What goes into a good business plan? The U.S. Small Business Administration gives a detailed description of how to create a business plan.

The below business plan template goes over the basic pieces that need to go into your outline. Once you have these pieces in place, it’s up to your creativity to sell your idea for funding to a lender.

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How to create a business plan (elements)

What goes into a good business plan? Make sure that yours includes the following elements. How much you want to elaborate on each topic is up to you and your strategy.

  • Executive summary: Who are you? What do you do? In this section tell the reader about your business and why you’ll be successful. Include your mission statement, products and services. Touch on your leadership team, employees and location.
  • Company description: Go into detail about how your business will make a difference and what problems you’ll solve. Why are you going to be a success.
  • Market analysis: SWOT stands for strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats. Show that you understand the market you’re getting into.
  • Organization and management: This has two parts. Make sure to outline your organizational structure and who will be in charge of the business. Also describe the legal structure of your business.
  • Service or product line: Go into more detail about the products and services you offer.
  • Marketing and sales: How are you going to attract and retain customers? What actually counts as a sale for your business?
  • Funding request: Explain in detail how much you need to borrow and exactly where those funds will be allocated.
  • Financial projections: Forecast how your business plans to become stable and financially successful.
  • Appendix: Include any documents you believe will strengthen your plan, including resumes, product demonstrations, licenses, permits, contracts, etc.

Download a business plan template

After gathering your thoughts, make sure your business plan is customized and stands out. The best plans will entice readers back to your business. If you need help putting your plan together, check out the below templates that can help you get started.

  • Canva: This online graphic design software provides several free templates for business plans. The software is very user-friendly and allows you to get creative with little to no experience.
  • Adobe: You can download ready PDF templates for Adobe, although you’ll need an advanced version of acrobat to edit them.
  • Microsoft: Download several business plan templates and edit them directly in Microsoft Word.
  • HubSpot: This online marketing platform has several business plan outlines ready to download in Microsoft Word and PDF formats.

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