sbdc business plan template

Financing | Templates

How To Write an SBA Business Plan [+Free Template]

Published June 13, 2023

Published Jun 13, 2023

Tricia Jones

REVIEWED BY: Tricia Jones

Andrew Wan

WRITTEN BY: Andrew Wan

This article is part of a larger series on Business Financing .

  • 1. Write the Company Description
  • 2. Identify Organization & Management
  • 3. Specify the Market Analysis
  • 4. Write Descriptions of the Products or Services
  • 5. Indicate the Marketing & Sales Strategy
  • 6. List Financial Data & Projections
  • 7. Write the Financing Request
  • 8. Fill In the Appendix & Supplemental Information
  • 9. Complete the Executive Summary
  • Additional Resources

Bottom Line

If you’re applying for a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA), there’s a good chance that you’ll need a business plan to get approved. An SBA business plan provides a summary of the various aspects of your business, and we will guide you through the process of creating it, from writing your company description and marketing and sales strategies to completing financial data and projections and your executive summary.

Although there is no standard format, and to help you ensure nothing is overlooked, you can use our SBA business plan template to ensure you cover the most important areas of your company. A well-prepared business plan can improve your chances of getting an SBA loan.


SBA Business Plan Template Download

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Step 1: write the company description.

This section should contain information about the purpose of your business. It should include a description of the problem or challenge your product or service aims to solve and what types of individuals or organizations will benefit.

A strong company description should also address the following questions:

  • Why does your company exist?
  • What problems does your business aim to address?
  • What prompted you to start your business?
  • What organizations or individuals will benefit from your company’s product or service?
  • What makes your company different from others?
  • What competitive advantages does your business offer?
  • What would a successful product launch look like?
  • Does your company have strategic partnerships with other vendors?

Step 2: Identify Organization & Management

Details about the legal and tax structure of your business should be included in this section. It can also be helpful to include an organizational chart of your company. You can include information about each team member’s background and experience and how it is relevant to your company:

  • Highlight what business structure you have selected and why. Examples commonly include a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, S corporation (S-corp), and C corporation (C-corp)
  • Include an organizational chart showing which team members are responsible for the various aspects of your company
  • You can include resumes for members of your leadership team highlighting their experience and background

Step 3: Specify the Market Analysis

The market analysis section of your SBA business plan should look at who your competitors will be. Look at what they are doing well, what their weaknesses are, and how your company compares.

The SBA’s market analysis page contains information on how you can approach this. Questions you should also consider addressing should include:

  • Who are the major competitors in the market?
  • What are competitors doing well and are there areas for improvement?
  • How does your company compare to the top competitors?
  • How has the product or service evolved over time?
  • Are there any trends for supply and demand throughout the year?
  • What can your company do to stand apart from the top competitors?

Step 4: Write Descriptions of the Products or Services

In this section, you should detail the product or service offered by your business. You should explain what it does, how it helps your customers, and its expected lifecycle. You can also include things like any expected research and development costs, intellectual property concerns such as patents, what the lifecycle of your product looks like, and what is needed to manufacture or assemble it.

Here are some things to consider as you are working on this section:

  • Description of what your product or service does
  • How your product or service works
  • How your customers will benefit from your product or service
  • Illustration of the typical lifecycle
  • Any patents or intellectual property you or your competitors have
  • Pricing structure
  • Plans for research and development
  • Discuss plans for handling intellectual property, copyright, and patent filings

Step 5: Indicate the Marketing & Sales Strategy

Details of your marketing and sales strategy will be highly dependent on your business. It’s also something that may evolve and change over time in response to things like the overall economic environment, release of competitor’s products or services, and changes in pricing.

With that being said, here is a list of some items that should be addressed:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will you attract customers?
  • How and where will sales be made?
  • If applicable, what will the sales process look like?
  • Where will you market and advertise your product or service?
  • How does your marketing strategy compare to other companies in the industry?
  • How much should you spend on marketing?
  • What is the expected return on investment for marketing?
  • Do you have any data showing the effect of marketing?

Step 6: List Financial Data & Projections

If your business has been running, you should include information about its finances. This should include all streams of revenue and expenses. Data for financial projections should also be included, along with a description of the methodology you used to reach those conclusions.

If available, you should be prepared to provide the following financial documents for at least the last three years to five years:

  • Personal and business tax returns
  • Balance sheets
  • Profit and loss (P&L) statements
  • Cash flow statements
  • Hard and soft collateral owned by your business
  • Business bank statements for the last six to 12 months

Financial projections should include enough data to offer some confidence that your business is viable and will succeed. It’s recommended that you provide monthly projections looking forward at least three years, with annual projections for years four and five.

  • Projections for revenue and methodology used in arriving at these figures
  • Expected shifts in revenue or expenses as a result of seasonality or other factors affecting supply and demand
  • Expected expenses from loan payments, rent, lease payments, marketing and advertising fees, employee salaries, benefits, legal fees, warranty expenses, and more

You can use our SBA loan calculator to help you estimate monthly payments for the funding you’re currently looking for and projections for any additional loans you may need. Monthly payments can fluctuate depending on the terms of your loan. If you’re looking for accurate estimates, you can read our article on SBA loan rates .

Step 7: Write the Financing Request

This section is where you should specify how much funding you need, why you need it, what you’ll use it for, and the impact you expect it will have on your business. It’s also a good idea to indicate when you expect to use the funds over the course of the next three to five years.

Here is a checklist of some important items you should cover:

  • How much funding you need and why
  • When you will use the funds over the next three to five years
  • What you will use the funds for
  • The expected impact this will have on your business and how it will help reach your business goals
  • The anticipation of any recurring needs for additional funding
  • Your strategy for how you expect to pay off the loan
  • Any future financial plans for your business

Step 8: Fill In the Appendix & Supplemental Information

This last section of your SBA business plan should include any additional information that may be helpful for lenders. This can include more detailed explanations or clarifications of data from other sections of your business plan.

Here are some examples of documents you can include:

  • Business licenses
  • Certifications or permits
  • Letters of reference
  • Photos of products
  • Resumes of business owners
  • Contractual agreements and other legal documents

Step 9: Complete the Executive Summary

The executive summary, which is the first section in a business plan, should be no more than one to two pages and provide a high-level overview of the items listed below. Since each section above is already detailed, a brief description of those sections will be sufficient:

  • Your company’s mission statement
  • The background and experience of your leadership team
  • The product or service and what purpose it serves
  • Your target market for the product or service
  • Competitive analysis of other products and services
  • Your competitive advantage or why your company will succeed
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Financial projections and funding needs

Depending on the type of SBA loan you’re applying for, certain areas of your business plan may be weighed more heavily than others. You can learn about the SBA loan options you can choose from in our guide on the different types of SBA loans .

Additional Resources for Writing an SBA Business Plan

If you’re looking for additional resources to help you write a business plan, you can consider the options below. Since a business plan is just one of many documents you’ll need, you can also read our guide on how to get an SBA loan if you need help with other areas of the loan process:

  • SBA: SBA’s business guide contains information on how you can start a small business. It includes steps on creating a business plan, funding your company, and launching a business.
  • SCORE: Through SCORE, you can request to be paired with a mentor and get business-related education. Educational courses come in several formats, including webinars, live events, and online courses.
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC): SBDCs provide training and counseling to small business owners. This can help with various aspects of your company such as getting access to working capital, business planning, financial management, and more. You can use the SBA’s tool to find your closest SBDC .

Having a strong SBA business plan can improve your chances of getting approved for an SBA loan. If you’re unsure where to start, you can use our guide and template to cover the most important aspects of your business. You can also see our tips on how to get a small business loan . To get even more ideas on creating a strong business plan, you can also utilize resources through organizations such as SCORE and the SBA itself.

About the Author

Andrew Wan

Find Andrew On LinkedIn

Andrew Wan is a staff writer at Fit Small Business, specializing in Small Business Finance. He has over a decade of experience in mortgage lending, having held roles as a loan officer, processor, and underwriter. He is experienced with various types of mortgage loans, including Federal Housing Administration government mortgages as a Direct Endorsement (DE) underwriter. Andrew received an M.B.A. from the University of California at Irvine, a Master of Studies in Law from the University of Southern California, and holds a California real estate broker license.

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Maine SBDC’s Business Plan Guide

Writing a business plan is an important step in starting or expanding any business. A business plan provides an essential roadmap for your business that outlines goals and provides details on how you plan to achieve these goals. It is also a great tool in communicating your business’ potential to investors and financial institutions.

We’ve developed a step by step guide to help you write your business plan. 

Maine SBDC’s Peter Harriman walks you through each section of a business plan. He highlights the important parts and provides helpful tips & tricks. 

Downloadable PDF Guides are available in English , French , and Somali . 

This tool is best used in conjunction with a Maine SBDC business advisor or other professional. The Maine SBDC has been providing free business advising to Maine’s small businesses and entrepreneurs since 1977.  We have experienced, knowledgeable, certified business advisors who can help businesses at all stages to provide confidential, individualized business development assistance – at no cost.  Our centers are located around the state.  Call us at 800-679-7232   or visit our website to find out how we can help you.

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How to Write an SBA Business Plan + Template

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Noah Parsons

10 min. read

Updated November 21, 2023

Applying for a Small Business Administration loan typically requires a business plan.

Unfortunately, there’s no SBA loan business plan format that guarantees approval. The SBA even states you should “pick a business plan format that works for you.” 

While I agree with this sentiment, I’ve found that entrepreneurs who explain how funds will be used and how they will repay the loan tend to be more successful. 

Luckily, these details can be covered using our SBA-lender-approved business plan format . I’ll go over that structure in this article, and focus on the sections that the SBA prioritizes, so you can maximize your chances of getting funded .

You can even download a free SBA-lender-approved business plan template to fill out as you read. 

Let’s get started.

  • Why you need a business plan for SBA loans

SBA loans require good documentation of your business and personal finances. You’ll need to pull together your past tax returns, bank statements, and various application forms depending on the type of SBA loan you apply for.

The bank issuing the loan will also want to know about the future of your business. 

They’ll want to see how the loan will be used and if future cash flow projections are realistic and indicate you can afford loan payments.

That’s where writing an SBA business plan comes in. 

Not only will your business plan describe your business to the lender, but it will include the financial projections the bank will use to determine if you qualify for the loan .

  • What your business plan should include, according to the SBA

Business plans for SBA loans follow a fairly standard structure, but that doesn’t mean you need to follow it exactly. 

The SBA even recommends adjusting the plan outline to serve your needs. If a section does not apply to your business, it’s fine just to remove it.

Here’s the successful business plan structure I recommend for SBA loans:

LivePlan Logo

Need funding?

Create a business plan that maximizes your chances of securing funding., 1. executive summary.

A great executive summary is a short, simple overview of your business. It should be easy for a loan officer to read and clearly understand what your business does. 

When applying for an SBA loan, highlight your: 

  • Business opportunity
  • Financial forecast
  • How much money you want to borrow and how it will be used

Remember, an executive summary should be short and to the point. The rest of your business plan will provide additional details.

[Dig deeper: How to write an executive summary ]

2. Company description

Some people call this section “Products and Services.” Either option is fine. The important thing is that you use this section to explain what your business opportunity is. 

You need to cover: 

  • The problem you solve
  • Who you’re solving it for
  • What your solution is and why it’s better

Be specific and tell the story of your business and your customers. Focus on your strengths and what sets you apart from competitors. 

If your company is developing a product, include information on:

  • What the product life cycle looks like
  • Intellectual property filings
  • Current research and development

If these topics don’t apply to your product, that’s fine. Just be sure that the description of what you sell is clear.

3. Market analysis

The market analysis chapter explains who your customers are. It provides an overview of your target market, competition, and industry.

Your target market is essentially a description of your ideal customers. Be sure to include specific demographic information (like age, gender, location, income) and psychographic information (hobbies, purchasing behaviors). 

This data should reinforce that your target market needs your solution .

It’s helpful to also include information on the size of your target market . Lenders will want to see evidence of enough potential customers to drive growth. 

While your target market information describes your customers, an industry overview discusses the type of business you’re in and its potential for growth. 

For example: If you’re starting a fast-casual restaurant, your industry overview might discuss the increased interest in fast-casual dining and how more people are eating in these types of restaurants every year. 

Finally, you’ll need to include a competitive analysis . This is a list of current competitors and alternatives, with explanations of why your business is a better option. 

Your goal is to show how your business is unique, what opportunities and threats there are, and how you plan to address the competition.

4. Organization and management

Also known as your company overview, this section is where you describe your legal structure, history, and team .

For your SBA loan application, you should focus on describing who is managing the business as clearly as possible. 

You may want to include an organizational chart. You should provide detailed resumes for everyone in leadership positions. Each team member’s experience, skills and professional qualifications can mitigate risk in the eyes of a lender .

To show you’re thinking ahead, it’s also helpful to include key positions you plan to fill as you grow. 

5. Sales and marketing plan

Your goal in this section is to summarize how you will attract, retain, and sell to your customers.

The marketing strategies and sales methods you describe should always have the customer top of mind, and demonstrate that you know how to connect with them. 

To help a loan officer visualize this, you can provide examples of marketing messaging, visuals, and promotions. If you have any research or results to show that your strategy has merit, include those as well. 

6. Financial projections

SBA lenders typically require 5 years of financial projections — including profit and loss statements , balance sheets , and cash flow statements . 

Be sure to include the SBA loan in your projections in the following areas: 

  • A liability on your balance sheet.
  • Payments on your cash flow.
  • Interest expenses on your profit and loss statement. 

I’ll dive into specific details of what you should focus on in the “how to improve your chances” section.

Your first year of financial projections should include monthly details. After that, annual summaries are usually sufficient for most SBA lenders. Occasionally, a lender might require 24 months of monthly projections, so check with your bank before submitting your business plan. 

If your business is up and running, you must also provide historical financial reports for the past 12-24 months of operations—including income statements and a current balance sheet.

Typically, you will also need to provide reports on your personal finances , including any assets you have, such as a home or car. 

Finally, include a section explaining your use of funds—what exactly you plan to use the loan for.

7. Appendix

The appendix is your chance to provide additional documents that support sections of your business plan. 

When applying for a loan, these may include:

  • Employee resumes
  • Licenses and permits
  • Patents and other legal documents
  • Historical financial statements
  • Credit histories

Don’t worry about stuffing your appendix full of additional documentation. Only include information if you believe it will strengthen your approval chances, or if your lender specifically asks for it.

  • How to improve your chances of being approved for an SBA loan

Your SBA business plan needs to focus on the loan you are applying for and how that will impact your business financially. 

Make sure to include the following information in your financial plan to increase your chances of success with your lender:

Funding request 

In your executive summary, document how much money you are asking for. It’s best to put your number where it can be clearly read, instead of trying to bury it deep within your business plan.

Remember, there are limitations to how much you can borrow through SBA-backed loans.  Most have a maximum loan amount of $5 million, while SBA Express loans have a maximum loan amount of $350,000. 

Use of funds

You should also describe how you plan to use the loan and which aspects of the business you want to invest in. 

Some SBA loans are designed specifically for expanding export businesses or funding real estate transactions. So, make sure your use of funds description is appropriate for the loan you are applying for.

Cash flow forecast

Be sure to include the loan in your cash flow statements and projections . You want to demonstrate that you’ve planned how you will use and repay the loan.

You need to show:

  • When you anticipate receiving the loan.
  • How the loan will impact your finances. 
  • Loan payments for the life of the loan. 

Having this prepared won’t just increase the chances of your application being approved—It  will make it much easier to manage the loan after you receive funding . 

Balance sheet 

You’ll also want to put the loan on your projected balance sheet , and show how the loan will get paid down over time. 

The money you owe will show up on your balance sheet as a liability, while the cash you receive from the loan will be an asset. Over time, your forecasted balance sheet will show that the loan is getting paid back. 

Your lender will want to see that you have forecasted this repayment properly.

Profit & Loss forecast

Your P&L should include the interest expenses for the loan, and show how the interest will impact your profitability in the coming months and years.

  • How long does an SBA business plan need to be?

The SBA doesn’t have an official recommended or required business plan length . As a general rule of thumb, you should make your business plan as short and concise as possible. 

Your business plan is going to be reviewed by a bank loan officer, and they will be less than excited about the prospect of reading a 50-page business plan.

If possible, keep the written portion of your business plan between 10-15 pages. Your financial forecasts will take up several additional pages. 

If you’re struggling to keep it short, try a one-page plan

A great way to start your business plan is with a simple, one-page business plan that provides a brief and compelling overview of your business. 

A good one-page plan is easy to read and visually appealing. Once you have your one-page plan, you can expand on the ideas to develop your complete written business plan, and use the one-page plan as your executive summary. 

Loan officers will appreciate a concise overview of your business that provides the summary they need before they start looking at your complete business plan and financial plan .

  • Resources and tools for writing an SBA business plan

Remember, you can download a free SBA-lender-approved business plan template . It includes detailed instructions to help you write each section, expert guidance and tips, and is formatted as lenders and investors expect.

If you’re looking for a more powerful plan writing tool, one that can also help you create financial forecasts for the use of your loan, I recommend you check out LivePlan . 

With LivePlan, you get:

  • AI-powered recommendations: Generate and rewrite sections of your plan to be more professional and persuasive.
  • Step-by-step instructions: In-app examples, tutorials, and tips to help you write an impressive business plan.
  • Automatic financials: Skip the spreadsheets and complex formulas, and quickly create accurate financial forecasts with everything a lender needs.
  • A built-in pitch presentation: Print or share your full business plan, one-page pitch, and financial reports—all with a professional and polished look.

Whether you use the template, LivePlan, or try writing a business plan yourself, following the structure and tips from this article will improve your chances of getting an SBA-backed loan. 

And for additional SBA-focused resources, check out our guide on how to get an SBA loan .   

Create a business plan that maximizes your chances of securing funding

Content Author: Noah Parsons

Noah is the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. He started his career at Yahoo! and then helped start the user review site From there he started a software distribution business in the UK before coming to Palo Alto Software to run the marketing and product teams.

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Writing a Business Plan

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Now that you have evaluated your idea and see that there is a market that wants to buy what you are selling, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get everything down on paper. The following pages will describe in detail the seven essential sections of a business plan: what you should include, what you shouldn’t include, how to work the numbers and additional resources you can turn to for help. With that in mind, jump right in.

Executive Summary Within the overall outline of the business plan, the executive summary will follow the title page. This section briefly explains the rest of your business plan in no more than typically one to two pages. The executive summary should include;

  • Owners’ names and credentials
  • Products and services
  • Market(s) and competition
  • Amount of money needed

Be sure to clearly state what you’re asking for from the reader in the executive summary.

Business Description The business description usually begins with a short description of the industry. When describing the industry, discuss the present outlook as well as future possibilities. You should also provide information on all the various markets within the industry, including any new products or developments that will benefit or adversely affect your business.

In this section, you are painting a picture of your business and the opportunity you see in the marketplace. Keep in mind that if this plan is looking for funding, be very descriptive as you may never get a chance to talk to the people who may be making the decision to fund your project or be able to further explain any questions they may have.

Managers & Employees This section will lay out your team’s ability to execute the vision of the business.  If you lack direct experience in this industry, you may want to bring up related experience or hire consultants or employees who possess this experience.

Remember too that even though you may be great at the technical part of the business, you as the business owner will wear several other hats such as bookkeeping, marketing, human resources, etc. If you don’t have this experience you may want to consider learning it or hiring it out so you can focus on what you do best.

When working through the employee section, consider your growth plan over the next three years and figure out what people you will need to run the various aspects of the business and what they will cost.

Operations & Location Describe the physical space needs for your business. While you may not have an exact location picked out yet, make an estimate for the cost of this location. Be sure to include overhead expenses such as utilities, water, etc.

Marketing The marketing section is perhaps the most important part of the business plan because if customers don’t know about your business you won’t be in business long. This section is typically overlooked by many clients as they are focusing on the product and service that is being offered. This can be a costly mistake. Take the time now to come up with a plan to determine who your most likely customers are, how to find them and how much it will cost to market to them.

Competitive Analysis The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses the competition has.

Financial Projections Financial data is always at the back of the business plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than up-front material such as the business concept and the management team. Be detailed on how you will be spending a backer’s or a lender’s money and be sure to include your portion of 10%-50% of the project cost as your investment. Additionally, a bank is going to require a three-year pro forma statement, tax returns and a personal financial statement.

Financial projections are what many entrepreneurs struggle with, but the SBDC at SIU is more than happy to help.

Business Planning Resources Below you will find some resources to help you with writing a business plan. The SBDC at SIU is available confidentially and free of charge to help you put a business plan together and also to provide a review and make sure it is ready to go to the bank.

Contact us at [email protected] or 618-536-2424 to set up an appointment.

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This webpage provides information on how to write a business plan, links to additional information, and a PDF download with its own set of links to sample business plans for more than 800 types of businesses.

The SBDC business plan web page includes:

A PDF download of all information on the web page

  • How to Write a Business Plan
  • Business PlanTemplate
  • Build Your Business Plan
  • Developing a Successful Business Plan
  • BusinessPlanOutline
  • How to Write a Business Plan for Funding
  • BusinessPlanChecklist

Where to Find a Business Plan

Alphabetized List of Business Plan Templates (for more than 800 business types)

Additional Small Business Resources

View Web Resource

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.


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Download and use our free fillable business templates including business planning, marketing planning, website planning, continuity planning and more.

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Developing a business continuity plan helps your business continue to operate through unexpected events and challenges, which could otherwise temporarily or permanently close your business.

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Use our simplified one page business plan to help you explore the viability of a side hustle business or get your initial thoughts on paper before you complete a full business plan .

Business plan template

Having a well prepared business plan before starting your business can help you refine your idea, gain a deeper understanding of your market and have a clear direction for your business.

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If you’re having problems with a product of service provider, use our letter of complaint template to let the supplier know about the issue and provide them with an opportunity to resolve the problem.

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Writing a letter of demand is an important first step in trying to recover money owed to you. Use this template as a guide if you have not been paid.

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This marketing plan template will help you determine how to get your business noticed by the people who need or want your product. Our guide to using the marketing plan template will help you when using this resource.

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Free business plan template (with examples)

Alan Bradley

Sierra Campbell

Sierra Campbell

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Updated 3:37 a.m. UTC Feb. 12, 2024

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AzmanL, Getty Images

Starting a business can be a daunting undertaking. As with so many large projects, one of the most difficult challenges is just getting started, and one of the best ways to start is by putting together a plan. A plan is also a powerful tool for communication and can serve as a cornerstone for onboarding new partners and employees or for demonstrating your philosophy and priorities to potential collaborators. 

A solid business plan will not only provide a framework for your business going forward but will also give you an early opportunity to organize and refine your thoughts and define your mission statement, providing a guidepost that can serve as a beacon for your business for years to come. We’ve provided a business plan template below to help guide you in the creation of your new enterprise.

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Business plan template

What should a business plan include?

Regardless of the type of business you own or the products and services you provide, every business plan should include some core elements:

  • Mission statement. The definition and executive summary of your business.
  • Market analysis. A breakdown of the market segment and customers you hope to reach, built through primary (gathered by you) and secondary (gathered from outside sources) research.
  • Organization and logistics. The nuts and bolts of how your business is operated
  • Products or services. What your company provides its customers.
  • Advertising and marketing. How you intend to get your products in front of your customers.
  • Forecasting. Revenue forecasting for partners or potential investors.

Why do you need a business plan?

A business plan is a framework for success. It provides a number of key benefits:

  • Structure. The outline around which to design your business.
  • Operational guidance. A signpost for how to run your business from day to day.
  • Expansion. A vision for the future growth of your enterprise.
  • Definition. A platform to consider every element of your business and how best to execute your plans for them.
  • Collaboration. A synopsis of what’s exceptional about your business and a way to attract funding, investment or partnerships.
  • Onboarding. An efficient summary of your business for new or potential employees.

Business plan examples

We’ve created two fictional companies to illustrate how a business might use a business plan to sketch out goals and opportunities as well as forecast revenue.

Bling, Incorporated

Our first hypothetical example is a jewelry and accessory creator called Bling, Incorporated. A hybrid business that manufactures its products for sale both online and through physical retail channels, Bling’s mission statement is focused on transforming simple, inexpensive ingredients into wearable statement pieces of art. 

Market analysis includes gathering data around sourcing sustainable, inexpensive components, aesthetic trends in fashion and on which platforms competitors have had success in advertising jewelry to prospective customers. Logistics include shipping products, negotiating with retailers, establishing an e-commerce presence and material and manufacturing costs. 

Bling, Incorporated advertises initially through social platforms like TikTok and Facebook, as well as with Google AdSense, with plans to eventually expand to television advertising. Revenue forecasting is structured around a low overhead on the basis of inexpensive materials, no dedicated storefront and broad reach through digital platforms.

Phaeton Custom Cars

Phaeton is a custom car builder and classic car restoration business with a regional focus and reach. Its mission statement defines it as a local, family-owned business serving a community of auto enthusiasts and a broader regional niche of collectors. 

Market analysis breaks down the location and facilities of other competitor shops in the region as well as online communities of regional car enthusiasts likely to spend money on custom modifications or restoration projects. It also examines trends in valuations for custom parts and vintage cars. Logistics include pricing out parts and labor, finding skilled or apprentice laborers and mortgaging a garage and equipment. 

Phaeton advertises in regional publications, at local events and regional car shows and online through Facebook and Instagram, with an emphasis on a social presence highlighting their flashiest builds. Revenue forecasting is built around a growing reputation and high-value commissions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

A business plan may not be a prerequisite for every type of business, but there are few businesses that wouldn’t benefit from one. It can serve as an important strategic tool and help crystalize a vision of your business and its future.

Business plans do just that: they help you plan the future of your business, serve as a platform to brainstorm ideas and think through your vision and are a great tool for showcasing why your business works to potential investors or partners.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Alan Bradley

Alan is an experienced culture and tech writer with a background in newspaper reporting. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, The Escapist, PC Mag, PC Gamer, and a multitude of other outlets. He has over twenty years of experience as a journalist and editor and is the author of the urban fantasy novel The Sixth Borough.

Sierra Campbell is a small business editor for USA Today Blueprint. She specializes in writing, editing and fact-checking content centered around helping businesses. She has worked as a digital content and show producer for several local TV stations, an editor for U.S. News & World Report and a freelance writer and editor for many companies. Sierra prides herself in delivering accurate and up-to-date information to readers. Her expertise includes credit card processing companies, e-commerce platforms, payroll software, accounting software and virtual private networks (VPNs). She also owns Editing by Sierra, where she offers editing services to writers of all backgrounds, including self-published and traditionally published authors.

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

How to start a small business: A step-by-step guide

Business Eric Rosenberg


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  3. Small Business Publications & Resources

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  4. Maine SBDC's Business Plan Guide

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  5. Fillable Online Business Plan Outline

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  6. 6+ Restaurant Operations Plan Templates & Samples

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  1. Business Plan, Business Plan Templates, Business Plan Samples

    Find over 800 business plan templates and samples from various industries and sectors on SBDCNet, a free online resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Learn how to write a business plan with guides, tools, and resources from the SBA and other sources.

  2. Write your business plan

    Learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently with a business plan template. Choose between a traditional or lean startup format, and follow the nine sections of a traditional plan or the four sections of a lean startup plan. Download examples of each format and get tips on funding, marketing, and financial projections.

  3. How To Write an SBA Business Plan [+Free Template]

    Step 1: Write the Company Description This section should contain information about the purpose of your business. It should include a description of the problem or challenge your product or service aims to solve and what types of individuals or organizations will benefit. A strong company description should also address the following questions:

  4. Business Plan Outline / Maryland SBDC

    LIVE PLAN-An online app that helps you through the process of writing a business plan. Contact your local SBDC Consultant for a discount. If you are planning to start or even thinking of starting this will assess your readiness. If you are already in business this assessment will help us determine your needs.

  5. Business Templates & Downloads from Collin SBDC

    Note: Templates, forms and resources can be downloaded to help in business planning.Materials, services or products offered by this SBDC do not imply or constitute a recommendation or endorsement by the SBDC, but is only intended to be a convenience for you.

  6. Maine SBDC's Business Plan Guide

    Watch on Downloadable PDF Guides are available in English, French, and Somali . This tool is best used in conjunction with a Maine SBDC business advisor or other professional. The Maine SBDC has been providing free business advising to Maine's small businesses and entrepreneurs since 1977.

  7. Business Planning

    Dun & Bradstreet grows the most valuable relationships in business by uncovering truth and meaning from data. D&B builds - or co-develops with partners - solutions tailored to your role, whether you are in marketing, sales, finance, supply, compliance, or information technology. Get a D&B D-U-N-S® Number, establish your business credit ...

  8. An Effective Business Plan Can Plot the Course for Small Business

    December is National Write a Business Plan Month. The SBA encourages you to mark the occasion by learning how to put together an efficient, high-quality plan that will increase your chances of small business success in the year ahead. ... Our Business Planning Guide is easy to use and contains templates you can follow. ... U.S. Small Business ...

  9. PDF 2023 SBA Small Business National Resource Guide

    How to Start a Business 18 10 Steps to Start Your Business 19 Write Your Business Plan 22 Choose Your Business Structure 23 How the SBA Supports Undeserved Small Business Communities 25 Opportunities for Veterans 27 Federal and State ID Numbers Funding Programs 28 Success Story: Rachel Kalenberg, co-founder, Pizza Carrello 32

  10. SBA Business Plan Template

    An SBA business plan template is the document you must hand into the bank or credit union when requesting a loan for a start-up business. The US Small Business Administration (SBA), a government agency that backs small businesses, provides guidance and other assistance. As such, this document is crucial to convincing them and loan agencies that ...

  11. Guidelines for Preparing a Business Plan

    Guidelines for Preparing a Business Plan - Sonoma SBDC Resource Library PDF Guide Guidelines for Preparing a Business Plan This comprehensive guide offers guidelines and helpful spreadsheets to help you prepare a business plan. Click here to read.

  12. How to Write an SBA Business Plan + Template

    Create a business plan that maximizes your chances of securing funding. Create a fundable plan. 1. Executive summary. A great executive summary is a short, simple overview of your business. It should be easy for a loan officer to read and clearly understand what your business does.

  13. Sample business plans

    Traditional and Lean business plan templates for new small business owners. Translations Plan de negocio tradicional -Rebeca Plan de negocio tradicional -Andrew Plan de negocio ágil -Andrew Variations of this document Version Rebecca's Plan-Traditional | File size: 245KB | Download .doc

  14. Templates + Tools + Info

    Business Planning. Tools and templates to help you create an effective business plan. Business Plan Outline - The standard version used by the U.S. Small Business Administration and SBDC's across the nation. Business Plan Workbook - SCORE's step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, with embedded sales forecasting, cash flow and ...

  15. Resources

    Small Business Development Center (SBDC) The University of Pittsburgh's SBDC, part of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, is a resource for small business owners that provides consulting, workshops, and other specialty business-building support at all stages of the business lifecycle. Small Business Information Center/Gov Procure.

  16. Writing a Business Plan

    The following pages will describe in detail the seven essential sections of a business plan: what you should include, what you shouldn't include, how to work the numbers and additional resources you can turn to for help. With that in mind, jump right in. Executive Summary

  17. Our Small Business Support Services

    Business Education. Our free and low-cost webinars and workshops offer the opportunity to learn more about running and growing your business. From securing financing to writing a business plan and more, our online library is full of live and on-demand webinars to help you on your schedule. See webinars and workshops.

  18. PDF Business Plan Template

    •Financial Projections - Balance Sheet •Pictures of business and products •Financial Projections - Cash Flow •Information supporting growth •Break-Even Analysis •Key Business Agreements such as leases, contracts, etc. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  19. Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Plan Document ...

    This webpage provides information on how to write a business plan, links to additional information, and a PDF download with its own set of links to sample business plans for more than 800 types of businesses. The SBDC business plan web page includes: A PDF download of all information on the web page. How to Write a Business Plan.

  20. Simple Business Plan Template (2024)

    Our simple business plan template covers everything you need to consider when launching a side gig, solo operation or small business. By following this step-by-step process, you might even uncover ...

  21. Small Business Development Center

    COVID-19 resources | How-to Video Series Achieve your small business goals with the Wisconsin SBDC Helping you at any stage with any opportunity The Wisconsin SBDC offers consulting, education, referrals, sophisticated tools and resources, whether you're just getting started or looking for ways to improve your business.

  22. Templates

    Download and use our free fillable business templates including business planning, marketing planning, website planning, continuity planning and more.

  23. Free Business Plan Template (With Examples)

    If you're looking for a free business plan template, read our guide to see some of the examples we found.