Entrepreneurship

Our Template For Writing A Business Plan

Cameron Fleming | 26 May 2022 | 2 years ago

business plan template

If you’re thinking of starting a business, or are already in the early stages, you need to write a solid business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines your goals and strategies for your business. It’s important to take the time to create a well-written and comprehensive business plan, as it will help you define your business goals and strategies, impress potential investors, and attract talented employees.

In this business plan template, we will walk you through exactly what to include in every section. We’ll explain what potential investors are looking for in a business plan and common mistakes to avoid.

Why are Business Plans so Important?

Business plans are important for two main reasons. First, they allow you to take a step back and think about your business objectively. This is crucial for any new business owner who may be too close to their product or service to see it clearly. A well-written business plan forces you to think about your business goals and strategies, and how you plan to achieve them.

Second, a business plan is essential for securing investment. If you’re looking to attract investors or secure a loan from a bank, you will need to provide a detailed and convincing business plan. Potential investors want to know that your business is well-planned and has a solid chance of success. If your business plan is poorly written or lacks crucial information, you’re less likely to secure the investment you need.

Remember that a successful business plan doesn’t just convince people to invest in your business, it convinces them to invest in you. Wow them from the very first page and you will soon reap the rewards!

an effective business plan

An Effective Business Plan Template

Now that we’ve covered the importance of business plans, let’s take a look at what should be included in yours. Here are the key sections of a successful business plan:

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary is the most important part of your business plan, as it’s the first thing that potential investors will read. It should be concise and clear and give a brief overview of your business goals, strategies, and financial projections.

The most important thing when writing an executive summary is to focus on your business’s strengths and why it has potential for growth. Remember that it is important to pique the investor’s interest straight away so make sure you include the most important and compelling information in the executive summary.

What to include:

  • A brief description of your business
  • Your business goals and strategies
  • A brief overview of your financial projections
  • The main reasons why your business has potential for growth
Keep the executive summary short and to the point – you can go into more detail in the rest of the business plan.

2. Company Description

The company description section should give a brief overview of your business, including your company history (if you have one), your products or services, your target market, and your competitive advantages.

This is the section where you can really sell your business to potential investors. You need to be clear about what your business does and why it is unique. Be sure to include information about your target market and why they need your product or service.

The company description should also provide an overview of your business, including your mission statement, values, and any other relevant information. Have you won any awards or received any recognition? Is there an interesting story behind your company? Be sure to include this information in the company description.

What to include:

  • A brief description of your business, including your history, products or services, target market, and competitive advantages
  • Your mission statement and values
  • Any awards or recognition you have received
Remember that the company description is your chance to really sell your business to potential investors. Be clear, concise, and convincing.

3. Products and Services

As its name suggests, the products and services section should give a more detailed overview of the products or services you offer. This is the section where you can really go into depth about what your business does and how it does it. You need to explain why what you are offering is better than what is currently available.

Be sure to include information about any case studies or testimonials that you have. This will show investors that your products have potential and that people are already using them or are impressed with what you are offering.

You should also explain the manufacturing process so that investors know that you have a solid plan for delivering quality products without the potential for any shortages or delays.

What to include:

  • A detailed description of your products or services, including how they are better than what is currently available
  • Case studies or testimonials from satisfied customers
  • An overview of your manufacturing process
  • Any plans you have for new products or services in the future
Keep in mind that this section should be more than just a list of what you are offering – it should be a detailed explanation of the benefits of your products or services.

market analysis

4. Market Analysis

Next, let’s take a look at the market analysis section. This is an important part of your business plan as it will show potential investors that you have done your homework and that you understand the market you are entering.

You need to show that there is a demand for your product or service and that you have a solid plan for reaching your target market. You should also include information about your competitors and how you plan to stand out from them.

There are various ways to conduct market research and analysis. You can use surveys, interviews, focus groups, or secondary research and you should include information about your research methods in this section. Make sure that all research is conducted on a large enough sample size. Investors will be immediately put off if you have only surveyed 10 people even if all of them were interested in your product.

What to include:

  • An overview of the market you are entering, including information about the size and growth of the market
  • Information about your target market, including demographics, psychographics and behavioural information
  • An analysis of your competition, including their market share, product offerings, and pricing
  • Information about your research methods and results
The market analysis section should be thorough but it doesn’t need to be excessively long. If you find that you are including too much information, you can always move some of it to appendices or other sections of the business plan.

5. Organisational Structure

The organisational structure section of your business plan will give investors an idea of the hierarchy within your company and the responsibilities of each team or department. This is important information for them to have as it will show that you have a well-organised team in place who are capable of carrying out the tasks required to run the business.

You should include information about the management team, the board of directors, and any other key personnel. For each person, you should include a brief description of their experience and qualifications.

You also need to be clear about who exactly owns the business. If you are the sole owner, you can simply state that. If there are multiple owners, you should include information about the ownership structure and the percentage of ownership each person has.

What to include:

  • A description of the management team, board of directors, and key personnel
  • The experience and qualifications of each person
  • Information about the ownership structure of the business
It is crucial that you are 100% honest in every section of your business plan, but the Organisational Structure section is particularly important. Investors will soon see through any false claims about the experience or qualifications of your team and this will damage your credibility.

6. Operational Plan

The operational plan is where you will outline the day-to-day operations of your business. This is important information for potential investors as it will show them that you have a clear idea of how the business will be run. If your business is not yet up and running, this is also the section where you will describe your plans for getting it off the ground.

You need to include information about your business premises, equipment, inventory, and any other resources that are required for the day-to-day running of the business. This will give potential investors an idea of the start-up costs involved in setting up the business.

You should also include additional information about your staff, their roles and responsibilities, and how you plan to manage them. Many new businesses fail because they are not able to effectively manage their staff so investors need to know that you have a plan in place to avoid this.

What to include:

  • Information about your business premises, equipment, inventory, and other resources
  • Details about your plans for setting up the business
  • Information about your staff, their roles and responsibilities, and how you plan to manage them
The Operational Plan is where you really need to convince investors that you are the right person to achieve your goals. They need to believe in you and your team and have trust that you can deliver on your promises.

7. Financial Plan

For many investors, the financial plan is the most important section of your business plan and it is essential that you put a lot of thought into it. Anyone who has ever seen Dragons’ Den knows how quickly a pitch can fall apart if the Dragons are not satisfied with the numbers or if the entrepreneur cannot answer their questions confidently.

You need to include detailed information about your income and expenditure, as well as your plans for generating revenue. This section will also be used to assess the financial viability of your business so it is important to be realistic in your projections.

You should also include information about any additional funding that you are seeking and how you plan to use it. This could be in the form of a loan, investment, or grant and each one will have different repayment terms.

What to include:

  • Detailed information about your income and expenditure
  • Your plans for generating revenue
  • Information about any additional funding that you are seeking
The Financial Plan is where you need to show that your business is financially viable and that you have a solid plan for generating revenue. This section will be closely scrutinised by potential investors so it is essential that you put in the time to make it as strong as possible.

common business plan mistakes

Common Business Plan Mistakes

Now that you know what to include in your business plan, it is important to also be aware of some of the most common mistakes that new business owners make. Avoiding these mistakes will give you a better chance of success when presenting your plan to investors.

Some of the most common mistakes include:

  • Not doing enough research
  • Failing to set realistic goals
  • Not knowing your target market
  • Not having a clear understanding of your competition
  • Putting too much or too little emphasis on the financials
  • Not having a clear marketing strategy
  • Making assumptions about your customers
  • Trying to inflate or deflate numbers
  • Not having a clear understanding of your own business
If you can avoid these mistakes, you will be well on your way to impressing potential investors and securing the funding you need to get your business off the ground.

Final Thoughts

Writing a comprehensive business plan is a vital step in setting up a new business. It is essential that you take the time to do it properly if you want to give your business the best chance of success. By following this business plan template and avoiding common mistakes, you will be well on your way to writing a killer business plan that will help you achieve your goals. Remember that a business plan is not a static document – it should be updated regularly as your business grows and changes. Good luck!

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