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Business plan templates

From competitive analysis to financial projections, business plans give your new business a roadmap for success. Download one of our free business plan templates and take your company to the next level.

Ecommerce Business Plan Template

Ecommerce Business Plan Template

Accounting Firm Business Plan

Accounting Firm Business Plan

Campground Business Plan Template

Campground Business Plan Template

<strong>Firewood Business Plan</strong>

Firewood Business Plan

Funeral Home Business Plan

Funeral Home Business Plan

Community Center Business Plan

Community Center Business Plan

Gas Station Business Plan

Gas Station Business Plan

Beauty Supply Store Business Plan

Beauty Supply Store Business Plan

Flower Shop Business Plan Template

Flower Shop Business Plan Template

Electrical Contractor Business Plan

Electrical Contractor Business Plan

Car Dealership Business Plan

Car Dealership Business Plan

Farm Business Plan

Farm Business Plan

Consultant Business Plan Template

Consultant Business Plan Template

Construction Company Business Plan

Construction Company Business Plan

Fashion Business Plan Template

Fashion Business Plan Template

Daycare Business Plan

Daycare Business Plan

Convenience Store Business Plan

Convenience Store Business Plan

Startup Business Plan Template

Startup Business Plan Template

We offer you the steps and the tools to create a fantastic business plan. Attract investors with this sleek and free startup business plan template.

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

This business plan template is a great tool for your startup to customize to reflect your strong qualifications, experienced team, and marketable business idea.

Coffee Shop Business Plan Template

Coffee Shop Business Plan Template

Looking for investors and permits for your new cafe? Use this free Coffee Shop Business Plan Template to get all your cups in a row.

Salon Business Plan Template

Salon Business Plan Template

You’re finally ready to open your own salon. This salon business plan template and tips will help guide you how to present your salon as a sound investment.

Restaurant Business Plan Template

Restaurant Business Plan Template

Always dreamed of starting a restaurant? This free restaurant business plan template is your first step in making your dream a legal, planned reality.

Bakery Business Plan Template

Bakery Business Plan Template

You’re ready to go out on your own to share your fabulous breads and pastries with the world. This free bakery business plan template is just what you need to get going.

Hotel Business Plan Template

Hotel Business Plan Template

Think you have the solution for local tourism? Kick off your hotels empire with this free hotel business plan template to assure investors and guests.

Executive Summary Template

Executive Summary Template

Your potential investors are spending the most time reading one part of your business plan. Use this executive summary template to make your business idea shine.

Business Letter Template

Business Letter Template

You want to make your company shine in all ways and certainly folks judge a book by it’s cover. Use this Business Letter Template to put your best face forward.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a document that helps small business owners determine the viability of their business idea. Combining market research and financial analysis, a professional business plan helps startup CEOs and potential investors determine if the company can compete in the target market.

Typically, a good business plan consists of the following:

Every section involved in a business plan is designed to help startup businesses reach their target market.

A business plan asks founders and entrepreneurs to detail their business strategy in a step-by-step process that makes sense from an operational perspective. This is essential if a startup is seeking a business loan or an investment from a venture capital firm.

However, even small businesses that are already economically viable can benefit from creating a business plan, since it encourages business owners and their management teams to examine their business model and reevaluate the best ways to reach their target customers.

Should I use a business plan template?

Yes.  If you’ve never written one, a business plan can be challenging to write.

Creating a successful plan that you can use to grow your small business can require weeks of market analysis and financial preparation. You may spend time using Microsoft Excel or Powerpoint in order to create documentation which better supports our operational decisions.

However, almost every professional business plan is structured in the same way and most ask for the same information. Because of this, using a business plan template is advisable to save time, money, and effort.

Business plan templates for free

Rather than spending time trying to figure out how to write a business plan , use a free template as a guide to completion.

Business plan templates from PandaDoc can help you reach an effective go-to-market strategy even faster by asking you to provide all the relevant information you need when creating an effective business plan.

Grab a free template to get started!

Frequently asked questions

How many pages should my business plan be.

This depends on the kind of business plan you need to write and how you intend to use the plan that you create.

For example, a plan for a small business seeking potential investors or a business loan will need to provide income statements, cash flow statements, and a balance sheet (usually for a three-year or five-year forecast period).

These financial statements can be omitted if a small business owner isn’t seeking funding and is instead planning to use their business plan as a guiding document for themselves and their management team members.

Some business plans may only run a few pages. Fully-developed business plans can be as long as 50 pages. Much of this depends on the type of business, the operational strategy, and the level of detail that goes into developing the business plan.

Who needs a business plan?

Every business should have a business plan. This is an essential guidance document for any founder or CEO.

Good business plans help a company determine the viability of its place in the market and can help the business develop better strategies for differentiating itself from its competitors.

Business planning also forces business owners to evaluate their marketing strategy, the cost of customer acquisition and retention, and how they plan to grow their business over time.

What is the best business plan template?

Business plans come in all shapes and sizes. The best business plan template for your business is one that you understand and that matches the size and legal structure of your operation.

If you’re a sole proprietor, a business plan template designed for a big corporation probably doesn’t make sense. However, a business plan that helps you build an effective roadmap to grow your business while protecting your intellectual property is a good starting point.

PandaDoc offers specialized business plan templates for common industries along with tips to help you get started with business planning.

Should I hire someone to write my business plan for me?

No. You’ll find freelance writers and business strategy companies out there who are happy to write your business plan for a fee.  These resources can guide you through the process, but you should write (or be heavily involved in) the creation of your business plan.

The reason for this is simple: You know the most about your business, and your business needs you to succeed.

A writer can work with you to make your business plan sound better to investors, and a consultant can help you fill in knowledge gaps — like how to conduct a SWOT analysis — and point out weaknesses in your plan. But, at the end of the day, you need to use the business plan to pitch investors and run your business.

Those ideas and guiding principles aren’t something you can outsource.

Should I use business planning software?

Software isn’t required when creating an effective business plan. Most business planning software is designed to help you navigate the outlining and writing process more effectively.

You don’t need software to write a professional business plan, but a solid template can help you get started. Download a free template from PandaDoc today and take your business to the next level.

Get started with PandaDoc today

No credit card required

Fingers Stairs

48+ Business Plan Examples & Samples in PDF | MS Word | Pages | Google Docs

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1. Executive Summary

2. competitor analysis, 1. do your research, 2. have a long-term goal, 3. enumerate your actions, 4. decide on a budget, 5. test and adjust it , more design, 24+ examples of free business plans, 34+ examples of plans, how to write a marketing plan for a business, 7+ annual plan examples, samples, 9+ transition plan examples, samples, 6+ advertising plan examples, samples, 9+ control plan examples, samples, 7+ audit plan examples, samples, related articles.

simple business plan examples doc

Business Plan: YOUR COMPANY NAME

Business Name

City, State, Zip

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS         1

Confidentiality Agreement         2

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY         4

II. COMPANY DESCRIPTION         5

III. Products & Services         8

IV. Marketing Plan         9

SWOT Analysis         15

V. Operational Plan         22

VI. Management & Organization         24

VII. Startup Expenses & Capitalization         28

VIII. Conclusion         33

IX. Instructions: Appendices         35

X. References          36         

Confidentiality Agreement

The undersigned reader acknowledges that any information provided by _________________________ in this business plan, other than information that is in the public domain, is confidential in nature, and that any disclosure or use of same by the reader may cause serious harm or damage to ________________________. Therefore, the undersigned agrees not to disclose it without express written permission from ________________________________.

Upon request, the undersigned reader will immediately return this document to ___________________________.

___________________ Signature

___________________ Name (typed or printed)

___________________ Date

This is a business plan. It does not imply an offering of securities.

USE THIS TEMPLATE AS A GUIDE FOR WRITING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN. DELETE ALL ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS.,BUT KEEP THE WORKSHEETS AND TABLES. RETAIN ALL SUBJECT HEADINGS. THE SECTIONS DO NOT HAVE TO BE LONG AND WORDY, BUT SHOULD ADDRESS THE QUESTIONS. FEEL FREE TO CHANGE THE TEMPLATE .

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Executive Summary is the most important part of your business plan. Often, it’s the only part that a prospective investor or lender reads before deciding whether or not to read the rest of your plan. It should convey your enthusiasm for your business idea and get readers excited about it, too.

Write your Executive Summary LAST, after you have completed the rest of the business plan. That way, you’ll have thought through all the elements of your startup and be prepared to summarize them.

The Executive Summary should briefly explain each of the below.

Limit your Executive Summary to one or two pages in total.

After reading the Executive Summary, readers should have a basic understanding of your business, should be excited about its potential, and should be interested enough to read further.

After you’ve completed your business plan, come back to this section to write your executive summary on the next page .

II. COMPANY DESCRIPTION

This section explains the basic elements of your business. Include each of the below:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html

A mission statement is a brief explanation of your company’s reason for being. It can be as short as a marketing tagline (“ MoreDough is an app that helps consumers manage their personal finances in a fun, convenient way ”) or more involved: (“ Doggie Tales is a dog daycare and grooming salon specializing in convenient services for urban pet lovers. Our mission is to provide service, safety and a family atmosphere, enabling busy dog owners to spend less time taking care of their dog’s basic needs and more time having fun with their pet.”) In general, it’s best to keep your mission statement to one or two sentences.

Specify your long- and short-term goals as well as any milestones or benchmarks you will use to measure your progress. For instance, if one of your goals is to open a second location, milestones might include reaching a specific sales volume or signing contracts with a certain number of clients in the new market.

You will cover this in-depth in the Marketing Plan section. Here, briefly explain who your target customers are.

Is your business a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership or corporation? Why did you choose this particular form of business?

After reading the Company Description, the reader should have a basic understanding of your business’s mission and vision, goals, target market, competitive landscape and legal structure.

Company Description Worksheet

Use the worksheet as a guide to writing your company description.

III. Products & Services

This section is an assessment of the overall appeal of the product or service being proposed. Expand on the basic information about your products and services included in the Executive Summary and Company Description. Explain in detail each of the below:

Include any product or service details, such as technical specifications, drawings, photos, or other support information, in the Appendices.

After reading the Products & Services section, the reader should have a clear understanding of what your business does, what problem it solves for customers, and the unique selling proposition that makes it competitive.

IV. Marketing Plan

Industry/target market research is an assessment of the overall appeal of the industry and the target market for the product or service being proposed. here’s a link for sources to conduct market research..

This section provides details on your industry, the competitive landscape, your target market and how you will market your business to those customers. Explain in detail each of the below.

Barriers to entry

What barriers to entry does your startup face, and how do you plan to overcome them barriers to entry might include:.

         Once your business surmounts the barriers to entry you mentioned, what additional threats might it face? Explain how the following could affect your startup:

Product/Service Features

Who will buy the product or service? Are there enough customers to support the business? Most firms do not try to service their entire industry, only a specific target market within the industry. It’s important to assess both the broad industry and your specific target market.

You may have more than one target customer group. For instance, if you sell a product to consumers and small businesses.

For businesses customers:

Target Market Research

Include information on the follow questions:

(Possibilities include need, luxury, impulse, replacement, improvement, status, pleasure, quality, price, guarantee, durability.)

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a business plan is to claim you have “no competition.” Every business has competitors. Your plan must show that you’ve identified yours and understand how to differentiate your business.

Consider the following questions in your description of competitors:

Use the Competitor Data Collection Plan  on the this page to brainstorm ways you can collect information about competitors in each category.

Competitor Data Collection Plan

Once you’ve identified your major competitors, use the Competitive Analysis Worksheet  on this page to compare your business to theirs.

Competitive Analysis Worksheet

For each factor listed in the first column, assess whether you think it’s a strength or a weakness (S or W) for your business and for your competitors. Then rank how important each factor is to your target customer on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = very important; 5 = not very important). Use this information to explain your competitive advantages and disadvantages.

SWOT Analysis

Industry/target market feasibility is an assessment of the overall appeal of the industry and the target market for the product or service being proposed.

Write your own SWOT analysis, (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) using this matrix. What advantages do you have over your competitors?

SWOT ANALYSIS

7. Positioning

Now that you’ve assessed your industry, product/service, customers and competition, you should have a clear understanding of your business’s niche (your unique segment of the market) as well as your positioning (how you want to present your company to customers). Explain these in a short paragraph.

In this section, explain the marketing and advertising tactics you plan to use. Advertising may include:

Which media will you advertise in, why and how often?

Marketing may include:

What image do you want to project for your business brand?

What design elements will you use to market your business? (This includes your logo, signage and interior design.) Explain how they’ll support your brand.

Promotional budget

How much do you plan to spend on the marketing and advertising outreach above:

Use the Marketing Expenses Strategy Chart   on the next page to help figure out the cost of reaching different target markets.  

Marketing Expenses Strategy Chart

Download the Annual Marketing Budget Template . Using the information you’ve gathered, for help creating your annual marketing budget.

You explained pricing briefly in the “Products & Services” section; now it’s time to go into more detail. How do you plan to set prices? Keep in mind that few small businesses can compete on price without hurting their profit margins. Instead of offering the lowest price, it’s better to go with an average price and compete on quality and service. Describe your pricing strategy in a short paragraph.

Use the Pricing Strategy Worksheet  on the next page to help with your pricing.

Pricing Strategy Worksheet

9. location or proposed location.

If you have a location picked out, explain why you believe this is a good location for your startup. If you haven’t chosen a location yet, explain what you’ll be looking for in a location and why, including:

Focus on the location of your building, not the physical building itself. You’ll discuss that later, in the Operations section.

Distribution channels

What methods of distribution will you use to sell your products and/or services? These may include:

If you have any strategic partnerships or key distributor relationships that will be a factor in your success, explain them here.

After reading the Marketing Plan section, the reader should understand who your target customers are, how you plan to market to them, what sales and distribution channels you will use, and how you will position your product/service relative to the competition.  

V. Operational Plan

This section details what is required for your business to operate successfully. Organizational feasibility analysis determines whether a proposed business has sufficient management expertise and resources to successfully launch its business.

How will you produce your product or deliver your service (supplies, manufacturing, equipment needed)? Describe your production methods, the equipment you’ll use and how much it will cost to produce what you sell.

Download the Job Analysis Worksheet  and use it   to help you answer the questions above.  

If applicable explain your business inventory requirements:

If applicable, list your key suppliers, including:

Credit policies

If you plan to sell to customers on credit, explain:

After reading the Operational Plan section, the reader should understand how your business will operate on a day-to-day basis.

VI. Management & Organization

This section focuses on your skills and experience. Why are you qualified to start and manage this business? Passion, existing computer skills, past work experience, professional networks, experience managing money, college degrees—are all factors. If you’re using your business plan to get financing, know that investors and lenders carefully assess whether you have a qualified management team.

Include brief biographies of the owner/s and key employees. Include resumes in the Appendix. Here, summarize your experience and those of your key employees in a few paragraphs per person. Focus on the prior experience and skills that have prepared your team to succeed in this business. If anyone has previous experience starting and growing a business, explain this in detail.

Explain how you plan to fill in any gaps in management and/or experience. For instance, if you lack financial know-how, will you hire a CFO or retain an accountant? If you don’t have sales skills, will you hire an in-house sales manager or use outside sales reps?

List the members of your professional/advisory support team, including:

If they have experience or specializations that will increase your chances of success, explain. For instance, does your mentor have experience launching and growing a similar business?

Organization Chart

Develop and include an organization chart. This should include both roles that you’ve already filled and roles you plan to fill in the future.

After reading the Management & Organization section, the reader should feel confident that you have a qualified team leading your business.  

Use the Management Worksheet  and Organization Chart  on the next two pages to highlight your management team.

Management Worksheet

simple business plan examples doc

VII. Startup Expenses & Capitalization

In this section, detail the expenses involved in opening for business and how much capital you’ll need. (Do not include ongoing expenses after your business opens; those are listed in the Financial Plan.) Estimating startup expenses as accurately as possible helps you gather enough startup capital. Include a section on the following:

Complete the following templates on finances:

Total Startup Cash Needed (to Make First Sale)

VIII. Conclusion

Discuss if and why your business can succeed. Be honest in your assessment because investors won't just look at your conclusions they will also look at the data and will question if your conclusions are unrealistic.

Use the feasibility chart as a guide.

Overall Feasibility: Summary and Conclusion

Industry/Market Feasibility

Organizational Feasibility

Financial Feasibility

Overall Assessment

IX. Instructions: Appendices

Below are some elements many business owners include in their Appendices.

Agreements (Leases, contracts, purchase orders, letters of intent, etc.)

Intellectual property (trademarks, licenses, patents, etc.)

Resumes of owners/key employees

Advertising/marketing materials

Public relations/publicity

Blueprints/plans

List of equipment

Market research studies

You can also include any other materials that will give readers a fuller picture of your business or support the projections and assumptions you make in your plan. For instance, you might want to include photos of your proposed location, illustrations or photos of a product you are patenting, or charts showing the projected growth of your market.

After reviewing the Appendices, the reader should feel satisfied that the assumptions throughout the plan are backed up by documentation and evidence.

X. REFERENCES

YOU MUST INCLUDE A REFERENCE LIST OF RESEARCH SOURCES.

Instructions: Refining the Plan

Modify your business plan for your specific needs, audience and industry. Here are some guidelines to help:

For Raising Capital from Bankers

Bankers want to know that you’ll be able to repay the loan. If the business plan is for bankers or other lenders, include:

For Raising Capital from Investors

Investors are looking for dramatic growth, and they expect to share in the rewards. If the business plan is for investors, include:

For a Manufacturing Business  

For a Service Business  

For a Retail Business

For an Ecommerce Business  

For a Software business

Now That You’re (Almost) Finished . . .

Remember to go back, and complete the Executive Summary .

Template adapted from Score Business Plan Deluxe Template

Download Free Business Plan Examples

Download a free business plan in pdf or word doc format to make writing a plan fast and easy, find your sample plan.

Discover the sample plan that best fits your business. Search our gallery of over 500 sample business plans and find the one that's right for you.

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What You'll Get:

A complete business plan Unlike other blank templates, our business plan examples are complete business plans with all of the text and financial forecasts already filled out. Edit the text to make the plan your own and save hundreds of hours.

A professional business plan template All 500 of our business plans are in the SBA-approved format that’s proven to raise money from lenders and investors.

Instructions and help at every step Get help with clear, simple instructions for each section of the business plan. No business experience necessary.

A Word doc you can edit We don’t just have PDF documents that make editing a challenge. Each plan is available in Word format so you can start editing your business plan example right away.

Key Sections Included in our Example Business Plans:

Executive Summary : A quick overview of your plan and entices investors to read more of your plan.

Company : Describes the ownership and history of your business.

Products and Services : Reviews what you sell and what you’re offering your customers.

Market Analysis : Describes your customers and the size of your target market.

Strategy and Implementation : Provides the details of how you plan on building the business.

Management Team : An overview of the people behind the business and why they’re the right team to make the business a success.

Financial Plan : A complete set of forecasts including a Profit and Loss Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet.

Looking for a sample business plan PDF? You can download a few PDF examples below:

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

Clifford Chi

Published: December 01, 2022

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 ensures your venture is sustainable for the long term.

Business plan sample: Image shows a hand writing a plan and a notepad.

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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 formal, then take a look at business plan 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.

Free Business Plan Template

Fill out the form to get your free template..

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 (which may be dozens or hundreds of pages long).

Most executive summaries include:

However, many of these topics will be covered in more detail later on in the business plan, so keep the executive summary clear and brief, including only the most important take-aways.

If you’re planning to start or expand a small business, preparing a business plan is still very crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business. You can check out this small business pdf to get an idea of how to create one for your business.

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example
  • 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 crystal clear on why you're targeting them.

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 inform this component of your business plan.

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.

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?

8. Financials

This section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to determine funding strategies, investment opportunities, etc. 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 provide 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.

Keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others will be in charts.

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 gives 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

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 into 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

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

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Sample Business Plan Downloads

Impress your investors, get the funding with the right plan..

Online collection of free sample business plan downloads and templates. Select the file (PDF, Word, RTF) that is closest to your company profile and get your financials in front of your creditors.

IT Advisors Business Plan Sample

Executive Summary IT-Advisers seeks funding for a new information technology (IT) and consulting company specializing in the marketing of high technology and IT-products in international markets. Its founders are former marketers of consulting services, application software, mobile and smart-phone apps, cloud-based applications and market research, all in international markets. They are founding IT Advisers to formalize the consulting services and hi-tech development they offer. IT-Advisers (ITA) offers high-tech manufacturers and smartphone producers a reliable, high-quality alternative to in-house resources for market development, information processing, cloud-computing and channel management on an international scale. The company seeks reasonable funding for the project, e.g bank credit, equity loan or venture capital investment

Simple Business Plan Template

Executive Summary The purpose of an executive summary is to summarize the highlights of the plan and to provide a brief snapshot of the company. Give the reader a fix on the size and type of the company, its management team, the products and services it offers, also some basic information about the industry, the size of the target market, funding sources, and the financial goals of the business. If your plan is designed to help you get a bank loan, equity loan or credit card funding, include the information about the amount, type, and purpose of the funds you are seeking. Also, you may apply for a venture capital funding.

The Startup Template (One-page B Plan Outline)

The Offer to Target Customers What does your product and/or service do? What benefits make your offer unique, or just different? What will motivate customers to switch to your product and/or service? How would you describe a typical customer for your product and/or service? How would you describe a group(s) of target customers? How you intend to get financing for your project

Growth Business Plan Template

Executive Summary The Summary's primary purpose is to "sell" the business project to the intended audience (investors, bankers, business brokers), enticing them to read on. It should be an easy-to-read overview presented concisely. Don't forget to say what you want - a business loan, equity investment, or perhaps to plan a sound exit scenario through a business for sale platform; how much money you need, and how the investment pays back for the business owners.

Dry Docs Genoa - Example Business Plan

Sample Business Plan - Executive Summary The context in which the Dry Docks Genoa develops its project is located in the ships repair area situated in the eastern part of Genoa port. This company offers a lot of services for ships that are under repair. The company can supply large docks that can be utilized to accommodate boats of different sizes. Instruments of raising as quay-cranes, compressed air and gas tools and logistic supports towards crews (mainly during the periods in which the ships are under repair) are only a few of the services that the company offers to its clients. Facilities consist of 5 dry docks and one 1500 meters utilized by ships that are waiting for their reparation-phase. The entire equipment is under a concession from the Port Authority of Genoa. DDG is seeking funding (business loan, equity funding or venture capital investment) for the project.

Get started with your Business Plan

Simple Business Plan Template (2023)

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Updated: Dec 16, 2022, 11:45pm

Simple Business Plan Template (2023)

Table of Contents

Why business plans are vital, get your free simple business plan template, how to write an effective business plan in 6 steps, frequently asked questions.

While taking many forms and serving many purposes, they all have one thing in common: business plans help you establish your goals and define the means for achieving them. Our simple business plan template covers everything you need to consider when launching a side gig, solo operation or small business. By following this step-by-step process, you might even uncover a few alternate routes to success.

Whether you’re a first-time solopreneur or a seasoned business owner, the planning process challenges you to examine the costs and tasks involved in bringing a product or service to market. The process can also help you spot new income opportunities and hone in on the most profitable business models.

Though vital, business planning doesn’t have to be a chore. Business plans for lean startups and solopreneurs can simply outline the business concept, sales proposition, target customers and sketch out a plan of action to bring the product or service to market. However, if you’re seeking startup funding or partnership opportunities, you’ll need a write a business plan that details market research, operating costs and revenue forecasting.

Whichever startup category you fall into, if you’re at square one, our simple business plan template will point you down the right path.

Copy our free simple business plan template so you can fill in the blanks as we explore each element of your business plan. Need help getting your ideas flowing? You’ll also find several startup scenario examples below.

Download free template as .docx

Whether you need a quick-launch overview or an in-depth plan for investors, any business plan should cover the six key elements outlined in our free template and explained below. The main difference in starting a small business versus an investor-funded business is the market research and operational and financial details needed to support the concept.

1. Your Mission or Vision

Start by declaring a “dream statement” for your business. You can call this your executive summary, vision statement or mission. Whatever the name, the first part of your business plan summarizes your idea by answering five questions. Keep it brief, such as an elevator pitch. You’ll expand these answers in the following sections of the simple business plan template.

  • What does your business do? Are you selling products, services, information or a combination?
  • Where does this happen? Will you conduct business online, in-store, via mobile means or in a specific location or environment?
  • Who does your business benefit? Who is your target market and ideal customer for your concept?
  • Why would potential customers care? What would make your ideal customers take notice of your business?
  • How do your products and/or services outshine the competition? What would make your ideal customers choose you over a competitor?

These answers come easily if you have a solid concept for your business, but don’t worry if you get stuck. Use the rest of your plan template to brainstorm ideas and tactics. You’ll quickly find these answers and possibly new directions as you explore your ideas and options.

2. Offer and Value Proposition

This is where you detail your offer, such as selling products, providing services or both, and why anyone would care. That’s the value proposition. Specifically, you’ll expand on your answers to the first and fourth bullets from your mission/vision.

As you complete this section, you might find that exploring value propositions uncovers marketable business opportunities that you hadn’t yet considered. So spend some time brainstorming the possibilities in this section.

For example, a cottage baker startup specializing in gluten-free or keto-friendly products might be a value proposition that certain audiences care deeply about. Plus, you could expand on that value proposition by offering wedding and other special-occasion cakes that incorporate gluten-free, keto-friendly and traditional cake elements that all guests can enjoy.

simple business plan examples doc

3. Audience and Ideal Customer

Here is where you explore bullet point number three, who your business will benefit. Identifying your ideal customer and exploring a broader audience for your goods or services is essential in defining your sales and marketing strategies, plus it helps fine-tune what you offer.

There are many ways to research potential audiences, but a shortcut is to simply identify a problem that people have that your product or service can solve. If you start from the position of being a problem solver, it’s easy to define your audience and describe the wants and needs of your ideal customer for marketing efforts.

Using the cottage baker startup example, a problem people might have is finding fresh-baked gluten-free or keto-friendly sweets. Examining the wants and needs of these people might reveal a target audience that is health-conscious or possibly dealing with health issues and willing to spend more for hard-to-find items.

However, it’s essential to have a customer base that can support your business. You can be too specialized. For example, our baker startup can attract a broader audience and boost revenue by offering a wider selection of traditional baked goods alongside its gluten-free and keto-focused specialties.

4. Revenue Streams, Sales Channels and Marketing

Thanks to our internet-driven economy, startups have many revenue opportunities and can connect with target audiences through various channels. Revenue streams and sales channels also serve as marketing vehicles, so you can cover all three in this section.

Revenue Streams

Revenue streams are the many ways you can make money in your business. In your plan template, list how you’ll make money upon launch, plus include ideas for future expansion. The income possibilities just might surprise you.

For example, our cottage baker startup might consider these revenue streams:

  • Product sales : Online, pop-up shops , wholesale and (future) in-store sales
  • Affiliate income : Monetize blog and social media posts with affiliate links
  • Advertising income : Reserve website space for advertising
  • E-book sales : (future) Publish recipe e-books targeting gluten-free and keto-friendly dessert niches
  • Video income : (future) Monetize a YouTube channel featuring how-to videos for the gluten-free and keto-friendly dessert niches
  • Webinars and online classes : (future) Monetize coaching-style webinars and online classes covering specialty baking tips and techniques
  • Members-only content : (future) Monetize a members-only section of the website for specialty content to complement webinars and online classes
  • Franchise : (future) Monetize a specialty cottage bakery concept and sell to franchise entrepreneurs

Sales Channels

Sales channels put your revenue streams into action. This section also answers the “where will this happen” question in the second bullet of your vision.

The product sales channels for our cottage bakery example can include:

  • Mobile point-of-sale (POS) : A mobile platform such as Shopify or Square POS for managing in-person sales at local farmers’ markets, fairs and festivals
  • E-commerce platform : An online store such as Shopify, Square or WooCommerce for online retail sales and wholesale sales orders
  • Social media channels : Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest shoppable posts and pins for online sales via social media channels
  • Brick-and-mortar location : For in-store sales , once the business has grown to a point that it can support a physical location

Channels that support other income streams might include:

  • Affiliate income : Blog section on the e-commerce website and affiliate partner accounts
  • Advertising income : Reserved advertising spaces on the e-commerce website
  • E-book sales : Amazon e-book sales via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Video income : YouTube channel with ad monetization
  • Webinars and online classes : Online class and webinar platforms that support member accounts, recordings and playback
  • Members-only content : Password-protected website content using membership apps such as MemberPress

Nowadays, the line between marketing and sales channels is blurred. Social media outlets, e-books, websites, blogs and videos serve as both marketing tools and income opportunities. Since most are free and those with advertising options are extremely economical, these are ideal marketing outlets for lean startups.

However, many businesses still find value in traditional advertising such as local radio, television, direct mail, newspapers and magazines. You can include these advertising costs in your simple business plan template to help build a marketing plan and budget.

simple business plan examples doc

5. Structure, Suppliers and Operations

This section of your simple business plan template explores how to structure and operate your business. Details include the type of business organization your startup will take, roles and responsibilities, supplier logistics and day-to-day operations. Also, include any certifications or permits needed to launch your enterprise in this section.

Our cottage baker example might use a structure and startup plan such as this:

  • Business structure : Sole proprietorship with a “doing business as” (DBA) .
  • Permits and certifications : County-issued food handling permit and state cottage food certification for home-based food production. Option, check into certified commercial kitchen rentals.
  • Roles and responsibilities : Solopreneur, all roles and responsibilities with the owner.
  • Supply chain : Bulk ingredients and food packaging via Sam’s Club, Costco, Amazon Prime with annual membership costs. Uline for shipping supplies; no membership needed.
  • Day-to-day operations : Source ingredients and bake three days per week to fulfill local and online orders. Reserve time for specialty sales, wholesale partner orders and market events as needed. Ship online orders on alternating days. Update website and create marketing and affiliate blog posts on non-shipping days.

6. Financial Forecasts

Your final task is to list forecasted business startup and ongoing costs and profit projections in your simple business plan template. Thanks to free business tools such as Square and free marketing on social media, lean startups can launch with few upfront costs. In many cases, cost of goods, shipping and packaging, business permits and printing for business cards are your only out-of-pocket expenses.

Cost Forecast

Our cottage baker’s forecasted lean startup costs might include:

Gross Profit Projections

This helps you determine the retail prices and sales volume required to keep your business running and, hopefully, earn income for yourself. Use product research to spot target retail prices for your goods, then subtract your cost of goods, such as hourly rate, raw goods and supplier costs. The total amount is your gross profit per item or service.

Here are some examples of projected gross profits for our cottage baker:

Bottom Line

Putting careful thought and detail in a business plan is always beneficial, but don’t get so bogged down in planning that you never hit the start button to launch your business . Also, remember that business plans aren’t set in stone. Markets, audiences and technologies change, and so will your goals and means of achieving them. Think of your business plan as a living document and regularly revisit, expand and restructure it as market opportunities and business growth demand.

Is there a template for a business plan?

Yes, you can copy our free business plan template and fill in the blanks or customize it in Google Docs, Microsoft Word or another word processing app. This free business plan template includes the six key elements that any entrepreneur needs to consider when launching a new business.

What does a simple business plan include?

A simple business plan is a one- to two-page overview covering six key elements that any budding entrepreneur needs to consider when launching a startup. These include your vision or mission, product or service offering, target audience, revenue streams and sales channels, structure and operations, and financial forecasts.

How can I create a free business plan template?

Start with this free simple business plan template that covers the six essential elements of a startup. Once downloaded, you can edit this document in Google Docs or another word processing app and add new sections or subsections to your plan template to meet your specific business plan needs.

What basic items should be included in a business plan?

When writing out a business plan, you want to make sure that you cover everything related to your concept for the business,  an analysis of the industry―including potential customers and an overview of the market for your goods or services―how you plan to execute your vision for the business, how you plan to grow the business if it becomes successful and all financial data around the business, including current cash on hand, potential investors and budget plans for the next few years.

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Krista Fabregas is a seasoned eCommerce and online content pro sharing more than 20 years of hands-on know-how with those looking to launch and grow tech-forward businesses. Her expertise includes eCommerce startups and growth, SMB operations and logistics, website platforms, payment systems, side-gig and affiliate income, and multichannel marketing. Krista holds a bachelor's degree in English from The University of Texas at Austin and held senior positions at NASA, a Fortune 100 company, and several online startups.

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