How to Write a Company History

Table of contents.

example of company history in business plan

The story of your company’s evolution may seem uninspiring to you, but it can play an important role in building trust and respect, especially among younger generations of employees and customers — Gen Zs deeply care about an organization’s background and impact. 

Every company has been shaped by moments of inspiration, perseverance, courage or luck.  Your company history should feature the most compelling highlights of your entrepreneurial journey, along with significant achievements, such as patents and major wins.

You should include your history in your business plan and employee handbook and on your website’s “about us” page. Some companies write a book about their corporate story that is presented to employees and others on special occasions. The message behind your corporate milestones can become your brand’s cornerstone.

Whatever your company history, honesty is key. Check out the biggest business lies ever told .

What should your company history include?

Although the details of your company history are unique to your business, there are four key elements that every company history should include:

  • Why your company was started, including your values and company mission .
  • A brief profile of the founders.
  • Major turning points in your company’s life.
  • Amusing and inspirational events that have occurred along the way.

The details of your company history will help others understand why you started and what challenges you’ve overcome and serve as a roadmap for future accomplishments and success.

How to write a company history

Follow these six steps to write a compelling company history that accurately and informatively describes your business.

1. Read other company histories.

Get inspired by seeing how other companies have recounted their background. For example, Microsoft tells its multifaceted success story with a few articles that recount some of the company’s most noteworthy achievements over the last decade. Seeing how other companies share their history will give you an idea of what you do and don’t want yours to look and sound like.

2. Dig for industry and company highlights.

Did you make a mark on your industry with a breakthrough product or a new twist on an old concept? Explain your company’s achievements in the context of your industry’s history. These events and milestones help form a picture of how your organization got to where it is today. It gives customers, employees and other key stakeholders a sense of where you’ve been and where you might be headed. It can help build your brand’s image and market your organization to the right people.

3. Elicit memories.

Bring history to life by including anecdotes from employees and customers who were there when your company was just starting out. Ask these folks if you can interview them about their experiences. Effective storytelling is a great way to draw your audience to your organization and make them feel connected.

4. Create a timeline.

After gathering your historical facts, record each event on a timeline. This timeline should contain all the important details of your company’s history, organized chronologically.

5. Consult corporate history professionals.

If you prefer, you can hire a professional to research and write your history. However, since your company history is a critical part of your organization’s image, you will likely still want to be involved in its creation in some capacity.

6. Picture it.

Use photos to illustrate your company’s history. Include old snapshots of the founders and snap photos of today’s employees while they work. While at it, take photos of historical documents and other corporate artifacts — they also help tell your story .

Tips for Writing a Successful Company History

Your company history can serve as a marketing tool. There are a few things to keep in mind when writing a company history.

  • Focus on your significant achievements: Unless you plan to publish a book about your company, don’t let your story get bogged down with too much detail. You can still add interesting anecdotes from employees and customers to bring it to life while focusing on major milestones.
  • Be honest about how your company got to where it is: Telling the truth about your company’s history can foster trust among your employees, customers and key stakeholders. When mentioning failed product launches or other less-than-flattering events, you can tie them to essential lessons you or the founders learned that contributed to later success.
  • Highlight your company culture: Your company history should give readers a sense of your company culture . Ask employees if they have a special fondness for certain company traditions. Look back at how you have celebrated your company’s birthdays and other special occasions.
  • Keep organized records of your company history: Whether you or someone else is writing your company history, keep organized records of your history. Document where you found each piece of information you expect to include in your history since you’ll need to refer back to these sources while writing.

Your company’s story doesn’t end when you have completed your corporate history project. Maintain a file of significant events so that as your company grows, you can update its story.

Don’t give too much detail when writing company history. Focus on major achievements and interesting anecdotes from employees or customers and try to incorporate a sense of company culture.

Examples of company histories

If you are struggling to write your company history, there are several well-known organizations you can look to for company history examples. Each company overview is as unique as the business it describes.

Starbucks ‘ company history is both informative and easy to read. It includes a brief profile of the founders, the company background and mission statement and the foremost company turning points. It does all this while using descriptive and imaginative language. The casual and friendly tone of the company history matches the atmosphere it strives to bring to coffee lovers each day.

“Our story begins in 1971 along the cobblestone streets of Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market,” the company wrote on its website. “It was here where Starbucks opened its first store, offering fresh-roasted coffee beans, tea and spices from around the world for our customers to take home.”

Starbucks goes on to detail where its name came from, where it first expanded to and how its chairman and chief executive officer, Howard Schultz, was drawn to the company. Starbucks also includes its mission statement.

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Scrolling down the page, you are presented with vivid coffee imagery, along with details about coffee as a craft, Starbucks partners, its company culture and sustainability measures.

Starbucks About Us

Source: Starbucks

Adidas takes a unique approach to its company history. The forward-thinking sports brand is all about power, speed and achievement. This mission is conveyed in its company profile. Instead of relying solely on the written word, the company intersperses its history with vivid imagery highlighting its purpose, mission and attitude. By highlighting this information with images that evoke emotion, readers get an immediate feel for the sport-centric company.

Adidas About Us

Source: Adidas

American Airlines

As your company grows, you should tailor your company history to match current marketing conventions. For example, American Airlines has been around for almost 100 years. It tailored its company history to a brief, one-paragraph overview, with an expandable interactive timeline that covers seminal events in the company’s history.

American Airlines About Us

Source: American Airlines

Additional reporting by Judy Artunian.


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How to Write a Company Overview for a Business Plan

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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 .

When you start a company, you ideally want it to grow. If you’re seeking business funding to scale your business or an initial investment to get your business off the ground, you’re going to need a business plan . Putting together a business plan can be an intimidating process that involves a lot of steps and writing — but breaking it down piece by piece can help you accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task.

One small piece of your business plan is the company overview, so let’s take a look at what that is, exactly, check out some company overview examples and go over how to make a company overview of your very own.

What is a company overview?

A company overview provides the reader of your business plan with basic background information about your company so they have an understanding of what you do, who the management team is and what customers your business serves.

The company description is the second piece of a business plan, falling right after the executive summary. Similar to the executive summary, your company overview will be short and succinct. Your reader needs to have a grasp on what your business does and who your customers are, even if they have limited time.

Why do I need a company overview?

The company overview is the part of your business plan that gives the basics and background of your business. It’s the foundation on which you will build the rest of your business plan.

If you’re looking to appeal to investors or potential clients, you need a reader to make an informed decision about your company. Before they can do that, they must know what your company does and who your customer is. Lenders in particular need a reason to keep reading, since they see tons of business plans regularly. The company overview provides those answers, and it will help you get a better sense of your business so you can firm up things like your marketing plan.

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What should i include in a company overview.

The exact elements that you need in your company overview will depend upon what details of your business are important, but there are some foundational elements that will be included in every company overview.

Once you’ve covered the basics, you can include any other minor details that will benefit a reader who will need to make an informed decision about your business.

Basic company information

Consider the company overview like an introduction for your business. In the opening paragraph of your company overview, you’ll want to include basic company information. That includes:

Your company name: This should be the official name of your business, exactly as it is written when you registered your business with the state.

Business structure: Your reader will want to know what business entity your company comes in: sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership or corporation.

Location(s): Share where your business is headquartered and other locations the business owns.

Ownership and management team

Break down who owns your business and how each owner is involved with the business. What shares of the company belong to whom? If you have a highly involved management team, share their names and key roles with the company as well.

Company history

Part of what makes your company unique is its history. And, even startups have some history. Don’t put too much focus on this section, but do add some personality and interesting details if possible, especially if they relate to your company culture.

Mission statement

Your company’s mission statement should be included in the company overview. If you don’t yet have a company mission statement, that’s okay. Think of a mission statement as the purpose of your company.

If you don’t have one, you can create one with your team. Or you can simply replace the mission statement with a problem statement. Your business idea should exist to solve a problem or pain point faced by your customers. Share what that problem is and what your business does to solve it. That’s essentially your mission statement.

Product/service and customer

This section of the company overview is where you can share the nitty-gritty details of your business. Talk about what product or service you provide and to whom you provide it. You can share some numbers here, but in general, save the numbers for later in your business plan.

The company overview should give the reader a general understanding of your business, your product or service, and your customer. If they’re interested to know more, they’ll reach out to you for a meeting or take the time to read the rest of your business plan. Keep it simple and straightforward here.

Future goals

While concrete details and facts about your business are important to whoever is reading your company overview, it’s also important to share your dreams and your vision. If you’re writing a business plan for a business that’s already in place, it’s very likely you’re looking for business financing to scale or solve a business problem. If you’re just starting out, though, then it’s likely you’re hoping to find startup funding.

The section on your future business goals should include a brief description of your growth goals for your business. Where you are now tells the reader a lot, but they also want to know where you plan to go.

A company overview is comprised of many small parts. Each part shares just a little bit more about your company with your reader.

example of company history in business plan

Tips for writing a company overview

While a company overview is simply the details of your company written out, it might not be easy to write. Break it down into small steps and use these tips to make putting together your company overview just a little bit easier.

Start with the elevator pitch

If your business is already in operation, then you likely have an elevator pitch. Your company overview can start off with your elevator pitch.

The first paragraph of your company overview should include just a few sentences that explain your business and what you do. The shorter and clearer this is, the more likely your reader will understand and keep reading.

Stick to the basics

It’s tempting to pile on all the details when you’re writing a company overview. Remember, many of the details of your company, including the numbers, will be included in later sections of your business plan.

Your company overview should include only the most basic details about your company that the reader needs to know.

Be passionate

When you share the history, mission statement, and vision for the future of your company, it’s okay to show your passion. You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t love what you do.

Your excitement for your business could spark interest for the reader and keep them engaged with your company overview and business plan.

Keep it succinct

When you’re passionate about something, it’s easy to get carried away. Remember that you’ve got plenty of space for details in your business plan. The company overview should be just the most basic information someone needs to understand your business.

It’s OK if your first draft of your company overview is long. Simply go through and edit it to be shorter, removing unnecessary details and words each time you read through it. Clear, concise descriptions are more likely to be read and to keep the reader reading to other sections of your business plan.

Have structure

Your company overview is just one piece of a multi-tiered business plan. Creating a clear structure for your business plan makes it easier to read. The same is true for your company overview.

Your business plan should have chapters, one of which is the company overview. Then, you can further break down the content for easy skimming and reading by adding sub-chapters. You can denote these breaks in content with bold headers.

While you can break down each section of the company overview with bold headers based on the above suggestions, you can also interweave some information together, such as the company structure and leadership structure. Each section should be only a few sentences long.

Write it later

If you’re struggling to write your company overview, come back to it. Write the rest of your business plan first and then write your company overview.

While this might seem like the opposite way of doing things, knowing what will be contained in the rest of your business plan can help you to focus in on the very most essential details in the company overview and to leave everything else out.

Get a test reader

If you’re struggling to edit down your company overview, get a test reader. Ideally, you’ll want to ask someone who doesn’t know a lot about your business. They’ll help you understand whether or not you’ve clearly communicated your message.

Proofreading is the final step in editing something you’ve written. This type of editing looks for typos, misspellings and grammatical errors that have been missed. Many of these small errors can be difficult to spot in our own writing, so be sure to ask someone who hasn’t seen multiple drafts of your company overview.

Company overview examples

If you don’t want to shell out for business planning software, but would still like some company overview examples to get you started, there are many places online you can look to for help getting started, like the Small Business Administration and SCORE.

Many successful companies also have some version of their company overview made public as their company profile page online. There are some variations from the company overview steps we’ve listed above, of course, but you can use the language and style of these company overview examples for inspiration:

Starbucks company profile .

Puma company page .

TaskRabbit About page .

Peloton company page .

Nestlé About page .

If you’re still feeling stuck, or want more company overview examples, try searching the websites of your favorite companies for more information. You might be surprised what you find — the Nestlé page, for example, has more information about their strategy and business principles.

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example of company history in business plan

Company History

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Create a memorable first day in minutes with eddy, what is a company history.

Your company history is an overview of how and why the organization was founded, the values that it was founded on, key events that shaped the company, and other notable events in the organization’s past.

A company’s history isn’t just a timeline of events since the organization’s inception, but a compelling display of the characteristics and values that define it. This information will be included in the onboarding packet you share with your new hires to get them excited about working at your company and create a sense of pride in how far you’ve come. This document, along with many others that are included in your onboarding packet, can get messy very quickly, especially if your company is growing quickly. If this is the case, we recommend using an all-in-one HR software like Eddy to keep all of your documents organized and digitized. Request a demo today to see if Eddy People is a good fit for you! 

The Importance of a Company History

Company history plays a major role in establishing the core values and culture of your organization. Your company history is also important for:

  • Understanding the challenges the company has overcome . The challenges that the company has overcome likely shape the trajectory of your organization within the market and define the characteristics of successful employees within the business.
  • Creating a roadmap for future success in your organization . Discovering what qualities and values have led to success in the past can help shape the decisions and strategy for future success.
  • Increasing pride and enthusiasm in the workplace. Creating a compelling narrative that highlights what sets your company apart from others can help your employees gain a sense of pride and enthusiasm in being part of a unique team.
  • Leveraging an additional marketing asset. Your company history can be used as a marketing asset to attract candidates in recruiting and promote your brand to consumers.

What To Include in Your Company History

Every company has a unique story. What is important to include in your company history depends on the specific circumstance. In general, you should include:

  • Why your company was formed . The “why” is often what your organizational values and mission are based on. It explains the problem that existed and the strategic steps your company took to solve it.
  • An overview of the founders . Providing brief biographies of the founders gives your organization character and sets the timeline for the foundation of the company.
  • Values the company was founded on. Clearly emphasizing the values that the company was founded on helps establish your organization’s brand and define what you’re looking for in potential employees.
  • Key events in the company’s existence . Landmark events that altered the trajectory of your organization and set the company up for success should be the bulk of your company history.
  • Other notable company events. Outside of key events, any notable event that exemplifies the organizational culture or values should be included in your company history.

How to Write Your Company’s History

The elements to include in your company history will help kickstart the brainstorming process. Follow the steps below to create an informative, compelling company history for your organization.

1. Research Competitor Company Histories

To get a better idea of what your finished result should look like, research and analyze competitor company history resources. They can help inform what type of events you need to research within your company and provide inspiration for how to design your final product.

2. Review How The Company Was Founded

After gathering some inspiration from competitors, you need to review how your company was founded. Reach out to executives and leadership to get a consistent story about how the organization was founded.

3. Identify Key Milestones and Events

With your foundation established, start piecing together the events that took your company from its inception to its current status in the market. Some key milestones and events may include the invention of new products, acquisitions and mergers, important executives, and charitable contributions.

4. Interview Key Stakeholders and Tenured Employees

To get a firsthand perspective of your company’s culture and history, you can interview the people who lived through it. Try to elicit memories you can include in your company history to emphasize how company values have impacted current employees.

5. Organize Events Into a Timeline

Equipped with the events that have contributed to your company’s history, you can start to organize it into a chronological timeline. Once you have all of the events organized into a timeline, you can decide which ones are the most important and center your company history around them.

6. Consult with a History Professional or Writer

While you can try to write your company history by yourself, consulting with a history professional or a writer can take the company’s story to the next level. The most effective company history resources are carefully crafted into compelling narratives. Contracting work to a professional writer can take your timeline and turn it into a next-level company history asset.

7. Design a Compelling Virtual Company History

The final step in creating your company history is to take the crafted narrative and turn it into a compelling asset. Incorporate images and video to make your company history interactive and engaging.

You can create several versions of your company history to cover a wide range of mediums, including written content, videos, and interactive timelines. You can consider contracting work to a graphic design professional who can help create a one-of-a-kind company history asset.

Where to Include Your Company History

Once you’ve put time into writing a compelling company history, you want to make sure people see it. To maximize the value of your company history for recruiting and boosting employee enthusiasm, you’ll need to include it in the right places. Here are some ideas:

  • Company website. Because the company website is the first place that most people will go to learn more about your business, it’s helpful to include the company history here. Many companies will include their history under the “About Us” page. If you want to go into more depth, you may have a page dedicated to a more detailed company history. Wherever you choose to include your history, HR professional Sarah Marchese recommends linking to it from the careers page with a statement like “Read our history here!” This will ensure that prospective employees get excited about what your organization stands for. 
  • Employee handbook. Putting the company history in the employee handbook allows everyone to access it easily when they want to. The stories and events you include in the history can help staff see the organization’s mission, vision, and values in action.
  • Annual report. Including a company history as part of your annual report is a great way to help stakeholders understand where your business has been and where it hopes to go. It can provide helpful context for more recent developments. 
  • Job listings. While you probably don’t want to include your entire company history on job posts, it can be helpful to include a brief overview. Just a few sentences will get job seekers excited about how far your company has come—and the potential it has to grow even more.
  • New hire orientation. Letting new hires know about your company’s history is a great way to build their enthusiasm on their first day at work. 

Examples of Company Histories

Your company history should be unique to the organization and stand out among competitors. While there is no standard template, here are a few examples of companies with well-constructed company history resources.

Starbucks paints its company history like a story, vividly describing “the cobblestone streets of Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market” where the coffee chain was founded. Though they keep it brief, Starbucks creates a precise timeline of the events that shaped its history in a creative, compelling narrative.

Known for their visually pleasing commercials and print ads, Adidas’s company history leverages imagery to support their words. A mix of pictures, logos, charts, tables, and graphs provides a visual history to accompany their well-crafted narrative.

The company history for Toms shoes is centered around their organizational values: improving the lives of others. Toms highlights how its founder established the One for One business model, where one pair of shoes was donated to underdeveloped countries for each purchase.

Not only does their history highlight the grassroots beliefs upon which the company was founded, it also serves as a recruitment tool to attract potential candidates who possess those values.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker’s company history highlights a common issue that they solved in a unique fashion: expensive glasses. The designer eyewear provider describes an event where one of the founders lost their glasses on a backpacking trip and couldn’t afford a replacement.

Their history explains how they circumvented traditional channels to provide high-quality, affordable eyewear using qualities that would become the company’s core value and culture.

Now that you understand how to write and portray your company history, request a demo of Eddy People to see how we can simplify and organize your entire onboarding process. We’d love to show you how easy hiring and onboarding new employees can really be.

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example of company history in business plan

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Company Histories

Still have questions? Send them here – we promise we’ll answer them.

How should we share our company’s history?

You can share your company’s history in a variety of formats. You should start with a full written version of your company history, as all other versions will be based around that. Other ways that you can share your company history include videos, interactive timelines, webpages and more.

Who is responsible for writing our company’s history?

Writing your company history should be a collaborative effort. Small business owners will likely lead the process for their business, while HR or marketing may be tasked with developing company history for a larger organization.

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Employee Onboarding Documents for New Hires

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How to Write a Business History

by Anam Ahmed

Published on 21 Aug 2019

Every business has a unique history. Even a brand-new startup has a story to share. Writing a company history is an effective way to tell investors, prospects and employees how your company got to where you are today. When writing a business history, be sure to keep your audience in mind. Don’t overshare too many details and overwhelm the reader. Instead, craft a narrative about your history's pivotal details.

Understand the Importance of Writing a Company History

A company history is a great way to connect to your audience. There are many reasons to write a history of your business, including:

  • Relating to your customers
  • Establishing credibility in your industry
  • Showcasing your years of expertise
  • Increasing employee engagement
  • Strengthening your brand image

Your company history helps the readers to understand the journey you have taken so far. It can also show them where your company may go next. Like your company’s mission, vision and values, a business history is a valuable part of your brand .

Identify the Audience

The first step to writing an effective history of a business is to figure out to whom you’re writing. Who is the main audience for this history, and what do they need to know about you? Audiences can include potential investors, prospects and customers, employees and the media .

Identify the kind of information for which your audience will be looking. Investors may want to know how long you have been in business, how long you’ve been profitable, when you changed direction and why you chose to take a different path for your business.

On the other hand, employees may want to know why you started the company, who the first employee was and when you established certain departments. Prospects and customers might like to know what your mission was when you first started, some quirky facts about your formative years and how you came up with your core values.

Match the Message to the Medium

The way you write your company history will depend on the reason you're writing it. This will impact the kind of information you include and the tone of the writing. When writing for investors, you may be writing a brief company history for a business plan or project proposal. In this case, the tone will be formal. The information you include will be focused on profitability and the direction of the company.

On the other hand, when writing for employees, you may need to write a company history for the new employee package that is handed to new hires. This is a way to educate your incoming employees about the company, so it will be a more thorough history focused on the mission, vision and values. It may also include interesting facts about the founders of the company.

A company history on your website will be geared toward prospects and customers. This is a way to build credibility for your business while engaging your audience with unique information about your company. This kind of history may take a lighter tone and focus on what kind of impact your company has made in the community.

Stick to the Pivotal Moments

When writing a company history, it’s easy to include a lot of information, especially if you are intimately familiar with all of the historical details. Don’t overwhelm the reader with too much information. Instead, focus on the audience and the crucial information they need to know. Stick to those pivotal points and refrain from going off track. This approach helps the reader to follow the business’s journey more easily.

Tell a Story, Not Just the Facts

The historical background of a company is often filled with dates, names, places and other facts. While those are important to note, it’s also imperative to create a narrative . Connect historical moments to one another by showing cause and effect. When discussing historical figures in the company, mention the important impact they had on the business.

example of company history in business plan

The 7 Best Business Plan Examples

So you want to start a business . Kudos! You’re doing big things.

One of the first steps to building a strong foundation for your new venture is to write a rock-solid business plan . When done right, your business plan can pave your path to success, all while helping you to smoothly cruise through any obstacles that may come up.

Plus, a good business plan can help you secure critical partnerships and funding that you might need in your early stages.

If you’re unsure how to write one, a great place to start is to learn from the pros. In this article, we’ll look at companies that built incredible business plans.

Take notes on the structure, format, and details. Hopefully you’ll leave with plenty of inspiration to write your own.

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7-part template for business plan examples

We’ll look at a business plan that is structured using a seven-part template. Here’s a quick review of those parts:

  • Executive summary: A quick overview of your business and the contents of your business plan.
  • Company description: More info about your company, its goals and mission, and why you started it in the first place.
  • Market analysis: Research about the market and industry your business will operate in, including a competitive analysis about the companies you’ll be up against.
  • Products and services: A detailed description of what you’ll be selling to your customers.
  • Marketing plan: A strategic outline of how you plan to market and promote your business before, during, and after your company launches into the market.
  • Logistics and operations plan: An explanation of the systems, processes, and tools that are needed to run your business in the background.
  • Financial plan: A map of your short-term (and even long-term) financial goals and the costs to run the business. If you’re looking for funding, here’s the place to discuss your request and needs.

7 business plan examples (section by section)

In this section, you’ll find hypothetical and real-world examples of each aspect of a business plan to show you how the whole thing comes together. 

  • Executive summary

Your executive summary offers a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. You’ll want to include a brief description of your company, market research, competitor analysis, and financial information.  

In ThoughtCo’s sample business plan for a fictional company called Acme Management Technology, the executive summary is three paragraphs and occupies nearly half the page:

business plan executive summary

  • Company description

You might go more in-depth with your company description and include the following sections:

  • Nature of the business. Mention the general category of business you fall under. Are you a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of your products?
  • Background information. Talk about your past experiences and skills, and how you’ve combined them to fill in the market. 
  • Business structure. This section outlines how you registered your company —as a corporation, sole proprietorship, LLC, or other business type.
  • Industry. Which business sector do you operate in? The answer might be technology, merchandising, or another industry.
  • Team. Whether you’re the sole full-time employee of your business or you have contractors to support your daily workflow, this is your chance to put them under the spotlight.

You can also repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, Instagram page, or other properties that ask for a boilerplate description of your business. Hair extensions brand Luxy Hair has a blurb on its About page that could easily be repurposed as a company description for its business plan. 

company description business plan

  • Market analysis

Market analysis comprises research on product supply and demand, your target market, the competitive landscape, and industry trends. You might do a SWOT analysis to learn where you stand and identify market gaps that you could exploit to establish your footing. Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis we did for a hypothetical ecommerce business: 

marketing swot example

You’ll also want to run a competitive analysis as part of the market analysis component for your business plan. This will show you who you’re up against and give you ideas on how to gain an edge over the competition. 

  • Products and services

This part of your business plan describes your product or service, how it will be priced, and the ways it will compete against similar offerings in the market. Don’t go into too much detail here —a few lines are enough to introduce your item to the reader.

example of company history in business plan

  • Marketing plan

Potential investors will want to know how you’ll get the word out about your business. As such, it’s essential to build a marketing plan that highlights the promotion and customer acquisition strategies you’re planning to adopt. 

Most marketing plans focus on the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. However, it’s easier when you break it down by the different marketing channels . Mention how you intend to promote your business using blogs, email, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Here’s an example of a hypothetical marketing plan for a real estate website:

marketing section template for business plan

Logistics and operations

This section of your business plan provides information about your production, facilities, production, equipment, shipping and fulfillment, and inventory.

Financial plan

The financial plan (a.k.a. financial statement) offers a breakdown of your sales, revenue, expenses, profit, and other financial metrics. You’ll want to include all the numbers and concrete data to project your current and projected financial state. For example, the financial statement for ecommerce brand Nature’s Candy includes forecasted revenue, expenses, and net profit in graphs.

financial plan example

It then goes deeper into the financials, citing:

  • Funding needs
  • Project cash-flow statement
  • Project profit-and-loss statement
  • Projected balance sheet

You can use Shopify’s financial plan template to create your own income statement, cash-flow statement, and balance sheet. 

Types of business plan (and what to write for each)

A one-page business plan is a pared down version of a standard business plan that’s easy for potential investors and partners to understand. You’ll want to include all of the sections, but make sure they’re abbreviated and summarized.

  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financials 

A startup business plan is meant to secure outside funding for a new business. Typically, there’s a big focus on the financials, as well as other sections that help determine the viability of your business idea —market analysis, for example. Shopify has a great business plan template for startups that include all the below points.

  • Market research: in depth
  • Financials: in depth


Your internal business plan acts as the enforcer of your company’s vision. It reminds your team of the long-term objective and keeps them strategically aligned toward the same goal.

  • Market research


A feasibility business plan is essentially a feasibility study that helps you evaluate whether your product or idea is worthy of a full business plan. 

Mix and match to make a killer business plan

The good news is: there’s no single right way to write a business plan. If you’re feeling unsure about how to craft yours, pull bits and pieces that you like from other examples, and leave out the parts that don’t apply or make sense for you.

The important thing is to clearly communicate your reason for starting the company, what’s needed to operate it, and how you plan to make it work in the long run.

When you can convince others that you have a killer game plan, you’ve nailed it.

Want to learn more?

  • Question: Are You a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur?
  • Bootstrapping a Business: 10 Tips to Help You Succeed
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: 20 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur
  • 101+ Best Small Business Software Programs 

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Bright Hub

Writing a Business Plan: Company History

The company history explains the background of your company and the people involved in managing and operating your business. This section provides the reader with information as to how you came up with the idea for the product or service you are selling as well if you have the drive and expertise to make the business thrive.

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This component should act as an overview of the business history and not go into detail about each item discussed. Much of the information outlined in this section will be explained in more detail in other portions of your business plan. Of course, the length and content of this section will be dependant on how long the business has been established for. A new business will not have as much historical information as one that has been around for years.

At the very least you will want to include where you came up with the idea for the business and what you have accomplished so far in starting the business, problems that you have faced, and your short-term plans for growth. Other aspects you might wish to cover in this section, especially if this is a new business, are your educational and training background, previous business you have stared and why you are not doing that business now, your expertise in the products or services, your weakness and how you will handle them, and any professional organizations that you belong to that relates to the business.

Your main goal in writing this section of the business plan is to sell yourself and your idea to potential investors (banks, Small Business Administration, etc.). Be honest in what you write and be sure to place an emphasis on your expertise.

Sample Company History Summary

The Internet Craft Bazaar will be a sole proprietorship company owned and operated by Jane Doe. Jane has sold handmade crafts at local craft shows for the past 20 years. She is also a graduate of The American Business School and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Small Business Administration. Her formal education included courses in e-commerce.

The concept of developing this business came from the owner’s passion for crafts and her desire to help other crafters sell their handmade goods to a global market. This business will be operated from the owner’s home and will be done entirely on the internet.

This post is part of the series: Business Plans

Advice to help you create a solid business plan for your company.

  • Business Plan: Your Company’s History
  • Business Plan: Defining Your Market

24 Best Sample Business Plans & Examples to Help You Write Your Own

Clifford Chi

Published: August 17, 2023

Free Business Plan Template

example of company history in business plan

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Reading sample business plans is essential when you’re writing your own. As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, you’ll learn how to write one that gets your business off on the right foot, convinces investors to provide funding, and confirms your venture is sustainable for the long term.

sample business plans and examples

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But what does a business plan look like? And how do you write one that is viable and convincing? Let's review the ideal business plan formally, then take a look at business plan templates and samples you can use to inspire your own.

Business Plan Format

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. 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. Referencing one will keep you on the path toward success. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, you might be wondering, "Where do I start? How should I format this?"

Typically, a business plan is a document that will detail how a company will achieve its goals.

example of company history in business plan

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Most business plans include the following sections:

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is arguably the most important section of the entire business plan. 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.

Most executive summaries include:

  • Mission statement
  • Company history and leadership
  • Competitive advantage overview
  • Financial projections
  • Company goals

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, including only 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

And the executive summary below tells potential investors a short story that covers all the most important details this business plan will cover in a succinct and interesting way.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • 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. Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will your product fill that gap?

In this section, you might include:

  • 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

This example 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

Speaking of market share, you'll 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. Performing a competitive analysis 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

The competitive landscape section of the business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are. 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.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

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

This section will 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. Ask yourself:

  • 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?

It can be helpful to build 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

The example below 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. You might consider including information on:

  • The 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

It can help to already have a marketing plan built out to help you with this part of your business plan.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler. It offers a comprehensive picture of how it plans 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 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

The example below outlines 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, you might outline:

  • 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

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

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 you'll want to include.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet example shows the level of detail you will 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.

Business Plan Types

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, we’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. 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.

Sample Business Plan Templates

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some 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 We 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. (We 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.

We 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 our 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 we 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, we 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.

Top Business Plan Examples

Here are some completed business plan samples to get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business. We’ve chosen different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

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. We 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.

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.

"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 .

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.

Outdoor clothing retailer, Patagonia, has one of the most compelling mission statements we’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 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.

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.

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. 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 .

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.

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 also essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" 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 also use this template as a guide while you're gathering important details. After looking at this sample, you'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do for your own business plan.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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  • The Basics of Writing a Business Plan
  • The Benefits and Risks of Writing a Business Plan
  • The Main Objectives of a Business Plan
  • What to Include and Not Include in a Successful Business Plan
  • The Top 4 Types of Business Plans
  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Business Plan Deck
  • 6 Tips for Making a Winning Business Presentation
  • 12 Ways to Set Your Business Goals and Objectives
  • 3 Key Things You Need to Know About Financing Your Business
  • How to Use Your Business Plan Most Effectively
  • How to Pitch Your Business Plan in 6 Minutes
  • How to Fund Your Business With Angel Investors
  • How to Assess the Potential of Your Business Idea
  • How to Fund Your Business Through Friends and Family Loans and Crowdsourcing
  • How to Fund Your Business Using Banks and Credit Unions
  • How to Fund Your Business With an SBA Loan
  • How to Fund Your Business With Bonds and Indirect Funding Sources
  • How to Use Your Business Plan to Track Performance
  • How to Make Your Business Plan Attractive to Prospective Partners
  • When to Update Your Business Plan
  • How to Fund Your Business With Venture Capital
  • How to Raise Money With Your Business Plan's Executive Summary
  • What Is Your Unique Selling Proposition? Use This Worksheet to Find Your Greatest Strength.
  • How to Write the Management Team Section to Your Business Plan
  • How to Create a Strategic Hiring Plan
  • How to Write a Business Plan Executive Summary That Sells Your Idea
  • How To Build a Team of Outside Experts for Your Business
  • Use This Worksheet to Write a Product Description That Sells
  • Customers and Investors Don't Want Products. They Want Solutions.
  • Who Is Your Customer? 4 Questions to Ask.
  • How to Determine the Barriers to Entry for Your Business
  • How to Define Your Product and Set Your Prices
  • How to Get Customers in Your Store and Drive Traffic to Your Website
  • 5 Essential Elements of Your Industry Trends Plan
  • How to Identify and Research Your Competition
  • How to Identify Market Trends in Your Business Plan
  • How to Effectively Promote Your Business to Customers and Investors
  • How to Write an Operations Plan for Retail and Sales Businesses
  • How to Write an Operations Plan for Manufacturers
  • How to List Personel and Materials in Your Business Plan
  • What Equipment and Facilities to Include in Your Business Plan
  • What Technology to Include In Your Business Plan
  • How to Write an Income Statement for Your Business Plan
  • How to Make a Balance Sheet
  • How to Make a Cash Flow Statement
  • How to Use Financial Ratios to Understand the Health of Your Business
  • How to Make Realistic Financial Forecasts
  • How to Write a Letter of Introduction
  • What To Put on the Cover Page of a Business Plan
  • How to Format Your Business Plan
  • 6 Steps to Getting Your Business Plan Seen
  • The Best Ways to Follow Up on a Buisiness Plan
  • The Best Books, Sites, Trade Associations and Resources to Get Your Business Funded and Running
  • How to Hire the Right Business Plan Consultant
  • Business Plan Lingo and Resources All Entrepreneurs Should Know

The Basics of Writing a Business Plan Here's why you need a business plan and everything you need to know to get started writing yours.

By Entrepreneur Staff • Oct 27, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Finding the purpose of a business plan
  • How to know if you need a business plan
  • Writing a back-of-the-napkin plan.

This is part 1 / 11 of Write Your Business Plan: Section 1: The Foundation of a Business Plan series.

Writing a business plan is like the architectural plan for a home or a brick-and-mortar building. You need to know what materials you need, how you're going to construct the building, and when you need to build each piece of the building. You start by building the foundation because your business can't stand up without it.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a written description of the future of your business. It is a document that tells the story of what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.

Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities. You want to get to a "there," a point in the future (usually three to five years out) at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and more assets. Your plan shows how you will get from here to there. In essence, it is a road map from where you are now to where you want to be later on.

Building your business plan brick-by-brick

If you've done any research about business plans online or through an agency like the Small Business Administration (SBA), you've probably heard about some generally accepted conventions about what a business plan should include and how it should be presented. In sum, a plan should cover all the important matters that will contribute to making your business a success, including:

1. Your basic business concept. This is where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success. To use the analogy of building a brick-and-mortar building, this is the concrete you use for your foundation.

2. Your strategy and the specific actions you plan to take to implement it. What goals do you have for your business? When and how will you reach your goals? After all, you need to know how you plan to construct your building.

3. Your products and services and their competitive advantages. Here is your chance to dazzle the readers with good, solid information about your products or services and why customers will want to purchase your products and services and not those of your competitors. Your products and services are the materials you'll use for the building.

4. The markets you'll pursue. Now you have to lay out your marketing plan. Who will your customers be? What is your demographic audience? How will you attract and retain enough customers to make a profit? What methods will you use to capture your audience? What sets your business apart from the competition? How are you going to get people to come to your building and spend money?

5. The background of your management team and key employees. Having information about key personnel is an important but often misrepresented portion of a business plan. It's not a long and detailed biography of each person involved but an accurate account of what they have done and what they bring to the table for this specific business opportunity. Readers will want to know who will construct your building and if they're qualified builders.

6. Your financing needs. These will be based on your projected financial statements and provide a model of how your ideas about the company, its markets, and its strategies will play out. With a building, you need to know the costs of your materials and how you will adapt to changing conditions, including pricing and construction delays due to weather.

As you write your business plan, stick to facts instead of feelings, projections instead of hopes, and realistic expectations of profit instead of unrealistic dreams of wealth. You want to show readers that your building will last for years. And facts—checkable, demonstrable facts—will invest your plan with the most important component of all: credibility.

How Long Should Your Plan Be?

A useful business plan can be any length, from a one-page summary to more than 100 pages for an especially detailed plan describing a complex enterprise. A typical business plan runs fifteen to twenty-five pages, created and (usually) sent electronically, sometimes accompanied by forms the receiver requests you fill out. Occasionally, you may still be asked for a hard copy of your plan.

Mini plans of five to ten pages are the popular concise models that may stand on their own for smaller businesses. Larger businesses, seeking major funding, will often have mini plans, but the full business plan will be waiting in the wings. It's advantageous to run long when creating your plan and then narrow it down for presentation purposes.

The size of the plan will also depend on the nature of your business and your reason for writing the plan. If you have a simple concept, you can express it in very few words. On the other hand, if you are proposing a new kind of business or even a new industry, it may require quite a bit of explanation to get the message across. If you are writing a plan for a division of a large organization, you may be given a set format and prescribed length.

The purpose of your plan also determines its length. If you are looking for millions of dollars in seed capital to start a risky venture, you will usually (although not always) have to do a lot of explaining and convincing. If you already have relationships with potential investors, they may simply want a mini plan. If you are just going to use your plan for internal purposes to manage an ongoing business, a much more abbreviated version may suffice.

If you want to start small with an effective way to get your ideas down, you can follow the guidance of LivePlan , a business planning and management software, on writing your one-page plan for your business.

Many business plan presentations are made with PowerPoint decks, using ten to twelve slides to tell your story. This is a great starting point, but you should have at least a mini plan available, especially if you seek millions of dollars.

When Should You Write Your Business Plan?

The fact that you're reading this article means you suspect it's about time to write a business plan. Odds are you are at or near one of the many occasions when a business plan will prove useful.

  • A business plan is a good way to explore the feasibility of a new business without actually having to start it and run it. A good plan can help you see serious flaws in your business concept. You may uncover tough competition when researching the market section, or you may find that your financial projections simply aren't realistic.
  • Any venture that faces major changes (and that means almost all businesses) needs a business plan. If the demographics of your market are rapidly changing, strong new competitive products challenge your profitability, you expect your business to grow or shrink dramatically, or the economic climate is improving or slipping rapidly, you'll need a business plan. This will allow you to make changes accordingly.
  • If you are contemplating buying or selling a business, your business plan can provide you with a handy tool to establish a value—and to support that value if challenged.
  • You will need a business plan if you are seeking financing. Your business plan is the backbone of your financing proposal. Bankers, venture capitalists, and other financiers rarely provide money without seeing a plan. Less sophisticated investors or friends and family may not require a business plan, but they deserve one. Even if you're funding the business with your own savings, you owe it to yourself to plan how you'll expend the resources you're committing.

Writing a business plan is not a one-time exercise. Just because you wrote a plan when you were starting out or raising money to get underway doesn't mean you are finished. Many companies look for additional rounds of funding. By updating business plans to let investors know how the funding has been used to date, and the results of such efforts, the chances of procuring such funding are improved. A business plan should be rewritten or revised regularly to get maximum benefit from it. Commonly, business plans are revised yearly, more frequently if conditions have changed enough to make the previous plan unrealistic.

Business Plan Buzzword

Competitive advantage makes you different from, and better than, your competition. Lower prices, higher quality, and better name recognition are examples of competitive advantages. By studying your competition, you can devise your own competitive advantage by providing something (or several things) that it does not offer.

Cocktail Napkin Business Plan

Business plans don't have to be complicated, lengthy documents. They just have to capture the essence of what the business will do and why it will be a success.

The business plan for one of the most successful startups ever began with a triangle scrawled on a cocktail napkin. The year was 1971, and Herb Kelleher and Rollin King were formulating their idea for an airline serving Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. The triangle connecting the cities was their route map—and the basis of the business plan for Southwest Airlines.

The two entrepreneurs soon expressed their vision for Southwest Airlines more fully in a full-fledged business plan and raised millions in initial capital to get off the ground. Eventually, they went public. Along the way, the airline expanded beyond the three cities to include other Texas destinations, and now it serves over 100 destinations in 42 states plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, with over 4,000 flights daily and revenues of $15.8 billion in 2021. Southwest specializes in low-cost, no-frills, high-frequency service, which, if you add some lines to the original triangle, is the same strategy mapped out on that cocktail napkin.

More in Write Your Business Plan

Section 1: the foundation of a business plan, section 2: putting your business plan to work, section 3: selling your product and team, section 4: marketing your business plan, section 5: organizing operations and finances, section 6: getting your business plan to investors.

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How to Write The Industry Section of a Business Plan

Writing a Business Plan: Section 2

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

example of company history in business plan

Geber86 / Getty Images

When writing a business plan, the Industry section is best organized as two parts: an overview of the industry and a summary of your business's position within the overall industry.

Before writing this section of the business plan, use these questions to focus your research:

  • What is the size of your industry?
  • What sectors does this industry include?
  • Who are the major players in this industry?
  • What are the markets and customers for this industry?
  • What are the industry's estimated sales this year? Last year? The year before?
  • What national and economic trends have affected this industry and how?
  • What national and economic trends might affect it in the future and how?
  • What is the long-term outlook for this industry?
  • What products or services will your business be selling?
  • What is your Unique Selling Proposition? (What is it about your business that makes it unique and sets it apart from competitors?)
  • What are the barriers to entry in your industry?
  • How will you overcome these barriers?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What is the market share of your competitors?
  • What is your business's competitive advantage (i.e., your market niche or estimated market share)?
  • What is your target market?
  • How are you protecting your product or process (i.e., patents, copyrights, trademarks, franchise rights that you either hold or plan to acquire)?

Once you have all this information, you'll write this section of the business plan in the form of several short paragraphs. (Remember, each of these paragraphs is a summary, not a detailed point-by-point explanation.) Use appropriate headings for each paragraph. 

Finding Information on Your Industry

But where do you find the information that you need for writing the Industry Overview section of your business plan?

United States Research

In the United States, you may want to start your research by reviewing information from the U.S. Census Bureau, Industry Statistics Portal. This site provides data for selected industries separated into categories using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The Bureau of Labor Statistics also offers a large selection of information grouped by NAICS industry.

There are also other sources of information—some free and some paid sources—including IBIS World, Select USA, and the U.S. the Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Canadian Research

When you're writing a business plan and looking for information on Canadian industries, Industry Canada is your logical first stop. Their Find Statistics by Industry  page lets you see key economic indicators for different sectors of the Canadian economy, access industry profiles, and analysis and research small businesses in Canada generally.

Another primary source for industry and economic information that you can easily access online when you're writing a business plan is Statistics Canada. From this homepage you can find a wealth of free statistical information; use this page, to search for Statistics Canada publications back to 1980.

There are also provincial statistics websites where you'll be able to find more economic, social, and demographic statistics relating to your industry and the business environment.

The Canada Business Service Centres located in each province also offer excellent collections of resources online, and telephone and email information services. You'll find a list of links to the Canada Business Service Centre in each province in my Provincial Programs and Services Resources.

The business sections of national newspapers and business magazines will also be helpful; these often carry features on the past and future business trends.

And don't forget your local sources of business information when you're researching your business plans, such as your Economic Development Centre, Chamber of Commerce, or Women's Enterprise Centre, or the business section of the local library.

Doing Business Plan Research

If your business is related to manufacturing when you're writing a business plan begin by determining the NAICS of your particular industry, and the sector and sub-sector if applicable. It will make it easier for you to find statistical information relating to your industry. If your business is a service, begin with Industry Canada's service industry profiles.

Refer to the list of questions earlier in this article on how to write a business plan as a research guide. Whenever you find a piece of information that you want:

  • Check its date and determine whether or not the information is current enough to be valid;
  • Write down the date and source of the information, as you'll need to cite your information sources in the business plan.

When you're writing a business plan, you want your research information to be as up-to-date as possible. After all, there's no point in starting a business if you don't want it to succeed.

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history of Business Plan

How Did All This Business Plan Stuff Get Started?

Business plans are designed to help entrepreneurs and investors look into the future and see the success and growth of a business. But, sometimes a quick look backward can help you to move forward, to learn from the successes and mistakes you may have made.

The 18th century

The 19th century, the 20th century.

Although each business plan is a unique document designed specifically for a company or startup, the history of business plans has changed very little throughout time.

Going from parchment paper to online presentations, the end result, having a written plan that demonstrates to the business owner and possible investors how they will make a profit, hasn’t changed. Here’s a quick study of the history of the Business Plan.

The first business plans were probably pressed into clay tablets by the Sumerians in ancient times when they were writing about trading and livestock, but the invention and author of the modern business plan are often credited to Pierre Samuel, Sieur du Pont de Nemours.

Before Samuel and his son Éleuthère Irénée left their native France in 1799 to build a gunpowder mill in Delaware, they wrote numerous letters to potential investors that offered a plan on how the mill would make a profit. Clearly, this was a business plan that worked. Samuel and his son secured their investors, and today their business is known as the DuPont Company.

During the 1800s, business plan competitions began. You might call it an early version of crowdsourcing. Industry leaders offered cash prizes to encourage the best and brightest to submit their ideas for improving production or fixing problems.

In 1874, the National Butter and Egg Convention awarded $1,000 to the best essay that showed how to produce the largest quality of best quality butter, for the cheapest price and how to sell it at the highest price.

The Convention was looking for a business plan ; and they referred to it in a lengthy statement: “… the best incentive to the adoption of any business plan is to show that it pays. Let it be provided and illustrated in practice that improvements in butter making secure larger profits, and they will be adopted …”

In modern times, universities, communities, corporations, and others sponsor business plan competitions, as a way to encourage entrepreneurship and industry best practices.

By now, it was common wisdom that a business plan was crucial to the success of a new business.

For instance, a 1921 major publication noted the importance of a business plan, especially if you wanted the business to succeed , “It is necessary not only to have big men in the operation of big business, but it is above all necessary to have a good business plan. Individuals come and go, they work and they pass, but the work must go on.”

history of Business Plan

Bankers, suppliers, and others you’ll rely on for help will want to see your plan. It needn’t be a formal document, but it should contain information that demonstrates you know what you’re doing.”

Business plans are still just as vital as ever, although how you write them and what they’ve written may be different than in the past.

Now, you can take workshops, seminars, and college classes on the subject. Or, you can choose to use your time wisely and have a professional team like Wise Business Plans put their years of expertise to work for you. Developing one of a kind business plan that will stand the test of time has been Wise Business Plans’ focus from the start.

The centuries and decades may change, but the facts are still the same, business plans not only benefit the investor but the business owner. Business plans force business owners to think critically about their business.

Recommended Resources:

  • How to write a business plan
  • How to write a business plan outline

Having a business plan is crucial as it serves as a roadmap for your business. It helps you outline your goals, strategies, and financial projections, providing a clear direction and increasing your chances of success. A well-crafted business plan also helps attract investors or secure financing.

A business plan typically includes sections such as an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management structure, product or service offerings, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and funding requirements. These components provide a comprehensive overview of your business and its operations.

Market research involves gathering and analyzing data to understand your target market, industry trends, competition, and customer preferences. It can be done through surveys, interviews, online research, industry reports, and analyzing demographic or market data. Market research helps you make informed decisions and validate the viability of your business idea.

Financial forecasting involves estimating and projecting future financial performance based on current and expected business conditions. It includes elements such as sales forecasts, expense projections, cash flow statements, and profit and loss statements. Financial forecasting helps you assess the financial feasibility of your business and demonstrate its potential profitability to investors or lenders.

A business plan is not a static document; it should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in the market, industry, or internal factors of your business. It is recommended to review and update your business plan at least annually, or whenever there are significant changes in your business model, target market, competition, or financial projections. Regularly updating your plan ensures its relevance and alignment with your evolving business goals.

Hey, the information you provided is just spot on and correct in every aspect but it just left me wondering if you have any business plan samples or templates. This will help me a lot to get a general idea of how to write business plans by myself. I will be looking forward to your reply.

Hey Fin, I hope you are doing great. It was lovely to see your comment. if you want samples and templates of our business plans, you can check here. Sample Business Plans and feel free to look at our 3-step Wise business Plan templates

Very informative data. Can I hire any Business plan writer or do I have to write It on my own? which is better?

Hi Lily, Yes is the answer, You can hire our Professional Business Plan Writers

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Close more deals with the latest sales trends and tips from Salesblazers.

What Is a Go-to-Market Strategy? (And Why You Need It to Beat Your Competition)

Person creating a go-to-market plan in front of a chart

Learn how to create a go-to-market framework to turn your product ideas into growth opportunities for your company.

example of company history in business plan

Richard Harris

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Imagine a world where you create a new product that everyone wants. It’s a snap to make and it sells itself – a mega hit. Congratulations, you’ve smashed your goals! In this world, there is no overnight success. If you sell a product without attracting the right buyers and demonstrating how it meets their needs, it may just sit on the shelf. Meanwhile, a competitor does their research, knows what buyers want, and delivers it. Not only have you lost revenue, you’ve lost potential customers to the competition. Ouch.

How do you avoid this and capture customer interest? Build a comprehensive go-to-market (GTM) strategy that combines careful research with tailored messaging that hits on the right buyer pain points.

What you’ll learn:

What is a go-to-market strategy? Why is a go-to-market strategy important? How to build a go-to-market strategy framework Go-to-market strategy example

What is a go-to-market strategy?  

A go-to-market strategy is a step-by-step plan for introducing a new product to buyers. This includes market, customer, and competitive research that uncovers problems your product can solve. Creating a buyer persona lets you target prospects with key messaging that emphasizes your product’s unique problem-solving value.

Find ready-to-buy prospects faster

Learn how Sales Cloud can help you score your best leads and prioritize them by how likely they are to close.

example of company history in business plan

Why is a go-to-market strategy important?

A well-crafted GTM strategy ensures target buyers see your product, understand and appreciate its value, and are compelled to buy. As Howard Brown, CEO of put it , “Meeting expectations early and often builds trust and is the foundation of any successful partnership.”

You can launch a product without a go-to-market strategy, but buyers who really need your product might not see or appreciate its value. They might turn to competitors who are already established in the marketplace and are percieved to be stable. In the early stage, it’s normal for someone to see your solution and say, “Oh, you’re just like [competitor],” even if they don’t offer what you offer. Research bears this out, especially for smaller companies. Of startups that fail, more than a third do so because there was no identified market need. 

How to build a go-to-market strategy framework

A successful go-to-market strategy requires understanding your market, prioritizing buyers’ pains, and identifying your competitive advantage. Building a framework around these four elements can help deliver your product in a way that makes it “ready to buy.” Let’s run through how to do that in six steps.

1. Create your buyer persona

Selling is about delivering value to your target buyer, and that often takes the form of a solution to a unique problem. To make sure you’re targeting the right problem, build out a buyer persona that connects their pain points to your solution.

To surface this detail, you’ll start with your existing customers. Dig into customer data in your CRM , conduct interviews with buyers whose problems you’ve solved, and lead market research efforts to see where else these needs surface in your industry. (Check out our comprehensive guide on buyer personas for more guidance.)

If you sell B2B, your team will likely be coordinating a purchase with multiple people at each prospective company. The buying group might include end users, the CFO , an operations lead, and so on. Make sure you include problems and needs for these roles in your buyer persona.

2. Conduct competitive research

Going to market with a new product isn’t just about making sure you solve prospects’ problems. It’s also about separating yourself from the crowd of products already in market. To make sure you’re delivering unique value, conduct research on competitors with similar products to see how they’re positioned. Use these questions to guide you:

  • What similar products are already in market?
  • What do you offer (features, price, functionality) that your competitors don’t?
  • If a competitor’s product is popular, why is it resonating with customers? How can you use that information to frame your own messaging?

If you have an AI-powered CRM, you can likely offload some of this research. Use AI tools to scan sales call transcripts for competitor mentions and pricing information. Pair this with automated online research based on industry, competitor, and product keywords. (Here’s how Sales Cloud does this.) 

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3. map customer problems to your product solutions.

You know your target buyer’s problems. You know what competitors are doing to solve those problems. And, you know what your product offers. It’s time to connect all three and deliver a high-value solution that’s unique in your market. Build out a simple matrix so you can see all three and how they connect. Here’s what this might look like:

Product: Long-lasting, high-performance running shoes with extra arch support priced 20% below similar products Example buyer: Casual runner, mid-40s, median income

To keep the focus on the buyer during this value mapping, review your matrix and ask: “How would my target buyer see or understand this?” That’s a good gut check before you frame your messaging.

4. Develop key messaging for marketing and sales efforts

Using your matrix from the previous step, draft messaging for each prospect problem that shows why your product is uniquely qualified to serve as a solution with proof points to back it up. 

Let’s continue with the example of our shoe buyer. You know from your research that they are between the ages of 40 and 50, like to run as a hobby, and want to stay active despite minor injuries. But, they’re also price-conscious. Here’s what key messaging might look like for this target buyer:

  • Problem: Their feet hurt when they run, likely due to prior injuries, muscle strain, or bad shoes. 
  • Product value: A pair of running shoes designed with input from an orthopedic surgeon, with research that finds 60% of wearers felt less foot pain after a month.
  • What competitors offer: Some shoe brands advertise “extra support” but don’t have medical experts contributing to design or research showing this support works.
  • Key message: Running doesn’t have to end when you hit middle age. Buy orthopedist-designed running shoes that keep you on the trail, whatever your age. Don’t believe us? Just ask our runners: 60% of customers in their 40s say they felt less foot pain after a month of running in our shoes.

Complete this messaging for every problem you’ve identified, making sure to demonstrate clear and measurable ROI. You can also emphasize the potential downsides to sticking with the status quo or going with the competition.

5. Identify your sales channels

Now you need to reach your prospective customers. But how do you take your key messaging and combine it with the right buying channel ? Start by identifying the channels your buyers typically use to make a purchase, then select the right strategy to match. Here are the most common strategies:

  • Direct sales: This involves a rep talking directly to a customer, building a personal relationship over time before closing a deal. This is perfect for longer sales cycles that require ongoing negotiation, typical for complex products at high price points. These deals are often high-touch, requiring a nurture-heavy strategy with lots of explanation and sharing of valuable resources to build trust.  
  • Self-service sales: This strategy is much more hands off, letting customers make a purchase on their own without speaking to a sales rep. Consider this option when you want to make it fast and easy for your customers to buy, and/or when you don’t have a large team to handle individual sales. It works best for simple products that don’t require a lot of explanation and are offered at a low price point. I typically see this strategy with B2C business models, where customers can buy products on a website, but I also see it with SaaS companies that offer subscriptions. For example, Salesforce lets small-business owners buy software through the Salesforce Starter page. 
  • Partner sales : Consider this strategy, also known as channel sales, if you want to get your product to market quickly without adding headcount. It’s ideal for smaller, resource-strapped companies launching a simple product that’s relatively low-cost, but best sold directly through reps because it requires some assistance with delivery, onboarding, or setup. The big benefit here is broader market reach via preferred vendors like online marketplaces, resellers, and third-party distributors. 

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6. go to market and measure results.

With the core elements of your go-to-market strategy in place, it’s time to get your product to the right buyers. As you ramp up marketing and sales on your channel(s) of choice, start tracking total units sold, prospect engagement and objections, and sales cycle length. You can do this easily with an AI-powered sales analytics tool that delivers insights in real-time. 

If you lag behind expectations, consider adjusting elements of your go-to-market strategy to compensate. Go through the steps above again periodically (at least once a quarter) to make sure your research and persona are up-to-date. By surfacing any new needs or problems of your target buyers, you can adjust messaging to keep customers interested.

Go-to-market strategy example

Mary, a software as a service (SaaS) company founder, is working on launching her new product to the market. Mary has created an innovative solution that automates data entry for companies with high volumes of customer information to manage. Her soft launch was a success, and she’s ready to sell.

To make sure she’s bringing in the right prospects, Mary develops a buyer persona based on conversations with her current customers, and conducting market research. After a few weeks, she lands on the target buyer: mid-sized retailers that take a lot of customer orders online and by phone. The problem: the only other software providers on the market are too expensive for mid-sized companies, and their solutions take too long to get up and running.

With this as a guide, Mary decides on key messaging:

  • Spending your weekend entering customer orders (only to ship them too late)?
  • Automate your data entry to save your weekends and keep customers happy.

Mary also knows from customer conversations that she needs a sales team to engage with prospects – it’s a long-term investment for her customers, so they need to see demos before they commit. So, she hires 10 sales reps to start conducting outreach and connecting with prospective customers.

Within a few weeks, the team has scheduled demos and is having in-person meetings. She even lands some initial clients, who find the software easy to set up out of the box and affordable for their budgets. Most of them are impressed with how it works, but there’s a problem: people say they need more app integrations to make data management easier. That’s excellent feedback, so Mary takes it to her team. After some investigation, they land on the top 10 most requested apps to start. As customers start using Mary’s software with the app integrations, they see real time savings for their teams. Because they don’t have to spend extra time entering customer data manually, they can also save on headcount and ensure customer orders are shipped promptly. Within a few months, Mary saw a 40% increase in sales, with many customers saying they’ll write positive product reviews and refer their friends.

Build your customer base with a strong go-to-market strategy

A go-to-market strategy may seem like more fuss than it’s worth, but it helps you accomplish the most important task in sales: solving customer problems. Just keep in mind that it’s not a “one and done” effort. Continually monitor your sales and customer engagement to see how you can adapt your strategy to meet evolving buyer needs. 

Enable your sales team within their flow of work

Use Enablement from Sales Cloud to help reps identify target prospect’s key problems, then deliver solutions that make it easy to buy.

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Farm and Agriculture Business Plans

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Farming and agriculture are complicated businesses. To be successful, you need more than a green thumb and the willingness to get your hands dirty. You need to know how to operate your agricultural enterprise efficiently and not just forecast your crop rotations, but your cash position and revenue. To do that, you need a business plan.

How can a business plan help your farm or agriculture business?

A good business plan will help your farm or food production business grow. It can improve your chances of receiving government grants or loans, help you manage your business through hard times, and identify additional forms of revenue like tourism or consulting. Most lenders or investors require a business plan before they even consider funding a project. When you add in the numerous elements of running an agricultural business, and the factors like weather and government regulations that are often beyond your control, a business plan becomes an essential tool for effective management, strategic planning and communication across all the key stakeholders in your business.

Find the right agriculture business plan template for your business

If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our farms, food growers, food production facilities, and other agriculture-related sample business plans for inspiration. Or to build a more modern plan that helps you easily manage your agricultural business we recommend you try LivePlan . It contains the same agriculture business plan templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance to help you develop the perfect plan.

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The case for adopting an advocacy-based business model.

Is it possible to implement corporate purpose in such a way that it achieves multi-stakeholder impact and high financial growth? To answer this question, the authors studied 12 companies that were employing various industry-specific strategies and found that those that successfully achieved the dual goals of purpose and profit did so by adopting what they call an “advocacy-based business model.” That model, they write, is underpinned by four key elements, and in this article they discuss those elements in turn, in each case providing real-world company examples that illustrate how an advocacy-based business model can support both purpose and profits.

Purpose-driven strategies focus on relationships with multiple stakeholders and seek to solve higher-order problems for society. To be successful, these strategies also have to achieve top- and bottom-line growth. The question is: How can companies achieve both of these goals?

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  • TM Thomas W. Malnight is an emeritus professor of strategy and general management at IMD, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • IB Ivy Buche is an associate director of the Business Transformation Initiative at IMD, in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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  1. Small Business Minute

  2. Business is business #history #ushistory #america #usa

  3. Setting Up Your Company Branding

  4. The History of Deloitte

  5. Bad Touch Example

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  1. How to Write Your Company History (With Examples)

    How to Write Your Company History (With Examples) Whether you're in the early stages of a startup or have been in business for decades, you have a unique advantage: your company history. At first, the story of how your business evolved may seem trivial, but when it's well told, it can give your marketing plans and growth strategies a lift.

  2. Examples of Company Overviews in a Business Plan

    Company history (when it started and important milestones) Description of products and services and how they meet the needs of the marketplace Target market (who will buy your product or services) Competitive advantage (what sets you apart in the marketplace to allow you to succeed) Objectives and goals (plans for growth)

  3. Make Sure Your Company History Includes These Four Things

    1. Read other company histories. Get inspired by seeing how other companies have recounted their background. For example, Microsoft tells its multifaceted success story with a few articles that recount some of the company's most noteworthy achievements over the last decade.

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    That includes: Your company name: This should be the official name of your business, exactly as it is written when you registered your business with the state. Business structure: Your reader will ...

  6. How to Write a Company Overview for a Business Plan

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  7. Company History: 7 Steps to a Compelling Narrative

    / HR Encyclopedia / Company History Company History by Eddy Create a memorable first day in minutes with Eddy Learn More Table of Contents Your company history is a narrative recreation of the events that shaped the organization's values and characteristics.

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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.

  9. How To Write A Business Plan (2023 Guide)

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    Writing a company history is an effective way to tell investors, prospects and employees how your company got to where you are today. When writing a business history, be sure to keep your audience in mind. Don't overshare too many details and overwhelm the reader. Instead, craft a narrative about your history's pivotal details.

  11. The 7 Best Business Plan Examples to Inspire Your Own

    ThoughtCo's sample business plan for a fictional company called Acme Management Technology, the executive summary is three paragraphs and occupies nearly half the page: You might go more in-depth with your company description and include the following sections: Nature of the business. Mention the general category of business you fall under.

  12. Writing a Business Plan: Company History

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    Step #5: Outline Your Products or Services. Step five is to dedicate a page to the products or services that your business plans to offer. Put together a quick list and explanation of what each of the initial product or service offerings will be, but steer clear of industry jargon or buzzwords.

  14. How To Write a Business Overview (With Examples)

    Follow the steps below to start drafting a business overview to include in your business plan: 1. Start with your pitch. The first sentence of your business overview should serve as a sort of elevator pitch for your company—a quick summary that defines who you are and what you do. In your pitch, you may include your offerings as a company and ...

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    As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, you'll learn how to write one that gets your business off on the right foot, convinces investors to provide funding, and confirms your venture is sustainable for the long term. → Download Now: Free Business Plan Template But what does a business plan look like?

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    Even better, if you're pressed for time, we've compiled the 10 steps and examples into a downloadable (PDF) template. The 10 steps to write a business plan are: Create an executive summary. Compose your company description. Summarize market research and potential. Conduct competitive analysis.

  21. How to Write The Industry Section of a Business Plan

    Updated on February 5, 2020. Photo: Geber86 / Getty Images. When writing a business plan, the Industry section is best organized as two parts: an overview of the industry and a summary of your business's position within the overall industry. Before writing this section of the business plan, use these questions to focus your research:

  22. Sample Business Plan: An Example

    1.1 Purposes Sales increased to more longer $10 million by the third year. Bring gross margin back up to above 25% and maintain that level. Sell $2 million of service, support, and training with 2022. Improve inventory volume to six turns next year, seven by 2021, and eight in 2022. 1.2 Mission

  23. A Brief History of Business Plan

    The first business plans were probably pressed into clay tablets by the Sumerians in ancient times when they were writing about trading and livestock, but the invention and author of the modern business plan are often credited to Pierre Samuel, Sieur du Pont de Nemours.

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    2. Register Your Consulting Business. Before you start doing official business, you'll need to register with your state's Secretary of State as a sole proprietorship or as an LLC. You should ...

  25. What Is A Go-to-Market Strategy? And Why You Need It

    Go-to-market strategy example. Mary, a software as a service (SaaS) company founder, is working on launching her new product to the market. Mary has created an innovative solution that automates data entry for companies with high volumes of customer information to manage. Her soft launch was a success, and she's ready to sell.

  26. Farm and Agriculture Business Plans

    A good business plan will help your farm or food production business grow. It can improve your chances of receiving government grants or loans, help you manage your business through hard times, and identify additional forms of revenue like tourism or consulting. Most lenders or investors require a business plan before they even consider funding ...

  27. How Your Company's Social Purpose Can Also Drive Profit

    To answer this question, the authors studied 12 companies that were employing various industry-specific strategies and found that those that successfully achieved the dual goals of purpose and ...

  28. Real-life business continuity failures: 4 examples to study

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