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How To Present A Business Plan: 9 Key Elements

Key Takeaways:

  • A business plan serves as a roadmap for your business journey, outlining its purpose, operations, and future trajectory.
  • A business plan presentation, or pitch deck, is a condensed version of your plan that showcases essential details to potential investors or partners.
  • A compelling plan presentation is crucial for securing funding, attracting investors, and rallying support for your venture.
  • A successful presentation includes the executive summary, company overview, business opportunity, management and leadership team, product and service details, sales and marketing plan, funding request, financial projections, and the appendix. Each section plays a vital role in articulating your business vision and potential for success.

A business plan is like a map of your business journey. It’s a formal paper explaining what your business is all about and what it aims to do. Think of it as a kind of storybook about your business, where you tell people what it does, how it works, and where it’s headed.

Inside a business plan, you’ll find information about the business structure, who’s in charge, and how things are set up. It also discusses how the company plans to sell stuff and make money with fancy financial projections. Plus, it lists everything the business needs, like equipment and supplies, to do its job well.

A winning business plan is like a guidebook for your business adventure. When you write a business plan, it helps you figure out where you’re going, what you need to get there, and how you’ll know when you’ve arrived. And if you’re looking for extra cash for your business, having a solid plan can help persuade folks to invest in your big ideas.

Business Plan Presentation

A business plan presentation, sometimes called a “pitch deck,” is like a slideshow introducing your business basics. It’s something you show during a meeting, whether in person or on Zoom, to give folks the lowdown on your business.

A good presentation covers the essentials: what you’re all about, who you’re trying to reach, how your business works, and what you’re asking for. When you’re presenting your plan, you’re not just sharing your cool idea—you’re hoping to get your audience to help you out with something.

Importance of a Business Plan Presentation

Business Plan Presentation

A plan presentation is crucial for your business journey. It’s not just about jotting down ideas; it’s a strategic tool that can help you overcome hurdles and spot opportunities you might have missed. When you present your business plan successfully, you’re clarifying it for yourself and making a compelling case for potential backers—like lenders, investors, or partners—that your venture has what it takes to succeed.

Research backs this up: Studies suggest that entrepreneurs who create a business plan are more likely to build viable businesses and secure funding than those who don’t. It’s not just about writing it down; how you present your plan matters. A polished, professional-looking presentation can make all the difference whether you seek a business loan, pitch your business to investors, or wooing potential partners.

Your business plan is a roadmap for your business endeavors, guiding your decisions and actions.  It’s not just a document for internal use; it’s also a key asset in external interactions. From securing loans to attracting investors or leasing a commercial space, having a solid plan can open doors and set you on the path to success in various professional arenas.

Following are nine tips for presenting your business plan step-by-step.

Executive Summary: A Snapshot of Your Business

The executive summary is the highlight reel of your plan presentation, offering a quick glimpse into your business. It’s your chance to grab the attention of potential investors and lenders right from the start, so it needs to be engaging and informative.

Start by revisiting your plan and picking out the most significant bits. Consider what makes your business unique and why  it’s  poised for success. Highlight vital elements like your business concept, goals, and vision for the future. Describe your offerings and what sets it apart from the competition. Identify your target market and outline your strategy to reach them.

Give a snapshot of your financial standing and lay out your projected revenue and profits for the next few years. Be clear about how much money you need to achieve your goals. Introduce the members of your management team, emphasizing their relevant experience.

The executive summary  must include:

  • Your mission statement.
  • Details about your products or services.
  • Information  about your team.
  • Your plans for growth.

Keep it concise yet comprehensive, giving readers a clear understanding of your business and why they should invest.

Company Overview: Setting the Stage for Success

The company overview section of your business plan demonstrates why your venture is poised for greatness. Start by pinpointing the problem your business aims to solve and who will benefit from your solution. Provide demographic data about your target customers and highlight what differentiates your company from the competition, whether it’s specialized expertise or unique product features.

Offer a brief history of your business and detail your products or services. Explain how your offerings address the identified problem and outline your business model , such as direct-to-consumer sales or online distribution. Clarify your business structure, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, and why this setup is advantageous.

Use storytelling techniques to make the problem relatable to your audience and emphasize the significance of your solution. Describe how your offerings meets your customers’ needs and surpasses alternatives in the market.

Outline your revenue model, whether it’s through direct sales, subscription fees, or advertising revenue. Provide examples of early success, such as initial customers, pre-orders, or signed contracts, to demonstrate the viability of your business and build confidence in its prospects. This section sets the stage for the rest of your presentation, showcasing the potential for success and garnering interest from potential investors or partners.

Business Opportunity: Seizing the Moment

Tips for Presenting Business Plan

This section of your business presentation showcases the potential for growth in your chosen market. Begin by delving into your market analysis, which sheds light on the landscape of your industry. Research competitors’ actions, identify trends and understand what resonates with customers.

Investors look for growth potential of your business, so provide insights into your target market’s size and demographics. Conduct a SWOT analysis to highlight your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Detail how you developed projections, citing interviews or market research data to lend credibility.

Describe the industry’s current state and areas ripe for improvement. If your business operates locally, assess the market in your area and identify gaps or areas for enhancement. List competitors and explain how your business will stand out in the crowd.

Use data to illustrate your business’s performance compared to others in the industry. Incorporate facts and statistics from reputable sources to bolster your presentation’s credibility and professionalism.

Finally, articulate the size of your market and the specific business opportunities it presents. Utilize market research to quantify potential customers and identify target segments. This section paints a clear picture of the market landscape and underscores the vast opportunities awaiting your business’s success.

The Management and Leadership Team: Key Players in Success

Spotlight the individuals driving your business forward. Start by confirming your business’s legal entity status, whether it’s an LLC or another form. Then, introduce your ownership and leadership teams, clarifying roles with an organizational chart and providing resumes to showcase key members’ skills and experience.

Investors often prioritize the team behind a business over the idea itself. Highlight the expertise and talent of your management team through short bios that emphasize relevant experience and industry recognition. Consider including headshots to put faces to names and build rapport.

Describe your organization’s structure, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation. If you plan to hire staff or rely on outside consultants , outline your staffing plans here. Investors are looking for assurance that you’ve consulted experts in your field needed to drive your business forward.

Ultimately, investors want to know why your team is the right one to bring your business idea to life. Use this section to showcase the capabilities and dedication of your team, emphasizing their ability to turn your vision into reality. The strength of your team can be the deciding factor in securing support for your business venture.

Product and Service Details: Delivering Value to Customers

Start by describing what you offer and how it meets the needs of your market. Highlight its unique features and the benefits it brings to customers. If you’re taking steps to protect your intellectual property, such as trademarks or patents, be sure to mention it. Similarly, if you’re investing in research and development to enhance your offerings, explain how this will benefit your business and customers alike.

Success depends on offering products or services that customers want or need. Explain the value your offerings provide, how they differ from competitors, and the buying cycle. Demonstrating your understanding of customer needs and preferences boosts confidence in your ability to deliver.

If you’re pursuing intellectual property protections like copyrights or patents, outline your strategy. Additionally, discuss any ongoing research and development efforts aimed at expanding your product line or improving existing offerings. This showcases your commitment to innovation and highlights potential avenues for future revenue growth. By clearly articulating your product and service details, you lay the groundwork for success and instill confidence in potential investors or partners.

Sales and Marketing Plan: Reaching Your Audience

In crafting your sales and marketing plan, remember that even the best product needs a push to reach customers. Outline your strategy for reaching, convincing, and retaining your target audience. Describe the steps leading to a sale, essentially designing your sales funnel, a crucial aspect of effective planning.

Give details on how you’ll spread the word about your offerings. Will you utilize paid online ads, social media promotions, direct mail, local print ads, radio or TV sponsorships, YouTube content, or other methods? List all chosen approaches.

Ensure clarity on the sales journey and why it resonates with your target and existing customer segments. If you’ve begun implementing these methods, share data on their effectiveness.

Include an overview slide of your marketing and sales plan , emphasizing how you’ll reach and sell to your target market. You’ve identified your audience; now explain how you’ll engage and convert them. This section underscores your commitment to connecting with customers and driving sales, essential for business growth and success.

Funding Request: Securing Support for Growth

Outline your financial needs and how you plan to use that money to fuel your business’s growth over the next five years. Clearly articulate the amount of funding required and its intended use, whether for marketing, research and development, hiring key personnel, or expansion into new markets or locations.

Specify whether you’re seeking equity, debt, or a combination of both, and outline the terms  you’re  seeking for the funding. Potential investors or lenders will want to understand the rationale behind the requested amount and the type of financing being sought.

If you’re contributing personal funds to the project, highlight this to demonstrate your commitment and confidence in the venture. It shows that you have “skin in the game “  and are invested in its success.

Explain the purpose behind the funding request, detailing how it will support your business objectives and drive growth. Whether it’s to enhance product development, scale operations, or increase market presence, clarify why the funding is necessary and how it aligns with your overall business strategy. This section is crucial for garnering support from investors or lenders, showcasing your vision and readiness to take your business to the next level.

Financial Projections: Mapping Your Business’s Future

Tips for Mapping Business Plan Presentation

Demonstrating profitability is paramount to securing funding for your business. If your company is operational, include financial statements like profit and loss, balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements.

For both established and new business, a five-year financial plan is crucial. Detail forecasted income and expenditures, breaking the first year into quarterly or monthly projections. Utilize professional-looking charts, graphs, and tables for clarity.

Even if your business lacks past financial data, preparing a budget and financial plan showcases your domain understanding. For new ventures, utilize resources like the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide or SCORE’s financial projections template. For existing businesses, provide income statements, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets, ideally covering the past three years.

Detail specific steps to achieve outlined financial goals, with more emphasis on the first year. Include interactive spreadsheets for a detailed financial analysis covering production costs, profits, planned investments, and tax projections.

A detailed sales forecast spanning up to five years helps attract outside support. If your business hasn’t launched yet, utilize market research for estimates.

In your presentation, highlight key financial data such as sales forecasts, profit projections, and estimated profitability timelines. Aim to pique interest and prompt further inquiries using facts and figures without overwhelming your audience with excessive details.

Appendix: Additional Resources for In-Depth Understanding

In the appendix section at the end of your presentation , provide supplementary materials to address potential questions and offer deeper insights into your business. Anticipate inquiries and include slides that offer the information you need, showcasing your thorough preparation and understanding of all aspects of your venture.

While the core slides of your PowerPoint presentation capture the essence of your business, the appendix offers additional resources to enrich understanding. Depending on your industry, include permits, licenses, deeds, professional certifications, media clips, patents, customer contracts, and other relevant documents. These materials offer investors and bankers a comprehensive view of your business’s potential.

Consider including a list of critical concepts and industry terms to aid understanding, mainly if your business operates in a niche field. This ensures clarity and fosters better comprehension among readers unfamiliar with industry-specific terminology.

Remember, the appendix is an opportunity to provide supplementary information that bolsters your presentation and demonstrates your thoroughness and preparedness. While the plan document may not be directly referenced, the planning process equips you to present and advocate for your business efficiently.

Navigating Your Business Journey: How To Present A Business Plan

Crafting a plan presentation is akin to mapping out your entrepreneurial journey. It’s more than just a slideshow; it’s your opportunity to portray a vivid picture of your business, its potential, and its path to success. Whether you’re seeking funding, pitching to investors, or rallying support from partners, a well-prepared presentation can make all the difference.

At its core, the presentation distills the essence of your venture into digestible bits, offering a snapshot of your business basics. It covers everything from your business concept and target audience to your revenue model and financial projections. But it’s not just about sharing information—it’s about persuading your audience to join you on your business adventure.

By outlining the importance of a plan presentation and dissecting its key components, we’ve delved into the strategic approach needed to craft a compelling pitch. From the executive summary to business projections, each section plays a vital role in articulating your vision and garnering support for your venture.

Armed with insights into what makes a successful plan presentation, you’re better equipped to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship. Whether you’re a veteran business owner or a debutant entrepreneur, a well-crafted presentation can pave the way for future growth and success. So, harness the power of storytelling , data, and strategic planning to chart a course for your business’s bright future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a business plan, and why is it important?

A business plan is like a roadmap for your business journey, detailing what your business is about, what it aims to achieve, and how it plans to do so. Think of it as a storybook about your business, explaining its concept, structure, target market, marketing strategy, financial projections, and more. It’s essential because it helps you clarify your business vision, spot opportunities, overcome obstacles, and persuade potential backers to invest in your ideas .

2. What is a business plan presentation, and why do I need it?

A business plan presentation, also known as a “pitch deck, “  is a slideshow that introduces the basics of your business to potential investors, lenders, or partners. It offers a concise overview of your business concept, target audience, operations, and funding needs. It’s crucial because it allows you to present your business in a visually appealing and engaging format, making it easier for others to understand and support your venture.

3. What are the critical elements of a successful plan presentation?

A successful plan presentation comprises several key elements, including the executive summary, company overview, business opportunity, the management and leadership team, product and service details, sales and marketing plan, funding request, financial projections, and appendix. Whether you want to grab your audience’s attention or provide detailed insights into your business and its potential for success, each section serves a specific purpose,

4. How can I make my plan presentation more compelling?

Focus on storytelling, clarity, and professionalism to make your presentation more compelling. Use engaging visuals , such as charts, graphs, and images, to illustrate key points and data. Keep your language simple and concise, avoiding  jargon that may confuse your audience.  Practice your presentation beforehand to ensure smooth delivery and confidence. Finally, be prepared to answer queries and address concerns raised by your audience, demonstrating your knowledge and readiness to lead your business to success.

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Unlock the full potential of your presentation with Prezentium’s AI-powered services. From compelling visuals to data-driven insights, we’re here to help you shine. Contact us today to supercharge your presentation and take your business to new heights!

How to Make a Killer Business Plan Presentation (+Templates)

Learn how to make a business plan presentation with tips for slide design, structure, and engaging examples, as well as templates to bring your vision to life.

Author

7 minute read

How to make a business plan presentation

helped business professionals at:

Nice

Short answer

What slides should a business plan presentation include?

  • Opening slide
  • Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • Business overview
  • The challenge you're addressing
  • Market analysis
  • Your solution
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Team composition
  • Funding request and allocation

Your business plan presentation needs to be as strong as your idea

Having a well-crafted business plan is crucial, but if it's not presented effectively, it's like having a treasure map that no one can read.

Even the best ideas can fall flat if they're not communicated clearly, potentially burying your chance of getting your business off the ground.

Remember, presenting a business plan is more than just sharing facts and figures. It's about engaging your audience, whether they're investors or stakeholders, and making them believe in your vision.

But don't worry, you're not alone in this. This guide is here to help you master the art of business plan presentation. You'll learn how to structure your presentation, design slides that captivate, and conclude in a way that leaves a lasting impact and drives action.

Let's dive in!

What to include in a business plan presentation?

A business plan presentation is your chance to delve deep, showcasing not just the what and the how, but also the why of your business. It's your strategic playbook that can persuade investors, guide your team, and set the foundation for your business's success.

11 essential slides of a business plan presentation:

Opening slide: Set the tone with an engaging first impression.

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Define what sets your business apart.

Business overview: Offer a concise snapshot of your company.

The challenge you're addressing: Describe the problem your business solves.

Market analysis: Demonstrate your understanding of the industry and market trends.

Your solution: Detail how your product or service addresses the problem you’ve identified.

Marketing and sales strategy: Outline your approach to winning and keeping customers.

Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Specify your objectives and how you’ll measure success.

Team composition: Introduce key team members, their roles, and expertise.

Funding request and allocation: Explain your financial requirements and how the funds will be utilized.

Next steps: Guide the reader on the next steps after reviewing your plan, whether it's a meeting request, further discussion, or a specific action you want them to take.

What does a business plan presentation look like?

In today's fast-paced business world, static business plan presentations are losing their edge. Imagine having to constantly pinch and zoom on a mobile device just to see the details. It's frustrating and distracting.

People also get disengaged when faced with walls of text. They're there to hear a story, not read a novel.

Interactive presentations, on the other hand, bring your business plan to life. They encourage audience participation, adapt to the flow of discussion, and make complex ideas more digestible and memorable.

You can see what an interactive business plan presentation looks like below:

How to turn a business plan into a presentation

Transforming your business plan into a presentation is a crucial step in bringing your vision to life. It's not just about having a plan; it's about presenting it in a way that resonates with investors and partners.

Start by distilling the essence of your plan, focusing on key points like your mission, market analysis, and financial projections. Use engaging visuals and a clear narrative to make complex information accessible.

For detailed insights on how to write a business plan , check out our guide.

How to make a business plan presentation in 6 easy steps

Crafting a business plan is about blending vision and strategy into a narrative that captivates your audience. With Storydoc's AI business presentation maker, creating this narrative becomes intuitive and easy.

In the guide below, we'll show you how to turn your plan into an engaging presentation in 6 simple steps. Stick around to see how seamlessly Storydoc can bring your business story to life.

1) Describe your presentation’s objective

Kick things off by sharing with our AI the type of business plan you're looking to create. This is like setting the GPS for your journey, ensuring every part of your plan is aligned with your end goal.

2) Give an overview of yourself, your organization, and your offering

Introduce the essence of your business - who you are, what your company stands for, and the unique value of what you offer. This sets the stage for a personalized and relevant presentation.

Introduce yourself to Storydoc's AI assistant

3) Select a suitable design template

Dive into our collection of design templates and pick one that resonates with your business's personality.

Pick a Storydoc design template

4) Tailor your business plan presentation to your needs

Now, here’s where you add your personal touch. Fill in your details, tweak the design, and watch the magic happen as the template adapts to your content. This is where your business plan presentation starts to take on a life of its own.

Then, you can either upload your own multimedia elements or sit back as our AI assistant generates some for you.

Customizable Storydoc multimedia presentation

5) Add personalized elements

Next up, sprinkle in some personalization. It works just like personalizing a newsletter - you can insert dynamic variables that automatically fill up with your recipient's data.

This level of customization not only makes your presentation feel tailor-made for each reader but also adds a layer of engagement. As a matter of fact, it can get 68% more people to read your deck in full , and share it internally 2.3x more often!

Personalized Storydoc multimedia presentation

6) Review and refine your business plan presentation

Finally, take a step back and review your plan. Ensure it looks good, flows well, and clearly conveys your message.

The beauty of Storydoc is that it's a living document – if you spot a mistake or need to update information after sharing, you can. You're in control, ensuring your audience always sees the most polished and up-to-date version of your business plan presentation.

Storydoc multimedia presentation

Business plan design principles to turn average into impressive

Designing a business plan presentation is about more than just putting words on a page; it's about creating an experience that captures and holds attention. In today's digital age, the way you present your plan can be just as important as the content itself.

Let's explore how to design a business plan presentation that stands out in the modern business landscape.

1) Move from static to interactive

Gone are the days of static, text-heavy business plan presentations. Today's plans are interactive, engaging readers with clickable elements, dynamic charts, and even embedded videos.

This interactivity not only makes your plan more interesting but also allows readers to engage with the content in a more meaningful way.

Here's a great example of an interactive business plan presentation:

2) Use scroll-based design

Forget the hassle of pinching and zooming on a PDF. A scroll-based design, similar to a modern website, offers a fluid reading experience.

It's straightforward and aligns with how we naturally consume content online, making your business plan presentation easier and more enjoyable to read.

Here's an example of scroll-based design:

Business plan scrollytelling example

3) Make sure your business plan presentation is mobile-friendly

With so many people reading on their phones, your business plan presenttion needs to look good on any device.

Responsive design means your plan is easily readable on a phone, tablet, or computer, ensuring that your message is clear no matter how your audience accesses it.

4) Shift from local files to online documents

Step away from traditional Word docs or PDFs and embrace online documents. They're great for sharing, updating in real time, and collaborating with others.

Plus, they're accessible from anywhere, which is perfect for busy investors who are always on the move.

For more information, check out our comparison of the best business plan document types .

5) Embrace visual storytelling

Use visuals like infographics and charts to tell your business's story. They can turn complex data into easy-to-understand, engaging information. A well-placed visual can often do a better job of explaining your points than text alone.

Here's a great example of visual storytelling:

Business plan visual storytelling example

Best business plan software

Selecting the right tool to create your business plan presentation is vital for any startup. To ease your journey, I've compiled a list of the top business plan software, each designed to cater to different needs.

From comprehensive platforms guiding you step-by-step to dynamic tools that add interactive elements to your presentation, there's something for every entrepreneur.

The best business plan software currently available:

LivePlan.com

BizPlan.com

Upmetrics.co

GoSmallBiz.com

Business Sorter

MAUS Master Plan Lean

For a deep dive into each tool and to find the one that best fits your business's needs, explore our detailed guide to the best business plan software .

Interactive business plan presentation templates

The pressure to get your business plan presentation right can be overwhelming. After all, in many cases, you only get one shot to impress.

These business plan presentation templates offer a framework that takes care of the structure and design, allowing you to focus solely on fleshing out your strategy.

Whether you're pitching to investors, partners, or stakeholders, these templates give you the confidence that your plan is presented in the best possible light.

Grab one and see for yourself.

ways to present a business plan

Hi, I'm Dominika, Content Specialist at Storydoc. As a creative professional with experience in fashion, I'm here to show you how to amplify your brand message through the power of storytelling and eye-catching visuals.

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6 Strategies for Presenting Your Business Plan When you're ready to approach people with your finished business plan, these six strategies will help you achieve the results you want.

By Entrepreneur Staff Feb 3, 2015

In their book Write Your Business Plan , the staff of Entrepreneur Media offer an in-depth understanding of what's essential to any business plan, what's appropriate for your venture, and what it takes to ensure success. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain how to present your plan to investors or other individuals after you've completed it.

It doesn't matter how compelling your business plan is if the reader starts with a negative impression. A shopworn plan reeks of failure from the get-go. Make sure the cosmetics are right: Clean paper, crisp font, clear pictures and a professional (noncolloquial) presentation go a long way toward securing a fair reading or hearing of your business plan.

As always, when preparing your plan, keep your audience in mind. Businesslike is almost always best as a fallback decision on how to make a good first impression. Also ask in advance if the recipient wants a hard copy or an e-copy of your plan. In the digital age, we want to give people what they want.

Once you've prepared your plan for presentation, you need to put it in front of the right people. There are six steps for doing so:

1. Obtain leads and referrals. Find names, addresses and phone numbers of the type of investors you wish to target. Ask people you know for referrals. Network as much as possible.

2. Research your target. Learn as much as possible about how much money people have to invest, industries they're interested in and other requirements. Search venture capital directories, Who's Who , news articles, websites and similar sources.

3. Make your pitch. First, email or mail an introductory letter to your target letting them know you have a plan you'd like to send. Sending unsolicited, unanticipated business plans with a mere cover letter won't typically get your plan read. Not only are most people too busy to read whatever comes across their desk or lands in their inboxes, they also don't want to be sued someday for "stealing your ideas," even if they never read your plan.

A letter of introduction is your way of asking them if they'd be interested in reading your business plan. Within the letter, explain why you've selected them and what you have to offer, in a brief compelling manner.

You should also explain generally what you're looking for—an investor, a loan, a long-term supplier relationship or something else. Often this will be obvious from the circumstances. If you've received a personal referral, you'll want to include who gave you the referral very early on, probably in the first sentence following the salutation. Never underestimate the power of a personal referral from a friend, colleague or acquaintance. It may not land you an investor, but it gets your foot in the door. When emailing the individual, you might put the referral in the subject line.

In a world of "who you know" and the power of networking, many of the people you'll be sending your plan to will be referred by others. In some cases, you may even have some personal connection to the person other than a referral. For instance, perhaps you once met this individual while networking or worked together at a company or organization.

Finally, in the letter of introduction, you may want to detail the terms under which you're presenting your plan. For instance, you may say that you're not submitting the plan to any other investor. Or you may explicitly point out that you're currently seeking financing from a number of sources, including this one. If there's a deadline for responding to your plan, if you wish to stress that the plan is confidential and must be returned to you, or if you'd like to ask the recipient to pass it on to someone else who may be interested, this is the place to do so. Somewhere between sending the introductory letter and sending the plan—if the person agrees to see it—is where you can email a non-disclosure agreement if you plan to include one.

If you don't hear from them within a week or so, send a follow-up email, and try once more about two weeks later (in case they were out of town or swamped with other work). If this doesn't produce a meeting, look elsewhere.

4 . Try to meet people in person. Despite the fact that we're living in a text, email and conference-call age, you should still try to meet your recipient face to face, especially if you're seeking any type of funding. It's very hard to get such a commitment through a few texts or by email. Skype may work, but meeting in person for a major financial commitment is best. If they want to keep all communication electronic, then follow their lead.

5. Defuse objections. Although you may think you've answered everything in your plan, you haven't. Prepare a list of possible objections—potential competitors, hard-to-buttress assumptions and the like—that your investor may raise. Then prepare cogent answers. Have friends, co-workers and your team play devil's advocate and provide every possible objection or ask tough question, then formulate your answers.

6. Get a commitment. You won't get an investment unless you ask for it. When all objections have been answered, be ready to offer one last concession—"If I give your representative a board seat, can we do this today?"—and go for the close.

Entrepreneur Staff

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Home Blog Business How To Craft & Deliver an Effective Business Plan Presentation (Quick Guide)

How To Craft & Deliver an Effective Business Plan Presentation (Quick Guide)

Cover for Business Plan Presentation guide

A vital element in today’s highly competitive business landscape is the ability to craft and deliver a business plan presentation. This applies to both entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. 

This guide describes essential aspects required to build a business plan presentation and deliver it to stakeholders. 

Table of Contents

What is a Business Plan Presentation?

Is a business plan presentation the same as a business presentation, executive summary, justification of the business proposal, swot analysis, the niche of the proposal & actors in the industry, competitors, competitive intensity, trend analysis and critical variables, value chain, market analysis, jobs-to-be-done, value proposition, revenue streams, cost structure, distribution channels, key partnerships for the business model, organizational structure & management, go to market and marketing plan, development plan, qa, and continuous improvement model, distribution plan, inventory management, initial funding and financing structure, projection of income and costs.

  • Evaluation of Projected Return vs. Required

Risk Evaluation

Sensitivity to critical variables, how to present bibliographical information in a business plan presentation, how to deliver a business plan presentation.

A business plan presentation is the medium we use to communicate a business plan to an audience. 

Presenters commonly ask what is the target length of a business plan presentation in terms of slides. Our expertise in this field tells us it’s advisable to work between 13-20 slides, remaining as concise as possible and using the help of visual aids. Let the graphics speak rather than fill your slides with text blocks.

No. A business plan presentation is used to communicate an identified business opportunity and how it is planned to be served in a way that generates profit. A business presentation is a more generic term, explained in our article about business presentation examples . 

How to Create a Business Plan Presentation

This section will list our recommended content for a successful business plan presentation. We broke it down into four stages which help the presenter build the story backing the business: a-. The opportunity and the competitive landscape analyzed, b- the business model designed and tested to serve the opportunity, c- the implementation plan of the business model, and finally, d- the financial and economic projections estimated that show the profitability of the opportunity.

For the purpose of this guide, the slides will refer to a case study of photo editing software. To replicate this slide deck creation process, you can speed up design decisions by working with the SlideModel AI Presentation Maker and tailoring it to your project.

So, how to make a business plan presentation? Let’s see a step by step guide.

Stage 1 – Identifying the Opportunity

After the title slide that defines how to start a presentation , any business plan should proceed by introducing the executive summary in a concise but impactful format.

The purpose of the executive summary is to inform the audience what to expect from the presentation and its conclusion.

Executive Summary slide in a Business Plan Presentation

Work with a maximum of two slides for this section, highlighting the key elements through visual cues. Check our guide on how to present an executive summary .

The next slide should disclose all the reasoning behind the business plan proposal, why this plan is being presented at this present moment, and projections of how the plan aligns with the current market trends.

Presenters can share the analysis done by the Market research team as long as it’s made clear which problem is relevant to the current market trends that this business plan aims to solve.

Mention all the references used to arrive at the conclusions expressed so data is backed with meaningful sources.

Justification of the Business Proposal slide

Any corporate PPT template can help you craft this slide, but presenters can also boost their performance through the use of infographics . If your solution for the selected problem involves a complex process, consider using a process flow template to expose the step-by-step justification of this proposal.

Use a SWOT template to showcase the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of this business opportunity.

SWOT Analysis slide in a Business Plan Presentation

Make sure the SWOT diagram is legible. Work your way to meet the same aesthetic style despite speeding up the process with templates. Mention the tools used for gathering the information for this SWOT Analysis in the footnote and ensure the audience understands which information elements help you reach conclusions in each quadrant. Check our guide on how to create a SWOT analysis and see if your business plan requires a SWOT or SOAR analysis . 

Every business plan is scoped under a niche or industry sector. With this slide, describe the sector in which the proposal is immersed. Communicate its value,  list the actors involved, and describe their high-level relationships.

Actors in the Industry slide in the Business Plan Presentation

List the analyzed competitors. Communicate their attributes. The competitors’ comparison in business plan presentation can be visually explained using tools from the Blue Ocean Strategy framework, like the Strategy Canvas . 

Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas in Business Plan Presentation

The competitive intensity of an industry sector is studied through the Porter’s 5 Forces model. This intensity expresses how attractive the industry is. Explain the conclusion in each force showcasing the model.

Porter's Five Forces Analysis in Business Plan Presentation

First, introduce the variables identified as important for the industry sector, citing the insight’s source. Secondly, drill down each variable and break down the different trend dimensions ( PESTEL ) 

  • Use a highly visual slide, like a dashboard template , to introduce factual data regarding the trends over a specific time period. Growth rates must be represented in time frames of over 180 days to evaluate the trend accurately.
  • List the critical variables (consumers, product, production capability, and financing) briefly.
  • Disclose how each variable can affect pricing and your position within the niche for that trend. Presenters can refer to case studies from successful competitor stories on how they responded to trend changes in the niche.

PESTEL Analysis slide for a Business Plan Presentation

When presenting the value chain, we ought to articulate the sequence of activities the company handles to create value within the business plan. Start by breaking down the value chain into its key components, briefly explaining the stages from inbound logistics all the way through customer service. It is important to highlight the linking point between each stage and express the value of coordinating team activities to enhance overall efficiency.

Value Chain Layout slide in a Business Plan Presentation

We can use flowchart diagram templates as visual aids for the audience so they can understand the process sequence. Check our guide on how to make a flowchart .

Present the identified Market and its Segments. Continue explaining how conclusions were driven through the analysis and sizing of the market.

TAM SAM SOM for Business Plan Presentations

Presenters can use target market analysis templates , market segmentation templates , or TAM SAM SOM templates to compare their target market with the total available market. 

We recommend you check our guide on market segmentation for this process.

Then drill down with a Persona definition.

This study can be made by creating ideal customers, describing their demographics and psychological factors that make them prospective candidates to purchase the product or service this business plan presentation refers to.

Here is our guide on creating buyer personas . 

The Jobs-to-be-Done theory explains why certain customers are attracted to products and services and how those elements solve core problems in the consumers’ lives. 

A Perceptual Map is a tool we can use to measure the consumer perception of different products/services in the same market. This can be particularly useful if our value proposal is to brand ourselves as cheaper alternatives to already existing solutions. Check our guide on perceptual maps for further information.

Check our guide on the Jobs-to-be-Done framework and add suggestions to the business plan presentation.

Stage 2 – Business Model

To describe the  Business Model in your Business Plan Presentation, use the business model canvas analysis tool. Display your design in one slide.

Business Model Canvas for a Business Plan Presentation

For specific sections of the BMC, you can add slides if you need to drill down for further details. In our experience, the following sections require a deeper level of explanation.

List the Segments targeted in your Business Model. You can include a slide with additional information and segment size. Reference the Market analysis explained earlier to justify the selection or which were the pivots applied.

Customer Segmentation slide in a Business Plan Presentation

In order to explain the reasoning behind the Value Proposition and how it serves the segments selected, you can use the Value Proposition Canvas tool to explain the logic behind this selection.

Value Proposition Canvas slide for Business Plan Presentation

The Value Proposition outlines the unique benefit our product or service offers the market and why customers should choose our offer over potential alternatives. Since we have already analyzed the potential buyers and presented the market, it’s time to deliver that value proposition using our best assets: customer testimonials, report data, surveys, etc.

As testimonials often weigh the most in established brands, be sure to present this information through a narrative that showcases why your product or service had a positive impact on the life of that customer. You can use customer testimonial templates to give an extra boost through visual aids.

Customer testimonial slide in a Business Plan Presentation

Explaining how much the customers will pay for the product/services is critical to understanding the viability and profitability of the business. Showcase for each segment the pricing model and the engagement terms.

The Income Model expresses the sources of revenue for our business plan. This has to be in relationship with the pricing strategy for established businesses. Lean startups can work concerning their minimum viable product (MVP) and then elaborate with projections for future releases or changes in their income stream structure.

At this point, companies need to present the sources of revenue depending on their origin:

  • Product Sales
  • Subscription Model
  • Freemium Model
  • Partnerships with other brands in different niches
  • Advertising and Sponsorships
  • Monetization

Check our guide on pricing strategy models for more information about how to present this point. You can use revenue stream templates to represent this data in style.

Pricing table slide in a Business Plan Presentation

Drill down the cost structure categories and relate them to the Value Chain explained earlier. Show a cost breakdown chart to make it easier for the audience to understand their weight in the total costs.

As this step can be a bit complex to articulate, we recommend you check our guide on Cost Structure to see how you can resume all that information in one slide.

At the business model stage, distribution channels should be briefly introduced since they will be mentioned again in the Distribution Plan . In some industries, it is important to highlight which channels are chosen over others for the sake of revenue and faster operation.

Our Distribution Channels PowerPoint Template is a perfect resource for this.

Distribution Channels slide in Business Plan Presentation

Presenting the strategic partnerships for the business plan is a way to prove the plan’s potential reach and success factor. On this behalf, companies must list which resources they are sharing with their business partners regarding expertise, technology, distribution channels, or capital, as these elements will impact the cost structure.

You can use the Business Partnership PowerPoint Template to present this information in a professional-looking format.

Stage 3 – Implementation

The business plan is designed to offer a product, deliver a service, or combine both. At this stage, the business plan presentation drills down on how the organization will build/deliver the product/service implementing the business model outlined earlier.  

Describe how the company operates regarding human capital and its roles. Presenters must describe to the audience the hierarchical structure, responsibilities, and how they play a role within the value chain.

Org Chart in a Business Plan Presentation

You can use Org Charts to represent the roles and responsibilities in the organization visually. It is also advisable to highlight the expertise and experience of the management team, as it helps to build trust.

The Human Resource Plan must refer to your planned recruitment, training, and employee onboarding. Which talent will be required, and how is it planned to build the different teams of the structure.

HR Plan slide in Business Plan Presentation

Check the Go To Market Strategy guide and describe how the Business Plan will enter the market and overcome the initial barriers. Continue with the Marketing Plan limited to 1-2 slides resuming the plan’s tactics to increase brand awareness and the selected channels for this strategy. 

You can use the Marketing Plan Templates help to speed up the process by focusing on the content to fill rather than the design or creating complex charts from scratch.

Go-To Market Framework in Business Plan Presentation

Present the sales plan describing the full sales process, lead generation, nurturing customers, and conversion strategies.

Use Sales PowerPoint Templates to visually illustrate your sales process, like the Sales Pipeline Slide Template for PowerPoint , which depicts the process from lead acquisition to a closed deal.

Check our guide on Sales Plan for further information on this topic.

This step refers to presenting the product/service development plan, the Quality Assurance processes behind its validation, and your company’s commitment to a continuous improvement process based on surveyed data or customer feedback.

We can refer to testimonials, user case experiences our team successfully troubleshot, or experiences we learned from competitors in the same niche.

Presenting the distribution plan involves addressing logistics topics, supply chain , and sharing fulfillment strategies. Although we already presented the potential distribution channels, this is the step in which you detail how each will interact and their impact on the estimated revenue. 

Present one slide mentioning your company’s approach to these channels, if applicable:

  • Direct Sales (either physical store or e-commerce)
  • Retail Partnerships
  • Wholesalers or Distributors
  • E-Commerce marketplaces

This step involves two different approaches depending on the kind of industry we’re in. For traditional business, inventory management in a business plan presentation must highlight how the inventory will be handled to minimize transportation costs or overproduction. Projections must be shown per quarterly period and take into account seasonality if it has a significant impact on the required storage capacity.

On the other hand, e-commerce companies have to present their online infrastructure to secure the product’s availability 24/7, how customer tickets are handled when the customer cannot access the product, server costs, and how we prevent online leaks.

Stage 4 – ROI and Risk Evaluation

This section will outline the Financial Plan of your Business.

Showcase the financial structure, including equity, debt, and potential investors, at the moment of kick-starting this business. It is a good practice to consider the initial funding slide to be a brief summary of those points, with particular emphasis on the funding needs.

Cash Flow Diagrams , Comparison Chart templates , and Timeline templates to showcase when funds help to meet each of the plan’s milestones are good ideas to represent the elements on this slide.

Income and expense projections must be presented over a defined time period by using graphs or charts to clearly visualize the trends supporting each change.

Revenue and Expenses breakdown slide for Business Plan Presentation

Break down the revenue sources with clear, identifiable icons to showcase: product sales, subscription fees, advertisement, affiliates, etc. Sales estimations have to be realistic and conservative, as they will be contrasted with the production, marketing, administrative, and personnel costs to leave a gross profit margin calculation. 

Evaluation of Projected Return vs. Required 

Demonstrate the feasibility of your business plan. Start by presenting the profit margins in relation to the projection of income and expenses, then introduce the break-even analysis .

Presenters can make their message more relevant by presenting an ROI calculation and contrasting it with industry benchmarks in the same niche. By following this approach, presenters prove how the ROI offered by this business plan aligns with the investment’s risk projection.

Presenting a risk evaluation analysis in a business plan presentation involves introducing both risks and their mitigation strategies. 

Risk Management templates , like the ROAM framework, can help organize potential risk sources by their severity and impact on the organization. A pyramid diagram can be used to demonstrate how risk management can be delegated across the organization to completely eradicate the risk factor depending on its severity. 

The elements you should consider presenting are mainly regulatory changes, market changes, competitors (new or existing), and financial crises. 

The final point in our business plan presentation involves summarizing how key variables can influence the projected returns in our plan. Examples of these variables can be sudden increases in raw materials (affecting production costs and sales prices), a new pandemic (affecting workforce capacity and shortage of raw materials), geopolitical situations like war, etc.

We highly recommend presenting these critical variables using scenario analysis techniques according to measured data. Introduce best-case, worst-case, and most likely-case to give a full panorama of how your organization is prepared against any contingency.

An often overlooked point in a business plan presentation comes when listing the bibliographical information used to craft the business plan. Follow these steps to ensure a professional outcome for this slide or document.

  • Use a title like: “Bibliography,” “Source Credits,” or “References.” If your business plan presentation cites examples from other companies, use a “Works Cited” section.
  • References are usually shown in the APA style, but the MLE or Chicago style can be requested depending on your location or situation.
  • Maintain a consistent style in terms of reference style used, font, text size, and formatting options across the entire slide deck. Footnotes or in-text citations can be used for important data.
  • Verbally acknowledge your sources when required throughout the course of your presentation. This helps to establish credibility and respect for other people’s work rather than just dropping a slide with chunks of text.

This section will cover the most commonly asked questions on delivering a business plan presentation.

How many slides should my business plan presentation list?

This will depend entirely on your niche and the complexity of the business plan. Generally, work with at least 15 slides and no more than 30. It is best to use an extra slide rather than overcrowd an existing slide with tons of information.

What is the best format to present a business plan?

There are different options to present any business plan, so the selected option will mostly consist of the presenter’s preferred style and the audience’s age and interests.

  • PowerPoint Presentation : You can start from a blank slide and go all the way through a professionally designed PPT template . PowerPoint documents allow you to present images, text, audio, videos, and any kind of graphic to help you convey the core ideas behind the business plan. They can work with any PC or Mac device, as well as mobile devices.
  • PDF Documents: This can be a choice made in a hurry or by preference. Sharing a PDF document can work, but you must include the fonts used in the original document, as some compatibility issues can be present. 
  • Pitch Deck : Rather than doing a lengthy business plan presentation, a pitch deck consists of a maximum of 15 slides to deliver your proposal concisely. This is the typical approach we can see in TV shows like Shark Tank. 
  • Video Presentation : In some cases, using a video in a business plan presentation is relevant, especially if we are to introduce an innovative product in the market. You can use videos to showcase features, present services in a live format, introduce your team, and plenty of other options.

Are printables required in business plan presentations?

Although they are not required, using supplementary material in business plan presentations can be useful. You can prepare reference material for investors, especially involving complex data like graphs in an amplified format (and reference the slide in which they appear and vice versa).

Providing a printable to accompany your business plan presentation helps to give an image of professionalism and respect to your proposal.

What are the don’ts of writing a business plan?

The main purpose of this article is to craft and deliver a business plan presentation. Still, we would like to clarify some common errors seen in business plans that typically affect the performance of the presentation.

  • Using overcomplicated language : Jargon or unnecessary acronyms may confuse spectators who are not in touch with all the details relevant to a particular industry. 
  • Ignoring the audience : Not considering the variety of interests among investors, partners, and team members can hinder your presentation.
  • Neglecting/underestimating competitors : Any realistic business plan considers the existing competitors in their niche and perhaps potential newcomers. Not doing so will leave you unprepared to present a doable business plan.
  • Ignoring Risk Assessment : Omitting the Risk Assessment analysis and mitigation strategies does not respect the value investors and your team have. 

How long should the business plan presentation be?

As a general guideline, try to fit your business plan presentation between 20-30 minutes. Some complex plans may require additional time to be presented.

Does the presentation need to be tailored to different audiences? 

Using this tactic can be a winning factor for both investors and your team, as you prioritize effective communication for the roles they are relevant. Take these items into consideration for tailoring the presentation for specific needs.

In-Company Presentation

The focus should be on goal accomplishment and the strategies targeted to the team’s roles. Emphasize how teamwork is the pathway to success and how each individual contributes to the bigger picture.

If new technologies or knowledge are required as part of the business plan implementation, then this is the moment to disclose that information and inform the process to coach the team into it.

Board Meeting

Whenever delivering the business plan presentation to a board of directors, focus on the strategic goals, financial projections, and KPIs. 

Showcase how this business plan aligns with the company’s core values, mission, vision, and long-term strategy. 

Potential Investors

Presenting your unique value proposition, potential ROI, and highlighting the market opportunity is extremely important. Focus on selling your business model and vision with accurate financial projections and growth strategy. 

Dedicate some minutes to present your industry’s competitive landscape and answer why your product or service is a better offering than what competitors produce.

As we can see, creating a business plan presentation is a process that can be time-consuming if we lack the required business plan presentation tools to turn data into visually appealing formats. 

Remember to work concisely without losing the big picture of what you intend to explain. Your presentation is the entry point into the heart of your business; therefore, by adopting a structured approach, you can deliver an experience that engages, inspires, and builds confidence. 

Finally, let’s see some business plan PowerPoint presentation examples & business plan templates that you can use to speed up the presentation design process and save time.

1. Coffee Shop Illustration Business Plan Slides

ways to present a business plan

Create your new business plan presentation with quality vector illustrations for Coffee Shops. Ideal for cafeterias, coffee bars, barista giftshop stores, bookshops and more.

Use This Template

2. Real Estate Business Plan PowerPoint Template

ways to present a business plan

Realtors looking to start their own agencies should take a look at this attractive selection of slides with tailored real estate vector illustrations. These presentation plan slides show the different stages that a prospective buyer may incur, from hiring the services of a Real Estate agent, checking different properties, to finally buying a home.  Graphs and charts are included in vivid colors that are fully editable to meet the required branding.

3. Restaurant Business Model PowerPoint Template

ways to present a business plan

As we’ve seen with the previous cases, these vector images depicting typical restaurant activities can help us build a business plan presentation sample to discuss with our team prior to an important meeting. Save time and money by introducing these professional designs into your presentation.

4. One Pager Business Plan PowerPoint

ways to present a business plan

To briefly summarize the objectives of your business plan, work in-team with this one-pager business plan slide. Ideal to take notes, give a general picture of the current status of the business plan and key growth opportunities.

5. Business Plan PowerPoint Templates

ways to present a business plan

If you want to create the best business plan presentation, this slide deck can make that task 100% easier. Containing all the elements described in this guide, introduce your data and prepare to deliver a powerful speech.

6. Flat Bold Business Plan PowerPoint Template

ways to present a business plan

Another slide deck intended for those looking at how to make a business plan presentation that delivers a memorable experience. With a minimalistic design approach, it perfectly balances formal elements and impactful visual cues to help increase your audience’s retention rate.

7. Car Sharing Business Plan PowerPoint Template

ways to present a business plan

Create the next Uber-like car-sharing service with the help of these carpooling vector illustrations perfectly arranged in a cohesive business plan slide deck. Presenters can explain the ins and outs of their business model with highly detailed graphics that grab the attention of potential investors. Check it out now!

8. Beauty Salon Business Plan PowerPoint Template

ways to present a business plan

Business plan presentations don’t have to look formal or boring. This slide deck is geared towards beauty salon businesses, especially for those targeted to women. Chic design, bold color scheme, and extremely useful tools like a pricing list to present an idea like a subscription-based model where consumers see the total value of their investment.

9. CrossFit Business Plan PowerPoint Template

ways to present a business plan

Finally, we list an option filled with tools and gym vector illustrations for those looking to start a gym business or CrossFit academy. These illustrations were crafted with care to express the core idea on every single slide, such as human-shaped graphs to present relevant KPIs.

ways to present a business plan

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Start » startup, smart strategies for presenting your business plan.

Whether you're pitching investors or applying for a bank loan, it's important to nail your business plan presentation. Here are some tips for crafting and presenting yours.

 woman giving presentation to other professionals

For entrepreneurs who plan to apply for funding or raise investor capital, it's essential to write a solid business plan before launching a business . This document outlines the most important details about your new venture — including your mission, your founding team, your market research and, most importantly, your financial projections.

Once your business plan is written, you may be asked to present it in a variety of circumstances. Much like a professional resume, your plan will need to be tailored and tweaked to appeal to the specific audience you're trying to reach.

Whether you're preparing to write your first plan or refining your existing one, here are some expert-recommended tips for successfully presenting it to anyone who's evaluating your business.

When will you need to present your business plan?

A business plan should contain in-depth details about your business's market, revenue strategy and company structure to communicate the big picture, said Gerald Padilla, vice president of sales and marketing at Joorney Business Plans . The most common circumstances where you'll need to present your plan include:

  • Applying for a business loan, especially through a bank or the Small Business Administration .
  • Pitching investors and board members.
  • Renting a commercial space.

Matthew Wolf, head of advisory and senior consultant for Joorney Business Plans, said that even if your business plan is just an internal document for now, writing one forces you to think critically about how your business will achieve success, while also keeping you accountable.

[Read: 5 Business Plan Templates to Help You Plan for Success . ]

You should be able to clearly state who you are, what you do and why you are relevant.

David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks

Crafting the right business plan for your audience

If you want your business plan to be effective, you should customize and tailor it to the audience you're pitching, said Padilla.

"It's impossible to be everything to everyone," added David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks . "You should be able to clearly state who you are, what you do and why you are relevant."

Here are a few tips to help you do just that.

  • Lenders. Banks and the SBA require specific information in their business plan in order to approve a loan , said Padilla. It's important to understand those requirements and address each one within your business plan. "Debt providers are interested in your cash flow being sufficient to cover the principal and interest of the loan for the term," added Wolf.
  • Investors. In general, said Wolf, equity investors are interested in returns on investment, as well as debt coverage, which affects free cash flow and returns on investment. However, some investors may also be attracted to different aspects of your business. "Some may be endeared to the product or service concept, while others may invest in the team or CEO because they see the value in their qualities," Padilla told CO—. "Be sure to understand the investors you may be presenting to and their interests."
  • Landlords. Padilla noted that the potential landlord of a commercial space may ask for a business plan to understand the type of venture the business owner is proposing for use within the lease space. "They want to get clear details of the applicant's business activity before they accept the potential tenant's lease application," he said.

How to present your business plan

Regardless of your audience, there are a few key things to keep in mind when preparing to present your business plan.

First and foremost, you should ensure that all information included is credible and error-free.

"You want the business plan to reflect your professionalism and add to your credibility," said Padilla. "When using statistics, facts or figures, always cite the source of the data to support your ideas."

[Read: How to Write a Great Business Plan . ]

Reiling noted that you'll want to keep your plan simple so you can present it easily. Consulting resources like the SBA and SCORE can help you strike the right balance between simplicity and providing enough relevant information, he said.

"Bigger isn't necessarily better," Reiling added. "It's the content that matters."

On that note, Wolf advised making your plan as engaging as possible so you can capture the attention of the audience from the beginning.

"Be sure to have a clear go-to-market strategy and think deeply on your business's true competitive advantages," he said.

Finally, be sure to review your plan before each presentation to ensure you're providing the most accurate, up-to-date information on your business and its progress.

"Business plans should be living documents that are revisited and changed to reflect where a business is versus where it projected it would be," said Reiling. "It's the roadmap for a business."

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here .

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How to Create a Business Plan Presentation

Author: Noah Parsons

Noah Parsons

9 min. read

Updated April 9, 2024

It’s been said that business plans are worthless – it’s the planning process that is truly valuable . In many ways, this is a true statement. The business plan document that you create isn’t necessarily that useful because few people will ever review it in detail.

But, the process you went through to create that document forced you to think in detail about your business and answer questions that you might not have answered otherwise.

The planning process forced you to become an expert in your business, your target market, and your operations.

The expertise that you created in the planning process is what you need to showcase when you pitch your business to lenders and investors. Figuring out how to distill all of that knowledge into a few slides and a ten-to-twenty-minute presentation is the next challenge.

This guide will help you turn your business plan into a cohesive and convincing presentation that will help you win investors and wow your audience. 

  • What is a business plan presentation?

A business plan presentation is also often called a “ pitch deck .” It’s a set of slides, often designed to accompany an in-person or Zoom meeting, that presents the fundamentals of your business.

A great business plan presentation explains what you do, who your target audience is, how your business operates, and what your “ask” is. After all, you probably aren’t just presenting your business plan to share your great idea, you’re trying to convince your audience to do something for you.

When you’re designing your business plan presentation, it’s helpful to know if you’re going to be able to talk through your presentation, or if it’s just going to be emailed out. This 

  • Why do you present a business plan?

Your business plan presentation is all about the “ask”. Whether you’re trying to raise money for your business, win a business plan competition, or pitching a potential new employee to join your business, you have a reason for presenting your business. As you work on your business plan presentation, keep this in mind. Know who your audience is and what you want from them at the end of your presentation. More often than not, your goal will be simply to get to the next meeting or have some opportunity to continue the conversation. 

  • 6 Tips to create a convincing business plan presentation

We’ll cover exactly what to include in your business plan presentation in the next section, but first let’s go over a few tips that will help you prepare a great presentation.

1. Start with a review of your business plan

Your business plan presentation is a summary of your business plan, so use your plan as a starting point. You already have all the information you need to, so just go back to your plan and highlight the key points that you plan to cover in your presentation. If there are key statistics or facts about your market that you want to highlight, identify those so that you don’t forget to include them in your presentation.

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2. Tell a story

The key to engaging your audience is to hook them with a story. Think about the problems your customers face when they’re using a product or service from the competition. Explain what life is like before your business arrives to provide a novel solution. The more that you can get your audience to nod along and understand the point of view of your customer, the more likely they are to support your business. 

3. Use visuals

Business plan presentations shouldn’t be slides crammed with text and other information. Instead, focus on using imagery to convey your message. You don’t want your audience to just be reading a slide full of information while you talk – they won’t really give you their full attention when this happens. Instead, use photos, charts and graphs, or diagrams to explain your business and the problems you are solving. 

4. Use large, easy to read font

Always use a relatively large font in your presentation – 30pt or larger. Your audience shouldn’t have to strain to read what’s on your slide. Using a large font will also force you to choose your words carefully because you won’t have that much room on the page for a lot of words. 

6. Research who you’re presenting to

Nailing your presentation requires knowing your audience. For example, suppose you’ve invented a new medical device and are presenting to a room full of industry experts and medical professionals. In that case, you’ll want to present using terminology that they are familiar with.

However, if your presentation is to investors who may not be as familiar with your industry, you may need to simplify things and make sure to use language that they will understand. 

  • What to include in your business plan presentation

As a general rule, try to keep your presentation to 10-12 slides. Although you could probably talk about your business all day, your audience is looking for a concise presentation that clearly communicates what your business does and where you are going.

Here are the 10 slides you should include your presentation:

1. Introduction 

This is sometimes also called the title slide. You should include your company name and logo and a one line summary of your business. This might be your mission statement, or just a short tagline that explains what you’re doing in a nutshell. For example, Spotify might have said, “We’re revolutionizing how people listen to music and how artists get paid”. Instagram might have said, “We make it easy for anyone to produce professional-looking photos”.

2. The problem and your solution

This is where your story-telling skills need to come into play. You want to make your problem real to your audience. You want them to relate to people who have the problem, even if they don’t have the problem themselves. You want your audience nodding along in understanding.

With your problem clearly identified, you now explain your solution. This is a description of what your product or service is and what it does. Explain how it solves your customer’s problem and how it compares to the competition. 

3. Target market and opportunity

Your next step is to explain the size of your market and what your business opportunity is. You’ll use the market research data from your business plan in this slide to show how many potential customers are out there and you’ll show the different market segments that your business will target . 

4. Business model and pricing strategy

Your business model is an explanation of how you make money. For many businesses, this is very straightforward and doesn’t require much, if any, explanation. For others, more details will be required. For example, a business like Google provides their search engine for free to users, but sells ads in the search results. 

5. Traction

Traction is evidence of early success with your business. This might mean a list of initial customers, pre-orders through a Kickstarter campaign, or signed contracts with potential buyers. Any evidence that you can provide that proves that your business will be a success is useful to showcase here. 

6. Marketing and sales

Be sure to include a slide that provides an overview of your marketing and sales plan . You’ve identified your target market and now you need to explain how you’re going to reach them and sell to them. 

7. Financial projections

You shouldn’t try and fit your entire financial plan into your business plan presentation. Instead, extract the highlights and present them here. A sales forecast chart and profits chart could be useful. If you have a guess as to when you’ll become profitable, include that information. The goal of your presentation is to spark interest and get your audience to ask for additional information, so don’t overload things in your initial presentation.

8. Your team

Who is behind your business is often even more important than your idea. People come up with good ideas all the time. Investors are looking not just for a great idea, but for a team of people who can turn that idea into reality. Use this slide to provide a brief overview of your team and the rationale behind why your team is the right team to make the business a success. 

9. Use of funds

Assuming that you are presenting your business plan to raise money for your business, you’ll need to explain how you’re going to use that money. Is it for marketing or perhaps R&D? Maybe you need to raise funds to hire key additions to your team or to expand to a new location. Make it clear why you need the money and how you’re going to use it.

10. Call to action

Finally, don’t forget your “ask.” If you’re seeking investment, ask for it. If you are trying to convince someone to join your team, ask them to join. Your business plan presentation exists for a reason and there’s no harm in being direct about what you are looking for.

11. Appendix

Aside from the core slides of your presentation, it’s always useful to have additional slides ready to answer questions that come up. A great presentation leaves the audience interested and wanting to know more. Try and anticipate those questions and add slides in the appendix that helps answer those questions. When the audience asks a question that you’ve prepared a slide for, skip into the appendix and answer that question with your slide. This method shows your audience that you’re well prepared and have thought through all aspects of your business.

This is where it all comes back to planning. The plan document itself may not be useful, but the process you went through will leave you well-prepared to present your business plan expertly and successfully.

Check out our analysis of 7 well-known startup pitch decks for examples of businesses that successfully did this.

  • Download your free pitch deck template

Get a jump start on your business plan presentation by downloading our free pitch deck template . It has everything you need to get started and includes all the key slides you need for a winning presentation. 

Content Author: Noah Parsons

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

Check out LivePlan

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How to make a good business plan: step-by-step guide.

A business plan is a strategic roadmap used to navigate the challenging journey of entrepreneurship. It's the foundation upon which you build a successful business.

A well-crafted business plan can help you define your vision, clarify your goals, and identify potential problems before they arise.

But where do you start? How do you create a business plan that sets you up for success?

This article will explore the step-by-step process of creating a comprehensive business plan.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal document that outlines a business's objectives, strategies, and operational procedures. It typically includes the following information about a company:

Products or services

Target market

Competitors

Marketing and sales strategies

Financial plan

Management team

A business plan serves as a roadmap for a company's success and provides a blueprint for its growth and development. It helps entrepreneurs and business owners organize their ideas, evaluate the feasibility, and identify potential challenges and opportunities.

As well as serving as a guide for business owners, a business plan can attract investors and secure funding. It demonstrates the company's understanding of the market, its ability to generate revenue and profits, and its strategy for managing risks and achieving success.

Business plan vs. business model canvas

A business plan may seem similar to a business model canvas, but each document serves a different purpose.

A business model canvas is a high-level overview that helps entrepreneurs and business owners quickly test and iterate their ideas. It is often a one-page document that briefly outlines the following:

Key partnerships

Key activities

Key propositions

Customer relationships

Customer segments

Key resources

Cost structure

Revenue streams

On the other hand, a Business Plan Template provides a more in-depth analysis of a company's strategy and operations. It is typically a lengthy document and requires significant time and effort to develop.

A business model shouldn’t replace a business plan, and vice versa. Business owners should lay the foundations and visually capture the most important information with a Business Model Canvas Template . Because this is a fast and efficient way to communicate a business idea, a business model canvas is a good starting point before developing a more comprehensive business plan.

A business plan can aim to secure funding from investors or lenders, while a business model canvas communicates a business idea to potential customers or partners.

Why is a business plan important?

A business plan is crucial for any entrepreneur or business owner wanting to increase their chances of success.

Here are some of the many benefits of having a thorough business plan.

Helps to define the business goals and objectives

A business plan encourages you to think critically about your goals and objectives. Doing so lets you clearly understand what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there.

A well-defined set of goals, objectives, and key results also provides a sense of direction and purpose, which helps keep business owners focused and motivated.

Guides decision-making

A business plan requires you to consider different scenarios and potential problems that may arise in your business. This awareness allows you to devise strategies to deal with these issues and avoid pitfalls.

With a clear plan, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions aligning with their overall business goals and objectives. This helps reduce the risk of making costly mistakes and ensures they make decisions with long-term success in mind.

Attracts investors and secures funding

Investors and lenders often require a business plan before considering investing in your business. A document that outlines the company's goals, objectives, and financial forecasts can help instill confidence in potential investors and lenders.

A well-written business plan demonstrates that you have thoroughly thought through your business idea and have a solid plan for success.

Identifies potential challenges and risks

A business plan requires entrepreneurs to consider potential challenges and risks that could impact their business. For example:

Is there enough demand for my product or service?

Will I have enough capital to start my business?

Is the market oversaturated with too many competitors?

What will happen if my marketing strategy is ineffective?

By identifying these potential challenges, entrepreneurs can develop strategies to mitigate risks and overcome challenges. This can reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes and ensure the business is well-positioned to take on any challenges.

Provides a basis for measuring success

A business plan serves as a framework for measuring success by providing clear goals and financial projections . Entrepreneurs can regularly refer to the original business plan as a benchmark to measure progress. By comparing the current business position to initial forecasts, business owners can answer questions such as:

Are we where we want to be at this point?

Did we achieve our goals?

If not, why not, and what do we need to do?

After assessing whether the business is meeting its objectives or falling short, business owners can adjust their strategies as needed.

How to make a business plan step by step

The steps below will guide you through the process of creating a business plan and what key components you need to include.

1. Create an executive summary

Start with a brief overview of your entire plan. The executive summary should cover your business plan's main points and key takeaways.

Keep your executive summary concise and clear with the Executive Summary Template . The simple design helps readers understand the crux of your business plan without reading the entire document.

2. Write your company description

Provide a detailed explanation of your company. Include information on what your company does, the mission statement, and your vision for the future.

Provide additional background information on the history of your company, the founders, and any notable achievements or milestones.

3. Conduct a market analysis

Conduct an in-depth analysis of your industry, competitors, and target market. This is best done with a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Next, identify your target market's needs, demographics, and behaviors.

Use the Competitive Analysis Template to brainstorm answers to simple questions like:

What does the current market look like?

Who are your competitors?

What are they offering?

What will give you a competitive advantage?

Who is your target market?

What are they looking for and why?

How will your product or service satisfy a need?

These questions should give you valuable insights into the current market and where your business stands.

4. Describe your products and services

Provide detailed information about your products and services. This includes pricing information, product features, and any unique selling points.

Use the Product/Market Fit Template to explain how your products meet the needs of your target market. Describe what sets them apart from the competition.

5. Design a marketing and sales strategy

Outline how you plan to promote and sell your products. Your marketing strategy and sales strategy should include information about your:

Pricing strategy

Advertising and promotional tactics

Sales channels

The Go to Market Strategy Template is a great way to visually map how you plan to launch your product or service in a new or existing market.

6. Determine budget and financial projections

Document detailed information on your business’ finances. Describe the current financial position of the company and how you expect the finances to play out.

Some details to include in this section are:

Startup costs

Revenue projections

Profit and loss statement

Funding you have received or plan to receive

Strategy for raising funds

7. Set the organization and management structure

Define how your company is structured and who will be responsible for each aspect of the business. Use the Business Organizational Chart Template to visually map the company’s teams, roles, and hierarchy.

As well as the organization and management structure, discuss the legal structure of your business. Clarify whether your business is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or LLC.

8. Make an action plan

At this point in your business plan, you’ve described what you’re aiming for. But how are you going to get there? The Action Plan Template describes the following steps to move your business plan forward. Outline the next steps you plan to take to bring your business plan to fruition.

Types of business plans

Several types of business plans cater to different purposes and stages of a company's lifecycle. Here are some of the most common types of business plans.

Startup business plan

A startup business plan is typically an entrepreneur's first business plan. This document helps entrepreneurs articulate their business idea when starting a new business.

Not sure how to make a business plan for a startup? It’s pretty similar to a regular business plan, except the primary purpose of a startup business plan is to convince investors to provide funding for the business. A startup business plan also outlines the potential target market, product/service offering, marketing plan, and financial projections.

Strategic business plan

A strategic business plan is a long-term plan that outlines a company's overall strategy, objectives, and tactics. This type of strategic plan focuses on the big picture and helps business owners set goals and priorities and measure progress.

The primary purpose of a strategic business plan is to provide direction and guidance to the company's management team and stakeholders. The plan typically covers a period of three to five years.

Operational business plan

An operational business plan is a detailed document that outlines the day-to-day operations of a business. It focuses on the specific activities and processes required to run the business, such as:

Organizational structure

Staffing plan

Production plan

Quality control

Inventory management

Supply chain

The primary purpose of an operational business plan is to ensure that the business runs efficiently and effectively. It helps business owners manage their resources, track their performance, and identify areas for improvement.

Growth-business plan

A growth-business plan is a strategic plan that outlines how a company plans to expand its business. It helps business owners identify new market opportunities and increase revenue and profitability. The primary purpose of a growth-business plan is to provide a roadmap for the company's expansion and growth.

The 3 Horizons of Growth Template is a great tool to identify new areas of growth. This framework categorizes growth opportunities into three categories: Horizon 1 (core business), Horizon 2 (emerging business), and Horizon 3 (potential business).

One-page business plan

A one-page business plan is a condensed version of a full business plan that focuses on the most critical aspects of a business. It’s a great tool for entrepreneurs who want to quickly communicate their business idea to potential investors, partners, or employees.

A one-page business plan typically includes sections such as business concept, value proposition, revenue streams, and cost structure.

Best practices for how to make a good business plan

Here are some additional tips for creating a business plan:

Use a template

A template can help you organize your thoughts and effectively communicate your business ideas and strategies. Starting with a template can also save you time and effort when formatting your plan.

Miro’s extensive library of customizable templates includes all the necessary sections for a comprehensive business plan. With our templates, you can confidently present your business plans to stakeholders and investors.

Be practical

Avoid overestimating revenue projections or underestimating expenses. Your business plan should be grounded in practical realities like your budget, resources, and capabilities.

Be specific

Provide as much detail as possible in your business plan. A specific plan is easier to execute because it provides clear guidance on what needs to be done and how. Without specific details, your plan may be too broad or vague, making it difficult to know where to start or how to measure success.

Be thorough with your research

Conduct thorough research to fully understand the market, your competitors, and your target audience . By conducting thorough research, you can identify potential risks and challenges your business may face and develop strategies to mitigate them.

Get input from others

It can be easy to become overly focused on your vision and ideas, leading to tunnel vision and a lack of objectivity. By seeking input from others, you can identify potential opportunities you may have overlooked.

Review and revise regularly

A business plan is a living document. You should update it regularly to reflect market, industry, and business changes. Set aside time for regular reviews and revisions to ensure your plan remains relevant and effective.

Create a winning business plan to chart your path to success

Starting or growing a business can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, a well-written business plan can make or break your business’ success.

The purpose of a business plan is more than just to secure funding and attract investors. It also serves as a roadmap for achieving your business goals and realizing your vision. With the right mindset, tools, and strategies, you can develop a visually appealing, persuasive business plan.

Ready to make an effective business plan that works for you? Check out our library of ready-made strategy and planning templates and chart your path to success.

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How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps (+ Template and Examples)

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Every successful business has one thing in common, a good and well-executed business plan. A business plan is more than a document, it is a complete guide that outlines the goals your business wants to achieve, including its financial goals . It helps you analyze results, make strategic decisions, show your business operations and growth.

If you want to start a business or already have one and need to pitch it to investors for funding, writing a good business plan improves your chances of attracting financiers. As a startup, if you want to secure loans from financial institutions, part of the requirements involve submitting your business plan.

Writing a business plan does not have to be a complicated or time-consuming process. In this article, you will learn the step-by-step process for writing a successful business plan.

You will also learn what you need a business plan for, tips and strategies for writing a convincing business plan, business plan examples and templates that will save you tons of time, and the alternatives to the traditional business plan.

Let’s get started.

What Do You Need A Business Plan For?

Businesses create business plans for different purposes such as to secure funds, monitor business growth, measure your marketing strategies, and measure your business success.

1. Secure Funds

One of the primary reasons for writing a business plan is to secure funds, either from financial institutions/agencies or investors.

For you to effectively acquire funds, your business plan must contain the key elements of your business plan . For example, your business plan should include your growth plans, goals you want to achieve, and milestones you have recorded.

A business plan can also attract new business partners that are willing to contribute financially and intellectually. If you are writing a business plan to a bank, your project must show your traction , that is, the proof that you can pay back any loan borrowed.

Also, if you are writing to an investor, your plan must contain evidence that you can effectively utilize the funds you want them to invest in your business. Here, you are using your business plan to persuade a group or an individual that your business is a source of a good investment.

2. Monitor Business Growth

A business plan can help you track cash flows in your business. It steers your business to greater heights. A business plan capable of tracking business growth should contain:

  • The business goals
  • Methods to achieve the goals
  • Time-frame for attaining those goals

A good business plan should guide you through every step in achieving your goals. It can also track the allocation of assets to every aspect of the business. You can tell when you are spending more than you should on a project.

You can compare a business plan to a written GPS. It helps you manage your business and hints at the right time to expand your business.

3. Measure Business Success

A business plan can help you measure your business success rate. Some small-scale businesses are thriving better than more prominent companies because of their track record of success.

Right from the onset of your business operation, set goals and work towards them. Write a plan to guide you through your procedures. Use your plan to measure how much you have achieved and how much is left to attain.

You can also weigh your success by monitoring the position of your brand relative to competitors. On the other hand, a business plan can also show you why you have not achieved a goal. It can tell if you have elapsed the time frame you set to attain a goal.

4. Document Your Marketing Strategies

You can use a business plan to document your marketing plans. Every business should have an effective marketing plan.

Competition mandates every business owner to go the extraordinary mile to remain relevant in the market. Your business plan should contain your marketing strategies that work. You can measure the success rate of your marketing plans.

In your business plan, your marketing strategy must answer the questions:

  • How do you want to reach your target audience?
  • How do you plan to retain your customers?
  • What is/are your pricing plans?
  • What is your budget for marketing?

Business Plan Infographic

How to Write a Business Plan Step-by-Step

1. create your executive summary.

The executive summary is a snapshot of your business or a high-level overview of your business purposes and plans . Although the executive summary is the first section in your business plan, most people write it last. The length of the executive summary is not more than two pages.

Executive Summary of the business plan

Generally, there are nine sections in a business plan, the executive summary should condense essential ideas from the other eight sections.

A good executive summary should do the following:

  • A Snapshot of Growth Potential. Briefly inform the reader about your company and why it will be successful)
  • Contain your Mission Statement which explains what the main objective or focus of your business is.
  • Product Description and Differentiation. Brief description of your products or services and why it is different from other solutions in the market.
  • The Team. Basic information about your company’s leadership team and employees
  • Business Concept. A solid description of what your business does.
  • Target Market. The customers you plan to sell to.
  • Marketing Strategy. Your plans on reaching and selling to your customers
  • Current Financial State. Brief information about what revenue your business currently generates.
  • Projected Financial State. Brief information about what you foresee your business revenue to be in the future.

The executive summary is the make-or-break section of your business plan. If your summary cannot in less than two pages cannot clearly describe how your business will solve a particular problem of your target audience and make a profit, your business plan is set on a faulty foundation.

Avoid using the executive summary to hype your business, instead, focus on helping the reader understand the what and how of your plan.

View the executive summary as an opportunity to introduce your vision for your company. You know your executive summary is powerful when it can answer these key questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What sector or industry are you in?
  • What are your products and services?
  • What is the future of your industry?
  • Is your company scaleable?
  • Who are the owners and leaders of your company? What are their backgrounds and experience levels?
  • What is the motivation for starting your company?
  • What are the next steps?

Writing the executive summary last although it is the most important section of your business plan is an excellent idea. The reason why is because it is a high-level overview of your business plan. It is the section that determines whether potential investors and lenders will read further or not.

The executive summary can be a stand-alone document that covers everything in your business plan. It is not uncommon for investors to request only the executive summary when evaluating your business. If the information in the executive summary impresses them, they will ask for the complete business plan.

If you are writing your business plan for your planning purposes, you do not need to write the executive summary.

2. Add Your Company Overview

The company overview or description is the next section in your business plan after the executive summary. It describes what your business does.

Adding your company overview can be tricky especially when your business is still in the planning stages. Existing businesses can easily summarize their current operations but may encounter difficulties trying to explain what they plan to become.

Your company overview should contain the following:

  • What products and services you will provide
  • Geographical markets and locations your company have a presence
  • What you need to run your business
  • Who your target audience or customers are
  • Who will service your customers
  • Your company’s purpose, mission, and vision
  • Information about your company’s founders
  • Who the founders are
  • Notable achievements of your company so far

When creating a company overview, you have to focus on three basics: identifying your industry, identifying your customer, and explaining the problem you solve.

If you are stuck when creating your company overview, try to answer some of these questions that pertain to you.

  • Who are you targeting? (The answer is not everyone)
  • What pain point does your product or service solve for your customers that they will be willing to spend money on resolving?
  • How does your product or service overcome that pain point?
  • Where is the location of your business?
  • What products, equipment, and services do you need to run your business?
  • How is your company’s product or service different from your competition in the eyes of your customers?
  • How many employees do you need and what skills do you require them to have?

After answering some or all of these questions, you will get more than enough information you need to write your company overview or description section. When writing this section, describe what your company does for your customers.

It describes what your business does

The company description or overview section contains three elements: mission statement, history, and objectives.

  • Mission Statement

The mission statement refers to the reason why your business or company is existing. It goes beyond what you do or sell, it is about the ‘why’. A good mission statement should be emotional and inspirational.

Your mission statement should follow the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid). For example, Shopify’s mission statement is “Make commerce better for everyone.”

When describing your company’s history, make it simple and avoid the temptation of tying it to a defensive narrative. Write it in the manner you would a profile. Your company’s history should include the following information:

  • Founding Date
  • Major Milestones
  • Location(s)
  • Flagship Products or Services
  • Number of Employees
  • Executive Leadership Roles

When you fill in this information, you use it to write one or two paragraphs about your company’s history.

Business Objectives

Your business objective must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.) Failure to clearly identify your business objectives does not inspire confidence and makes it hard for your team members to work towards a common purpose.

3. Perform Market and Competitive Analyses to Proof a Big Enough Business Opportunity

The third step in writing a business plan is the market and competitive analysis section. Every business, no matter the size, needs to perform comprehensive market and competitive analyses before it enters into a market.

Performing market and competitive analyses are critical for the success of your business. It helps you avoid entering the right market with the wrong product, or vice versa. Anyone reading your business plans, especially financiers and financial institutions will want to see proof that there is a big enough business opportunity you are targeting.

This section is where you describe the market and industry you want to operate in and show the big opportunities in the market that your business can leverage to make a profit. If you noticed any unique trends when doing your research, show them in this section.

Market analysis alone is not enough, you have to add competitive analysis to strengthen this section. There are already businesses in the industry or market, how do you plan to take a share of the market from them?

You have to clearly illustrate the competitive landscape in your business plan. Are there areas your competitors are doing well? Are there areas where they are not doing so well? Show it.

Make it clear in this section why you are moving into the industry and what weaknesses are present there that you plan to explain. How are your competitors going to react to your market entry? How do you plan to get customers? Do you plan on taking your competitors' competitors, tap into other sources for customers, or both?

Illustrate the competitive landscape as well. What are your competitors doing well and not so well?

Answering these questions and thoughts will aid your market and competitive analysis of the opportunities in your space. Depending on how sophisticated your industry is, or the expectations of your financiers, you may need to carry out a more comprehensive market and competitive analysis to prove that big business opportunity.

Instead of looking at the market and competitive analyses as one entity, separating them will make the research even more comprehensive.

Market Analysis

Market analysis, boarding speaking, refers to research a business carried out on its industry, market, and competitors. It helps businesses gain a good understanding of their target market and the outlook of their industry. Before starting a company, it is vital to carry out market research to find out if the market is viable.

Market Analysis for Online Business

The market analysis section is a key part of the business plan. It is the section where you identify who your best clients or customers are. You cannot omit this section, without it your business plan is incomplete.

A good market analysis will tell your readers how you fit into the existing market and what makes you stand out. This section requires in-depth research, it will probably be the most time-consuming part of the business plan to write.

  • Market Research

To create a compelling market analysis that will win over investors and financial institutions, you have to carry out thorough market research . Your market research should be targeted at your primary target market for your products or services. Here is what you want to find out about your target market.

  • Your target market’s needs or pain points
  • The existing solutions for their pain points
  • Geographic Location
  • Demographics

The purpose of carrying out a marketing analysis is to get all the information you need to show that you have a solid and thorough understanding of your target audience.

Only after you have fully understood the people you plan to sell your products or services to, can you evaluate correctly if your target market will be interested in your products or services.

You can easily convince interested parties to invest in your business if you can show them you thoroughly understand the market and show them that there is a market for your products or services.

How to Quantify Your Target Market

One of the goals of your marketing research is to understand who your ideal customers are and their purchasing power. To quantify your target market, you have to determine the following:

  • Your Potential Customers: They are the people you plan to target. For example, if you sell accounting software for small businesses , then anyone who runs an enterprise or large business is unlikely to be your customers. Also, individuals who do not have a business will most likely not be interested in your product.
  • Total Households: If you are selling household products such as heating and air conditioning systems, determining the number of total households is more important than finding out the total population in the area you want to sell to. The logic is simple, people buy the product but it is the household that uses it.
  • Median Income: You need to know the median income of your target market. If you target a market that cannot afford to buy your products and services, your business will not last long.
  • Income by Demographics: If your potential customers belong to a certain age group or gender, determining income levels by demographics is necessary. For example, if you sell men's clothes, your target audience is men.

What Does a Good Market Analysis Entail?

Your business does not exist on its own, it can only flourish within an industry and alongside competitors. Market analysis takes into consideration your industry, target market, and competitors. Understanding these three entities will drastically improve your company’s chances of success.

Market Analysis Steps

You can view your market analysis as an examination of the market you want to break into and an education on the emerging trends and themes in that market. Good market analyses include the following:

  • Industry Description. You find out about the history of your industry, the current and future market size, and who the largest players/companies are in your industry.
  • Overview of Target Market. You research your target market and its characteristics. Who are you targeting? Note, it cannot be everyone, it has to be a specific group. You also have to find out all information possible about your customers that can help you understand how and why they make buying decisions.
  • Size of Target Market: You need to know the size of your target market, how frequently they buy, and the expected quantity they buy so you do not risk overproducing and having lots of bad inventory. Researching the size of your target market will help you determine if it is big enough for sustained business or not.
  • Growth Potential: Before picking a target market, you want to be sure there are lots of potential for future growth. You want to avoid going for an industry that is declining slowly or rapidly with almost zero growth potential.
  • Market Share Potential: Does your business stand a good chance of taking a good share of the market?
  • Market Pricing and Promotional Strategies: Your market analysis should give you an idea of the price point you can expect to charge for your products and services. Researching your target market will also give you ideas of pricing strategies you can implement to break into the market or to enjoy maximum profits.
  • Potential Barriers to Entry: One of the biggest benefits of conducting market analysis is that it shows you every potential barrier to entry your business will likely encounter. It is a good idea to discuss potential barriers to entry such as changing technology. It informs readers of your business plan that you understand the market.
  • Research on Competitors: You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and how you can exploit them for the benefit of your business. Find patterns and trends among your competitors that make them successful, discover what works and what doesn’t, and see what you can do better.

The market analysis section is not just for talking about your target market, industry, and competitors. You also have to explain how your company can fill the hole you have identified in the market.

Here are some questions you can answer that can help you position your product or service in a positive light to your readers.

  • Is your product or service of superior quality?
  • What additional features do you offer that your competitors do not offer?
  • Are you targeting a ‘new’ market?

Basically, your market analysis should include an analysis of what already exists in the market and an explanation of how your company fits into the market.

Competitive Analysis

In the competitive analysis section, y ou have to understand who your direct and indirect competitions are, and how successful they are in the marketplace. It is the section where you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, the advantage(s) they possess in the market and show the unique features or qualities that make you different from your competitors.

Four Steps to Create a Competitive Marketing Analysis

Many businesses do market analysis and competitive analysis together. However, to fully understand what the competitive analysis entails, it is essential to separate it from the market analysis.

Competitive analysis for your business can also include analysis on how to overcome barriers to entry in your target market.

The primary goal of conducting a competitive analysis is to distinguish your business from your competitors. A strong competitive analysis is essential if you want to convince potential funding sources to invest in your business. You have to show potential investors and lenders that your business has what it takes to compete in the marketplace successfully.

Competitive analysis will s how you what the strengths of your competition are and what they are doing to maintain that advantage.

When doing your competitive research, you first have to identify your competitor and then get all the information you can about them. The idea of spending time to identify your competitor and learn everything about them may seem daunting but it is well worth it.

Find answers to the following questions after you have identified who your competitors are.

  • What are your successful competitors doing?
  • Why is what they are doing working?
  • Can your business do it better?
  • What are the weaknesses of your successful competitors?
  • What are they not doing well?
  • Can your business turn its weaknesses into strengths?
  • How good is your competitors’ customer service?
  • Where do your competitors invest in advertising?
  • What sales and pricing strategies are they using?
  • What marketing strategies are they using?
  • What kind of press coverage do they get?
  • What are their customers saying about your competitors (both the positive and negative)?

If your competitors have a website, it is a good idea to visit their websites for more competitors’ research. Check their “About Us” page for more information.

How to Perform Competitive Analysis

If you are presenting your business plan to investors, you need to clearly distinguish yourself from your competitors. Investors can easily tell when you have not properly researched your competitors.

Take time to think about what unique qualities or features set you apart from your competitors. If you do not have any direct competition offering your product to the market, it does not mean you leave out the competitor analysis section blank. Instead research on other companies that are providing a similar product, or whose product is solving the problem your product solves.

The next step is to create a table listing the top competitors you want to include in your business plan. Ensure you list your business as the last and on the right. What you just created is known as the competitor analysis table.

Direct vs Indirect Competition

You cannot know if your product or service will be a fit for your target market if you have not understood your business and the competitive landscape.

There is no market you want to target where you will not encounter competition, even if your product is innovative. Including competitive analysis in your business plan is essential.

If you are entering an established market, you need to explain how you plan to differentiate your products from the available options in the market. Also, include a list of few companies that you view as your direct competitors The competition you face in an established market is your direct competition.

In situations where you are entering a market with no direct competition, it does not mean there is no competition there. Consider your indirect competition that offers substitutes for the products or services you offer.

For example, if you sell an innovative SaaS product, let us say a project management software , a company offering time management software is your indirect competition.

There is an easy way to find out who your indirect competitors are in the absence of no direct competitors. You simply have to research how your potential customers are solving the problems that your product or service seeks to solve. That is your direct competition.

Factors that Differentiate Your Business from the Competition

There are three main factors that any business can use to differentiate itself from its competition. They are cost leadership, product differentiation, and market segmentation.

1. Cost Leadership

A strategy you can impose to maximize your profits and gain an edge over your competitors. It involves offering lower prices than what the majority of your competitors are offering.

A common practice among businesses looking to enter into a market where there are dominant players is to use free trials or pricing to attract as many customers as possible to their offer.

2. Product Differentiation

Your product or service should have a unique selling proposition (USP) that your competitors do not have or do not stress in their marketing.

Part of the marketing strategy should involve making your products unique and different from your competitors. It does not have to be different from your competitors, it can be the addition to a feature or benefit that your competitors do not currently have.

3. Market Segmentation

As a new business seeking to break into an industry, you will gain more success from focusing on a specific niche or target market, and not the whole industry.

If your competitors are focused on a general need or target market, you can differentiate yourself from them by having a small and hyper-targeted audience. For example, if your competitors are selling men’s clothes in their online stores , you can sell hoodies for men.

4. Define Your Business and Management Structure

The next step in your business plan is your business and management structure. It is the section where you describe the legal structure of your business and the team running it.

Your business is only as good as the management team that runs it, while the management team can only strive when there is a proper business and management structure in place.

If your company is a sole proprietor or a limited liability company (LLC), a general or limited partnership, or a C or an S corporation, state it clearly in this section.

Use an organizational chart to show the management structure in your business. Clearly show who is in charge of what area in your company. It is where you show how each key manager or team leader’s unique experience can contribute immensely to the success of your company. You can also opt to add the resumes and CVs of the key players in your company.

The business and management structure section should show who the owner is, and other owners of the businesses (if the business has other owners). For businesses or companies with multiple owners, include the percent ownership of the various owners and clearly show the extent of each others’ involvement in the company.

Investors want to know who is behind the company and the team running it to determine if it has the right management to achieve its set goals.

Management Team

The management team section is where you show that you have the right team in place to successfully execute the business operations and ideas. Take time to create the management structure for your business. Think about all the important roles and responsibilities that you need managers for to grow your business.

Include brief bios of each key team member and ensure you highlight only the relevant information that is needed. If your team members have background industry experience or have held top positions for other companies and achieved success while filling that role, highlight it in this section.

Create Management Team For Business Plan

A common mistake that many startups make is assigning C-level titles such as (CMO and CEO) to everyone on their team. It is unrealistic for a small business to have those titles. While it may look good on paper for the ego of your team members, it can prevent investors from investing in your business.

Instead of building an unrealistic management structure that does not fit your business reality, it is best to allow business titles to grow as the business grows. Starting everyone at the top leaves no room for future change or growth, which is bad for productivity.

Your management team does not have to be complete before you start writing your business plan. You can have a complete business plan even when there are managerial positions that are empty and need filling.

If you have management gaps in your team, simply show the gaps and indicate you are searching for the right candidates for the role(s). Investors do not expect you to have a full management team when you are just starting your business.

Key Questions to Answer When Structuring Your Management Team

  • Who are the key leaders?
  • What experiences, skills, and educational backgrounds do you expect your key leaders to have?
  • Do your key leaders have industry experience?
  • What positions will they fill and what duties will they perform in those positions?
  • What level of authority do the key leaders have and what are their responsibilities?
  • What is the salary for the various management positions that will attract the ideal candidates?

Additional Tips for Writing the Management Structure Section

1. Avoid Adding ‘Ghost’ Names to Your Management Team

There is always that temptation to include a ‘ghost’ name to your management team to attract and influence investors to invest in your business. Although the presence of these celebrity management team members may attract the attention of investors, it can cause your business to lose any credibility if you get found out.

Seasoned investors will investigate further the members of your management team before committing fully to your business If they find out that the celebrity name used does not play any actual role in your business, they will not invest and may write you off as dishonest.

2. Focus on Credentials But Pay Extra Attention to the Roles

Investors want to know the experience that your key team members have to determine if they can successfully reach the company’s growth and financial goals.

While it is an excellent boost for your key management team to have the right credentials, you also want to pay extra attention to the roles they will play in your company.

Organizational Chart

Organizational chart Infographic

Adding an organizational chart in this section of your business plan is not necessary, you can do it in your business plan’s appendix.

If you are exploring funding options, it is not uncommon to get asked for your organizational chart. The function of an organizational chart goes beyond raising money, you can also use it as a useful planning tool for your business.

An organizational chart can help you identify how best to structure your management team for maximum productivity and point you towards key roles you need to fill in the future.

You can use the organizational chart to show your company’s internal management structure such as the roles and responsibilities of your management team, and relationships that exist between them.

5. Describe Your Product and Service Offering

In your business plan, you have to describe what you sell or the service you plan to offer. It is the next step after defining your business and management structure. The products and services section is where you sell the benefits of your business.

Here you have to explain how your product or service will benefit your customers and describe your product lifecycle. It is also the section where you write down your plans for intellectual property like patent filings and copyrighting.

The research and development that you are undertaking for your product or service need to be explained in detail in this section. However, do not get too technical, sell the general idea and its benefits.

If you have any diagrams or intricate designs of your product or service, do not include them in the products and services section. Instead, leave them for the addendum page. Also, if you are leaving out diagrams or designs for the addendum, ensure you add this phrase “For more detail, visit the addendum Page #.”

Your product and service section in your business plan should include the following:

  • A detailed explanation that clearly shows how your product or service works.
  • The pricing model for your product or service.
  • Your business’ sales and distribution strategy.
  • The ideal customers that want your product or service.
  • The benefits of your products and services.
  • Reason(s) why your product or service is a better alternative to what your competitors are currently offering in the market.
  • Plans for filling the orders you receive
  • If you have current or pending patents, copyrights, and trademarks for your product or service, you can also discuss them in this section.

What to Focus On When Describing the Benefits, Lifecycle, and Production Process of Your Products or Services

In the products and services section, you have to distill the benefits, lifecycle, and production process of your products and services.

When describing the benefits of your products or services, here are some key factors to focus on.

  • Unique features
  • Translating the unique features into benefits
  • The emotional, psychological, and practical payoffs to attract customers
  • Intellectual property rights or any patents

When describing the product life cycle of your products or services, here are some key factors to focus on.

  • Upsells, cross-sells, and down-sells
  • Time between purchases
  • Plans for research and development.

When describing the production process for your products or services, you need to think about the following:

  • The creation of new or existing products and services.
  • The sources for the raw materials or components you need for production.
  • Assembling the products
  • Maintaining quality control
  • Supply-chain logistics (receiving the raw materials and delivering the finished products)
  • The day-to-day management of the production processes, bookkeeping, and inventory.

Tips for Writing the Products or Services Section of Your Business Plan

1. Avoid Technical Descriptions and Industry Buzzwords

The products and services section of your business plan should clearly describe the products and services that your company provides. However, it is not a section to include technical jargons that anyone outside your industry will not understand.

A good practice is to remove highly detailed or technical descriptions in favor of simple terms. Industry buzzwords are not necessary, if there are simpler terms you can use, then use them. If you plan to use your business plan to source funds, making the product or service section so technical will do you no favors.

2. Describe How Your Products or Services Differ from Your Competitors

When potential investors look at your business plan, they want to know how the products and services you are offering differ from that of your competition. Differentiating your products or services from your competition in a way that makes your solution more attractive is critical.

If you are going the innovative path and there is no market currently for your product or service, you need to describe in this section why the market needs your product or service.

For example, overnight delivery was a niche business that only a few companies were participating in. Federal Express (FedEx) had to show in its business plan that there was a large opportunity for that service and they justified why the market needed that service.

3. Long or Short Products or Services Section

Should your products or services section be short? Does the long products or services section attract more investors?

There are no straightforward answers to these questions. Whether your products or services section should be long or relatively short depends on the nature of your business.

If your business is product-focused, then automatically you need to use more space to describe the details of your products. However, if the product your business sells is a commodity item that relies on competitive pricing or other pricing strategies, you do not have to use up so much space to provide significant details about the product.

Likewise, if you are selling a commodity that is available in numerous outlets, then you do not have to spend time on writing a long products or services section.

The key to the success of your business is most likely the effectiveness of your marketing strategies compared to your competitors. Use more space to address that section.

If you are creating a new product or service that the market does not know about, your products or services section can be lengthy. The reason why is because you need to explain everything about the product or service such as the nature of the product, its use case, and values.

A short products or services section for an innovative product or service will not give the readers enough information to properly evaluate your business.

4. Describe Your Relationships with Vendors or Suppliers

Your business will rely on vendors or suppliers to supply raw materials or the components needed to make your products. In your products and services section, describe your relationships with your vendors and suppliers fully.

Avoid the mistake of relying on only one supplier or vendor. If that supplier or vendor fails to supply or goes out of business, you can easily face supply problems and struggle to meet your demands. Plan to set up multiple vendor or supplier relationships for better business stability.

5. Your Primary Goal Is to Convince Your Readers

The primary goal of your business plan is to convince your readers that your business is viable and to create a guide for your business to follow. It applies to the products and services section.

When drafting this section, think like the reader. See your reader as someone who has no idea about your products and services. You are using the products and services section to provide the needed information to help your reader understand your products and services. As a result, you have to be clear and to the point.

While you want to educate your readers about your products or services, you also do not want to bore them with lots of technical details. Show your products and services and not your fancy choice of words.

Your products and services section should provide the answer to the “what” question for your business. You and your management team may run the business, but it is your products and services that are the lifeblood of the business.

Key Questions to Answer When Writing your Products and Services Section

Answering these questions can help you write your products and services section quickly and in a way that will appeal to your readers.

  • Are your products existing on the market or are they still in the development stage?
  • What is your timeline for adding new products and services to the market?
  • What are the positives that make your products and services different from your competitors?
  • Do your products and services have any competitive advantage that your competitors’ products and services do not currently have?
  • Do your products or services have any competitive disadvantages that you need to overcome to compete with your competitors? If your answer is yes, state how you plan to overcome them,
  • How much does it cost to produce your products or services? How much do you plan to sell it for?
  • What is the price for your products and services compared to your competitors? Is pricing an issue?
  • What are your operating costs and will it be low enough for you to compete with your competitors and still take home a reasonable profit margin?
  • What is your plan for acquiring your products? Are you involved in the production of your products or services?
  • Are you the manufacturer and produce all the components you need to create your products? Do you assemble your products by using components supplied by other manufacturers? Do you purchase your products directly from suppliers or wholesalers?
  • Do you have a steady supply of products that you need to start your business? (If your business is yet to kick-off)
  • How do you plan to distribute your products or services to the market?

You can also hint at the marketing or promotion plans you have for your products or services such as how you plan to build awareness or retain customers. The next section is where you can go fully into details about your business’s marketing and sales plan.

6. Show and Explain Your Marketing and Sales Plan

Providing great products and services is wonderful, but it means nothing if you do not have a marketing and sales plan to inform your customers about them. Your marketing and sales plan is critical to the success of your business.

The sales and marketing section is where you show and offer a detailed explanation of your marketing and sales plan and how you plan to execute it. It covers your pricing plan, proposed advertising and promotion activities, activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success, and the benefits of your products and services.

There are several ways you can approach your marketing and sales strategy. Ideally, your marketing and sales strategy has to fit the unique needs of your business.

In this section, you describe how the plans your business has for attracting and retaining customers, and the exact process for making a sale happen. It is essential to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales plans because you are still going to reference this section when you are making financial projections for your business.

Outline Your Business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The sales and marketing section is where you outline your business’s unique selling proposition (USP). When you are developing your unique selling proposition, think about the strongest reasons why people should buy from you over your competition. That reason(s) is most likely a good fit to serve as your unique selling proposition (USP).

Target Market and Target Audience

Plans on how to get your products or services to your target market and how to get your target audience to buy them go into this section. You also highlight the strengths of your business here, particularly what sets them apart from your competition.

Target Market Vs Target Audience

Before you start writing your marketing and sales plan, you need to have properly defined your target audience and fleshed out your buyer persona. If you do not first understand the individual you are marketing to, your marketing and sales plan will lack any substance and easily fall.

Creating a Smart Marketing and Sales Plan

Marketing your products and services is an investment that requires you to spend money. Like any other investment, you have to generate a good return on investment (ROI) to justify using that marketing and sales plan. Good marketing and sales plans bring in high sales and profits to your company.

Avoid spending money on unproductive marketing channels. Do your research and find out the best marketing and sales plan that works best for your company.

Your marketing and sales plan can be broken into different parts: your positioning statement, pricing, promotion, packaging, advertising, public relations, content marketing, social media, and strategic alliances.

Your Positioning Statement

Your positioning statement is the first part of your marketing and sales plan. It refers to the way you present your company to your customers.

Are you the premium solution, the low-price solution, or are you the intermediary between the two extremes in the market? What do you offer that your competitors do not that can give you leverage in the market?

Before you start writing your positioning statement, you need to spend some time evaluating the current market conditions. Here are some questions that can help you to evaluate the market

  • What are the unique features or benefits that you offer that your competitors lack?
  • What are your customers’ primary needs and wants?
  • Why should a customer choose you over your competition? How do you plan to differentiate yourself from the competition?
  • How does your company’s solution compare with other solutions in the market?

After answering these questions, then you can start writing your positioning statement. Your positioning statement does not have to be in-depth or too long.

All you need to explain with your positioning statement are two focus areas. The first is the position of your company within the competitive landscape. The other focus area is the core value proposition that sets your company apart from other alternatives that your ideal customer might consider.

Here is a simple template you can use to develop a positioning statement.

For [description of target market] who [need of target market], [product or service] [how it meets the need]. Unlike [top competition], it [most essential distinguishing feature].

For example, let’s create the positioning statement for fictional accounting software and QuickBooks alternative , TBooks.

“For small business owners who need accounting services, TBooks is an accounting software that helps small businesses handle their small business bookkeeping basics quickly and easily. Unlike Wave, TBooks gives small businesses access to live sessions with top accountants.”

You can edit this positioning statement sample and fill it with your business details.

After writing your positioning statement, the next step is the pricing of your offerings. The overall positioning strategy you set in your positioning statement will often determine how you price your products or services.

Pricing is a powerful tool that sends a strong message to your customers. Failure to get your pricing strategy right can make or mar your business. If you are targeting a low-income audience, setting a premium price can result in low sales.

You can use pricing to communicate your positioning to your customers. For example, if you are offering a product at a premium price, you are sending a message to your customers that the product belongs to the premium category.

Basic Rules to Follow When Pricing Your Offering

Setting a price for your offering involves more than just putting a price tag on it. Deciding on the right pricing for your offering requires following some basic rules. They include covering your costs, primary and secondary profit center pricing, and matching the market rate.

  • Covering Your Costs: The price you set for your products or service should be more than it costs you to produce and deliver them. Every business has the same goal, to make a profit. Depending on the strategy you want to use, there are exceptions to this rule. However, the vast majority of businesses follow this rule.
  • Primary and Secondary Profit Center Pricing: When a company sets its price above the cost of production, it is making that product its primary profit center. A company can also decide not to make its initial price its primary profit center by selling below or at even with its production cost. It rather depends on the support product or even maintenance that is associated with the initial purchase to make its profit. The initial price thus became its secondary profit center.
  • Matching the Market Rate: A good rule to follow when pricing your products or services is to match your pricing with consumer demand and expectations. If you price your products or services beyond the price your customer perceives as the ideal price range, you may end up with no customers. Pricing your products too low below what your customer perceives as the ideal price range may lead to them undervaluing your offering.

Pricing Strategy

Your pricing strategy influences the price of your offering. There are several pricing strategies available for you to choose from when examining the right pricing strategy for your business. They include cost-plus pricing, market-based pricing, value pricing, and more.

Pricing strategy influences the price of offering

  • Cost-plus Pricing: This strategy is one of the simplest and oldest pricing strategies. Here you consider the cost of producing a unit of your product and then add a profit to it to arrive at your market price. It is an effective pricing strategy for manufacturers because it helps them cover their initial costs. Another name for the cost-plus pricing strategy is the markup pricing strategy.
  • Market-based Pricing: This pricing strategy analyses the market including competitors’ pricing and then sets a price based on what the market is expecting. With this pricing strategy, you can either set your price at the low-end or high-end of the market.
  • Value Pricing: This pricing strategy involves setting a price based on the value you are providing to your customer. When adopting a value-based pricing strategy, you have to set a price that your customers are willing to pay. Service-based businesses such as small business insurance providers , luxury goods sellers, and the fashion industry use this pricing strategy.

After carefully sorting out your positioning statement and pricing, the next item to look at is your promotional strategy. Your promotional strategy explains how you plan on communicating with your customers and prospects.

As a business, you must measure all your costs, including the cost of your promotions. You also want to measure how much sales your promotions bring for your business to determine its usefulness. Promotional strategies or programs that do not lead to profit need to be removed.

There are different types of promotional strategies you can adopt for your business, they include advertising, public relations, and content marketing.

Advertising

Your business plan should include your advertising plan which can be found in the marketing and sales plan section. You need to include an overview of your advertising plans such as the areas you plan to spend money on to advertise your business and offers.

Ensure that you make it clear in this section if your business will be advertising online or using the more traditional offline media, or the combination of both online and offline media. You can also include the advertising medium you want to use to raise awareness about your business and offers.

Some common online advertising mediums you can use include social media ads, landing pages, sales pages, SEO, Pay-Per-Click, emails, Google Ads, and others. Some common traditional and offline advertising mediums include word of mouth, radios, direct mail, televisions, flyers, billboards, posters, and others.

A key component of your advertising strategy is how you plan to measure the effectiveness and success of your advertising campaign. There is no point in sticking with an advertising plan or medium that does not produce results for your business in the long run.

Public Relations

A great way to reach your customers is to get the media to cover your business or product. Publicity, especially good ones, should be a part of your marketing and sales plan. In this section, show your plans for getting prominent reviews of your product from reputable publications and sources.

Your business needs that exposure to grow. If public relations is a crucial part of your promotional strategy, provide details about your public relations plan here.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular promotional strategy used by businesses to inform and attract their customers. It is about teaching and educating your prospects on various topics of interest in your niche, it does not just involve informing them about the benefits and features of the products and services you have,

The Benefits of Content Marketing

Businesses publish content usually for free where they provide useful information, tips, and advice so that their target market can be made aware of the importance of their products and services. Content marketing strategies seek to nurture prospects into buyers over time by simply providing value.

Your company can create a blog where it will be publishing content for its target market. You will need to use the best website builder such as Wix and Squarespace and the best web hosting services such as Bluehost, Hostinger, and other Bluehost alternatives to create a functional blog or website.

If content marketing is a crucial part of your promotional strategy (as it should be), detail your plans under promotions.

Including high-quality images of the packaging of your product in your business plan is a lovely idea. You can add the images of the packaging of that product in the marketing and sales plan section. If you are not selling a product, then you do not need to include any worry about the physical packaging of your product.

When organizing the packaging section of your business plan, you can answer the following questions to make maximum use of this section.

  • Is your choice of packaging consistent with your positioning strategy?
  • What key value proposition does your packaging communicate? (It should reflect the key value proposition of your business)
  • How does your packaging compare to that of your competitors?

Social Media

Your 21st-century business needs to have a good social media presence. Not having one is leaving out opportunities for growth and reaching out to your prospect.

You do not have to join the thousands of social media platforms out there. What you need to do is join the ones that your customers are active on and be active there.

Most popular social media platforms

Businesses use social media to provide information about their products such as promotions, discounts, the benefits of their products, and content on their blogs.

Social media is also a platform for engaging with your customers and getting feedback about your products or services. Make no mistake, more and more of your prospects are using social media channels to find more information about companies.

You need to consider the social media channels you want to prioritize your business (prioritize the ones your customers are active in) and your branding plans in this section.

Choosing the right social media platform

Strategic Alliances

If your company plans to work closely with other companies as part of your sales and marketing plan, include it in this section. Prove details about those partnerships in your business plan if you have already established them.

Strategic alliances can be beneficial for all parties involved including your company. Working closely with another company in the form of a partnership can provide access to a different target market segment for your company.

The company you are partnering with may also gain access to your target market or simply offer a new product or service (that of your company) to its customers.

Mutually beneficial partnerships can cover the weaknesses of one company with the strength of another. You should consider strategic alliances with companies that sell complimentary products to yours. For example, if you provide printers, you can partner with a company that produces ink since the customers that buy printers from you will also need inks for printing.

Steps Involved in Creating a Marketing and Sales Plan

1. Focus on Your Target Market

Identify who your customers are, the market you want to target. Then determine the best ways to get your products or services to your potential customers.

2. Evaluate Your Competition

One of the goals of having a marketing plan is to distinguish yourself from your competition. You cannot stand out from them without first knowing them in and out.

You can know your competitors by gathering information about their products, pricing, service, and advertising campaigns.

These questions can help you know your competition.

  • What makes your competition successful?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • What are customers saying about your competition?

3. Consider Your Brand

Customers' perception of your brand has a strong impact on your sales. Your marketing and sales plan should seek to bolster the image of your brand. Before you start marketing your business, think about the message you want to pass across about your business and your products and services.

4. Focus on Benefits

The majority of your customers do not view your product in terms of features, what they want to know is the benefits and solutions your product offers. Think about the problems your product solves and the benefits it delivers, and use it to create the right sales and marketing message.

Your marketing plan should focus on what you want your customer to get instead of what you provide. Identify those benefits in your marketing and sales plan.

5. Focus on Differentiation

Your marketing and sales plan should look for a unique angle they can take that differentiates your business from the competition, even if the products offered are similar. Some good areas of differentiation you can use are your benefits, pricing, and features.

Key Questions to Answer When Writing Your Marketing and Sales Plan

  • What is your company’s budget for sales and marketing campaigns?
  • What key metrics will you use to determine if your marketing plans are successful?
  • What are your alternatives if your initial marketing efforts do not succeed?
  • Who are the sales representatives you need to promote your products or services?
  • What are the marketing and sales channels you plan to use? How do you plan to get your products in front of your ideal customers?
  • Where will you sell your products?

You may want to include samples of marketing materials you plan to use such as print ads, website descriptions, and social media ads. While it is not compulsory to include these samples, it can help you better communicate your marketing and sales plan and objectives.

The purpose of the marketing and sales section is to answer this question “How will you reach your customers?” If you cannot convincingly provide an answer to this question, you need to rework your marketing and sales section.

7. Clearly Show Your Funding Request

If you are writing your business plan to ask for funding from investors or financial institutions, the funding request section is where you will outline your funding requirements. The funding request section should answer the question ‘How much money will your business need in the near future (3 to 5 years)?’

A good funding request section will clearly outline and explain the amount of funding your business needs over the next five years. You need to know the amount of money your business needs to make an accurate funding request.

Also, when writing your funding request, provide details of how the funds will be used over the period. Specify if you want to use the funds to buy raw materials or machinery, pay salaries, pay for advertisements, and cover specific bills such as rent and electricity.

In addition to explaining what you want to use the funds requested for, you need to clearly state the projected return on investment (ROI) . Investors and creditors want to know if your business can generate profit for them if they put funds into it.

Ensure you do not inflate the figures and stay as realistic as possible. Investors and financial institutions you are seeking funds from will do their research before investing money in your business.

If you are not sure of an exact number to request from, you can use some range of numbers as rough estimates. Add a best-case scenario and a work-case scenario to your funding request. Also, include a description of your strategic future financial plans such as selling your business or paying off debts.

Funding Request: Debt or Equity?

When making your funding request, specify the type of funding you want. Do you want debt or equity? Draw out the terms that will be applicable for the funding, and the length of time the funding request will cover.

Case for Equity

If your new business has not yet started generating profits, you are most likely preparing to sell equity in your business to raise capital at the early stage. Equity here refers to ownership. In this case, you are selling a portion of your company to raise capital.

Although this method of raising capital for your business does not put your business in debt, keep in mind that an equity owner may expect to play a key role in company decisions even if he does not hold a major stake in the company.

Most equity sales for startups are usually private transactions . If you are making a funding request by offering equity in exchange for funding, let the investor know that they will be paid a dividend (a share of the company’s profit). Also, let the investor know the process for selling their equity in your business.

Case for Debt

You may decide not to offer equity in exchange for funds, instead, you make a funding request with the promise to pay back the money borrowed at the agreed time frame.

When making a funding request with an agreement to pay back, note that you will have to repay your creditors both the principal amount borrowed and the interest on it. Financial institutions offer this type of funding for businesses.

Large companies combine both equity and debt in their capital structure. When drafting your business plan, decide if you want to offer both or one over the other.

Before you sell equity in exchange for funding in your business, consider if you are willing to accept not being in total control of your business. Also, before you seek loans in your funding request section, ensure that the terms of repayment are favorable.

You should set a clear timeline in your funding request so that potential investors and creditors can know what you are expecting. Some investors and creditors may agree to your funding request and then delay payment for longer than 30 days, meanwhile, your business needs an immediate cash injection to operate efficiently.

Additional Tips for Writing the Funding Request Section of your Business Plan

The funding request section is not necessary for every business, it is only needed by businesses who plan to use their business plan to secure funding.

If you are adding the funding request section to your business plan, provide an itemized summary of how you plan to use the funds requested. Hiring a lawyer, accountant, or other professionals may be necessary for the proper development of this section.

You should also gather and use financial statements that add credibility and support to your funding requests. Ensure that the financial statements you use should include your projected financial data such as projected cash flows, forecast statements, and expenditure budgets.

If you are an existing business, include all historical financial statements such as cash flow statements, balance sheets and income statements .

Provide monthly and quarterly financial statements for a year. If your business has records that date back beyond the one-year mark, add the yearly statements of those years. These documents are for the appendix section of your business plan.

8. Detail Your Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projections

If you used the funding request section in your business plan, supplement it with a financial plan, metrics, and projections. This section paints a picture of the past performance of your business and then goes ahead to make an informed projection about its future.

The goal of this section is to convince readers that your business is going to be a financial success. It outlines your business plan to generate enough profit to repay the loan (with interest if applicable) and to generate a decent return on investment for investors.

If you have an existing business already in operation, use this section to demonstrate stability through finance. This section should include your cash flow statements, balance sheets, and income statements covering the last three to five years. If your business has some acceptable collateral that you can use to acquire loans, list it in the financial plan, metrics, and projection section.

Apart from current financial statements, this section should also contain a prospective financial outlook that spans the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, and capital expenditure budget.

If your business is new and is not yet generating profit, use clear and realistic projections to show the potentials of your business.

When drafting this section, research industry norms and the performance of comparable businesses. Your financial projections should cover at least five years. State the logic behind your financial projections. Remember you can always make adjustments to this section as the variables change.

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section create a baseline which your business can either exceed or fail to reach. If your business fails to reach your projections in this section, you need to understand why it failed.

Investors and loan managers spend a lot of time going through the financial plan, metrics, and projection section compared to other parts of the business plan. Ensure you spend time creating credible financial analyses for your business in this section.

Many entrepreneurs find this section daunting to write. You do not need a business degree to create a solid financial forecast for your business. Business finances, especially for startups, are not as complicated as they seem. There are several online tools and templates that make writing this section so much easier.

Use Graphs and Charts

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business. Charts and images make it easier to communicate your finances.

Accuracy in this section is key, ensure you carefully analyze your past financial statements properly before making financial projects.

Address the Risk Factors and Show Realistic Financial Projections

Keep your financial plan, metrics, and projection realistic. It is okay to be optimistic in your financial projection, however, you have to justify it.

You should also address the various risk factors associated with your business in this section. Investors want to know the potential risks involved, show them. You should also show your plans for mitigating those risks.

What You Should In The Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projection Section of Your Business Plan

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section of your business plan should have monthly sales and revenue forecasts for the first year. It should also include annual projections that cover 3 to 5 years.

A three-year projection is a basic requirement to have in your business plan. However, some investors may request a five-year forecast.

Your business plan should include the following financial statements: sales forecast, personnel plan, income statement, income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, and an exit strategy.

1. Sales Forecast

Sales forecast refers to your projections about the number of sales your business is going to record over the next few years. It is typically broken into several rows, with each row assigned to a core product or service that your business is offering.

One common mistake people make in their business plan is to break down the sales forecast section into long details. A sales forecast should forecast the high-level details.

For example, if you are forecasting sales for a payroll software provider, you could break down your forecast into target market segments or subscription categories.

Benefits of Sales Forecasting

Your sales forecast section should also have a corresponding row for each sales row to cover the direct cost or Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). The objective of these rows is to show the expenses that your business incurs in making and delivering your product or service.

Note that your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) should only cover those direct costs incurred when making your products. Other indirect expenses such as insurance, salaries, payroll tax, and rent should not be included.

For example, the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) for a restaurant is the cost of ingredients while for a consulting company it will be the cost of paper and other presentation materials.

Factors that affect sales forecasting

2. Personnel Plan

The personnel plan section is where you provide details about the payment plan for your employees. For a small business, you can easily list every position in your company and how much you plan to pay in the personnel plan.

However, for larger businesses, you have to break the personnel plan into functional groups such as sales and marketing.

The personnel plan will also include the cost of an employee beyond salary, commonly referred to as the employee burden. These costs include insurance, payroll taxes , and other essential costs incurred monthly as a result of having employees on your payroll.

True HR Cost Infographic

3. Income Statement

The income statement section shows if your business is making a profit or taking a loss. Another name for the income statement is the profit and loss (P&L). It takes data from your sales forecast and personnel plan and adds other ongoing expenses you incur while running your business.

The income statement section

Every business plan should have an income statement. It subtracts your business expenses from its earnings to show if your business is generating profit or incurring losses.

The income statement has the following items: sales, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), gross margin, operating expenses, total operating expenses, operating income , total expenses, and net profit.

  • Sales refer to the revenue your business generates from selling its products or services. Other names for sales are income or revenue.
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) refers to the total cost of selling your products. Other names for COGS are direct costs or cost of sales. Manufacturing businesses use the Costs of Goods Manufactured (COGM) .
  • Gross Margin is the figure you get when you subtract your COGS from your sales. In your income statement, you can express it as a percentage of total sales (Gross margin / Sales = Gross Margin Percent).
  • Operating Expenses refer to all the expenses you incur from running your business. It exempts the COGS because it stands alone as a core part of your income statement. You also have to exclude taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Your operating expenses include salaries, marketing expenses, research and development (R&D) expenses, and other expenses.
  • Total Operating Expenses refers to the sum of all your operating expenses including those exemptions named above under operating expenses.
  • Operating Income refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. It is simply known as the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). Calculating your operating income is simple, all you need to do is to subtract your COGS and total operating expenses from your sales.
  • Total Expenses refer to the sum of your operating expenses and your business’ interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
  • Net profit shows whether your business has made a profit or taken a loss during a given timeframe.

4. Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement tracks the money you have in the bank at any given point. It is often confused with the income statement or the profit and loss statement. They are both different types of financial statements. The income statement calculates your profits and losses while the cash flow statement shows you how much you have in the bank.

Cash Flow Statement Example

5. Balance Sheet

The balance sheet is a financial statement that provides an overview of the financial health of your business. It contains information about the assets and liabilities of your company, and owner’s or shareholders’ equity.

You can get the net worth of your company by subtracting your company’s liabilities from its assets.

Balance sheet Formula

6. Exit Strategy

The exit strategy refers to a probable plan for selling your business either to the public in an IPO or to another company. It is the last thing you include in the financial plan, metrics, and projection section.

You can choose to omit the exit strategy from your business plan if you plan to maintain full ownership of your business and do not plan on seeking angel investment or virtual capitalist (VC) funding.

Investors may want to know what your exit plan is. They invest in your business to get a good return on investment.

Your exit strategy does not have to include long and boring details. Ensure you identify some interested parties who may be interested in buying the company if it becomes a success.

Exit Strategy Section of Business Plan Infographic

Key Questions to Answer with Your Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projection

Your financial plan, metrics, and projection section helps investors, creditors, or your internal managers to understand what your expenses are, the amount of cash you need, and what it takes to make your company profitable. It also shows what you will be doing with any funding.

You do not need to show actual financial data if you do not have one. Adding forecasts and projections to your financial statements is added proof that your strategy is feasible and shows investors you have planned properly.

Here are some key questions to answer to help you develop this section.

  • What is your sales forecast for the next year?
  • When will your company achieve a positive cash flow?
  • What are the core expenses you need to operate?
  • How much money do you need upfront to operate or grow your company?
  • How will you use the loans or investments?

9. Add an Appendix to Your Business Plan

Adding an appendix to your business plan is optional. It is a useful place to put any charts, tables, legal notes, definitions, permits, résumés, and other critical information that do not fit into other sections of your business plan.

The appendix section is where you would want to include details of a patent or patent-pending if you have one. You can always add illustrations or images of your products here. It is the last section of your business plan.

When writing your business plan, there are details you cut short or remove to prevent the entire section from becoming too lengthy. There are also details you want to include in the business plan but are not a good fit for any of the previous sections. You can add that additional information to the appendix section.

Businesses also use the appendix section to include supporting documents or other materials specially requested by investors or lenders.

You can include just about any information that supports the assumptions and statements you made in the business plan under the appendix. It is the one place in the business plan where unrelated data and information can coexist amicably.

If your appendix section is lengthy, try organizing it by adding a table of contents at the beginning of the appendix section. It is also advisable to group similar information to make it easier for the reader to access them.

A well-organized appendix section makes it easier to share your information clearly and concisely. Add footnotes throughout the rest of the business plan or make references in the plan to the documents in the appendix.

The appendix section is usually only necessary if you are seeking funding from investors or lenders, or hoping to attract partners.

People reading business plans do not want to spend time going through a heap of backup information, numbers, and charts. Keep these documents or information in the Appendix section in case the reader wants to dig deeper.

Common Items to Include in the Appendix Section of Your Business Plan

The appendix section includes documents that supplement or support the information or claims given in other sections of the business plans. Common items you can include in the appendix section include:

  • Additional data about the process of manufacturing or creation
  • Additional description of products or services such as product schematics
  • Additional financial documents or projections
  • Articles of incorporation and status
  • Backup for market research or competitive analysis
  • Bank statements
  • Business registries
  • Client testimonials (if your business is already running)
  • Copies of insurances
  • Credit histories (personal or/and business)
  • Deeds and permits
  • Equipment leases
  • Examples of marketing and advertising collateral
  • Industry associations and memberships
  • Images of product
  • Intellectual property
  • Key customer contracts
  • Legal documents and other contracts
  • Letters of reference
  • Links to references
  • Market research data
  • Organizational charts
  • Photographs of potential facilities
  • Professional licenses pertaining to your legal structure or type of business
  • Purchase orders
  • Resumes of the founder(s) and key managers
  • State and federal identification numbers or codes
  • Trademarks or patents’ registrations

Avoid using the appendix section as a place to dump any document or information you feel like adding. Only add documents or information that you support or increase the credibility of your business plan.

Tips and Strategies for Writing a Convincing Business Plan

To achieve a perfect business plan, you need to consider some key tips and strategies. These tips will raise the efficiency of your business plan above average.

1. Know Your Audience

When writing a business plan, you need to know your audience . Business owners write business plans for different reasons. Your business plan has to be specific. For example, you can write business plans to potential investors, banks, and even fellow board members of the company.

The audience you are writing to determines the structure of the business plan. As a business owner, you have to know your audience. Not everyone will be your audience. Knowing your audience will help you to narrow the scope of your business plan.

Consider what your audience wants to see in your projects, the likely questions they might ask, and what interests them.

  • A business plan used to address a company's board members will center on its employment schemes, internal affairs, projects, stakeholders, etc.
  • A business plan for financial institutions will talk about the size of your market and the chances for you to pay back any loans you demand.
  • A business plan for investors will show proof that you can return the investment capital within a specific time. In addition, it discusses your financial projections, tractions, and market size.

2. Get Inspiration from People

Writing a business plan from scratch as an entrepreneur can be daunting. That is why you need the right inspiration to push you to write one. You can gain inspiration from the successful business plans of other businesses. Look at their business plans, the style they use, the structure of the project, etc.

To make your business plan easier to create, search companies related to your business to get an exact copy of what you need to create an effective business plan. You can also make references while citing examples in your business plans.

When drafting your business plan, get as much help from others as you possibly can. By getting inspiration from people, you can create something better than what they have.

3. Avoid Being Over Optimistic

Many business owners make use of strong adjectives to qualify their content. One of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make when preparing a business plan is promising too much.

The use of superlatives and over-optimistic claims can prepare the audience for more than you can offer. In the end, you disappoint the confidence they have in you.

In most cases, the best option is to be realistic with your claims and statistics. Most of the investors can sense a bit of incompetency from the overuse of superlatives. As a new entrepreneur, do not be tempted to over-promise to get the interests of investors.

The concept of entrepreneurship centers on risks, nothing is certain when you make future analyses. What separates the best is the ability to do careful research and work towards achieving that, not promising more than you can achieve.

To make an excellent first impression as an entrepreneur, replace superlatives with compelling data-driven content. In this way, you are more specific than someone promising a huge ROI from an investment.

4. Keep it Simple and Short

When writing business plans, ensure you keep them simple throughout. Irrespective of the purpose of the business plan, your goal is to convince the audience.

One way to achieve this goal is to make them understand your proposal. Therefore, it would be best if you avoid the use of complex grammar to express yourself. It would be a huge turn-off if the people you want to convince are not familiar with your use of words.

Another thing to note is the length of your business plan. It would be best if you made it as brief as possible.

You hardly see investors or agencies that read through an extremely long document. In that case, if your first few pages can’t convince them, then you have lost it. The more pages you write, the higher the chances of you derailing from the essential contents.

To ensure your business plan has a high conversion rate, you need to dispose of every unnecessary information. For example, if you have a strategy that you are not sure of, it would be best to leave it out of the plan.

5. Make an Outline and Follow Through

A perfect business plan must have touched every part needed to convince the audience. Business owners get easily tempted to concentrate more on their products than on other sections. Doing this can be detrimental to the efficiency of the business plan.

For example, imagine you talking about a product but omitting or providing very little information about the target audience. You will leave your clients confused.

To ensure that your business plan communicates your full business model to readers, you have to input all the necessary information in it. One of the best ways to achieve this is to design a structure and stick to it.

This structure is what guides you throughout the writing. To make your work easier, you can assign an estimated word count or page limit to every section to avoid making it too bulky for easy reading. As a guide, the necessary things your business plan must contain are:

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Product or service description
  • Target audience
  • Market size
  • Competition analysis
  • Financial projections

Some specific businesses can include some other essential sections, but these are the key sections that must be in every business plan.

6. Ask a Professional to Proofread

When writing a business plan, you must tie all loose ends to get a perfect result. When you are done with writing, call a professional to go through the document for you. You are bound to make mistakes, and the way to correct them is to get external help.

You should get a professional in your field who can relate to every section of your business plan. It would be easier for the professional to notice the inner flaws in the document than an editor with no knowledge of your business.

In addition to getting a professional to proofread, get an editor to proofread and edit your document. The editor will help you identify grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and inappropriate writing styles.

Writing a business plan can be daunting, but you can surmount that obstacle and get the best out of it with these tips.

Business Plan Examples and Templates That’ll Save You Tons of Time

1. hubspot's one-page business plan.

HubSpot's One Page Business Plan

The one-page business plan template by HubSpot is the perfect guide for businesses of any size, irrespective of their business strategy. Although the template is condensed into a page, your final business plan should not be a page long! The template is designed to ask helpful questions that can help you develop your business plan.

Hubspot’s one-page business plan template is divided into nine fields:

  • Business opportunity
  • Company description
  • Industry analysis
  • Target market
  • Implementation timeline
  • Marketing plan
  • Financial summary
  • Funding required

2. Bplan’s Free Business Plan Template

Bplan’s Free Business Plan Template

Bplans' free business plan template is investor-approved. It is a rich template used by prestigious educational institutions such as Babson College and Princeton University to teach entrepreneurs how to create a business plan.

The template has six sections: the executive summary, opportunity, execution, company, financial plan, and appendix. There is a step-by-step guide for writing every little detail in the business plan. Follow the instructions each step of the way and you will create a business plan that impresses investors or lenders easily.

3. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

HubSpot’s downloadable business plan template is a more comprehensive option compared to the one-page business template by HubSpot. This free and downloadable business plan template is designed for entrepreneurs.

The template is a comprehensive guide and checklist for business owners just starting their businesses. It tells you everything you need to fill in each section of the business plan and how to do it.

There are nine sections in this business plan template: an executive summary, company and business description, product and services line, market analysis, marketing plan, sales plan, legal notes, financial considerations, and appendix.

4. Business Plan by My Own Business Institute

The Business Profile

My Own Business Institute (MOBI) which is a part of Santa Clara University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers a free business plan template. You can either copy the free business template from the link provided above or download it as a Word document.

The comprehensive template consists of a whopping 15 sections.

  • The Business Profile
  • The Vision and the People
  • Home-Based Business and Freelance Business Opportunities
  • Organization
  • Licenses and Permits
  • Business Insurance
  • Communication Tools
  • Acquisitions
  • Location and Leasing
  • Accounting and Cash Flow
  • Opening and Marketing
  • Managing Employees
  • Expanding and Handling Problems

There are lots of helpful tips on how to fill each section in the free business plan template by MOBI.

5. Score's Business Plan Template for Startups

Score's Business Plan Template for Startups

Score is an American nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs build successful companies. This business plan template for startups by Score is available for free download. The business plan template asks a whooping 150 generic questions that help entrepreneurs from different fields to set up the perfect business plan.

The business plan template for startups contains clear instructions and worksheets, all you have to do is answer the questions and fill the worksheets.

There are nine sections in the business plan template: executive summary, company description, products and services, marketing plan, operational plan, management and organization, startup expenses and capitalization, financial plan, and appendices.

The ‘refining the plan’ resource contains instructions that help you modify your business plan to suit your specific needs, industry, and target audience. After you have completed Score’s business plan template, you can work with a SCORE mentor for expert advice in business planning.

6. Minimalist Architecture Business Plan Template by Venngage

Minimalist Architecture Business Plan Template by Venngage

The minimalist architecture business plan template is a simple template by Venngage that you can customize to suit your business needs .

There are five sections in the template: an executive summary, statement of problem, approach and methodology, qualifications, and schedule and benchmark. The business plan template has instructions that guide users on what to fill in each section.

7. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers two free business plan templates, filled with practical real-life examples that you can model to create your business plan. Both free business plan templates are written by fictional business owners: Rebecca who owns a consulting firm, and Andrew who owns a toy company.

There are five sections in the two SBA’s free business plan templates.

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Service Line
  • Marketing and Sales

8. The $100 Startup's One-Page Business Plan

The $100 Startup's One Page Business Plan

The one-page business plan by the $100 startup is a simple business plan template for entrepreneurs who do not want to create a long and complicated plan . You can include more details in the appendices for funders who want more information beyond what you can put in the one-page business plan.

There are five sections in the one-page business plan such as overview, ka-ching, hustling, success, and obstacles or challenges or open questions. You can answer all the questions using one or two sentences.

9. PandaDoc’s Free Business Plan Template

PandaDoc’s Free Business Plan Template

The free business plan template by PandaDoc is a comprehensive 15-page document that describes the information you should include in every section.

There are 11 sections in PandaDoc’s free business plan template.

  • Executive summary
  • Business description
  • Products and services
  • Operations plan
  • Management organization
  • Financial plan
  • Conclusion / Call to action
  • Confidentiality statement

You have to sign up for its 14-day free trial to access the template. You will find different business plan templates on PandaDoc once you sign up (including templates for general businesses and specific businesses such as bakeries, startups, restaurants, salons, hotels, and coffee shops)

PandaDoc allows you to customize its business plan templates to fit the needs of your business. After editing the template, you can send it to interested parties and track opens and views through PandaDoc.

10. Invoiceberry Templates for Word, Open Office, Excel, or PPT

Invoiceberry Templates Business Concept

InvoiceBerry is a U.K based online invoicing and tracking platform that offers free business plan templates in .docx, .odt, .xlsx, and .pptx formats for freelancers and small businesses.

Before you can download the free business plan template, it will ask you to give it your email address. After you complete the little task, it will send the download link to your inbox for you to download. It also provides a business plan checklist in .xlsx file format that ensures you add the right information to the business plan.

Alternatives to the Traditional Business Plan

A business plan is very important in mapping out how one expects their business to grow over a set number of years, particularly when they need external investment in their business. However, many investors do not have the time to watch you present your business plan. It is a long and boring read.

Luckily, there are three alternatives to the traditional business plan (the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, and Startup Pitch Deck). These alternatives are less laborious and easier and quicker to present to investors.

Business Model Canvas (BMC)

The business model canvas is a business tool used to present all the important components of setting up a business, such as customers, route to market, value proposition, and finance in a single sheet. It provides a very focused blueprint that defines your business initially which you can later expand on if needed.

Business Model Canvas (BMC) Infographic

The sheet is divided mainly into company, industry, and consumer models that are interconnected in how they find problems and proffer solutions.

Segments of the Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas was developed by founder Alexander Osterwalder to answer important business questions. It contains nine segments.

Segments of the Business Model Canvas

  • Key Partners: Who will be occupying important executive positions in your business? What do they bring to the table? Will there be a third party involved with the company?
  • Key Activities: What important activities will production entail? What activities will be carried out to ensure the smooth running of the company?
  • The Product’s Value Propositions: What does your product do? How will it be different from other products?
  • Customer Segments: What demography of consumers are you targeting? What are the habits of these consumers? Who are the MVPs of your target consumers?
  • Customer Relationships: How will the team support and work with its customer base? How do you intend to build and maintain trust with the customer?
  • Key Resources: What type of personnel and tools will be needed? What size of the budget will they need access to?
  • Channels: How do you plan to create awareness of your products? How do you intend to transport your product to the customer?
  • Cost Structure: What is the estimated cost of production? How much will distribution cost?
  • Revenue Streams: For what value are customers willing to pay? How do they prefer to pay for the product? Are there any external revenues attached apart from the main source? How do the revenue streams contribute to the overall revenue?

Lean Canvas

The lean canvas is a problem-oriented alternative to the standard business model canvas. It was proposed by Ash Maurya, creator of Lean Stack as a development of the business model generation. It uses a more problem-focused approach and it majorly targets entrepreneurs and startup businesses.

The lean canvas is a problem oriented alternative to the standard business model canvas

Lean Canvas uses the same 9 blocks concept as the business model canvas, however, they have been modified slightly to suit the needs and purpose of a small startup. The key partners, key activities, customer relationships, and key resources are replaced by new segments which are:

  • Problem: Simple and straightforward number of problems you have identified, ideally three.
  • Solution: The solutions to each problem.
  • Unfair Advantage: Something you possess that can't be easily bought or replicated.
  • Key Metrics: Important numbers that will tell how your business is doing.

Startup Pitch Deck

While the business model canvas compresses into a factual sheet, startup pitch decks expand flamboyantly.

Pitch decks, through slides, convey your business plan, often through graphs and images used to emphasize estimations and observations in your presentation. Entrepreneurs often use pitch decks to fully convince their target audience of their plans before discussing funding arrangements.

Startup Pitch Deck Presentation

Considering the likelihood of it being used in a small time frame, a good startup pitch deck should ideally contain 20 slides or less to have enough time to answer questions from the audience.

Unlike the standard and lean business model canvases, a pitch deck doesn't have a set template on how to present your business plan but there are still important components to it. These components often mirror those of the business model canvas except that they are in slide form and contain more details.

Airbnb Pitch Deck

Using Airbnb (one of the most successful start-ups in recent history) for reference, the important components of a good slide are listed below.

  • Cover/Introduction Slide: Here, you should include your company's name and mission statement. Your mission statement should be a very catchy tagline. Also, include personal information and contact details to provide an easy link for potential investors.
  • Problem Slide: This slide requires you to create a connection with the audience or the investor that you are pitching. For example in their pitch, Airbnb summarized the most important problems it would solve in three brief points – pricing of hotels, disconnection from city culture, and connection problems for local bookings.
  • Solution Slide: This slide includes your core value proposition. List simple and direct solutions to the problems you have mentioned
  • Customer Analysis: Here you will provide information on the customers you will be offering your service to. The identity of your customers plays an important part in fundraising as well as the long-run viability of the business.
  • Market Validation: Use competitive analysis to show numbers that prove the presence of a market for your product, industry behavior in the present and the long run, as well as the percentage of the market you aim to attract. It shows that you understand your competitors and customers and convinces investors of the opportunities presented in the market.
  • Business Model: Your business model is the hook of your presentation. It may vary in complexity but it should generally include a pricing system informed by your market analysis. The goal of the slide is to confirm your business model is easy to implement.
  • Marketing Strategy: This slide should summarize a few customer acquisition methods that you plan to use to grow the business.
  • Competitive Advantage: What this slide will do is provide information on what will set you apart and make you a more attractive option to customers. It could be the possession of technology that is not widely known in the market.
  • Team Slide: Here you will give a brief description of your team. Include your key management personnel here and their specific roles in the company. Include their educational background, job history, and skillsets. Also, talk about their accomplishments in their careers so far to build investors' confidence in members of your team.
  • Traction Slide: This validates the company’s business model by showing growth through early sales and support. The slide aims to reduce any lingering fears in potential investors by showing realistic periodic milestones and profit margins. It can include current sales, growth, valuable customers, pre-orders, or data from surveys outlining current consumer interest.
  • Funding Slide: This slide is popularly referred to as ‘the ask'. Here you will include important details like how much is needed to get your business off the ground and how the funding will be spent to help the company reach its goals.
  • Appendix Slides: Your pitch deck appendix should always be included alongside a standard pitch presentation. It consists of additional slides you could not show in the pitch deck but you need to complement your presentation.

It is important to support your calculations with pictorial renditions. Infographics, such as pie charts or bar graphs, will be more effective in presenting the information than just listing numbers. For example, a six-month graph that shows rising profit margins will easily look more impressive than merely writing it.

Lastly, since a pitch deck is primarily used to secure meetings and you may be sharing your pitch with several investors, it is advisable to keep a separate public version that doesn't include financials. Only disclose the one with projections once you have secured a link with an investor.

Advantages of the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, and Startup Pitch Deck over the Traditional Business Plan

  • Time-Saving: Writing a detailed traditional business plan could take weeks or months. On the other hand, all three alternatives can be done in a few days or even one night of brainstorming if you have a comprehensive understanding of your business.
  • Easier to Understand: Since the information presented is almost entirely factual, it puts focus on what is most important in running the business. They cut away the excess pages of fillers in a traditional business plan and allow investors to see what is driving the business and what is getting in the way.
  • Easy to Update: Businesses typically present their business plans to many potential investors before they secure funding. What this means is that you may regularly have to amend your presentation to update statistics or adjust to audience-specific needs. For a traditional business plan, this could mean rewriting a whole section of your plan. For the three alternatives, updating is much easier because they are not voluminous.
  • Guide for a More In-depth Business Plan: All three alternatives have the added benefit of being able to double as a sketch of your business plan if the need to create one arises in the future.

Business Plan FAQ

Business plans are important for any entrepreneur who is looking for a framework to run their company over some time or seeking external support. Although they are essential for new businesses, every company should ideally have a business plan to track their growth from time to time.  They can be used by startups seeking investments or loans to convey their business ideas or an employee to convince his boss of the feasibility of starting a new project. They can also be used by companies seeking to recruit high-profile employee targets into key positions or trying to secure partnerships with other firms.

Business plans often vary depending on your target audience, the scope, and the goals for the plan. Startup plans are the most common among the different types of business plans.  A start-up plan is used by a new business to present all the necessary information to help get the business up and running. They are usually used by entrepreneurs who are seeking funding from investors or bank loans. The established company alternative to a start-up plan is a feasibility plan. A feasibility plan is often used by an established company looking for new business opportunities. They are used to show the upsides of creating a new product for a consumer base. Because the audience is usually company people, it requires less company analysis. The third type of business plan is the lean business plan. A lean business plan is a brief, straight-to-the-point breakdown of your ideas and analysis for your business. It does not contain details of your proposal and can be written on one page. Finally, you have the what-if plan. As it implies, a what-if plan is a preparation for the worst-case scenario. You must always be prepared for the possibility of your original plan being rejected. A good what-if plan will serve as a good plan B to the original.

A good business plan has 10 key components. They include an executive plan, product analysis, desired customer base, company analysis, industry analysis, marketing strategy, sales strategy, financial projection, funding, and appendix. Executive Plan Your business should begin with your executive plan. An executive plan will provide early insight into what you are planning to achieve with your business. It should include your mission statement and highlight some of the important points which you will explain later. Product Analysis The next component of your business plan is your product analysis. A key part of this section is explaining the type of item or service you are going to offer as well as the market problems your product will solve. Desired Consumer Base Your product analysis should be supplemented with a detailed breakdown of your desired consumer base. Investors are always interested in knowing the economic power of your market as well as potential MVP customers. Company Analysis The next component of your business plan is your company analysis. Here, you explain how you want to run your business. It will include your operational strategy, an insight into the workforce needed to keep the company running, and important executive positions. It will also provide a calculation of expected operational costs.  Industry Analysis A good business plan should also contain well laid out industry analysis. It is important to convince potential investors you know the companies you will be competing with, as well as your plans to gain an edge on the competition. Marketing Strategy Your business plan should also include your marketing strategy. This is how you intend to spread awareness of your product. It should include a detailed explanation of the company brand as well as your advertising methods. Sales Strategy Your sales strategy comes after the market strategy. Here you give an overview of your company's pricing strategy and how you aim to maximize profits. You can also explain how your prices will adapt to market behaviors. Financial Projection The financial projection is the next component of your business plan. It explains your company's expected running cost and revenue earned during the tenure of the business plan. Financial projection gives a clear idea of how your company will develop in the future. Funding The next component of your business plan is funding. You have to detail how much external investment you need to get your business idea off the ground here. Appendix The last component of your plan is the appendix. This is where you put licenses, graphs, or key information that does not fit in any of the other components.

The business model canvas is a business management tool used to quickly define your business idea and model. It is often used when investors need you to pitch your business idea during a brief window.

A pitch deck is similar to a business model canvas except that it makes use of slides in its presentation. A pitch is not primarily used to secure funding, rather its main purpose is to entice potential investors by selling a very optimistic outlook on the business.

Business plan competitions help you evaluate the strength of your business plan. By participating in business plan competitions, you are improving your experience. The experience provides you with a degree of validation while practicing important skills. The main motivation for entering into the competitions is often to secure funding by finishing in podium positions. There is also the chance that you may catch the eye of a casual observer outside of the competition. These competitions also provide good networking opportunities. You could meet mentors who will take a keen interest in guiding you in your business journey. You also have the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs whose ideas can complement yours.

Exlore Further

  • 12 Key Elements of a Business Plan (Top Components Explained)
  • 13 Sources of Business Finance For Companies & Sole Traders
  • 5 Common Types of Business Structures (+ Pros & Cons)
  • How to Buy a Business in 8 Steps (+ Due Diligence Checklist)

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Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.

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The Right Way to Present Your Business Case

  • Carolyn O’Hara

ways to present a business plan

Get key stakeholders on board with one effective presentation.

You’ve already put a great deal of work into preparing a solid business case for your project or idea. But when it comes to the critical presentation phase, how do you earn the support of decision makers in the room? How do you present your case so that it’s clear and straightforward while also persuasive?

ways to present a business plan

  • Carolyn O’Hara is a writer and editor based in New York City. She’s worked at The Week, PBS NewsHour, and Foreign Policy. carolynohara1

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ways to present a business plan

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How to Effectively Pitch a Business Idea

Business professional pitching idea in office

  • 27 Aug 2020

You’ve identified an underserved need and validated your startup idea . Now it’s time to talk about your business to potential investors. Yet, how do you effectively communicate your idea’s promise and possible impact on the market?

Pitching a business idea is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of any entrepreneur’s journey. It’s what stands in the way between your vision and the financing needed to turn it into a reality. Although daunting, there are steps you can take to ensure a greater chance of success.

Access your free e-book today.

What Makes a Great Pitch?

To make a successful pitch, entrepreneurs must exhibit several characteristics to convince investors to fund their innovative ideas .

Every entrepreneur needs an intricate understanding of their idea, target market, growth strategy, product-market fit , and overall business model . This differentiates your business concept and solidifies the steps needed to make it a reality. The perfect pitch shows investors your proof of concept and instills confidence that they can expect a return on investment .

Another crucial component of a successful pitch is understanding the venture capital (VC) ecosystem.

“It’s critical for entrepreneurs to understand the background and motivations of venture capitalists so when entrepreneurs seek them out to help fund their venture, they know what to prioritize in a firm and how to build a strong, trusting relationship,” says Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer Jeffrey Bussgang in the online course Launching Tech Ventures .

To secure funding and support, here are essential steps to ensure your pitch is effective.

How to Pitch a Business Idea

1. know who you’re pitching.

Some entrepreneurs try to get in front of every investor, despite their industry expertise or firm’s investment stage. Consider that, when you accept an investment, it’s about more than money; you enter a partnership. You must perform your due diligence and research potential investors before making your pitch.

Graphic showing three questions to ask potential investors

When researching, ask yourself:

What industries do they invest in?

A VC firm’s industry focus depends on what the partners’ niche is and where their passions lie. Some firms specialize in a particular sector, such as financial technology (fintech) or education technology (edtech).

For example, Rethink Education is a venture capital fund that invests in early- and growth-stage edtech startups, while Blockchain Capital is dedicated to financing companies innovating in the crypto market. Others are generalists and span several industries.

Knowing the types of companies the firm invests in can help you tailor your pitch and zero in on their presumed priorities.

What stage do they invest in?

If you’re in the earliest stages of business development, you won’t receive growth equity, which is reserved for mature companies that need capital to expand operations, enter a new market, or acquire another business. Before making your pitch, have a rough estimate of the money and resources you need to launch, and then align yourself with investors who can help at that particular stage.

What’s the investor’s track record?

Dig deeper into the investor’s experience and investment history to determine the types of companies they typically finance, the background knowledge they might already have, and whether your personalities will mesh. This information will enable you to modify your pitch and determine if this is the right person or fund to partner with.

“The best venture capitalists become trusted partners and advisors to the founders and team,” says HBS Professor William Sahlman in the online course Entrepreneurship Essentials . “They help recruit key employees. They introduce the company to potential customers. They help raise subsequent rounds of capital. In some cases, they signal that the firm they've backed is a winner, which helps make that assertion true.”

Given the benefits and high stakes, the more you know going into a pitch, the better.

Entrepreneurship Essentials | Succeed in the startup world | Learn More

2. Consider How You Present Yourself, Not Simply Your Idea

Although your ideas and skills matter , your personality is equally as important. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review , venture capitalists’ interest in a startup “was driven less by judgments that the founder was competent than by perceptions about character and trustworthiness.”

Investors also want to know they’re entering a partnership with the right people. Jennifer Fonstad, co-founder of Aspect Ventures , acknowledges in Entrepreneurship Essentials that her investment firm “thinks about team and team dynamics as being very critical.”

Investors want to know whether the founders have worked together before, if your startup’s early hires have complementary skill sets, and whether you’ll be flexible, open-minded, and willing to embrace different perspectives.

Think about this as you prepare your pitch. If investors poke holes in your idea, will you get defensive? When they ask for financial projections, will you exaggerate the numbers? Hopefully, your answers are “no”—firms want to partner with founders they can trust who are open to guidance and mentorship—but if you’re second-guessing your reactions, consider what you might be asked and practice your responses.

As Sahlman reinforces in Entrepreneurship Essentials : “Most experienced investors look at the people first and the opportunity second. Even when a team is young and inexperienced, an investor depends on them to make the right decisions.”

3. Tell a Story

When describing your business idea, zero in on the problem you address for your target audience and how you solve it better than the competition. You could do this by presenting a real-life scenario in which you describe the pain point a current or prospective customer faced and how your product or service fixed the issue. This can help engage investors on a personal level and inspire them to see your idea’s potential.

By complementing your spreadsheets and charts with a compelling story, you can paint a fuller picture of your startup’s future and more effectively highlight its business opportunity.

4. Cover the Details

While it’s important to set the stage, you also need to cover the specifics. In your pitch deck, concisely define your value proposition and share a memorable tagline for investors to leave the meeting with.

According to Bussgang in Launching Tech Ventures , every pitch to an investor should contain the following:

  • Intro: Focus on answering important questions like who you are, why you’re asking for funding, and what your founder-market fit is.
  • Problem: Talk about your ideal customer’s pain point and how you plan to solve it.
  • Solution: Explain how your idea is a compelling solution and why it’s better than existing solutions.
  • Opportunity and Market Size: Provide your total addressable market (TAM), serviceable addressable market (SAM), and serviceable obtainable market (SOM) through research.
  • Competitive Analysis: Understand your unique differences in the market that can help you sustain a competitive advantage.
  • Go-to-Market Plan: Clarify how you’re going to reach your customers.
  • Business Model: Describe how you’re going to make money.
  • Financials: Define what your financial projections are and how you’re going to provide returns for investors.
  • The Ask: Detail how much funding you need, how long it will last, and what milestones you hope to achieve.

“VCs will expect entrepreneurs to clearly define the milestones they need to achieve with each round of funding,” Bussgang continues. “Entrepreneurs should know what experiments they will run to reach these milestones and what they expect the results will be.”

Launching Tech Ventures | Build a viable, valuable tech venture that can profitably scale | Learn More

5. Show the Roadmap

Although you’re in your business’s early stages, investors want to know how they’ll cash out in the end.

“To truly understand the motivations behind VC firms, remember that they are professional investors,” Bussgang explains in Launching Tech Ventures . “Their objective is to generate the maximum return for their limited partners with a dual fiduciary duty to their investors and the company.”

To clinch your pitch, highlight your exit strategy and the options available.

Graphic showing three common exit strategies for businesses

The most common exit strategies include:

  • Acquisition: When one company buys most or all of another company’s shares to gain control of it
  • Merger: When two existing companies unite into one new company
  • Initial Public Offering (IPO): When a private company issues its first sale of stocks to the public and can start raising capital from public investors

Related: What Are Mergers & Acquisitions? 4 Key Risks

3 Kinds of Pitches for Entrepreneurs

While all effective pitches share foundational elements, you should use different types depending on the scenario. To increase your chances of success, tailor your pitch to your audience and the available time frame.

1. The Elevator Pitch

This is one of the most popular pitches. Use this when you need to communicate their startup’s value in 60 seconds or less.

An effective elevator pitch should be concise, convincing, and convey your startup’s value proposition and differentiators. For tech business ideas, mention the innovative technology that sets your concept apart. At the end, include a call to action, such as the amount of capital required to launch.

2. The Short-Form Pitch

You should portray your business idea’s value to prospective clients and investors as efficiently as possible. This means summarizing the most important elements of your idea in a way that makes them want to hear more. Highlight the market size, how you’ll create barriers for competition, your plan to monetize the business, and how much financing you need.

Short-form pitches can run from three to 10 minutes; if you’re pitching in a competitive setting, note any length requirements. These shorter pitches can pique investors’ interest and earn you the chance to present a long-form pitch.

3. The Long-Form Pitch

Sometimes, you’re fortunate enough to have more than a few minutes to pitch your idea. If this opportunity presents itself, it’s crucial to make the most of your time and address every aspect of your business plan.

“You’re not just trying to start any business,” Bussgang says in Launching Tech Ventures . “You’re trying to create a business that’s profitable, sustainable, and valuable.

Zero in on your story and share a real-life scenario. Detail the market size to illustrate demand and clear examples of how you’ll attract and retain customers, particularly in light of competitors. This will show you’re planning for—and ahead of—future challenges.

You should also have a blueprint for testing product-market fit and early results, along with a detailed monetization plan. Lastly, share your exit strategy and the amount of capital needed to, one day, achieve it. Your long-form pitch should communicate your business concept clearly and concisely, open the possibility for follow-up questions, and capture the investors’ interest.

Consider preparing all three pitch lengths to be ready for any opportunity. It’s important to stay agile so you can modify your pitch to fit specific length requirements.

Which HBS Online Entrepreneurship and Innovation Course is Right for You? | Download Your Free Flowchart

Landing the Pitch

Every investor prioritizes different data and information. Yet, if you start by choosing the right investor and then align their needs with your proposed market opportunity, value proposition, and exit strategy, you have a chance at landing the pitch.

“In some ways, startup success depends just as much on whether your hypothesis about the future is right, as it does on whether your idea is a good one,” Bussgang explains in Launching Tech Ventures .

As a result, it’s important for you to do your due diligence before pitching your business idea to investors.

If you’re interested in learning more about what investors look for and how you can create value, explore Entrepreneurship Essentials and Launching Tech Ventures , two of our entrepreneurship and innovation courses . Not sure which is the right fit? Download our free course flowchart to determine which best aligns with your goals.

This post was updated on July 28, 2023. It was originally published on August 27, 2020.

ways to present a business plan

About the Author

How to Write a Business Plan (Plus Examples & Templates)

May 24, 2021

How to Write a Business Plan (Plus Examples & Templates)

Have you ever wondered how to write a business plan step by step? Mike Andes, told us: 

This guide will help you write a business plan to impress investors.

Throughout this process, we’ll get information from Mike Andes, who started Augusta Lawn Care Services when he was 12 and turned it into a franchise with over 90 locations. He has gone on to help others learn how to write business plans and start businesses.  He knows a thing or two about writing  business plans!

We’ll start by discussing the definition of a business plan. Then we’ll discuss how to come up with the idea, how to do the market research, and then the important elements in the business plan format. Keep reading to start your journey!

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is simply a road map of what you are trying to achieve with your business and how you will go about achieving it. It should cover all elements of your business including: 

  • Finding customers
  • Plans for developing a team
  •  Competition
  • Legal structures
  • Key milestones you are pursuing

If you aren’t quite ready to create a business plan, consider starting by reading our business startup guide .

Get a Business Idea

Before you can write a business plan, you have to have a business idea. You may see a problem that needs to be solved and have an idea how to solve it, or you might start by evaluating your interests and skills. 

Mike told us, “The three things I suggest asking yourself when thinking about starting a business are:

  • What am I good at?
  • What would I enjoy doing?
  • What can I get paid for?”

Three adjoining circles about business opportunity

If all three of these questions don’t lead to at least one common answer, it will probably be a much harder road to success. Either there is not much market for it, you won’t be good at it, or you won’t enjoy doing it. 

As Mike told us, “There’s enough stress starting and running a business that if you don’t like it or aren’t good at it, it’s hard to succeed.”

If you’d like to hear more about Mike’s approach to starting a business, check out our YouTube video

Conduct Market Analysis

Market analysis is focused on establishing if there is a target market for your products and services, how large the target market is, and identifying the demographics of people or businesses that would be interested in the product or service. The goal here is to establish how much money your business concept can make.

Product and Service Demand

An image showing product service and demand

A search engine is your best friend when trying to figure out if there is demand for your products and services. Personally, I love using presearch.org because it lets you directly search on a ton of different platforms including Google, Youtube, Twitter, and more. Check out the screenshot for the full list of search options.

With quick web searches, you can find out how many competitors you have, look through their reviews, and see if there are common complaints about the competitors. Bad reviews are a great place to find opportunities to offer better products or services. 

If there are no similar products or services, you may have stumbled upon something new, or there may just be no demand for it. To find out, go talk to your most honest friend about the idea and see what they think. If they tell you it’s dumb or stare at you vacantly, there’s probably no market for it.

You can also conduct a survey through social media to get public opinion on your idea. Using Facebook Business Manager , you could get a feel for who would be interested in your product or service.

 I ran a quick test of how many people between 18-65  you could reach in the U.S. during a week. It returned an estimated 700-2,000 for the total number of leads, which is enough to do a fairly accurate statistical analysis.

Identify Demographics of Target Market

Depending on what type of business you want to run, your target market will be different. The narrower the demographic, the fewer potential customers you’ll have. If you did a survey, you’ll be able to use that data to help define your target audience. Some considerations you’ll want to consider are:

  • Other Interests
  • Marital Status
  • Do they have kids?

Once you have this information, it can help you narrow down your options for location and help define your marketing further. One resource that Mike recommended using is the Census Bureau’s Quick Facts Map . He told us,  

“It helps you quickly evaluate what the best areas are for your business to be located.”

  • How to Write a Business Plan

Business plan development

Now that you’ve developed your idea a little and established there is a market for it, you can begin writing a business plan. Getting started is easier with the business plan template we created for you to download. I strongly recommend using it as it is updated to make it easier to create an action plan. 

Each of the following should be a section of your business plan:

  • Business Plan Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Description of Products and Services

SWOT Analysis

  • Competitor Data
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Expenses Strategy 

Pricing Strategy

  • Distribution Channel Assessment
  • Operational Plan
  • Management and Organizational Strategy
  • Financial Statements and/or Financial Projections

We’ll look into each of these. Don’t forget to download our free business plan template (mentioned just above) so you can follow along as we go. 

How to Write a Business Plan Step 1. Create a Cover Page

The first thing investors will see is the cover page for your business plan. Make sure it looks professional. A great cover page shows that you think about first impressions.

A good business plan should have the following elements on a cover page:

  • Professionally designed logo
  • Company name
  • Mission or Vision Statement
  • Contact Info

Basically, think of a cover page for your business plan like a giant business card. It is meant to capture people’s attention but be quickly processed.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 2. Create a Table of Contents

Most people are busy enough that they don’t have a lot of time. Providing a table of contents makes it easy for them to find the pages of your plan that are meaningful to them.

A table of contents will be immediately after the cover page, but you can include it after the executive summary. Including the table of contents immediately after the executive summary will help investors know what section of your business plan they want to review more thoroughly.

Check out Canva’s article about creating a  table of contents . It has a ton of great information about creating easy access to each section of your business plan. Just remember that you’ll want to use different strategies for digital and hard copy business plans.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 3. Write an Executive Summary

A notepad with a written executive summary for business plan writing

An executive summary is where your business plan should catch the readers interest.  It doesn’t need to be long, but should be quick and easy to read.

Mike told us,

How long should an executive summary bein an informal business plan?

For casual use, an executive summary should be similar to an elevator pitch, no more than 150-160 words, just enough to get them interested and wanting more. Indeed has a great article on elevator pitches .  This can also be used for the content of emails to get readers’ attention.

It consists of three basic parts:

  • An introduction to you and your business.
  • What your business is about.
  • A call to action

Example of an informal executive summary 

One of the best elevator pitches I’ve used is:

So far that pitch has achieved a 100% success rate in getting partnerships for the business.

What should I include in an executive summary for investors?

Investors are going to need a more detailed executive summary if you want to secure financing or sell equity. The executive summary should be a brief overview of your entire business plan and include:

  • Introduction of yourself and company.
  • An origin story (Recognition of a problem and how you came to solution)
  • An introduction to your products or services.
  • Your unique value proposition. Make sure to include intellectual property.
  • Where you are in the business life cycle
  • Request and why you need it.

Successful business plan examples

The owner of Urbanity told us he spent 2 months writing a 75-page business plan and received a $250,000 loan from the bank when he was 23. Make your business plan as detailed as possible when looking for financing. We’ve provided a template to help you prepare the portions of a business plan that banks expect.

Here’s the interview with the owner of Urbanity:

When to write an executive summary?

Even though the summary is near the beginning of a business plan, you should write it after you complete the rest of a business plan. You can’t talk about revenue, profits, and expected expenditures if you haven’t done the market research and created a financial plan.

What mistakes do people make when writing an executive summary?

Business owners commonly go into too much detail about the following items in an executive summary:

  • Marketing and sales processes
  • Financial statements
  • Organizational structure
  • Market analysis

These are things that people will want to know later, but they don’t hook the reader. They won’t spark interest in your small business, but they’ll close the deal.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 4. Company Description

Every business plan should include a company description. A great business plan will include the following elements while describing the company:

  • Mission statement
  • Philosophy and vision
  • Company goals

Target market

  • Legal structure

Let’s take a look at what each section includes in a good business plan.

Mission Statement

A mission statement is a brief explanation of why you started the company and what the company’s main focus is. It should be no more than one or two sentences. Check out HubSpot’s article 27 Inspiring Mission Statement for a great read on informative and inspiring mission and vision statements. 

Company Philosophy and Vision

Writing the company philosophy and vision

The company philosophy is what drives your company. You’ll normally hear them called core values.  These are the building blocks that make your company different. You want to communicate your values to customers, business owners, and investors as often as possible to build a company culture, but make sure to back them up.

What makes your company different?

Each company is different. Your new business should rise above the standard company lines of honesty, integrity, fun, innovation, and community when communicating your business values. The standard answers are corporate jargon and lack authenticity. 

Examples of core values

One of my clients decided to add a core values page to their website. As a tech company they emphasized the values:

  •  Prioritize communication.
  •  Never stop learning.
  •  Be transparent.
  •  Start small and grow incrementally.

These values communicate how the owner and the rest of the company operate. They also show a value proposition and competitive advantage because they specifically focus on delivering business value from the start. These values also genuinely show what the company is about and customers recognize the sincerity. Indeed has a great blog about how to identify your core values .

What is a vision statement?

A vision statement communicate the long lasting change a business pursues. The vision helps investors and customers understand what your company is trying to accomplish. The vision statement goes beyond a mission statement to provide something meaningful to the community, customer’s lives, or even the world.

Example vision statements

The Alzheimer’s Association is a great example of a vision statement:

A world without Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia.

It clearly tells how they want to change the world. A world without Alzheimers might be unachievable, but that means they always have room for improvement.

Business Goals

You have to measure success against goals for a business plan to be meaningful. A business plan helps guide a company similar to how your GPS provides a road map to your favorite travel destination. A goal to make as much money as possible is not inspirational and sounds greedy.

Sure, business owners want to increase their profits and improve customer service, but they need to present an overview of what they consider success. The goals should help everyone prioritize their work.

How far in advance should a business plan?

Business planning should be done at least one year in advance, but many banks and investors prefer three to five year business plans. Longer plans show investors that the management team  understands the market and knows the business is operating in a constantly shifting market. In addition, a plan helps businesses to adjust to changes because they have already considered how to handle them.

Example of great business goals

My all time-favorite long-term company goals are included in Tesla’s Master Plan, Part Deux . These goals were written in 2016 and drive the company’s decisions through 2026. They are the reason that investors are so forgiving when Elon Musk continually fails to meet his quarterly and annual goals.

If the progress aligns with the business plan investors are likely to continue to believe in the company. Just make sure the goals are reasonable or you’ll be discredited (unless you’re Elon Musk).

A man holding an iPad with a cup of coffee on his desk

You did target market research before creating a business plan. Now it’s time to add it to the plan so others understand what your ideal customer looks like. As a new business owner, you may not be considered an expert in your field yet, so document everything. Make sure the references you use are from respectable sources. 

Use information from the specific lender when you are applying for lending. Most lenders provide industry research reports and using their data can strengthen the position of your business plan.

A small business plan should include a section on the external environment. Understanding the industry is crucial because we don’t plan a business in a vacuum. Make sure to research the industry trends, competitors, and forecasts. I personally prefer IBIS World for my business research. Make sure to answer questions like:

  • What is the industry outlook long-term and short-term?
  • How will your business take advantage of projected industry changes and trends?
  • What might happen to your competitors and how will your business successfully compete?

Industry resources

Some helpful resources to help you establish more about your industry are:

  • Trade Associations
  • Federal Reserve
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

Legal Structure

There are five basic types of legal structures that most people will utilize:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

Partnerships

Corporations.

  • Franchises.

Each business structure has their pros and cons. An LLC is the most common legal structure due to its protection of personal assets and ease of setting up. Make sure to specify how ownership is divided and what roles each owner plays when you have more than one business owner.

You’ll have to decide which structure is best for you, but we’ve gathered information on each to make it easier.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the easiest legal structure to set up but doesn’t protect the owner’s personal assets from legal issues. That means if something goes wrong, you could lose both your company and your home.

To start a sole proprietorship, fill out a special tax form called a  Schedule C . Sole proprietors can also join the American Independent Business Alliance .

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is the most common business structure used in the United States because an LLC protects the owner’s personal assets. It’s similar to partnerships and corporations, but can be a single-member LLC in most states. An LLC requires a document called an operating agreement.

Each state has different requirements. Here’s a link to find your state’s requirements . Delaware and Nevada are common states to file an LLC because they are really business-friendly. Here’s a blog on the top 10 states to get an LLC.

Partnerships are typically for legal firms. If you choose to use a partnership choose a Limited Liability Partnership. Alternatively, you can just use an LLC.

Corporations are typically for massive organizations. Corporations have taxes on both corporate and income tax so unless you plan on selling stock, you are better off considering an LLC with S-Corp status . Investopedia has good information corporations here .

An iPad with colored pens on a desk

There are several opportunities to purchase successful franchises. TopFranchise.com has a list of companies in a variety of industries that offer franchise opportunities. This makes it where an entrepreneur can benefit from the reputation of an established business that has already worked out many of the kinks of starting from scratch.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 5. Products and Services

This section of the business plan should focus on what you sell, how you source it, and how you sell it. You should include:

  • Unique features that differentiate your business products from competitors
  • Intellectual property
  • Your supply chain
  • Cost and pricing structure 

Questions to answer about your products and services

Mike gave us a list  of the most important questions to answer about your product and services:

  • How will you be selling the product? (in person, ecommerce, wholesale, direct to consumer)?
  • How do you let them know they need a product?
  • How do you communicate the message?
  • How will you do transactions?
  • How much will you be selling it for?
  • How many do you think you’ll sell and why?

Make sure to use the worksheet on our business plan template .

How to Write a Business Plan Step 6. Sales and Marketing Plan

The marketing and sales plan is focused on the strategy to bring awareness to your company and guides how you will get the product to the consumer.  It should contain the following sections:

SWOT Analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Not only do you want to identify them, but you also want to document how the business plans to deal with them.

Business owners need to do a thorough job documenting how their service or product stacks up against the competition.

If proper research isn’t done, investors will be able to tell that the owner hasn’t researched the competition and is less likely to believe that the team can protect its service from threats by the more well-established competition. This is one of the most common parts of a presentation that trips up business owners presenting on Shark Tank .

SWOT Examples

Business plan SWOT analysis

Examples of strengths and weaknesses could be things like the lack of cash flow, intellectual property ownership, high costs of suppliers, and customers’ expectations on shipping times.

Opportunities could be ways to capitalize on your strengths or improve your weaknesses, but may also be gaps in the industry. This includes:

  • Adding offerings that fit with your current small business
  • Increase sales to current customers
  • Reducing costs through bulk ordering
  • Finding ways to reduce inventory
  •  And other areas you can improve

Threats will normally come from outside of the company but could also be things like losing a key member of the team. Threats normally come from competition, regulations, taxes, and unforeseen events.

The management team should use the SWOT analysis to guide other areas of business planning, but it absolutely has to be done before a business owner starts marketing. 

Include Competitor Data in Your Business Plan

When you plan a business, taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of the competition is key to navigating the field. Providing an overview of your competition and where they are headed shows that you are invested in understanding the industry.

For smaller businesses, you’ll want to search both the company and the owners names to see what they are working on. For publicly held corporations, you can find their quarterly and annual reports on the SEC website .

What another business plans to do can impact your business. Make sure to include things that might make it attractive for bigger companies to outsource to a small business.

Marketing Strategy

The marketing and sales part of business plans should be focused on how you are going to make potential customers aware of your business and then sell to them.

If you haven’t already included it, Mike recommends:

“They’ll want to know about Demographics, ages, and wealth of your target market.”

Make sure to include the Total addressable market .  The term refers to the value if you captured 100% of the market.

Advertising Strategy

You’ll explain what formats of advertising you’ll be using. Some possibilities are:

  • Online: Facebook and Google are the big names to work with here.
  • Print : Print can be used to reach broad groups or targeted markets. Check out this for tips .
  • Radio : iHeartMedia is one of the best ways to advertise on the radio
  • Cable television : High priced, hard to measure ROI, but here’s an explanation of the process
  • Billboards: Attracting customers with billboards can be beneficial in high traffic areas.

You’ll want to define how you’ll be using each including frequency, duration, and cost. If you have the materials already created, including pictures or links to the marketing to show creative assets.

Mike told us “Most businesses are marketing digitally now due to Covid, but that’s not always the right answer.”

Make sure the marketing strategy will help team members or external marketing agencies stay within the brand guidelines .

An iPad with graph about pricing strategy

This section of a business plan should be focused on pricing. There are a ton of pricing strategies that may work for different business plans. Which one will work for you depends on what kind of a business you run.

Some common pricing strategies are:

  • Value-based pricing – Commonly used with home buying and selling or other products that are status symbols.
  • Skimming pricing – Commonly seen in video game consoles, price starts off high to recoup expenses quickly, then reduces over time.
  • Competition-based pricing – Pricing based on competitors’ pricing is commonly seen at gas stations.
  • Freemium services –  Commonly used for software, where there is a free plan, then purchase options for more functionality.

HubSpot has a great calculator and blog on pricing strategies.

Beyond explaining what strategy your business plans to use, you should include references for how you came to this pricing strategy and how it will impact your cash flow.

Distribution Plan

This part of a business plan is focused on how the product or service is going to go through the supply chain. These may include multiple divisions or multiple companies. Make sure to include any parts of the workflow that are automated so investors can see where cost savings are expected and when.

Supply Chain Examples

For instance, lawn care companies  would need to cover aspects such as:

  • Suppliers for lawn care equipment and tools
  • Any chemicals or treatments needed
  • Repair parts for sprinkler systems
  • Vehicles to transport equipment and employees
  • Insurance to protect the company vehicles and people.

Examples of Supply Chains

These are fairly flat supply chains compared to something like a clothing designer where the clothes would go through multiple vendors. A clothing company might have the following supply chain:

  • Raw materials
  • Shipping of raw materials
  • Converting of raw materials to thread
  • Shipping thread to produce garments
  • Garment producer
  • Shipping to company
  • Company storage
  • Shipping to retail stores

There have been advances such as print on demand that eliminate many of these steps. If you are designing completely custom clothing, all of this would need to be planned to keep from having business disruptions.

The main thing to include in the business plan is the list of suppliers, the path the supply chain follows, the time from order to the customer’s home, and the costs associated with each step of the process.

According to BizPlanReview , a business plan without this information is likely to get rejected because they have failed to research the key elements necessary to make sales to the customer.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 7. Company Organization and Operational Plan

This part of the business plan is focused on how the business model will function while serving customers.  The business plan should provide an overview of  how the team will manage the following aspects:

Quality Control

  • Legal environment

Let’s look at each for some insight.

Production has already been discussed in previous sections so I won’t go into it much. When writing a business plan for investors, try to avoid repetition as it creates a more simple business plan.

If the organizational plan will be used by the team as an overview of how to perform the best services for the customer, then redundancy makes more sense as it communicates what is important to the business.

A wooden stamp with the words "quality control"

Quality control policies help to keep the team focused on how to verify that the company adheres to the business plan and meets or exceeds customer expectations.

Quality control can be anything from a standard that says “all labels on shirts can be no more than 1/16″ off center” to a defined checklist of steps that should be performed and filled out for every customer.

There are a variety of organizations that help define quality control including:

  • International Organization for Standardization – Quality standards for energy, technology, food, production environments, and cybersecurity
  • AICPA – Standard defined for accounting.
  • The Joint Commission – Healthcare
  • ASHRAE – HVAC best practices

You can find lists of the organizations that contribute most to the government regulation of industries on Open Secrets . Research what the leaders in your field are doing. Follow their example and implement it in your quality control plan.

For location, you should use information from the market research to establish where the location will be. Make sure to include the following in the location documentation.

  • The size of your location
  • The type of building (retail, industrial, commercial, etc.)
  • Zoning restrictions – Urban Wire has a good map on how zoning works in each state
  • Accessibility – Does it meet ADA requirements?
  • Costs including rent, maintenance, utilities, insurance and any buildout or remodeling costs
  • Utilities – b.e.f. has a good energy calculator .

Legal Environment

The legal requirement section is focused on defining how to meet the legal requirements for your industry. A good business plan should include all of the following:

  • Any licenses and/or permits that are needed and whether you’ve obtained them
  • Any trademarks, copyrights, or patents that you have or are in the process of applying for
  • The insurance coverage your business requires and how much it costs
  • Any environmental, health, or workplace regulations affecting your business
  • Any special regulations affecting your industry
  • Bonding requirements, if applicable

Your local SBA office can help you establish requirements in your area. I strongly recommend using them. They are a great resource.

Your business plan should include a plan for company organization and hiring. While you may be the only person with the company right now, down the road you’ll need more people. Make sure to consider and document the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the current leadership structure and what will it look like in the future?
  • What types of employees will you have? Are there any licensing or educational requirements?
  • How many employees will you need?
  • Will you ever hire freelancers or independent contractors?
  • What is each position’s job description?
  • What is the pay structure (hourly, salaried, base plus commission, etc.)?
  • How do you plan to find qualified employees and contractors?

One of the most crucial parts of a business plan is the organizational chart. This simply shows the positions the company will need, who is in charge of them and the relationship of each of them. It will look similar to this:

Organization chart

Our small business plan template has a much more in-depth organizational chart you can edit to include when you include the organizational chart in your business plan.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 8. Financial Statements 

No business plan is complete without financial statements or financial projections. The business plan format will be different based on whether you are writing a business plan to expand a business or a startup business plan. Let’s dig deeper into each.

Provide All Financial Income from an Existing Business

An existing business should use their past financial documents including the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement to find trends to estimate the next 3-5 years.

You can create easy trendlines in excel to predict future revenue, profit and loss, cash flow, and other changes in year-over-year performance. This will show your expected performance assuming business continues as normal.

If you are seeking an investment, then the business is probably not going to continue as normal. Depending on the financial plan and the purpose of getting financing, adjustments may be needed to the following:

  • Higher Revenue if expanding business
  • Lower Cost of Goods Sold if purchasing inventory with bulk discounts
  • Adding interest if utilizing financing (not equity deal)
  • Changes in expenses
  • Addition of financing information to the cash flow statement
  • Changes in Earnings per Share on the balance sheet

Financial modeling is a challenging subject, but there are plenty of low-cost courses on the subject. If you need help planning your business financial documentation take some time to watch some of them.

Make it a point to document how you calculated all the changes to the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement in your business plan so that key team members or investors can verify your research.

Financial Projections For A Startup Business Plan

Unlike an existing business, a startup doesn’t have previous success to model its future performance. In this scenario, you need to focus on how to make a business plan realistic through the use of industry research and averages.

Mike gave the following advice in his interview:

Financial Forecasting Mistakes

One of the things a lot of inexperienced people use is the argument, “If I get one percent of the market, it is worth $100 million.” If you use this, investors are likely to file the document under bad business plan examples.

Let’s use custom t-shirts as an example.

Credence Research estimated in 2018 there were 11,334,800,000 custom t-shirts sold for a total of $206.12 Billion, with a 6% compound annual growth rate.

With that data,  you can calculate that the industry will grow to $270 Billion in 2023 and that the average shirt sold creates $18.18 in revenue.

Combine that with an IBIS World estimate of 11,094 custom screen printers and that means even if you become an average seller, you’ll get .009% of the market.

Here’s a table for easier viewing of that information.

A table showing yearly revenue of a business

The point here is to make sure your business proposal examples make sense.

You’ll need to know industry averages such as cost of customer acquisition, revenue per customer, the average cost of goods sold, and admin costs to be able to create accurate estimates.

Our simple business plan templates walk you through most of these processes. If you follow them you’ll have a good idea of how to write a business proposal.

How to Write a Business Plan Step 9. Business Plan Example of Funding Requests

What is a business plan without a plan on how to obtain funding?

The Small Business Administration has an example for a pizza restaurant that theoretically needed nearly $20k to make it through their first month.

In our video, How to Start a $500K/Year T-Shirt Business (Pt. 1 ), Sanford Booth told us he needed about $200,000 to start his franchise and broke even after 4 months.

Freshbooks estimates it takes on average 2-3 years for a business to be profitable, which means the fictitious pizza company from the SBA could need up to $330k to make it through that time and still pay their bills for their home and pizza shop.

Not every business needs that much to start, but realistically it’s a good idea to assume that you need a fairly large cushion.

Ways to get funding for a small business

There are a variety of ways to cover this. the most common are:

  • Bootstrapping – Using your savings without external funding.
  • Taking out debt – loans, credit cards
  • Equity, Seed Funding – Ownership of a percentage of the company in exchange for current funds
  • Crowdsourcing – Promising a good for funding to create the product

Keep reading for more tips on how to write a business plan.

How funding will be used

When asking for business financing make sure to include:

  • How much to get started?
  • What is the minimum viable product and how soon can you make money?
  • How will the money be spent?

Mike emphasized two aspects that should be included in every plan, 

How to Write a Business Plan Resources

Here are some links to a business plan sample and business plan outline. 

  • Sample plan

It’s also helpful to follow some of the leading influencers in the business plan writing community. Here’s a list:

  • Wise Plans –  Shares a lot of information on starting businesses and is a business plan writing company.
  • Optimus Business Plans –  Another business plan writing company.
  • Venture Capital – A venture capital thread that can help give you ideas.

How to Write a Business Plan: What’s Next?

We hope this guide about how to write a simple business plan step by step has been helpful. We’ve covered:

  • The definition of a business plan
  • Coming up with a business idea
  • Performing market research
  • The critical components of a business plan
  • An example business plan

In addition, we provided you with a simple business plan template to assist you in the process of writing your startup business plan. The startup business plan template also includes a business model template that will be the key to your success.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our business hub .

Have you written a business plan before? How did it impact your ability to achieve your goals?

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ways to present a business plan

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How to Start a $41K/Month T-Shirt Business (2024)

  • Which Business Model Is Easiest
  • Skills You Need to Create Your Own T-shirt Designs and Sell Online
  • What Makes a Great Business Name
  • Elements of a Good Business Plan for an Online T-shirt Business
  • Where to Go to Establish Your Business Structure
  • Steps to Take Before You Start Selling T-shirts Online
  • Choosing a Location to Sell Your T-shirts
  • What You Need to Know About Equipment
  • Resources for Team Building
  • How to Manage Your Small Business Finances
  • Paying Taxes
  • Marketing Your Business

Step 1. What's the Best Way to Start a T-Shirt Business?

man measures the t-shirt upflip logo on heat press machine

  • Focusing on a specific target market, such as small business t-shirts.
  • Performing graphic tee design work and printing them yourself.
  • Starting an ecommerce store using Print-on-Demand companies.

How to Start a T-Shirts Franchise

How to start a t-shirt printing business with big frog.

screenshot of franchising from bigfrog website

  • Request information .
  • Get to know the franchisor on a business call.
  • Attend a webinar that goes into more detail about the responsibilities of an owner.
  • Fill out disclosure documents to prove you have the resources necessary to start a t-shirt business franchise.
  • Meet other franchise business owners.
  • Get to know the corporate team.
  • Learn to press T-shirts.
  • Learn about their customer support.
  • Start the franchise.
  • No less than $50K liquid assets
  • At least $40K working capital
  • $300K net worth (varies based on regional construction costs)
  • $39,500 initial franchise fee
  • Initial investment of $188,344 to $247,944
  • A 6% royalty paid monthly on revenue
  • 1.5% of revenue for marketing costs

How to Start a Brick and Mortar T-Shirt Business

Sell custom t-shirts, sell t-shirts online.

  • Amazon is the largest online marketplace on the planet. You have to be listed there.
  • Facebook and Instagram Marketplaces are also massive. Some functions can be done through one platform and then work on both, but others have to be done separately. 
  • eBay is another great place to sell t-shirts online. Learn about selling on eBay .
  • Shopify offers an easy experience to set up your own clothing store and connects with most of the bigger marketplaces directly from your shop.
  • WordPress and WooCommerce work great together for super fast ecommerce stores.
  • Etsy is another great marketplace for an online t-shirt business. Check out our guide on creating an Etsy shop .

How to Sell Shirts Online with Print on Demand

tshirt and a computer on a table

Fashion Designers

man holding a box full of clothes

Manufacturing

Step 2. learning the skills.

man working on a tshirt design in front of a computer

  • Production and printing
  • Business skills

Design Skills

  • Draw t-shirt designs using digital software, like Photoshop , Canva , or Illustrator .
  • Have a pattern maker cut the patterns for the design.
  • Build a prototype.
  • Make alterations.
  • Create a tech pack . A tech pack is just the design specifications you give to a clothing manufacturer.
  • Source the materials and begin manufacturing.
  • Embroidery machines
  • Sublimation
  • Screen printing

man working on a laptop

  • Best Fashion Design Schools
  • Best Free Online Classes
  • Best Fashion Design Software
  • Best Print-on-Demand Companies
  • An ecommerce platform (Find Investopedia's review of the best ones here .)
  • Payment processors
  • Editing software
  • Marketing software

marketing team working together

  • Facebook and Instagram

Production and Printing Skills

  • Direct to garment
  • Transfer printing
  • Cad cut vinyl

t-shirt printing technique infographic

Business Skills

  • Accounting : Udemy , edX
  • Pricing : Coursera , Udemy
  • Shipping : Shopify , BigCommerce
  • Inventory Management : Quickbooks , Unleashed

Step 3. T-Shirt Business Name

  • Will the name indicate your business sells shirts?
  • Is it easy to spell?
  • Will you focus on local sales? If you do, consider including the name of the location.
  • Is the .com domain available ?
  • Is the business name unique?
  • Does your name fit your branding? Check out Big Frog's logo:

branding logo design of big frog

Step 4. Write a T-Shirt Business Plan

  • Guiding decisions
  • Securing financing
  • Developing partnerships with other businesses 
  • Location selection and lease negotiation
  • Design and layout of the store
  • Recruitment
  • One-page business plan
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) business guide
  • State-specific templates
  • Business plan template for a startup business
  • SCORE's free plans and startup assistance resources
  • The Complete Business Plan Course (includes 50 templates)

Step 5. Establish a Legal Structure

  • Sole Proprietorship : Most franchises will not allow you to run a sole proprietorship because there is no liability protection, but it's the least expensive way to start a business. Fill out a Schedule C to get started. Consider joining the American Independent Business Alliance .
  • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) : Each state has different requirements. Check your state's requirements . You might choose to register in a different state than where you live to reduce the cost of doing business. Check out the top 10 states to get an LLC.
  • Corporation : If you intend to sell stock or raise funds by selling equity, you might want to become a corporation. Otherwise, stick to an LLC.
  • Partnership : Normally, legal firms operate as partnerships. Unless there is a specific reason you need a partnership, it is better to do a multi-person LLC. Investopedia has good information about partnerships and corporations here .
  • Franchise: Buying the right to use a company's processes and intellectual property to run one of its locations. Franchising.com has two franchise opportunities to start a t-shirt business in the United States. Big Frog is the only Direct to Garment (DTG) t-shirt franchise.

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Licenses, permits, and tax forms.

woman holding a licenses and permits brochure

Step 6. Getting Ready for Customers

  • Location: Where will you be working?
  • Inventory: What will you sell, and how will you pay for it?
  • Employees: Will you have employees, and how will you make sure it is a safe environment?
  • Finances : How will you keep track of transactions and financial records?
  • Insurance : How can you protect what you are building?
  • Marketing : How will you find customers?

Step 7. T-Shirt Business Location

woman holding a tablet with laptop and a coffee on a table

  • Do you need space for screen printing equipment and inventory?
  • Are you running an online t-shirt business? If so, you can run it from home.
  • Will customers be coming to your small business?
  • Does your t-shirt store have inventory?
  • How will you display your t-shirt designs?
  • How much space is needed to store your t-shirt designs?
  • Will you host a traveling pop-up t-shirt store?

How to Start a T-shirt Business From Home

Finding a good spot, step 8. inventory, screen printing machines, and product displays.

man holding a mobile phone with an inventory screen

Used Printing Machines and Product Displays

Step 9. employees.

bearded-guy-working-on-heat-press-machine

Tax Filing and Withholding

Federal employment and labor law posters.

  • Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9)
  • State's New Hire Program
  • Worker's Compensation Insurance
  • Disability Insurance (varies by state)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Job Posting

office chair and a hiring sign

  • Zip Recruiter

Compensation

woman holding a cheque and a cash

  • Salary: You might want to assign yourself a flat weekly or monthly rate for budgeting purposes.
  • Hourly: This pay structure tracks the hours an employee works and pays them a set hourly rate, but it doesn't reward performance.
  • Commission: If you only want to reward performance and not time, a percentage of revenue is the way to go.
  • Hybrid Models: Hybrid models combine two pay structures. Combining hourly and commission encourages employees to help drive sales.

Step 10. Financial Management

income statement, calculator and a marker

Budget! Budget! Budget!

  • dsBudget : This open-source software requires some development experience.
  • QuickBooks: This popular resource is used by millions to make their accounting easy by setting up rules, connecting with their bank(s) directly, and more.
  • Xero : I was introduced to them through an Australian client, and people love them. In my experience, it allows you to automate most of your processes but is meant to be set up by an accountant and software developer so that the platform works specifically based on your location(s) tax needs.

How to Start a T-shirt Business with No Money

man showing an empty pocket

  • Shopify : Get a free 30-day trial of Shopify with our affiliate link.
  • A print-on-demand company : I prefer Printful.
  • Social media marketing : This might be less than $500 per month and is typically more economical than other options.

Common Funding Paths

  • Loans from family or friends
  • Business partners
  • Government programs

Alternative Sources of Funding

  • Crowdfunding  
  • Credit cards
  • Home equity loan
  • Rollover for business startups (ROBS)

Develop a Pricing Structure

Increase prices every year.

  • Send an email in November letting your customers know that prices will be going up at the beginning of the year.
  • Book enough online t-shirt business to keep you busy through the slow months (January to March).
  • Raise prices on January 1st. 

Step 11: Sales Tax and Insurance

sales tax and insurance stamp

Sales Taxes

Step 12: marketing.

woman-working-on-a-laptop

More Marketing Tips for T-Shirt Businesses

  • Building relationships. Networking is what makes a business pay off.
  • Continually focusing on SEO for your ecommerce business. Start by familiarizing yourself with Google requirements .
  • Checking customers' previous print jobs to give you ideas on how to sell more shirts.
  • Following up! It makes a difference.
  • Using analytics.

Influencers

young female influencer filming a video

  • Elon Musk : Let's face it, both Sanford and I think he's a rockstar. He mixes jokes, insight, and enthusiasm to spread his message. He's the founder of six companies and the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. We can all learn from him.
  • Screen Printing Blogs : Want a list of 40 blogs focused on t-shirt printing? Check out this one. 
  • SEO Influencers: Rand Fishkin , Danny Sullivan ,and Neil Patel

Go Forth and Start Your Own T-Shirt Business!

  • Do I know how to start an ecommerce store?
  • Is it worth it for me to sell online?
  • Will I be comfortable speaking to clients?
  • Am I starting a clothing line this year?
  • Why am I starting a clothing business?
  • Do I need employees or advice to get started?
  • What will I need to feel successful?

440 Stand-Out Craft Business Names

Did you know craft business owners are expected to make 50% more in 2028 than they did last year?

That means there’s a lot of demand for handmade craft business names. Choosing a great craft business name can give you a headstart in competing for potential customers.

Here, we discuss the craft industry, what makes a good craft business name, catchy craft names for your business, and how to register your craft company name.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] Click on any of the links below to jump ahead in your artistic journey.

Craft Business Industry Outlook

What makes a good craft business name, what should i name my craft business, 30 catchy craft business names, 34 cool craft business names, 36 funny craft business names, 34 creative craft business names, 30 professional craft business names, 20 personal craft business names, 34 location-based craft business names, 40 handmade craft business names, 30 creative shop name ideas, 28 unique craft business names, 30 clever business names for crafters, 32 cute shop names for crafts, 32 jewelry business name ideas, 30 crochet business name ideas, how to register your craft business names.

  • Next Steps After Naming Your Craft Business [/su_note]

Craft businesses are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.69% and reach $68 billion in industry revenue by 2028. That means a crafting business should expect to see considerable growth in the future if it provides quality handmade crafts.

Woodworker in his shop using a laptop to do a craft business name search

A good craft business name should be:

  • Memorable: Your business name should be easy to remember and pronounce.
  • Relevant: Your business name should reflect the type of crafts you make and sell.
  • Unique: Your business name should be unique and not already in use by another business.
  • Professional: Your business name should sound professional and trustworthy.
  • Appealing: Your business name should be appealing to your target audience.

Let’s look at some of the different ways of creating a catchy craft business name.

The best craft business names help you attract customers and communicate what your crafting business does. We’ll cover all kinds of timeless craft business names, including:

  • Catchy business names for craft companies
  • Cool craft names
  • Funny craft names
  • Creative name ideas
  • Professional names for craft products
  • Personal name ideas for craft business owners
  • Location-based craft business naming ideas
  • Business names perfect for handmade products

Keep reading to get your creative juices flowing. You’re sure to find unique craft business names that you love.

Consider one of these business name ideas when you start selling your crafts.

1. Crafty Creations 2. Creative Hands 3. The Craft Corner 4. The Happy Maker 5. The Artful Crafter 6. The Craftiest 7. The Colorful Crafter 8. The Crafters 9. The Crafty Corner 10. The Craft Zone 11. The Craft Hub 12. The Craft Room 13. The Craft Shop 14. The Craft Studio 15. The Craft Workshop

16. The Crafty Cottage 17. The Crafty Cabin 18. The Crafty Den 19. The Crafty Nook 20. The Crafty Retreat 21. The Crafty Spot 22. The Crafty Store 23. The Crafty Table 24. The Crafty Treehouse 25. The Crafty Turtle 26. The Crafty Unicorn 27. Crafty Wonderland 28. Creative Corner 29. The Creative Studio 30. Craft Galore Club

Pro Tip: Once you have a catchy business name, check if the corresponding domain name is available. Just input the name in the search bar of your web browser and see what comes up. If the website and the social media handles are available, you will have a much easier time attracting customers.

Painter holding a wood sign that reads "The Artisan’s Nook"

You can create a cool craft brand by combining two or more words to create a new and memorable phrase. This works especially well if they are keywords related to craft businesses.

1. Craftastic Creations 2. The Crafty Caravan 3. The Artisan's Nook 4. The Craft Emporium 5. The Crafter's Collective 6. The Crafty Cat 7. The Crafty Owl 8. The Crafticorn 9. Foxxy Crafty 10. Crafty Rabbit 11. The Crafty Bear 12. The Crafty Mouse 13. Crafty Dog 14. The Crafty Penguin 15. Crafty Frog 16. The Crafty Giraffe 17. Crafty Monkey

18. Crafty Elephant 19. The Crafty Hippo 20. Crafty Lion 21. The Crafty Tiger 22. Crafty Zebra 23. The Crafty Panda 24. Crafty Koala 25. The Crafty Kangaroo 26. Crafty Wombat 27. The Crafty Echidna 28. The Craftipus 29. Crafty Innovation 30. Yarns + Crafts 31. Crafting Cottage 32. The Paperie 33. Pottery Place 34. Woodworking Wizardry

Pro Tip: Rhyming words can also be used to come up with crafty business name ideas.

If your craft business offers products that are defined by their silly or goofy vibe, you might want to go with funny business names for crafts.

1. Artsy Fartsy Crafts 2. Bobbin and Skein 3. Color Me Happy 4. Crafty Critters 5. The Crafty Pickle 6. The Yarn Pirates 7. The Bead Bandits 8. The Crafty Cat Lady 9. The Knit Wits 10. The Sew and Sews 11. The Paper Puppets 12. The Paint Party People 13. The Claymation Crew 14. In Stitches 15. The Crafting Queens 16. The Junk Art Junkies 17. The Upcycled Oddities 18. The Mismatched Masterpieces

19. The Quirky Creations 20. The Silly Sculptors 21. The Wonky Woolen Wonders 22. The Crafty Critters 23. The Whimsical Woodland Workshop 24. The Doodling Dinosaurs 25. The Crafty Cacti 26. The Mischievous Makers 27. Playful Papercrafts 28. Goofy Gifts 29. Silly Stitches 30. Crazy Candles 31. Wonky Wall Art 32. Mismatched Mosaic Madness 33. Crafty Chaos 34. Quirky Quilts 35. Crafty Capers 36. Makin' It Mine

Pro Tip: When choosing a funny craft business name, it's important to strike the right balance of humor and professionalism. You want your name to be memorable and attention-grabbing, but you also don't want to alienate potential customers.

Here are a few tips for choosing a funny craft business name:

  • Use puns or wordplay. This is a great way to add humor to your name without being too over the top.
  • Choose a name that is relevant to your products or services. This will help customers understand what your business is all about.
  • Keep it short and sweet. A long, complicated name is less likely to be remembered than a short, catchy one.
  • Avoid using offensive or vulgar language. This could alienate potential customers and damage your reputation.

Top-down shot of a woman using her tablet to search for creative craft business names for her accessories business

Want to create a craft business brand that stands out from other crafters? Consider some of these craft business names.

1. Stitch & Stone 2. Nature's Canvas 3. Artisan's Haven 4. Color & Craft 5. Threads & Textures 6. Paper & Paint 7. Clay & Creation 8. Mosaic Moments 9. Yarn & Wonder 10. Fiber & Fabric 11. Metal & Magic 12. Glass & Glamour 13. Wood & Whimsy 14. Resin & Radiance 15. Leather & Love 16. Quill & Ink 17. Candle & Calm

18. Soap & Serenity 19. Bath & Body Bliss 20. Home & Heart 21. Garden & Grace 22. Jewelry & Joy 23. Accessories & Adornments 24. Gifts & Gadgets 25. Party & Play 26. Learn & Create 27. Craft & Connect 28. Inspire & Be Inspired 29. The Maker's Muse 30. Spindles and Yarns 31. Fiber Frenzy 32. Funky Findings 33. Handmade Heaven 34. Heartfelt Creations

Pro Tip: You might incorporate some of your specific craft supplies’ names as you’re brainstorming creative small business names for craft companies.

Professionalism can make all the difference to craft store customers. Consider some of these names to differentiate yourself from other businesses.

1. Crafted Creations 2. The Crafted Studio 3. The Craftery 4. The Crafthouse 5. Crafty Corner 6. Creative Crafts 7. Design & Craft 8. Handmade Elegance 9. Handcrafted Wonders 10. The Craft Loft 11. The Craft Parlour 12. The Craft Station 13. The Crafty Rabbit 14. The Designery 15. The Maker's Place

16. The Maker's Studio 17. The Studio 18. The Workshop 19. Uniquely Crafted 20. Baubles & Blooms 21. Crafted with Love 22. Handcrafted Treasures 23. The Crafting Co. 24. The Crafty Canary 25. The Crafty Cardinal 26. Handmade with Love 27. Crafted By Yours Truly 28. Passion Crafts 29. World of Crafts 30. Wonderfully Handmade

Pro Tip: Your business name ideas should help people understand what you do. You don’t want to confuse customers.

When it comes to personal business names, ideas might include your first name, last name, or something or someone dear to you. Consider some of these creative names for business owners.

1. Emily's Embellishments 2. Ava + Milo Studio 3. Jake's Handmade Haven 4. Lily's Craft Corner 5. Alex's Artistry Alcove 6. Masterpieces by Mason 7. Chloe's Creative Crafts 8. Owen's Originals 9. Bella's Boutique Creations 10. Noah's Nifty Crafts

11. Ava's Artful Designs 12. Smith & Stitches Studio 13. Johnsons Jovial Crafts 14. Anderson Artisans 15. Davis Design Den 16. Taylor Family Treasures Workshop 17. The Miller's Handcrafted Haven 18. Lily & Sage Creations 19. EthanRose Designs 20. Olivia-Max Crafts

Pro Tip: Adding a personal touch to business name ideas helps make your craft store name more relatable to your target customers.

Top-down shot of an artist sketching a world map in a craft paper sketch book surrounded by colored pens, a wood ruler, scissors, a zipper, buttons, and pins

Using your location as part of your craft business name is a great way of selling arts locally.

1. Albuquerque Artisans 2. Anchorage Crafts 3. Atlanta Artworks 4. Austin Artisans 5. Baltimore Crafts 6. Rodeo Drive Designs 7. Boston Creations 8. Charleston Craftsmen 9. Chicago Crafters 10. Cleveland Crafts 11. Columbus Creation 12. Dallas Designs 13. Denver Designs 14. Abbey Road Artistry 15. Detroit Artisans 16. Houston Handcrafts 17. Indianapolis Craftsmen

18. Jacksonville Creations 19. Kansas City Crafts 20. Las Vegas Craftsmen 21. Los Angeles Creations 22. Louisville Artisans 23. Bourbon Street Crafts 24. Memphis Craftsmen 25. Miami Designs 26. Milwaukee Crafters 27. Minneapolis Creations 28. Nashville Craftsmen 29. New Orleans Crafts 30. New York City Creations 31. Orlando Artisans 32. Philadelphia Craftsmen 33. Phoenix Designs 34. Fifth Avenue Creations

Pro Tip: You might also try cute business names using nicknames for your region.

Handmade craft business name ideas can help show that your specific craft is done by hand. See if any of these unique business names for handmade crafts is a win for your business.

1. The Crafted Corner 2. The Maker's Market 3. One-of-a-Kind Creations 4. The Handmade Studio 5. The Craft Cottage 6. Creations by [Your Name] 7. The Upcycled Workshop 8. The Sustainable Stitchery 9. The Yarn Haven 10. The Soap Emporium 11. Candlelight Studio 12. The Artful Abode 13. The Creative Nook 14. The Artisanal Marketplace 15. The Handmade Collective 16. The Maker's Guild 17. The Craft Bazaar 18. Artisan's Alley 19. Handmade Haven 20. The Upcycled Market

21. Sustainable Studio 22. Eco-Friendly Emporium 23. Trinket Trove 24. Crafty Kaleidoscope 25. Tantalizing Creations 26. Upcycled Creative 27. Fabled Fibers 28. Fibers and You 29. Craft Me Not 30. Lovingly Handmade 31. Inspired by Nature 32. Joyful Creations 33. Knitting Nook 34. Papercraft Paradise 35. Piecework Perfection 36. Quilting Corner 37. Recycled Relics 38. Sew Much Fun 39. Something Special 40. Stitching Time

Whether you’re looking for an Etsy shop name or are opening a brick-and-mortar retail store selling your crafts, a great shop name can help your business thrive. Consider some of these craft business name ideas. 

1. The Gilded Thimble 2. The Yarn Garden 3. The Bead Bazaar 4. The Fabric Emporium 5. The Paper Palace 6. The Paint Box 7. The Clay Studio 8. The Jewelry Workshop 9. The Woodworking Shop 10. The Glassblowing Studio 11. The Pottery Barn 12. The Fiber Arts Studio 13. The Weaving Studio 14. The Knitting Nook 15. The Quilting Bee

16. The Embroidery Guild 17. The Cross-Stitch Society 18. The Needlepoint Club 19. The Tatting Circle 20. The Lace-Making Society 21. The Bobbin Lace Guild 22. The Crochet Club 23. The Macrame Society 24. The Beading Circle 25. The Jewelry-Making Guild 26. Sew Many Stitches 27. The Doodling Dragon 28. The Mismatched Menagerie 29. The Beaded Bookmark 30. The Quirky Quilter

Potter making a pinch pot in a ceramics studio

Want unique craft business name ideas? Here are a few examples.

1. Handman Concoctions 2. Crafty Kids 3. Natural Materials Crafters 4. Craft 4 Days 5. Crafts Gone Wild 6. Curious Craft Company 7. Crafts Galore 8. The Crafty Kraken 9. The Creative Canvas 10. The Stitching Studio 11. The Yarn Emporium 12. The Paintbox 13. The Clay Cottage 14. The Jewelry Junction

15. The Scrapbooking Shack 16. The Upcycling Emporium 17. The Repurposing Realm 18. The Eco-Friendly Crafts Co. 19. The Craft Collective 20. Craft Central 21. Crafty Craze 22. Craftastic World 23. Inkwell & Quill 24. Crafty Concoctions 25. The Painted Petal 26. The Enchanted Easel 27. Button Bonanza 28. The Gilded Loom

Craft business name ideas should show off how crafty you are. What better way than to come up with a clever company name? Try some of these craft business name ideas.

1. Threaded Dreamscapes 2. Fiddlesticks & Fleece 3. Wondrous Weaves 4. Yarnicorn Creations 5. The Looping Llama 6. Crochet Couture 7. Whimsy & Wool 8. Cuddly Creations 9. The Hooked Haven 10. Yarnivore's Delight 11. Knot Just Crochet 12. Threaded Tales & Trails 13. Stitchy & Chic 14. The Wooly Wyvern 15. The Cozy Nest

16. Yarnography 17. The Unraveling Ramble 18. Stitching Symphony 19. Woolful Wonders 20. The Hooked Hippogriff 21. Yarntastic Creations 22. The Cozy Cauldron 23. Loopty-Loo Crafts 24. Hooked on Happiness 25. Stitchin' with Sass 26. Knotty, Spice, and Everything Nice 27. Hook, Line & Stitcher 28. The Yarnival Effect 29. The Fuzzy Foxglove 30. The Critter's Crochet

Top-down shot of handcrafted felt gingerbread men

1. The Threadbender 2. The Painted Fox 3. The Twisted Twine 4. The Gilded Lily 5. The Woven Willow 6. The Knotty Gnome 7. The Beaded Butterfly 8. Our Enchanted Forest 9. The Mermaid's Cove 10. The Dragon's Hoard 11. The Unicorn's Horn 12. The Rainbow Room 13. The Land of Oz 14. Candy Land Crafts 15. The Glass Chocolate 16. Bon Bon Craft Supplies

17. Toyland Crafters 18. The Enchanted Garden 19. The Magic Kingdom 20. The Land of Make-Believe 21. The Land of Dreams 22. Neverland Crafts 23. The Lost World 24. The Secret Garden 25. Misty Mountains Crafters 26. Sparkling Sea Artisans 27. Whispering Woods Studio 28. The Starry Night 29. Knotty and Nice 30. Whimsical Baubles 31. The Yarn Barn 32. Whimsical Wonders

A jewelry company is often focused on crafting and will be appealing to its customers’ aesthetic sensibility. You might try some of these handmade business name ideas if you’re selling a custom jewelry line.

1. The Jewelry Box 2. Adorned Elegance 3. Artisan Jewels 4. Bling Bliss 5. Charm & Chic 6. Dazzling Delights 7. Enchanted Embellishments 8. Exquisite Adornments 9. Gemstone Glamour 10. Heirloom Jewels 11. Jeweled Creations 12. Luminous Luxuries 13. Made with Love Jewelry 14. Ornate Opulence 15. Precious Pieces 16. Radiant Reflections

17. Shimmering Splendor 18. Sparkling Sensations 19. The Bling Boutique 20. Timeless Treasures 21. Unique Adornments 22. Vintage Vibes Jewelry 23. Wearable Art 24. Artisan Adornments 25. Crafted with Care 26. Elegant Expressions 27. Enchanted Elegance 28. Handmade Heirlooms 29. Enchanted Trinkets 30. Embellished by You 31. Diamond Bright Studio 32. The Beading Boutique

Want more ideas? Check out our picks for a crochet business.

Many craft business owners like to crochet. Consider some of these names for crocheted crafts.

1. Hooked on Crochet 2. Stitches of Love 3. The Crochet Corner 4. A Stitch in Time 5. Knotty by Nature 6. Yarn and Joy 7. The Crochet Studio 8. The Yarn Loft 9. Hooked on Handmade 10. The Crochet Cottage 11. The Crochet Parlour 12. The Yarn Boutique 13. The Stitchery 14. The Crochet Nook 15. The Yarn Stash

16. Yarn Over 17. Hook, Line, and Sinker 18. The Yarn Diva 19. The Crochet Queen 20. The Yarn Whisperer 21. The Crochet Goddess 22. The Yarn Enthusiast 23. The Crochet Maven 24. The Yarnista 25. The Crochet Alchemist 26. Yarnspirations 27. Knotty Nirvana 28. Purrfectly Hooked 29. The Cozy Burrow 30. The Wandering Skein

Business owner using a laptop to register their sculpture business online

Now that you have plenty of craft business name inspiration, it’s time to talk about how to register your craft business’s name. You’ll want to make sure to:

  • Choose a business name. Your business name should be unique, memorable, and relevant to your products or services. It should also be available as a domain name and social media handle.
  • Check the availability of your business name. Once you have chosen a business name, you should check to see if it is available in your state. You can do this by searching the Secretary of State's website or contacting the office directly.
  • File a DBA (Doing Business As) name. If your business name is different from your legal name, you will need to file a DBA name with the county clerk's office in the county where your business is located.
  • Register your business with the IRS. You will need to register your business with the IRS to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can do this online or by mail.
  • Obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Depending on the type of craft business you are operating, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits. You can contact your local Chamber of Commerce or the Small Business Administration (SBA) for more information.

Local artisans will have so much more to accomplish for their handmade business operations to be successful. Let’s discuss some of the things you’ll need to do next.

Next Steps After Naming Your Craft Business

Once you’ve found a craft business name you love and registered it, you’ll need to start building your inventory of crafts, create a website, and start marketing your crafts. One of the best ways to market a crafts business is to record yourself making them and share your videos on social media.

What crafts business name do you like?

13 Recession-Proof Businesses (2024)

Are you worried about the direction of the global economy?

You’re not alone. Both business owners and employees are feeling a crunch from rising costs. That’s why we’re going to discuss recession-proof businesses.

[su_note note_color="#dbeafc"] We’ll help you understand more about recessions, including:

Are we in an economic downturn?

What are recession-proof businesses, what industries are recession-proof.

  • How do economic downturns impact businesses ?

Recession-Proof Business Ideas: 13 Good Businesses to Start in a Bad Economy

Benefits of starting a business in a bad economy.

  • Conclusion [/su_note]

When you’re done reading this, you’ll have an understanding of recession-proof sectors and be prepared for the next economic downturn. Read from start to finish or click any of the links above to jump straight to the section you need to know more about right now.

According to the Federal Reserve , as of April 5, 2024, we are not in a recession, but economic downturns tend to occur every 6.33 years and typically last between 6 and 18 months.

The last economic downturn was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and government shutdowns that lasted two quarters. Prior to that, the housing market crash of 2008 resulted in a recession that lasted for nearly two years.

Many people believe that the relatively high rate of inflation, the housing and rent bubble, and the reduction in spending power for many Americans are signs that the economic climate is primed for another economic crisis.

If you’re a business owner, now’s the time to should look at your business model and consider how it will survive and thrive during tough economic times.

Man in a suit standing under a black umbrella as cash rains down around him

Recession-proof businesses are companies in industries that tend to perform better than the gross domestic product (GDP) as a whole.

As we experienced during the pandemic, if a small business was considered an “essential service,” it could ride out the tough times because the economic activity that kept it afloat didn’t stop, even when most businesses were not allowed to operate as usual.

When a recession hits, some industries and sectors tend to do better than others. There are essential services and products that people still need during economic slumps, including:

  • Utility services
  • Disposable goods
  • Consumer staples
  • Auto repairs

Meanwhile, revenue streams tend to dry up for some companies when widespread economic hardship occurs. Consumer demand for the following tends to decrease during an economic recession:

  • New automobiles
  • Restaurants
  • Large purchases

The economic conditions during each recession will be different, which means consumers cut costs in different areas depending on what the scenario is.

For instance, during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, real estate agents were hardest hit because the cash reserves and risk appetite of banks were vastly reduced. In the 1980s, oil embargos caused people to reduce their driving because of gas shortages.

How do economic downturns impact businesses?

When economic uncertainty hits, small business owners will normally experience a reduction of incoming cash flow and be compelled to tighten up their budgets and stop hiring.

When the economic situation gets even worse, they may need to offer cheaper alternatives, lay people off, and, in the worst-case scenario, close their businesses.

Industries that are recession-proof will normally be able to avoid many of the worst-case scenarios because people still need food, clothing, shelter, and other recession-proof products.

Man in a suit holding a fan of cash and a tablet showing a downward-trending graph and a cartoon lightbulb

In the sections below, we’ll discuss industries that do well in recession.

The following businesses are sorted based on the number of searches for each type of recession-proof business. Why? Search volume is a good indicator of the demand for information about recession-proof industries.

Consider the following recession-proof business ideas:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Grocery stores
  • Food delivery services
  • Auto repair shops
  • Home improvement and home repair companies
  • Property management companies
  • Cleaning services
  • Accounting services
  • Healthcare industry
  • Information technology support
  • Dollar stores

Keep reading to learn about the most recession-proof industries.

1. Affiliate Marketing

According to Kinsta , 56% of affiliate marketers increased their earnings during the recession of 2020, making it the best recession-proof business. If that’s not enough, Authority Hacker expects affiliate marketing to be a $27.78 billion recession-proof industry by 2027.

Affiliate marketing is the most commonly searched for recession-proof business. It doesn’t require an inventory, and you make commissions on every sale.

You might need to refer people to recession-proof services like bookkeeping services and rideshare services to keep your income flowing, but there are plenty of great affiliate marketing offerings.

Learn more about affiliate marketing through our interview with affiliate marketing master Matt Diggity.

2. Grocery Store

Grocery stores are another of the most recession-resistant business models. The food industry is never going to end because we have to eat to survive.

According to Forbes , people spend about 14% of their income on food, and the percentage of that spending that goes to fast food and restaurants has declined from 45% to 40%. That means people are grocery shopping more.

Check out our interview with Punardeep Sandhu, a serial entrepreneur who owns a grocery store.

3. Food Delivery Services

According to Bloomberg Second Measure , delivering food spiked during the pandemic. Given this industry hasn’t been around long enough to survive multiple recessions, it might not be as recession-resistant as the chart suggests.

That said, a business owner could focus on offering the same services for grocery stores to help protect against sudden reduced cash flow.

Find out how Adam Haber started his courier services working with Amazon.

4. Auto Repair Shops

Denver Post "Auto mechanics reap bounty of downturn" article on a desktop computer

According to the Denver Post , auto mechanics saw a 16% increase in revenue during the 2008 financial crisis, making it a fairly recession-proof business. These support services benefited from the lack of available loans during that time.

Meanwhile, repair shops saw a decrease in business during the pandemic because people drove 13.2% less .

Find out how Lucky Sing started his repair business in 2016 for just $20,000.

5. Home Improvement and Home Repair Companies

During the Great Recession, the home improvement and repairs industry dropped 1% the first year before starting to increase again according to Statista . Meanwhile, home repairs increased by 22% during the pandemic.

Depending on the cause of each recession, the business opportunities may be in repairs or improvement. Offering both types of services makes a business that much more recession-proof.

Check out our list of construction businesses to learn more about starting home repair and improvement businesses.

6. Property Management Companies

According to the Congressional Research Survey , there are 49.5 million rental properties in the United States. Furthermore, 44% of them are managed by property managers according to DoorLoop .

People don’t stop renting just because the economy isn’t doing well, and these companies take a percentage of monthly revenue.

Learn more about property management and real estate investment.

7. Cleaning Services

A cleaning business can be recession-resistant. Home cleaners may find people cut back on cleanings, but janitorial services are unlikely to stop managing cleaning contracts because nobody wants to go to a business that is filthy.

During the pandemic, many cleaning services added sterilization services to drive new revenue and growth.

Learn how Christobal Mondragon makes over $1.5 million per year in our exclusive cleaning business course .

8. Accounting Services

Almost everyone in the United States needs accounting services. Some people only need once-per-year tax filing assistance, while others need financial advisors for things like:

  • Financial planning services
  • Bookkeeping
  • Quarterly taxes
  • Comparing financing options

These services are in high demand during all economic conditions.

9. Healthcare Industry

Physician holding a tablet with a Changing America article on the U.S. healthcare worker shortage

The healthcare sector benefits from people getting sick and having emergencies. That means healthcare companies make money no matter what the economy is doing.

Right now is a perfect time for starting a new business in the healthcare industry. According to The Hill , the entire healthcare industry is facing shortages of essential workers. The work is typically high paying and offers job security for those who can handle the grueling hours and stressful environment.

10. Child Care

According to Statista , there are 46.6 million American kids under 11 years old. The Census Bureau estimates 17% of their parents rely on paid childcare services. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor reports that people pay between $5,357 and $17,171 per year for childcare.

In-home daycares make great small businesses—you can save money and fulfill the ever-higher demand for childcare.

Pro Tip: Check out our picks for 698 Endearing Daycare Names and How to Start a Day Care (in 9 Simple Steps) .

11. Information Technology Support

Sharply dressed tech business owner working at a laptop

IT support companies are recession-proof companies because people still need help solving their tech-related problems, even in a downturn.

According to Axios , tech companies did poorly at the turn of the century because of the tech bust, but 2008 led to a lot of new technology that opened new business opportunities. Then, in the pandemic, there were grants to help small businesses implement new technology.

Small business ideas in this field tend to have high profits that make it easier for them to be recession-proof businesses. Just make sure to save money so you can weather economic downturns and invest in businesses that thrive in recession.

12. Pet Care

Recession-resistant industries include pet care. These are good business ideas because pets still need to be fed and go to the bathroom during economic downturns.

These recession-resistant businesses can use affordable luxuries like online shopping, digital marketing, and social media to make modern life easier for their pet-owning customers.

13. Dollar Stores

Dollar stores tend to do best when money is tight. According to USA Today , multiple chains are closing down their dollar stores due to financial challenges.

These businesses need to be able to purchase things in bulk and sell them for low costs, which requires implementing successful and sustainable buying and pricing strategies.

While dollar stores can be businesses that are recession-proof, getting into the game might be best in expansionary times.

Odd Pizza’s owner showing his restaurants offerings in a brightly lit restaurant space

Starting a business during a recession can actually be really beneficial. A recession often provides people who want to start a business with some competitive advantages, including:

  • An Obvious Problem: Recessions are almost always tied to a specific event or industry bubble. Finding the solution to solve that problem can be highly beneficial.
  • Lower Costs: Many large purchases, like equipment, real estate, and existing businesses, tend to be less expensive during economic downturns.
  • More government incentives: Governments tend to provide other businesses more support during recessions than expansionary times. As long as you provide a solution in the industries they are focused on, this can help you.

Don’t focus so much on what industries do well in a recession; rather, focus on the industries in which you can differentiate yourself.

Consider this example: Lee Kindell started Moto Pizza when COVID shutdowns closed his hotel. He put $60,000 on a credit card to open the pizza shop—and has since opened multiple locations. Find out how he did it in the interview below.

At this point, you have an understanding of recession-proof businesses that commonly perform well during an economic downturn.

We discussed the industries that perform well during recessions, how businesses are impacted by recessions, what businesses do well in a recession, and why you might want to start a business…even during an economic downturn.

It’s up to you to do the research on each business, but we have interviewed hundreds of business owners to learn what they did and how you can speed up your process to success. Consider taking one of our courses to start a successful business faster .

What recession-proof business will you start?

ways to present a business plan

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ways to present a business plan

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ways to present a business plan

24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

I believe that reading sample business plans is essential when writing your own.

sample business plans and examples

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As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, it’s easier for you to learn how to write a good one.

But what does a good business plan look like? And how do you write one that’s both viable and convincing. I’ll walk you through the ideal business plan format along with some examples to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Business Plan Format

Business plan types, sample business plan templates, top business plan examples.

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. To me, 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. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, I’m sure you’re wondering where to begin.

ways to present a business plan

Free Business Plan Template

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

  • Outline your idea.
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  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get your free template.

First, you’ll want to nail down your formatting. Most business plans include the following sections.

1. Executive Summary

I’d say the executive summary is the most important section of the entire business plan. 

Why? 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.

There are two main elements I’d recommend including in your executive summary:

Company Description

This is the perfect space to highlight your company’s mission statement and goals, a brief overview of your history and leadership, and your top accomplishments as a business.

Tell potential investors who you are and why what you do matters. Naturally, they’re going to want to know who they’re getting into business with up front, and this is a great opportunity to showcase your impact.

Need some extra help firming up those business goals? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free course to help you set goals that matter — I’d highly recommend it

Products and Services

To piggyback off of the company description, be sure to incorporate an overview of your offerings. This doesn’t have to be extensive — just another chance to introduce your industry and overall purpose as a business.

In addition to the items above, I recommend including some information about your financial projections and competitive advantage here too.:

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, and only include 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

This executive summary is so good to me because it tells potential investors a short story while still covering all of the most important details.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Start with a strong introduction of your company, showcase your mission and impact, and outline the products and services you provide.
  • 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.

The main question I’d ask myself here is this: Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will my product fill that gap?

More specifically, here’s what I’d include in this section:

  • 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

I like this example because it 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

Since we’re already speaking of market share, you'll also 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.

My favorite part of performing a competitive analysis is that it 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

I like how the competitive landscape section of this business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

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.

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

Use this section to 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. Here are some questions I’d ask myself here:

  • 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?

I’d also recommend building 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

I like the example below because it 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. I’d suggest including information:

  • Your 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

I think it’s helpful to have a marketing plan built out in advance to make this part of your business plan easier.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler.

In my opinion, it really works because it offers a comprehensive picture of how they plan 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 need to 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

In my opinion, the example below does a great job outlining 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, here’s what I’d might outline in this section:

  • 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

I like how 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

To me, 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 I’d include in this section.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet is a great example of level of detail you’ll 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.

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, I’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. In my opinion, 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.

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

I 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 my 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 I 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, I 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.

I’ve compiled some completed business plan samples to help you get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business.

I chose different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Let’s 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.

I 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.

"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 .

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. 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.

Patagonia has one of the most compelling mission statements I’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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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 essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" and this example does just that. 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 use this template as a guide while you're gathering important information for your own business plan. You'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do since Culina’s plan outlines these details so flawlessly for inspiration.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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2 Essential Templates For Starting Your Business

Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform

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Access our collection of user-friendly templates for business planning, finance, sales, marketing, and management, designed to assist you in developing strategies for either launching a new business venture or expanding an existing one.

You can use the templates below as a starting point to create your startup business plan or map out how you will expand your existing business. Then meet with a  SCORE mentor to get expert business planning advice and feedback on your business plan.

If writing a full business plan seems overwhelming, start with a one-page Business Model Canvas. Developed by Founder and CEO of Strategyzer, Alexander Osterwalder, it can be used to easily document your business concept.

Download this template to fill out the nine squares focusing on the different building blocks of any business:

  • Value Proposition
  • Customer Segments
  • Customer Relationships
  • Key Activities
  • Key Resources
  • Key Partners
  • Cost Structure
  • Revenue Streams

For help completing the Business Model Canvas Template, contact a SCORE business mentor for guidance

From creating a startup budget to managing cash flow for a growing business, keeping tabs on your business’s finances is essential to success. The templates below will help you monitor and manage your business’s financial situation, create financial projections and seek financing to start or grow your business.

This interactive calculator allows you to provide inputs and see a full estimated repayment schedule to plan your capital needs and cash flow.

A 12-month profit and loss projection, also known as an income statement or statement of earnings, provides a detailed overview of your financial performance over a one-year period. This projection helps you anticipate future financial outcomes by estimating monthly income and expenses, which facilitates informed decision-making and strategic planning. 

If you’re trying to get a loan from a bank, they may ask you for a personal financial statement. You can use this free, downloadable template to document your assets, liabilities and net worth. 

A Personal Financial Statement is a

Marketing helps your business build brand awareness, attract customers and create customer loyalty. Use these templates to forecast sales, develop your marketing strategy and map out your marketing budget and plan.

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Fleet services newsletter, may 2024, wex card’s expire on 5/31 – time to pick-up your new card .

WEX fuel credit card swaps have been slow so far, we still have a lot of new cards to give out. If you have not yet picked up your new card please make a plan to do so. All you need to do is bring your old card to our office and we will swap it out. The current cards expire at the end of May. Cards can be exchanged Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

New Decals for University Healthcare Vehicles

As part of the  new branding initiative of UI Healthcare, Fleet Services will be updating the decals of all healthcare vehicles. The process began on May 6 th , is ongoing, and should be complete in the next 6 months. The plan is to swap for the new branded decals at each vehicle’s next service appointment. 

Who is Considered a Pedestrian in Iowa?

Current law in Iowa defines a pedestrian as a person specifically on foot and does not include people in wheelchairs, riding scooters/skateboarding, or cyclists. Lobbyists and advocacy groups like, AARP Iowa, and the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center pushed to make the language of the law more inclusive. Late last week Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new law that changes the meaning of a pedestrian. The new definition adds some language and now includes “ a person using a pedestrian conveyance”   in addition to a pedestrian on   foot. A pedestrian conveyance is any human-powered device a pedestrian may use to move or move another person. It also includes electric motored devices as long as they produce less than 750 watts. The bill goes into effect on July 1st.  Check out the full article from CBS .

Driving in a Tornado – How to Stay Safe

Never try to outrun a tornado. According to AccuWeather, tornados can travel very quickly and do not follow road patterns. If you are driving and a tornado develops it is best to try to find shelter in a sturdy building. When there is no shelter nearby, experts recommend staying in your car, secured using your seat belt, putting your head down below the window, and covering your head with your hands or a blanket if you have one. If you can safely get to a low-lying area such as a ditch or ravine, basically lower than the roadway, then exit the car and lie down in the area and cover your head with your hands or use a protective covering like a blanket or tarp. Also avoid taking shelter under an overpass. The winds are higher in these openings and flying debris can still get to you. Check out the full article on tornado safety . 

Real ID – New Deadline to be Enforced

There is a new deadline for Real ID, it is now May 7, 2025. Just a little less than a year away. If you fly commercially or need access to federal facilities you will need a REAL ID or another federally approved ID like a passport. Take a look at the Iowa DOT’s info page . Please note, it can take up to 30 days to receive your REAL ID in the mail so plan ahead.

Fleet Services Severe Weather Protocol

When severe weather pops up and the sirens go off, we lock our doors and evacuate to the CAMBUS Maintenance Facility until we get the all-clear. If you have a reservation scheduled to pick up during a severe weather event, please call our office ahead of time. Our phones will be forwarded to a manager’s cell phone, and they will give you instructions to get your vehicle. We will also leave a sign on our door, so you know where we are.

Honest Mikes Used Cars

Vehicle sale season is on-going and we have a nice variety of vehicles at auction now and coming soon. Check out our GovDeals auction page to view what we currently have listed.

Fleet Factoid

According to Consumer Affairs, Louisiana is the state with the most incidents of road rage. To come up with their ranking, CA analyzed data on aggressive driving, rates of speeding/careless driving, tickets, accidents, fatalities, and traffic incidents involving gun violence, and assigned each state a “Road Rage” score. Iowa was ranked 39 th and New Hampshire was 50 th , having the nicest drivers. Check out the full article from Consumer Affairs . 

IMAGES

  1. How to Create a Business Plan (7+ Business Plan Templates)

    ways to present a business plan

  2. Business Plan Framework Template

    ways to present a business plan

  3. Important Items That Should Be Present In Your Business Plan

    ways to present a business plan

  4. How to Write the Perfect Business Plan (10 Steps)

    ways to present a business plan

  5. How to Create a Business Plan Presentation [Plus Templates]

    ways to present a business plan

  6. Timeline

    ways to present a business plan

VIDEO

  1. Present Business plan Sirusthon Nakdang 6224067

COMMENTS

  1. How to Present Your Business Plan Successfully

    Identify the action requested. The aim of this letter is that you want them to take the time to view your business plan. That's all. This isn't the point to demand funding. Ideally, they will take the time to meet so that you can present the business plan in person. Provide a professional and polite closing.

  2. How to Present a Business Plan: 9 Key Components

    A successful plan presentation comprises several key elements, including the executive summary, company overview, business opportunity, the management and leadership team, product and service details, sales and marketing plan, funding request, financial projections, and appendix.

  3. How to Make a Killer Business Plan Presentation (+Templates)

    11 essential slides of a business plan presentation: Opening slide: Set the tone with an engaging first impression. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Define what sets your business apart. Business overview: Offer a concise snapshot of your company.

  4. 6 Strategies for Presenting Your Business Plan

    Once you've prepared your plan for presentation, you need to put it in front of the right people. There are six steps for doing so: 1. Obtain leads and referrals. Find names, addresses and phone ...

  5. How to Create a Business Plan Presentation [Plus Templates]

    Pick and choose any and all of the slides you need to use in your business plan presentation. You can also bring in slides that you've previously saved to your slide library to help customize your presentation even further. 3. Customize the Template. Lastly, customize your template's font and color.

  6. Business Plan Presentations: A Guide

    Business • February 2nd, 2024. A vital element in today's highly competitive business landscape is the ability to craft and deliver a business plan presentation. This applies to both entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. This guide describes essential aspects required to build a business plan presentation and deliver it to stakeholders.

  7. How to present your business plan effectively

    Stick to business —Focus on proving your case. It's good to be passionate about your business, but it's your facts and figures that will get you the money. Be realistic —Your forecasts should clearly show how your business or project will be profitable for both you and your counterpart. These forecasts must be rational and backed up by ...

  8. How to Present a Business Plan

    Regardless of your audience, there are a few key things to keep in mind when preparing to present your business plan. First and foremost, you should ensure that all information included is credible and error-free. "You want the business plan to reflect your professionalism and add to your credibility," said Padilla.

  9. How to Make a Compelling Business Plan Presentation: Tips and Free

    Pick a color that contrasts with those used in your business branding. Then use this color to present the problem. If you're struggling to pick the right contrast, take a look at the color wheel. Find your primary brand color. Then pick a contrast in the other half of the wheel, avoiding the one directly opposite.

  10. How to Present Your Business Plan

    This is your more formal pitch presentation that you make to investors. Cover the same elements included in your summary memo and in the executive summary of your business plan. Plan on 20 minutes ...

  11. How to Write a Business Plan: Guide + Examples

    Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It's also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. After completing your plan, you can ...

  12. 11 Steps to Create a Business Plan Presentation

    Instead, use photos, charts and graphs, or diagrams to explain your business and the problems you are solving. 4. Use large, easy to read font. Always use a relatively large font in your presentation - 30pt or larger. Your audience shouldn't have to strain to read what's on your slide.

  13. How To Make A Business Plan: Step By Step Guide

    The steps below will guide you through the process of creating a business plan and what key components you need to include. 1. Create an executive summary. Start with a brief overview of your entire plan. The executive summary should cover your business plan's main points and key takeaways.

  14. How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

    Describe Your Services or Products. The business plan should have a section that explains the services or products that you're offering. This is the part where you can also describe how they fit ...

  15. How to Present a Business Plan

    The goal of a business plan presentation is to sell your idea to others (lenders or investors) to obtain the capital your company needs through financing, investments, or a mixture of both. Below are four tips that may help you prepare a successful business plan presentation. 1. Begin with the audience in mind.

  16. How to Make a Business Plan Presentation with Templates

    Step 1. Choose a Business Plan Presentation Template. Head to our library of business plan presentations to find anything from financial and marketing to startup pitch decks, and choose the one that fits your business best. Each business plan presentation pack has a different number of scenes.

  17. How To Make a Business Plan Presentation (With Tips)

    5. Practice your business plan presentation Practicing your business plan presentation by rehearsing the slides is helpful. In doing so, you familiarize yourself with the information and the business plan. Consider the time and your audience and make your presentation informative and concise. Keep on schedule and prioritize the most important ...

  18. How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps (+ Template and Examples)

    1. Create Your Executive Summary. The executive summary is a snapshot of your business or a high-level overview of your business purposes and plans. Although the executive summary is the first section in your business plan, most people write it last. The length of the executive summary is not more than two pages.

  19. Write your business plan

    Common items to include are credit histories, resumes, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts. Example traditional business plans. Before you write your business plan, read the following example business plans written by fictional business owners.

  20. The Right Way to Present Your Business Case

    The Right Way to Present Your Business Case. by. Carolyn O'Hara. July 21, 2014. Nicholas Blechman for HBR. Save. You've already put a great deal of work into preparing a solid business case ...

  21. How to Pitch a Business Idea: 5 Steps

    By complementing your spreadsheets and charts with a compelling story, you can paint a fuller picture of your startup's future and more effectively highlight its business opportunity. 4. Cover the Details. While it's important to set the stage, you also need to cover the specifics. In your pitch deck, concisely define your value proposition ...

  22. How to Write a Business Plan (Plus Examples & Templates)

    How to Write a Business Plan Step 1. Create a Cover Page. The first thing investors will see is the cover page for your business plan. Make sure it looks professional. A great cover page shows that you think about first impressions. A good business plan should have the following elements on a cover page:

  23. 24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

    8. Panda Doc's Free Business Plan Template. 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.

  24. Free Strategic Plan Template and Best Practices

    This feature enhances your ability to effectively present the results, making it a valuable tool for visually showcasing strategic insights. ... This strategic business plan template spans 7 pages to get you set up with a solid foundation for your business's strategic plan. The layout starts with an executive summary and continues with a ...

  25. Business Planning & Financial Statements Template Gallery

    The templates below will help you monitor and manage your business's financial situation, create financial projections and seek financing to start or grow your business. Financial Projections Template. Start-Up Expenses. Opening Day Balance Sheet. Balance Sheet (Projected) Business Loan Estimator Tool. Bank Loan Request for Small Business.

  26. Create a new presentation with Copilot in PowerPoint

    Select the Copilot button in the Home tab of the ribbon. Enter your prompt or select Create presentation from file to create a first draft of your presentation using your theme or template. Copilot will replace your current presentation with a new one. If needed, save a copy first and rerun the steps above. If you already have a copy, confirm ...

  27. Break Free with Go5G Business Phone Plans

    Pricing for 5 lines with AutoPay & 3rd line discount ($220/mo). Taxes & fees included. Unlimited premium data. 100 GB high-speed hotspot data. Scam Shield Premium. Secure Wi-Fi included. Unlimited full-flight Wi-Fi sessions. Unlimited data in 215+ countries. 15 GB high-speed data in Canada and Mexico.

  28. Fleet Services Newsletter, May 2024

    WEX Card's Expire on 5/31 - Time to Pick-up Your New Card! WEX fuel credit card swaps have been slow so far, we still have a lot of new cards to give out. If you have not yet picked up your new card please make a plan to do so. All you need to do is bring your old card to our office and we will swap

  29. Biz Plan Basics

    Biz Plan Basics Business plans aren't simply tools to present to a banker for a loan. They can certainly help secure capital (loans from banks or relatives, or equity in investments from outsiders), but their value is much greater. Creating a thoughtful - and living and breathing - business plan, one that grows and changes with your business, can help you track your progress, check ...

  30. Rewind Bar Brings Affordable and Accessible Aesthetic ...

    Rewind Bar is an aesthetic clinic that opened its doors at the end of March in South Plainfield and offers a wide array of services aimed to give everyone acces