Do you want to increase the odds that your business startup will be a success? Then download this step-by-step business plan template and use it to lay the groundwork for your new business.
Writing a business plan using sample business plan gives you an opportunity to carefully think through every step of starting your company so you can better prepare and handle any challenges.
While a thorough business plan is essential in the financing process, it’s helpful even if you don’t need outside financing.
Creating a business plan can
Help you discover any weaknesses in your business idea so you can address them before you open for business.
Identify business opportunities you may not have considered and plan how to take advantage of them.
Analyze the market and competition to strengthen your idea.
Give you a chance to plan strategies for dealing with potential challenges so they don’t derail your startup.
Convince potential partners, customers and key employees that you’re serious about your idea and persuade them to work with you.
Force you to calculate when your business will make a profit and how much money you need to reach that point, so you can be prepared with adequate startup capital.
Determine your target market and how to reach them.
Laying out a detailed, step-by-step plan gives you a blueprint you can refer to during the startup process and helps you maintain your momentum.
What this business plan template includes
Writing a business plan for a startup can sometimes seem overwhelming. To make the process easier and more manageable, this template will guide you step-by-step through writing it. The template includes easy-to-follow instructions for completing each section of the business plan, questions to help you think through each aspect, and corresponding fillable worksheet/s for key sections.
The business plan sections covered in this template include:
(Example of Executive Summary)
An executive summary of a business plan is an overview. Its purpose is to summarize the key points of a document for its readers, saving them time and preparing them for the upcoming content.
Think of the executive summary as an advance organizer for the reader. Above all else, it must be clear and concise. But it also has to entice the reader to read the rest of the business plan.
This is why the executive summary is often called the most important part of the business plan. If it doesn’t capture the reader’s attention, the plan will be set aside unread – a disaster if you’ve written your business plan as part of an attempt to get money to start your new business. (Getting startup money is not the only reason to write a business plan; there are other just-as-important reasons.)
Must Read: WHAT IS THE 402-935-7733 OR 4029357733 CODE ON THE CREDIT CARD?
Nobody does what you do better than you, but … what is it that you do again? You might have trouble describing your business in one sentence or find yourself at a loss for words when writing a company description. Knowing how to write a company description for a business plan helps you communicate with lenders, investors, employees, and potential customers.
(Company Description Plan)
You put a lot of thought into your original business concept. Now you need to know how to succinctly describe your business.
Where better to describe your business than in the company description business plan?
You need to know how to pitch to investors and lenders to captivate their interest. Your description should answer who, what, where, when, why, and how right off the bat.
So, do you know how to write a business description? We’ll walk you through the 5 W’s (and 1 H) to consider when drafting your first copy.
Writing the business description portion of your business plan should be fun … even though it may feel more like a chore. But, this is your opportunity to talk about your business idea and get other people (i.e., lenders and investors) on board.
Products and Services
The products and services section of your business plan is more than just a list of what your business is going to provide. Especially if you intend to use your business plan to get funding or find partners, your products and services section needs to showcase the quality, value, and benefits your business offers.
(Factors to consider in Products and Services)
The products and services section of your business plan outlines your product or service, why it’s needed by your market, and how it will compete with other businesses selling the same or similar products and services. Your product and services section should include:
A description of the products or services you are offering or plan to offer
How your products and services will be priced?
A comparison of the products or services your competitors offer in relation to yours
Sales literature you plan to use, including information about your marketing materials and the role your website will play in your sales efforts.
A paragraph or so on how orders from your customers will be processed or fulfilled.
Any needs you have in order to create or deliver your products, such as up-to-date computer equipment.
Any intellectual property, such as trademarks, or legal issues you need to address
Future products or services you plan to offer.
The marketing plan of a business portion addresses four main topics: product, price, promotion and place.
(Marketing Business Plan)
A business plan is a blueprint for taking an idea for a product or service and turning it into a commercially viable reality. The marketing portion of the business plan addresses four main topics:
Product: What is the good or service that your business will offer? How is that product better than the competition? Why will people buy it?
Price: How much can you charge? How do you balance sales volume and price to maximize income?
Promotion: How will your product or service be positioned in the marketplace? Will your product carry a premium image with a price to match? Will it be an inexpensive, no-frills alternative to similar offerings from other businesses? What type of advertising will you use? When will ads be run? How will the product be packaged?
Place: Which sales channels will you use? Will you sell by telephone or will your product be carried in retail outlets? Which channel will let you economically reach your target audience?
These all are important factors to consider for marketing a business plan.
The operations section of your business plan is where you explain – in detail – you company’s objectives, goals, procedures, and timeline. An operations plan is helpful for investors, but it’s also helpful for you and employees because it pushes you to think about tactics and deadlines.
(Vital points in Operational Plan)
Management and Organization
The organization and management section of your business plan should summarize information about your business’ structure and team. It usually comes after the market analysis section in a business plan. It’s especially important to include this section if you have a partnership or a multi-member limited liability company (LLC). However, if you’re starting a home business or are writing a business plan for one that’s already operating, and you’re the only person involved, then you don’t need to include this section.
(Example of Business Plan Templates)
Startup Expenses and Capitalization
Startup costs are the expenses incurred during the process of creating a new business.
Pre-opening startup costs include a business plan, research expenses, borrowing costs, and expenses for technology.
Post-opening startup costs include advertising, promotion, and employee expenses.
Different types of business structures—like sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations—have different startup costs, so be aware of the different costs associated with your new business.
(Examples of Startup Expenses and Capitalization Business Plan)
A financial business plan is created by gathering all the components of the business and expressing them in numbers – both revenue and startup expenses. Every business plan needs a cash flow projection. The rest of the plan tells the story of the business and how the company will execute that plan.
Building a financial plan can be the most intimidating part of writing your business plan. It’s also one of the most vital. Businesses that have a full financial plan in place more prepared to pitch to investors, receive funding, and achieve long-term success.
The Appendices include documents that supplement information in the body of the plan. These might be contracts, leases, purchase orders, intellectual property, key managers’ resumes, market research data or anything that supports assumptions or statements made in the plan.
The last section of the template, “Refining Your Plan,” explains ways you may need to modify your plan for specific purposes, such as getting a bank loan, or for specific industries, such as retail or manufacturing.
Complete the Business Plan Template for a Startup Business to create a working business plan for your startup.