing a business plan is crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business.

You can check out this guide for more detailed business plan inspiration .

2. Feasibility Studies

Feasibility business plans focus on that business's product or service. Feasibility plans are sometimes added to startup business plans. They can also be a new business plan for an already thriving organization.

3. Internal Use

You can use internal business plans to share goals, strategies, or performance updates with stakeholders. In my opinion, internal business plans are useful for alignment and building support for ambitious goals.

4. Strategic Initiatives

Another business plan that's often for sharing internally is a strategic business plan. This plan covers long-term business objectives that might not have been included in the startup business plan.

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

When a business is moving forward with an acquisition or repositioning, it may need extra structure and support. These types of business plans expand on a company's acquisition or repositioning strategy.

Growth sometimes just happens as a business continues operations. But more often, a business needs to create a structure with specific targets to meet set goals for expansion. This business plan type can help a business focus on short-term growth goals and align resources with those goals.

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some of my favorite templates.

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template..

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot and is perfect for businesses of any size — no matter how many strategies we still have to develop.

Fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline give this one-page business plan a framework for how to build your brand and what tasks to keep track of as you grow.

Then, as the business matures, you can expand on your original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

Why I Like It

This one-page business plan is a fantastic choice for the new business owner who doesn’t have the time or resources to draft a full-blown business plan. It includes all the essential sections in an accessible, bullet-point-friendly format. That way, you can get the broad strokes down before honing in on the details.

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business. You’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it.

There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a workable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

This business plan kit is essential for the budding entrepreneur who needs a more extensive document to share with investors and other stakeholders.

It not only includes sections for your executive summary, product line, market analysis, marketing plan, and sales plan, but it also offers hands-on guidance for filling out those sections.

3. LiveFlow’s Financial Planning Template with built-in automation

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

This free template from LiveFlow aims to make it easy for businesses to create a financial plan and track their progress on a monthly basis.

The P&L Budget versus Actual format allows users to track their revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, operating profit margin, net profit, and more.

The summary dashboard aggregates all of the data put into the financial plan sheet and will automatically update when changes are made.

Instead of wasting hours manually importing your data to your spreadsheet, LiveFlow can also help you to automatically connect your accounting and banking data directly to your spreadsheet, so your numbers are always up-to-date.

With the dashboard, you can view your runway, cash balance, burn rate, gross margins, and other metrics. Having a simple way to track everything in one place will make it easier to complete the financials section of your business plan.

This is a fantastic template to track performance and alignment internally and to create a dependable process for documenting financial information across the business. It’s highly versatile and beginner-friendly.

It’s especially useful if you don’t have an accountant on the team. (I always recommend you do, but for new businesses, having one might not be possible.)

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’s financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

I absolutely love this business plan template because of its ease-of-use and hands-on instructions (in addition to its finance-centric components). If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire business plan, consider using this template to help you with the process.

6. Harvard Business Review’s "How to Write a Winning Business Plan"

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of " Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum ", you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service.

You’ll also learn the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

This business plan guide focuses less on the individual parts of a business plan, and more on the overarching goal of writing one. For that reason, it’s one of my favorites to supplement any template you choose to use. Harvard Business Review’s guide is instrumental for both new and seasoned business owners.

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business.

Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, and fund your business. It will also give small business tax information and includes marketing, sales, and service tips.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of starting a business, in addition to writing your business plan, with a high level of exactitude and detail. So if you’re in the midst of starting your business, this is an excellent guide for you.

It also offers other resources you might need, such as market analysis templates.

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty-gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to its success.

This template has two things I love: comprehensiveness and in-depth instructions. Plus, it’s synced with PandaDoc’s e-signature software so that you and other stakeholders can sign it with ease. For that reason, I especially love it for those starting a business with a partner or with a board of directors.

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan.

Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need — a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

We love both of the SBA’s templates because of their versatility. You can choose between two options and use the existing content in the templates to flesh out your own plan. Plus, if needed, you can get a free business counselor to help you along the way.

I’ve compiled some completed business plan samples to help you get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business.

I chose different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Let’s take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

One of the major business expenses is marketing. How you handle your marketing reflects your company’s revenue.

I included this business plan to show you how you can ensure your marketing team is aligned with your overall business plan to get results. The plan also shows you how to track even the smallest metrics of your campaigns, like ROI and payback periods instead of just focusing on big metrics like gross and revenue.

Fintech startup, LiveFlow, allows users to sync real-time data from its accounting services, payment platforms, and banks into custom reports. This eliminates the task of pulling reports together manually, saving teams time and helping automate workflows.

"Using this framework over a traditional marketing plan will help you set a profitable marketing strategy taking things like CAC, LTV, Payback period, and P&L into consideration," explains LiveFlow co-founder, Lasse Kalkar .

When it came to including marketing strategy in its business plan, LiveFlow created a separate marketing profit and loss statement (P&L) to track how well the company was doing with its marketing initiatives.

This is a great approach, allowing businesses to focus on where their marketing dollars are making the most impact. Having this information handy will enable you to build out your business plan’s marketing section with confidence. LiveFlow has shared the template here . You can test it for yourself.

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

Sometimes all you need is a solid mission statement and core values to guide you on how to go about everything. You do this by creating a business plan revolving around how to fulfill your statement best.

For example, Patagonia is an eco-friendly company, so their plan discusses how to make the best environmentally friendly products without causing harm.

A good mission statement  should not only resonate with consumers but should also serve as a core value compass for employees as well.

Patagonia has one of the most compelling mission statements I’ve seen:

"Together, let’s prioritise purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home."

It reels you in from the start, and the environmentally friendly theme continues throughout the rest of the statement.

This mission goes on to explain that they are out to "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to protect nature."

Their mission statement is compelling and detailed, with each section outlining how they will accomplish their goal.

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

This executive summary for a smart home device startup is part of a business plan created by students at Mount Royal University .

While it lacks some of the sleek visuals of the templates above, its executive summary does a great job of demonstrating how invested they are in the business.

Right away, they mention they’ve invested $200,000 into the company already, which shows investors they have skin in the game and aren’t just looking for someone else to foot the bill.

This is the kind of business plan you need when applying for business funds. It clearly illustrates the expected future of the company and how the business has been coming along over the years.

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

This fictional business plan for an art supply store includes everything one might need in a business plan: an executive summary, a company summary, a list of services, a market analysis summary, and more.

One of its most notable sections is its market analysis summary, which includes an overview of the population growth in the business’ target geographical area, as well as a breakdown of the types of potential customers they expect to welcome at the store. 

This sort of granular insight is essential for understanding and communicating your business’s growth potential. Plus, it lays a strong foundation for creating relevant and useful buyer personas .

It’s essential to keep this information up-to-date as your market and target buyer changes. For that reason, you should carry out market research as often as possible to ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience and sharing accurate information with your investors.

Due to its comprehensiveness, it’s an excellent example to follow if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store and need to get external funding to start your business .

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

If you’re looking for a SaaS business plan example, look no further than this business plan for a fictional educational software company called Curriculum Companion Suites. 

Like the business plan for the NALB Creative Center, it includes plenty of information for prospective investors and other key stakeholders in the business.

One of the most notable features of this business plan is the executive summary, which includes an overview of the product, market, and mission.

The first two are essential for software companies because the product offering is so often at the forefront of the company’s strategy. Without that information being immediately available to investors and executives, then you risk writing an unfocused business plan.

It’s essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" and this example does just that. In other words, why do you do what you do, and why should stakeholders care? This is an important section to include if you feel that your mission will drive interest in the business and its offerings.

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

Culina's sample business plan is an excellent example of how to lay out your business plan so that it flows naturally, engages readers, and provides the critical information investors and stakeholders need. 

You can use this template as a guide while you're gathering important information for your own business plan. You'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do since Culina’s plan outlines these details so flawlessly for inspiration.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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How to Write a Food and Beverage Business Plan + Sample Business Plan PDF

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Elon Glucklich

7 min. read

Updated February 17, 2024

Free Download: Sample Food and Beverage Business Plan Templates

The food and beverage sector is booming. Restaurant openings rose 10% in 2023 compared to 2022 — even higher than in pre-pandemic years.

From fine dining to food trucks, farmers to brewers, and wholesalers to coffee makers, there are opportunities across the food and beverage industry. 

But starting a business without covering the basics — your operations plan, marketing tactics, financial strategy, and more — carries huge risks. 

That’s why we recommend you write a business plan.

  • Why write a food and beverage business plan?

Writing a business plan is an easy first step that you can start for free. Plus, businesses that take time to plan are significantly more successful than those that don’t.

Many food and beverage establishments fail because of one of the following:

  • Poor inventory management
  • Underestimated expenses
  • High employee turnover
  • Misjudged the size of their market

Writing a business plan can help you:

  • Develop processes for managing inventory and logistics
  • Understand your cash flows and create a realistic expense budget
  • Budget for competitive employee pay that increases worker retention
  • Analyze your competition and determine how big your market is  

If you’re looking for funding from investors for your business, you’ll definitely need a business plan.

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  • How to write a food and beverage business plan

Many business plans follow a standard format and you can use it as a starting point when writing your own plan. Here’s what that includes:

Executive summary

  • Company summary and funding needs
  • Products and services
  • Marketing plan
  • Management team

Financial plan

For food and beverage companies, you must give extra attention to your market analysis, operations plan, and financial forecasts.

If you’re ready to start, download a free business plan template and fill it out as you read this article.

A sample business plan outline for a food and beverage business.

Every business plan should include an executive summary . It’s a brief outline summarizing the plan, no more than one or two pages.

We recommend that you write the executive summary last after fleshing out the details of your plan. 

Just summarize the vision for your business, describe your offerings and target market , and touch on your management team and financials. Don’t go into tons of detail — just provide a high-level sense of what you want your business to accomplish.

Opportunity: problem and solution

This section of your food and beverage business plan describes the opportunity you hope to capture.

Maybe you’re a farmer looking to diversify your revenue streams by distributing to grocery stores. Or a bar owner with high-end liquor that competitors in the market aren’t serving. 

Whatever your business is, describe the gap in the market and how you aim to fill it.

If you’re operating a more common type of business, like a restaurant , you can probably keep this section short. But it’s useful to document what makes your business unique and it will help focus your sales and marketing efforts later on.

Market analysis

In a field as crowded with competitors as the food and beverage space, a detailed market analysis is essential. 

Your focus should be on identifying the specific customer segments you aim to serve. 

Maybe you’re a butcher with connections to fresh livestock. Will you be more successful selling directly to consumers, or should you focus on selling to grocery stores and markets in your area?

Or, you’re opening  a diner. Should your menu focus on healthy meals or easy-to-make child-friendly options?

These are the types of questions that market research helps you answer. This section should detail the defining characteristics of your target market, including the demographics and preferences of your ideal customer and the size of the market you’re targeting. Market research questions specific to a food and beverage business could include:

  • Business location and characteristics
  • Area income
  • Local food and beverage preferences
  • Existing food and beverage options 

Elaborate on how your food and beverage offerings align with that target market ’s needs. Remember, you can’t please everyone, so focus on a specific group of people or type of person and build out from there.

Marketing and sales

For food and beverage businesses promotions are how you stand out and seize a share of your market.

The marketing and advertising chapter of your business plan is where you’ll detail your strategies for capturing the attention — and loyalty — of the customers you identified as your target market in the previous section.

With so many options for consumers in the food and beverage space, you’ll likely have to rely on multiple marketing channels , including::

  • Advertising on websites, television, and in relevant publications.
  • Content marketing — developing an engaging website and writing blog content that’s search engine optimized to drive traffic to your site.
  • Engaging with your customers on social media.
  • Offering discounts and customer loyalty programs.
  • Appearing at food and beverage industry trade shows and community events.

It doesn’t matter how delicious your recipes are, how fresh your crops are, or how innovative your cocktails are — if you don’t operate efficiently, your business probably won’t last long.

The operations strategy may be the most detailed section of your business plan, especially if you’re writing it for a bank loan or investment. This section describes how you will run your business day to day.

When writing the operations section, describe the following:

Physical space

Whether it’s a restaurant, a farm, or a food transportation business, describe the space you’re operating in, and all of the physical assets and equipment you’ll need to be successful. 

If it’s a sit-down restaurant, consider including a floorplan mockup in your appendix.

Supply chain 

List the suppliers and partners that get your product to customers. Think about the businesses you purchase ingredients from, the warehouses that goods are stored in, and the trucking companies that deliver your products to grocery stores. 

These are your supply chain partners. It’s crucial that you maintain good relationships with them.

Production processes

How long it takes to make your product, and what materials and equipment are required. Documenting how you produce your goods or services demonstrates that you understand the costs of making them. 

You may also uncover ways to produce them more quickly, or at a lesser cost.

Detail how you’ll handle matters of efficiency like order fulfillment, storage, shipping, and returns, as well as customer satisfaction. If you provide delivery services, document how you will handle the process of getting your product to customers’ homes or businesses.

List your staffing needs, training, and experience requirements for key staff. Also, document the management structure of your business. 

This helps ensure that important tasks you don’t have time to monitor are being done and that workers are being supervised.

Describe investments in payment processing systems, inventory management software, and other tools that support sales or operations in your business. Cataloging your technology systems will help you determine where it might make sense to invest in upgrades for efficiency.

Take some time to write a financial plan . Create detailed financial projections, including sales , expenses , and profitability .

If that sounds intimidating, take a deep breath, and remember that financial forecasts are really just best guesses. If you’re running an existing business, you can start with your previous year’s numbers. If you’re starting, make an educated guess about where you hope to be financially a year from now.

Investors will want to see a: 

  • Sales forecast
  • Income statement (also called a profit and loss statement )
  • Cash flow statement
  • Balance sheet 

If you use a tool like LivePlan , you’ll be able to build out your financial forecasts relatively quickly, even if you don’t have experience with business numbers.

Even if you aren’t seeking investment, the financial plan is crucial for understanding the viability of your business. It allows you to adjust your business model based on projected performance, and make informed decisions about where to spend your money.

  • Food and beverage business plan templates and examples

If you want to see how other food and beverage businesses have created their plans, check out our free library of food and beverage business plans . 

You can download all of them in Word format and jump-start your own business plan.

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

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Home Care Business Plan PDF Example

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  • February 19, 2024
  • Business Plan

The business plan template for a home care business

Creating a comprehensive business plan is crucial for launching and running a successful home care business. This plan serves as your roadmap, detailing your vision, operational strategies, and financial plan. It helps establish your home care business’s identity, navigate the competitive market, and secure funding for growth.

This article not only breaks down the critical components of a home care business business plan, but also provides an example of a business plan to help you craft your own.

Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or new to the healthcare industry, this guide, complete with a business plan example, lays the groundwork for turning your home care business concept into reality. Let’s dive in!

Our Home Care business plan is designed to address all vital elements necessary for a detailed and effective operational strategy. This plan encompasses the scope of our home care services, marketing approaches, the environment in which we operate, an analysis of our competitors, the structure of our management team, and financial projections. 

  • Executive Summary: Offers a succinct overview of the Home Care business’s unique proposition, highlighting personalized and professional in-home care services tailored for seniors, market analysis showcasing the sector’s growth and demand, management’s expertise in senior care, and a financial strategy that outlines investment opportunities and revenue expectations.
  • Services & Area Coverage: Describes the array of in-home care services, including personal care, medication management, specialized care for dementia, and emergency response, all delivered within a specified service radius to meet the unique needs of each senior.
  • Pricing: Details the pricing strategy, designed to be transparent and competitive, offering flexible options to cater to various financial situations of clients, including hourly and flat-rate packages tailored to different care needs.
  • Key Stats: Presents data underscoring the market size, growth trends, and demographics that illustrate the potential and necessity of home care services.
  • Key Trends: Highlights significant trends such as the increasing preference for aging in place, the integration of technology in care, and a shift towards personalized care.
  • Key Competitors: Analyzes the main competitors within the service area, their offerings, and how the business’s unique approach and technology set it apart.
  • SWOT Analysis: Conducts a comprehensive analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to strategically position the business.
  • Marketing Plan: Outlines marketing strategies aimed at building brand awareness, attracting new clients, and retaining them through superior service, patient satisfaction programs, and targeted marketing efforts.
  • Timeline: Sets forth key milestones and objectives from the business setup to its launch and key growth phases.
  • Management: Highlights the experienced team leading the business, from caregiving professionals to administrative management, emphasizing their roles in ensuring high-quality care and operational success.

Financial Plan: Projects the financial outlook for the business over the next five years, detailing revenue models from various services, cost management strategies, profit margins, and expected return on investment, ensuring a clear route to financial sustainability and growth.

The business plan template for a home care business

Home Care Business Plan

Download an expert-built 30+ slides Powerpoint business plan template

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary introduces your home care business plan, offering a concise overview of your agency and its services. It should detail your market positioning, the range of home care services you offer, including personal care, nursing care, and companion services, its service area, and an outline of day-to-day operations. 

This section should also explore how your home care agency will integrate into the local community, including the number of direct competitors within the area, identifying who they are, along with your agency’s unique selling points that differentiate it from these competitors. 

Furthermore, you should include information about the management and co-founding team, detailing their roles and contributions to the agency’s success. Additionally, a summary of your financial projections, including revenue and profits over the next five years, should be presented here to provide a clear picture of your agency’s financial plan.

Make sure to cover here _ Business Overview _ Market Overview _ Management Team _ Financial Plan

Home Care Business Plan executive summary1

Dive deeper into Executive Summary

Business Overview

For a Home Care Business, the Business Overview section can be effectively divided into 2 main slides:

Services & Area Coverage

Briefly describe the range of home care services your agency offers, emphasizing the personalized and compassionate care provided to clients in the comfort of their own homes. This can include personal care services like bathing and dressing, skilled nursing care, physical therapy, and companion services such as meal preparation and light housekeeping.

Then, mention the geographic area your agency covers, highlighting the convenience and accessibility of your services to clients within this area. Explain why your service area is strategically chosen to meet the needs of your target clientele, considering factors like population demographics and the presence of community resources.

Pricing & Payment Options

Detail your pricing structure for the various home care services offered, ensuring it reflects the quality of care provided and is competitive within the market you’re targeting. Your pricing strategy should be transparent, making it easy for clients and their families to understand the cost of care.

Also,highlight any flexible payment options, insurance partnerships, or programs that can help offset the cost for clients, such as Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance coverage. Emphasize any packages or special programs that provide added value to your clients, such as customized care plans or discounted rates for long-term services, encouraging long-term relationships and client loyalty.

Make sure to cover here _ Services & Area Coverage _ Pricing & Payment Options

how to make business plan template

Market Overview

Industry size & growth.

In the Market Overview of your home care business plan, start by examining the size of the home care industry and its growth potential.

This analysis is crucial for understanding the market’s scope and identifying expansion opportunities, particularly in the context of an aging population and increasing preference for aging in place.

Key market trends

Proceed to discuss recent market trends, such as the growing consumer interest in personalized home care services, the use of technology to improve service delivery, and the emphasis on holistic care that encompasses physical, emotional, and social well-being.

For example, highlight the demand for services tailored to specific health conditions or preferences, alongside the rising popularity of integrated care models that coordinate across different healthcare providers.

Key competitors

Then, consider the competitive landscape, which includes a range of providers from large national chains to local independent agencies, as well as emerging tech-based care solutions.

Emphasize what makes your agency distinctive, whether it’s through exceptional caregiver training, a comprehensive range of services, or specialization in certain types of care (e.g., dementia care, post-operative care).

Make sure to cover here _ Industry size & growth _ Key market trends _ Key competitors

Home Care Business Plan market overview1

Dive deeper into Key competitors

First, conduct a SWOT analysis for the home care business, highlighting Strengths (such as compassionate and well-trained caregivers, a comprehensive range of services), Weaknesses (including potential regulatory challenges or staffing issues), Opportunities (for example, an aging population and increasing preference for home-based care), and Threats (such as changes in healthcare policies that may affect funding or reimbursement).

Marketing Plan

Next, develop a marketing strategy that outlines how to attract and retain clients through targeted outreach, informative and empathetic communication, engaging online presence, and community partnerships. Emphasize the importance of building trust with clients and their families, showcasing testimonials, and highlighting the qualifications and dedication of your caregiving team.

Finally, create a detailed timeline that outlines critical milestones for the home care agency’s launch, client acquisition efforts, service expansion, and strategic objectives, ensuring the business advances with clear direction and purpose. Include key benchmarks for assessing the quality of care, client satisfaction, and operational efficiency to continually improve and grow your agency.

Make sure to cover here _ SWOT _ Marketing Plan _ Timeline

Home Care Business Plan strategy1

Dive deeper into SWOT

Dive deeper into Marketing Plan

The Management section focuses on the home care business’s management and their direct roles in daily operations and strategic direction. This part is crucial for understanding who is responsible for making key decisions and driving the home care business towards its financial and operational goals.

For your home care business plan, list the core team members, their specific responsibilities, and how their expertise supports the business.

Home Care Business Plan management1

Financial Plan

The Financial Plan section is a comprehensive analysis of your financial projections for revenue, expenses, and profitability. It lays out your home care business’s approach to securing funding, managing cash flow, and achieving breakeven.

This section typically includes detailed forecasts for the first 5 years of operation, highlighting expected revenue, operating costs and capital expenditures.

For your home care business plan, provide a snapshot of your financial statement (profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow statement), as well as your key assumptions (e.g. number of customers and prices, expenses, etc.).

Make sure to cover here _ Profit and Loss _ Cash Flow Statement _ Balance Sheet _ Use of Funds

Home Care Business Plan financial plan1

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Sample Clothing Store Business Plan

Growthink.com Clothing Store Business Plan Template

Writing a business plan is a crucial step in starting a clothing store. Not only does it provide structure and guidance for the future, but it also helps to create funding opportunities and attract potential investors. For aspiring clothing store business owners, having access to a sample clothing store business plan can be especially helpful in providing direction and gaining insight into how to draft their own clothing store business plan.

Download our Ultimate Clothing Store Business Plan Template

Having a thorough business plan in place is critical for any successful clothing store venture. It will serve as the foundation for your operations, setting out the goals and objectives that will help guide your decisions and actions. A well-written business plan can give you clarity on realistic financial projections and help you secure financing from lenders or investors. A clothing store business plan example can be a great resource to draw upon when creating your own plan, making sure that all the key components are included in your document.

The clothing store business plan sample below will give you an idea of what one should look like. It is not as comprehensive and successful in raising capital for your clothing store as Growthink’s Ultimate Clothing Store Business Plan Template , but it can help you write a clothing store business plan of your own.

Example – StyleSaga Boutique

Table of contents, executive summary, company overview, industry analysis, customer analysis, competitive analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, management team, financial plan.

StyleSaga Boutique, situated in the vibrant heart of Columbus, OH, is a fashion-forward retail initiative designed to meet the diverse sartorial needs of our local community. Our boutique prides itself on offering a wide range of unique and fashionable clothing options that cater to individuals looking for pieces that reflect their personal style. We are committed to sustainability, ensuring that a significant portion of our inventory is eco-friendly and ethically sourced. Our goal is to provide a one-stop-shop for fashion enthusiasts, environmentally conscious shoppers, and young professionals seeking trendy yet professional attire.

Our boutique’s success can be attributed to several key factors and accomplishments. First and foremost, our dedication to offering a curated selection of unique, fashionable, and sustainable clothing has set us apart in the local market. We’ve built strong relationships with suppliers and vendors, ensuring we provide high-quality merchandise at competitive prices. Our adeptness at forecasting and adapting to fashion trends has allowed us to consistently meet our customers’ needs and preferences. Additionally, our commitment to exceptional customer service and community engagement has fostered a loyal customer base and established StyleSaga Boutique as a prominent and respected presence in Columbus, OH.

The fashion retail industry is experiencing a significant shift towards sustainability and ethical production practices, driven by increasing consumer awareness and demand for transparency. The rise of digital marketing and e-commerce platforms has also transformed how boutiques engage with their customers, making online visibility and social media engagement crucial for success. Despite these challenges, the industry presents ample opportunities for growth, especially for businesses like StyleSaga Boutique that prioritize unique, sustainable fashion and harness the power of both online and offline marketing strategies to build a strong brand identity.

Our primary target market includes local residents in search of distinctive clothing that reflects their individual style. We cater to fashion enthusiasts who value uniqueness and quality, as well as environmentally conscious shoppers looking for sustainable and ethically produced apparel. Additionally, we aim to attract young professionals seeking versatile, trendy attire suitable for both office and social settings. By offering a diverse range of styles and sizes, along with eco-friendly options, StyleSaga Boutique addresses the varied preferences and values of our customer segments, ensuring a broad appeal.

Top competitors include local boutiques with similar target markets and large retail chains offering fast fashion at lower price points. Despite this competition, StyleSaga Boutique’s competitive advantages lie in our focus on sustainability, unique product offerings, and exceptional customer service. Our commitment to ethical fashion and ability to quickly adapt to changing trends allow us to meet customer demands in ways that many competitors cannot, setting us apart in the Columbus market.

Our marketing plan revolves around highlighting our unique selling propositions, such as our sustainable and ethically sourced products, through various channels. We leverage social media platforms, email newsletters, and in-store promotions to engage with our target audience and drive traffic to our boutique. Our product range is carefully curated to ensure diversity in style, size, and price, catering to a broad customer base without compromising on quality. Competitive pricing strategies are employed to offer value while maintaining profitability. Promotions and discounts are strategically used to attract new customers and reward loyalty among existing ones.

At StyleSaga Boutique, our daily operations are focused on inventory management, exceptional customer service, maintaining an inviting store presentation, and executing targeted marketing campaigns. We monitor sales data to understand customer preferences, manage financial transactions to ensure boutique health, and invest in employee training for superior service. Strong supplier relations and compliance with legal requirements are also key. Our milestones include expanding our product line, enhancing our online presence, and further engaging with the Columbus community to strengthen our brand and customer base.

The management team at StyleSaga Boutique brings together a group of passionate individuals with extensive experience in retail, fashion, and business management. Our team’s expertise in trend forecasting, customer service, and financial management positions us to successfully navigate the competitive landscape of fashion retail. We are united in our commitment to sustainability and innovation, driving StyleSaga Boutique towards a future of continued growth and success in the fashion industry.

Welcome to StyleSaga Boutique, a fresh and vibrant clothing store now gracing Columbus, OH. As a local establishment, we’ve recognized a significant gap in the market for high-quality, local clothing stores – a gap we are here to fill. Our commitment is to provide an unparalleled shopping experience, offering a diverse range of products that cater to the unique styles and needs of our community.

Our product lineup is both comprehensive and exclusive, featuring everything from casual T-shirts and jeans to more formal dresses and skirts. We also offer a selection of outerwear, including jackets and coats, designed to keep you stylish and comfortable regardless of the weather. Additionally, our activewear range ensures that you look your best, even during the most intense workouts. Each piece in our collection is carefully selected to ensure the highest quality and the latest trends, ensuring that our customers always find something that resonates with their personal style.

Located in the heart of Columbus, OH, StyleSaga Boutique is perfectly positioned to serve the local community. Our presence in Columbus allows us to understand and cater to the unique tastes and preferences of our customers, providing a personalized and immersive shopping experience.

Our confidence in the success of StyleSaga Boutique stems from several key factors. Firstly, our founder brings invaluable experience from previously running a successful clothing store, providing a solid foundation for our operations. Moreover, our commitment to quality and variety sets us apart from the competition. We take pride in offering better clothing options and a wider variety of styles than any other store in the area, ensuring that our customers always find something they love.

Since our inception on January 3, 2024, StyleSaga Boutique has made significant strides as a business. We are officially registered as a S Corporation, a testament to our commitment to professionalism and growth. Our accomplishments to date include designing our unique logo, developing our distinctive company name, and securing a prime location for our store. These milestones mark just the beginning of our journey, and we are excited about the future of StyleSaga Boutique in Columbus, OH.

The Clothing Store industry in the United States is a significant and thriving market. According to recent data, the market size was estimated to be around $292 billion in 2020. This demonstrates the immense opportunity and potential for growth within the industry. Furthermore, it is projected that the industry will experience a steady growth rate of 3.6% annually over the next five years. This optimistic outlook indicates that the Clothing Store industry is poised for further expansion.

Several trends have emerged in the Clothing Store industry that bode well for StyleSaga Boutique. One notable trend is the increasing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable fashion. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of their clothing choices and are actively seeking out brands that prioritize sustainability. StyleSaga Boutique can capitalize on this trend by offering a range of ethically sourced and environmentally friendly clothing options, setting itself apart from competitors and appealing to a growing market segment.

Another trend that favors StyleSaga Boutique is the rising popularity of online shopping. In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards e-commerce in the retail sector, and the Clothing Store industry is no exception. With its online platform, StyleSaga Boutique can tap into the growing number of consumers who prefer the convenience and ease of online shopping. By providing a seamless online shopping experience and leveraging digital marketing strategies, the boutique can reach a wider customer base and drive sales.

Below is a description of our target customers and their core needs.

Target Customers

StyleSaga Boutique will target a diverse clientele, with a primary focus on local residents who are seeking unique and fashionable clothing options. This group is expected to have a keen interest in fashion trends and will appreciate the boutique’s curated selection of apparel. Their purchasing decisions are often influenced by quality and exclusivity, making them ideal customers for StyleSaga Boutique.

The boutique will also cater to young professionals in Columbus, OH, who are aiming to enhance their wardrobes with stylish yet professional attire. This segment values convenience and quality, and will seek out StyleSaga Boutique for its unique offerings that cannot be found in larger retail stores. They are likely to become repeat customers, relying on the boutique for seasonal updates to their wardrobes.

Furthermore, StyleSaga Boutique will tailor its offerings to attract fashion-forward students from local colleges and universities. This demographic is always on the lookout for the latest trends at affordable prices. The boutique will leverage this by offering a mix of high-quality yet budget-friendly pieces, ensuring it becomes a go-to destination for students aiming to maintain a stylish appearance without breaking the bank.

Customer Needs

StyleSaga Boutique emerges as a beacon of high-quality clothing for those residents in Columbus who prioritize excellence in their wardrobe. They can expect a curated selection of apparel that not only meets but exceeds their expectations in terms of fabric quality, craftsmanship, and durability. This commitment to quality ensures that customers have access to pieces that not only look stunning but are also built to last, providing them with value for their investment.

In addition to quality, StyleSaga Boutique understands the importance of offering unique and trendy options for its customers. Shoppers can find themselves enveloped in the latest fashions that cater to a variety of tastes, from the classic and timeless to the avant-garde. This wide array of choices guarantees that customers can express their individual styles while remaining on the cutting edge of fashion trends.

Moreover, StyleSaga Boutique addresses the need for personalized and attentive customer service. Customers can expect a shopping experience that is tailored to their needs, with staff members who are knowledgeable and eager to assist in the selection process. This level of service not only makes the shopping experience enjoyable but also ensures that customers feel valued and understood, fostering a sense of community and loyalty to the boutique.

StyleSaga Boutique’s competitors include the following companies:

Tigertree is a well-regarded competitor known for its unique blend of clothing and lifestyle products. It offers a carefully curated selection of apparel, accessories, gifts, and home decor items. The price points at Tigertree cater to a mid-range budget, making it accessible to a broad segment of customers. Tigertree’s revenues stem from both its brick-and-mortar location in Columbus, OH, and its online store, which extends its reach beyond local customers. The store’s key strengths include its distinctive product selection and strong brand identity. However, its reliance on non-essential, discretionary items could be seen as a weakness in economically challenging times.

Second Chance Consignment Boutique specializes in high-quality, gently used clothing and accessories for women. This store appeals to budget-conscious consumers looking for designer brands at a fraction of the cost. Price points vary widely depending on the brand and condition of items, but are generally significantly lower than retail prices for new goods. Located in Columbus, OH, Second Chance Consignment Boutique serves a local customer base. The store’s key strength is its ability to offer luxury brands at affordable prices, attracting both bargain hunters and environmentally conscious shoppers. A potential weakness is the inconsistency of inventory, which can vary greatly in size, style, and brand availability.

College Traditions focuses on apparel and merchandise for fans of Ohio State University. It offers a wide range of products from clothing and accessories to home decor and gifts, all branded with OSU logos and colors. The store’s price points are designed to be accessible to a broad audience, including students, alumni, and sports fans. Situated near the OSU campus in Columbus, OH, College Traditions benefits from a loyal customer base of students, alumni, and local sports enthusiasts. Its key strength is its niche focus on OSU-branded merchandise, which capitalizes on the strong community spirit and sports culture in Columbus. A potential weakness is its limited appeal to non-OSU fans, which could restrict its market reach.

Competitive Advantages

At StyleSaga Boutique, we pride ourselves on offering superior quality clothing that clearly stands out from what our competition can provide. Our commitment to excellence is evident in every piece of garment we produce, ensuring that each item not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our discerning customers. This dedication to quality is a cornerstone of our competitive advantage, allowing us to attract a loyal customer base that values craftsmanship and durability in their clothing. We understand that in the fashion industry, the quality of the materials and the finesse in the manufacturing process can make a significant difference in the end product. Therefore, we meticulously select premium fabrics and employ skilled artisans who share our passion for creating exceptional clothing.

Furthermore, we offer an unparalleled variety of clothing options to cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of our customers in Columbus, OH. We believe that variety is key in keeping our offerings fresh and exciting, ensuring that every visit to our boutique presents a new opportunity for discovery. Our extensive range includes the latest trends, timeless classics, and unique pieces that can’t be found anywhere else. This variety not only sets us apart from our competitors but also positions us as a one-stop-shop for all fashion needs. Our ability to provide a wide array of choices means that every customer can find something that perfectly matches their personal style and occasion, making us a go-to destination for fashion enthusiasts seeking quality and diversity in their wardrobe.

Our marketing plan, included below, details our products/services, pricing and promotions plan.

Products and Services

Embarking on a new journey in the fashion industry, StyleSaga Boutique emerges as a beacon of style, offering a diverse range of clothing options that cater to the fashion-forward individuals of today. With a commitment to quality and the latest trends, StyleSaga Boutique ensures that every customer finds something that not only resonates with their personal style but also adds a touch of uniqueness to their wardrobe.

At the heart of StyleSaga Boutique’s collection are the T-Shirts, a staple in everyone’s wardrobe. These aren’t just any T-shirts; they are a blend of comfort, style, and statement. Customers can expect to find a variety of designs, from minimalist to graphic tees, ensuring there’s something for every taste. The average selling price for these T-shirts is set at a competitive $25, making fashion accessible without compromising on quality.

Understanding the importance of versatility in clothing, StyleSaga Boutique offers an extensive selection of Jeans and Bottoms. From high-waisted jeans to comfortable leggings, the range is meticulously curated to cater to different occasions and preferences. The boutique takes pride in providing pieces that are both stylish and durable, with prices averaging around $50. This ensures that customers are investing in items that are not only trendy but also offer value for money.

For those looking to elevate their wardrobe with feminine flair, the Dresses and Skirts section is a treasure trove of options. Whether it’s a casual day dress or an elegant skirt for a night out, StyleSaga Boutique has something to match every mood and event. With an emphasis on quality fabrics and flattering fits, the average selling price for these items is thoughtfully set at $60, allowing customers to indulge in premium fashion at reasonable prices.

Recognizing the need for versatile outerwear, StyleSaga Boutique presents a collection of Jackets and Coats that are both functional and fashionable. From cozy winter coats to lightweight jackets perfect for transitional weather, the boutique ensures customers are prepared for any season. With prices averaging at $100, these outerwear pieces are an investment in style and comfort, designed to last through the seasons.

Last but not least, the Activewear section caters to the modern lifestyle, combining fashion with functionality. Understanding the dynamic needs of today’s consumers, StyleSaga Boutique offers activewear that is perfect for the gym, outdoor activities, or simply for those who prefer a sporty aesthetic. With an average price of $40, customers can expect high-quality, durable pieces that don’t compromise on style.

In summary, StyleSaga Boutique stands as a one-stop fashion destination in Columbus, OH, offering a wide range of clothing items that cater to various tastes and occasions. With competitive pricing and a focus on quality, the boutique is poised to become a favorite among those who appreciate fashion that’s both accessible and distinctive.

Promotions Plan

StyleSaga Boutique leverages a multi-faceted promotional strategy to attract and retain customers in the competitive Columbus, OH, marketplace. At the core of these efforts, online marketing plays a pivotal role. Through a combination of social media engagement, targeted ads, and a robust email marketing campaign, StyleSaga Boutique ensures a constant and engaging online presence. Social media platforms, particularly Instagram and Facebook, serve as primary channels for showcasing the latest collections, sharing fashion tips, and engaging directly with the fashion-forward community. Tailored ads, based on customer interests and browsing history, help in reaching potential customers efficiently.

Beyond online marketing, StyleSaga Boutique also embraces the power of local collaborations. By partnering with local influencers and fashion bloggers for sponsored posts and event collaborations, the boutique amplifies its reach and credibility among the local fashion community. These partnerships not only increase visibility but also endorse the boutique’s unique offerings in a more personal and relatable manner.

In-store events are another key promotional method. StyleSaga Boutique hosts exclusive shopping nights, fashion shows, and styling workshops, transforming the store into a community hub for fashion enthusiasts. These events not only create buzz but also provide a tangible experience of the brand’s identity and values, fostering a loyal customer base.

Loyalty programs and exclusive member discounts further incentivize repeat business. Customers expect rewards for their loyalty, and StyleSaga Boutique meets these expectations with a well-structured rewards program. This program offers points for purchases, referrals, and social media engagement, which can be redeemed against future purchases, thus encouraging continuous engagement with the brand.

Lastly, public relations efforts, including press releases and features in local lifestyle magazines, play a crucial role in building the boutique’s reputation. By highlighting the unique aspects of StyleSaga Boutique, such as its commitment to sustainable fashion or its support for local designers, these efforts elevate the boutique’s profile and attract a wider audience.

Overall, StyleSaga Boutique employs a dynamic mix of online and offline promotional tactics to establish a strong brand presence in Columbus, OH. Through targeted online marketing, local collaborations, engaging in-store events, rewarding loyalty programs, and strategic public relations, the boutique ensures it remains a preferred destination for fashion lovers in the area.

Our Operations Plan details:

  • The key day-to-day processes that our business performs to serve our customers
  • The key business milestones that our company expects to accomplish as we grow

Key Operational Processes

To ensure the success of StyleSaga Boutique, there are several key day-to-day operational processes that we will perform.

  • Inventory Management: We continuously monitor and update our inventory to ensure that popular items are always in stock, while also introducing new and trendy items regularly to keep our offerings fresh and appealing.
  • Customer Service: Our staff provides exceptional customer service, assisting shoppers in finding what they need, offering fashion advice when requested, and handling returns or exchanges promptly and courteously.
  • Store Presentation: We maintain a clean, organized, and inviting store environment. This includes regular cleaning, creating attractive displays, and ensuring that merchandise is well-organized and easy to browse.
  • Marketing and Promotions: We execute targeted marketing campaigns and promotions to attract new customers and retain existing ones. This involves managing social media accounts, sending out newsletters, and running in-store promotions.
  • Sales Monitoring: We closely monitor sales data to understand customer preferences and trends. This information helps us make informed decisions about inventory, marketing strategies, and potential adjustments to our product offerings.
  • Financial Management: We diligently track all financial transactions, including sales, expenses, and profits, to ensure the financial health of the boutique. This includes managing budgets, forecasting future financial performance, and making adjustments as necessary.
  • Employee Training and Management: We invest in regular training for our employees to ensure they are knowledgeable about our products and skilled in customer service. Additionally, we manage staff scheduling to ensure adequate coverage during peak times and events.
  • Supplier and Vendor Relations: We maintain strong relationships with our suppliers and vendors to ensure we receive high-quality merchandise on time and at the best possible prices. This also involves negotiating contracts and managing any issues that arise.
  • Compliance and Legal Requirements: We stay informed about and comply with all local, state, and federal regulations affecting our business, including those related to employment, sales tax collection, and consumer rights.
  • Community Engagement: We actively seek ways to engage with and contribute to our local community, such as participating in local events, sponsoring local sports teams, or collaborating with other local businesses. This helps build a strong, positive brand presence in Columbus, OH.

StyleSaga Boutique expects to complete the following milestones in the coming months in order to ensure its success:

  • Securing a Prime Location : Finding and securing a retail space in a high-traffic area of Columbus, OH, that aligns with StyleSaga Boutique’s target market. This is critical for attracting foot traffic and establishing the store’s presence.
  • Obtaining Necessary Permits and Licenses : Completing all legal and regulatory requirements to operate a clothing store in Columbus, OH. This includes business registration, sales tax permits, and any other local requirements.
  • Building Out the Store : Designing and outfitting the retail space to create an inviting and brand-aligned shopping environment. This involves interior design, purchasing fixtures and displays, and setting up a point-of-sale system.
  • Sourcing Inventory : Establishing relationships with clothing suppliers and designers, and purchasing initial inventory. This includes selecting a range of products that align with the brand’s identity and target customer preferences.
  • Hiring and Training Staff : Recruiting, hiring, and training employees who are passionate about fashion and provide excellent customer service. This will include sales associates, a store manager, and possibly a marketing or social media coordinator.
  • Launch Our Clothing Store : Officially opening StyleSaga Boutique with a launch event or promotion to generate buzz and attract initial customers. This milestone marks the transition from setup to operation.
  • Implementing a Marketing Strategy : Developing and executing a marketing plan that includes social media, local advertising, and community engagement to build brand awareness and drive traffic to the store.
  • Establishing an Online Presence : Creating a professional website and e-commerce platform to extend the store’s reach beyond local customers. This includes online marketing efforts to drive traffic to the website.
  • Monitoring and Adjusting Inventory Based on Sales Data : Using sales data to adjust product offerings, stocking more of what sells well, and phasing out what does not. This will help in managing inventory costs and improving profitability.
  • Get to $15,000/Month in Revenue : Achieving this level of monthly sales is crucial for covering operating expenses and reaching profitability. It involves continuously refining marketing efforts, inventory selection, and in-store experience based on customer feedback and sales data.

StyleSaga Boutique management team, which includes the following members, has the experience and expertise to successfully execute on our business plan:

Mia Anderson, CEO

Mia Anderson brings a rich background in the retail clothing industry, with an impressive track record of entrepreneurial success. Her experience includes running a successful clothing store, where she honed her skills in business management, customer relations, and inventory strategy. Mia’s leadership abilities and deep understanding of the fashion retail market make her an invaluable asset to StyleSaga Boutique. Her vision for the boutique encompasses not only leveraging her past success but also implementing innovative strategies to adapt to the ever-changing fashion industry, ensuring StyleSaga Boutique’s growth and sustainability.

StyleSaga Boutique is seeking additional funding to reach our growth goals. This investment will be directed towards expanding our inventory with a focus on sustainable and ethically sourced products, enhancing our marketing efforts to increase brand awareness and customer engagement, and improving our online presence through website development and e-commerce platforms. Our financial strategy is designed to ensure long-term profitability and sustainability, positioning us for success in the competitive fashion retail market.

Financial Statements

Balance sheet.

[insert balance sheet]

Income Statement

[insert income statement]

Cash Flow Statement

[insert cash flow statement]

Clothing Store Business Plan Example PDF

Download our Clothing Store Business Plan PDF here. This is a free clothing store business plan example to help you get started on your own clothing store plan.  

How to Finish Your Clothing Store Business Plan in 1 Day!

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

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how to make business plan template

Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print.  To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template.  Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information.  Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.  

Show the Developer tab

In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon.  (See how here:  Show the developer tab .)

Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form

You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.

Start with a form template

Go to File > New .

In the  Search for online templates  field, type  Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .

In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select  Create. 

Start with a blank document 

Select Blank document .

Add content to the form

Go to the  Developer  tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.

To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control  in the pop-up menu. 

Note:  You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.

Insert a text control

The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control . 

Click or tap where you want to insert the control.

Rich text control button

To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .

Insert a picture control

A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.

Picture control button

Insert a building block control

Use a building block control  when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.

building block gallery control

Select Developer and content controls for the building block.

Developer tab showing content controls

Insert a combo box or a drop-down list

In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.

combo box button

Select the content control, and then select Properties .

To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .

Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .

Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.

Fill in any other properties that you want.

Note:  If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.

Insert a date picker

Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.

Date picker button

Insert a check box

Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.

Check box button

Use the legacy form controls

Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.

Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.

Legacy control button

Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.

Set or change properties for content controls

Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.

Select the content control that you want to change.

Go to Developer > Properties .

Controls Properties  button

Change the properties that you want.

Add protection to a form

If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:

Open the form that you want to lock or protect.

Select Developer > Restrict Editing .

Restrict editing button

After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .

Restrict editing panel

Advanced Tip:

If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.

To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .

Sections selector on Resrict sections panel

If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .

Open a template or use a blank document

To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

Go to File > New from Template .

New from template option

In Search, type form .

Double-click the template you want to use.

Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.

In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .

Start with a blank document

Go to File > New Document .

New document option

Go to File > Save As .

Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .

Adding content controls to your form

In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.

On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .

Developer tab with content controls

To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .

Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.

Set options

Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.

Set common properties.

Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.

Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.

Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.

Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.

OK Saves settings and exits the panel.

Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.

Set specific properties for a Text box

Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.

Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.

Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .

Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .

Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.

Set specific properties for a Check box .

Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.

Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.

Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.

Set specific properties for a Combo box

Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.

Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.

Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.

Protect the form

Go to Developer > Protect Form .

Protect form button on the Developer tab

Note:  To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.

Save and close the form.

Test the form (optional)

If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.

Protect the form.

Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.

Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.

You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .

When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.

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  1. Simple Business Plan Template (2024)

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  2. How to Write a Simple Business Plan

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    Executive summary Briefly tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company's leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.

  4. Free editable and printable business plan templates

    Home Document templates Business Plans Business plan templates Starting your own business? Get focused and organized, so you can track your goals and achieve them. Learn how to craft a comprehensive business plan using free, editable templates on Canva. Skip to end of list Simple Business Plans Startup Business Plans Small Business Plans

  5. How to Write a Business Plan, Step by Step

    7. Perform a business financial analysis. 8. Make financial projections. 9. Add additional information to an appendix. Business plan tips and resources. MORE LIKE THIS Small Business. A business ...

  6. How to Build a Detailed Business Plan That Stands Out [Free Template]

    Download for free Learn more Building a Successful Business Plan In the next section, we'll cover the components of a business plan, such as an executive summary and company description. But before we get to that, let's talk about key elements that should serve as building blocks for your plan.

  7. How to Write a Business Plan: Guide + Examples

    Download Now: Free Business Plan Template Writing a business plan doesn't have to be complicated. In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn how to write a business plan that's detailed enough to impress bankers and potential investors, while giving you the tools to start, run, and grow a successful business. The basics of business planning

  8. Free Business Plan Template [Updated for 2022]

    In this business plan template we'll guide you through the steps of writing company and product descriptions, setting sales and marketing goals and plans, and thinking through legal and financial logistics. We've included a plain text, designed, and completed example version of this template. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  9. Business Plan Template| Create a Business Plan

    Here's a step-by-step guide to making the most of this template: Choose the template: Select the business plan template from Miro's Template Library, tailored to fit any business type. Define the problem: Identify the core problem your business intends to solve. Use Miro's tagging feature to add relevant tags for easy reference.

  10. 10-part business plan template and how write a business plan

    Whether you're a long-time business owner or starting to think about launching a business, to-do lists pile up fast, and determining how to write a business plan—much less following a business plan template—often feels overwhelming.

  11. Free Business Plan Template For Small Businesses

    Download Wix's free business plan template Creating a successful business plan is no easy feat. That's why we've put together a simple, customizable, and free-to-download business plan template that takes the guesswork out of getting started. Use it to create a new business plan or to refresh an existing one.

  12. Business Plan Templates: 26 FREE Samples

    Business plan templates From competitive analysis to financial projections, business plans give your new business a roadmap for success. Download one of our free business plan templates and take your company to the next level. What is a business plan?

  13. How to Write a Business Plan (Plus Examples & Templates)

    How to Write a Business Plan (Plus Examples & Templates) - UpFlip Are you struggling to write a plan for your business? Writing one can be challenging. We'll show you how to write a business plan with our complete guide and template. Are you struggling to write a plan for your business? Writing one can be challenging.

  14. How to Create a Business Plan (7+ Business Plan Templates)

    1. How to format your business plan To format your business plan: Start with a clear title page. Include an executive summary. Provide a company description. Conduct a market analysis. Describe your product or service offering. Outline your marketing and sales strategy. Include organizational or business structure and management information.

  15. How to Write a Business Plan: Beginner's Guide (& Templates)

    Step #1: Write Your Executive Summary Step #2: Put Together Your Company Description Step #3: Conduct Your Market Analysis Step #4: Research Your Competition Step #5: Outline Your Products or Services Step #6: Summarize Your Financial Plan Step #7: Determine Your Marketing Strategy Step #8: Showcase Your Organizational Chart

  16. Free Business Plan Template

    Free Business Plan Template - Start Your Business [2023] • Asana templates | Strategic planning | Business plan If you're looking for a way to start your business off on the right foot, a business plan template can help you establish the foundation for your strategy. Get started in a few clicks with Asana's free business plan template. Use template

  17. Free Business Plan Template

    Create Business Plans Professional Business Plan Template to Customize Create Your Business Plan It's free and easy to use. Create a comprehensive business plan. Easily customize your slides to fit your needs. Showcase data with 40+ chart options. Chosen by brands large and small

  18. 10 Free Business Plan Templates in Word, Excel, & ClickUp

    A business plan template is a structured framework for entrepreneurs and business executives who want to create business plans. It comes with pre-arranged sections and headings that cover key elements like the executive summary , business overview, target customers, unique value proposition, marketing plans, and financial statements.

  19. Free small business plan templates to edit and print

    Plus, make the template for your business plan match your small startup's aesthetic by swapping the font style and color palette. Browse the media library for free charts, tables, icons, and photos you can drag and drop to enhance the document. Or upload your own graphic elements. Collaborate with your business partners in real time by ...

  20. 550+ Sample Business Plan Examples to Inspire Your Own

    The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea. The structure ditches a linear format in favor of a cell-based template.

  21. Free Business Plan Templates in Excel

    Business Planning Checklist with Timeline in Excel. Use this checklist to keep your business planning efforts on track. This template enables you to add tasks according to each phase of your plan, assign an owner to each task, and enter the respective start and end dates. The checklist also enables you to create and color-code a visual timeline ...

  22. 24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

    8. Panda Doc's Free Business Plan Template. PandaDoc's free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

  23. How to Write a Food and Beverage Business Plan + Sample Business Plan

    If you're ready to start, download a free business plan template and fill it out as you read this article. Executive summary. Every business plan should include an executive summary. It's a brief outline summarizing the plan, no more than one or two pages.

  24. Home Care Business Plan PDF Example

    Executive Summary. The Executive Summary introduces your home care business plan, offering a concise overview of your agency and its services. It should detail your market positioning, the range of home care services you offer, including personal care, nursing care, and companion services, its service area, and an outline of day-to-day operations.

  25. Sample Clothing Store Business Plan

    Download our Ultimate Clothing Store Business Plan Template. Having a thorough business plan in place is critical for any successful clothing store venture. It will serve as the foundation for your operations, setting out the goals and objectives that will help guide your decisions and actions. A well-written business plan can give you clarity ...

  26. Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

    Show the Developer tab. If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab.. Open a template or use a blank document. To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls.

  27. Top 8 Incident Response Plan Templates

    When designing an incident response plan based on the template, keep the following in mind: The response plan should provide guidance for incidents based on their severity and impact. The plan should separate incidents of different types—for example, a ransomware attack requires a different response than a SQL injection attack.