Business Plan Outline



To get started copy and paste the below and fill it in.



1. Executive Summary. (write this last)


- Business Name, Location, Contact Details.

- Describe the service/product

- What problem does your business solve, what is the need/opportunity in the market?

- Why will your business make money?

- Who is your target market?

- Purpose of the business plan, to find investors, seek a loan, join an accelerator or just to clarify the business to yourself and go back to remind you of objectives and growth strategy after still being in the business for months.

- Size- Current number of employees and turnover if applicable and aspirational employees and turnover a year, 2 years and 5 years in.

- Details that you believe will support your plan, sudden change in the market, founder experience, existing investors etc.

- Mission Statement (aims and values of your company)

- Objectives (expand on the above with 3-5 goals that meet a 'SMART' criteria. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific goals.)

- Current situation 


2. Business/Industry Overview.


- Industry trends

- Major players in the industry

- Estimated industry sales

- Business position in the industry


3. Market Analysis.


- Geographic location

- Demographics

- Target market's needs and how these needs are being met currently




- What is the political situation of the country and how can it affect the industry? Tax policies, Fiscal policy, trade tariffs etc)

- What are the prevalent economic factors? Inflation rate, interest rates, FDI, foreign exchange rates, economic growth patterns etc. 

- How much importance does culture has in the market and what are its determinants? Cultural trends, demographics, population analytics, Seasonality etc

- What technological innovations are likely to pop up and affect the market structure?  Consumer laws, safety standards, labor laws

- Are there any current legislations that regulate the industry or can there be any change in the legislations for the industry?

- What are the environmental concerns for the industry? Climate, weather, geographical location, global changes in climate, environmental offsets


4. The Competition.


- Who are your direct and indirect competitors and what do they sell?

- How did they come to market, grow, what are they doing well and what are they doing badly.

- List their product or service, its profitability, growth pattern, marketing objectives and assumptions, current and past strategies, organisational and cost structure, strengths and weaknesses, and size (in sales) 

- Market share

- Potential threats and opportunities competitors pose

- What can you learn from what your competitors have done



5. Sales & Marketing Plan. 



- What are the physical attributes of your products or services and what do they do.

- Your product or service's USP

- The benefits and disadvantages of your product or service. 



- What pricing strategies could you use, and which will you use?

- What price will you set your initial services to and how much profit will it leave after both fixed and variable expenses have been taken into account based on 3 months, 1 year, 3 years. (You can fill this in after completing the Financial Plan). 

- Will your price will be lower or higher than your competition, and how you can justify the difference (i.e. what do buyers get by paying more for your product?).


Place (Distribution)

- Indicate where your business will sell its products or services, and how it will get those products or services to consumers. For example, will you sell online? Will you consign your products into local stores? When you know what outlets our product and services will be available, indicate how much you expect to sell in each location. For example, will 65 percent of your sales be done online and 35 percent through face-to-face appointments? Also include any delivery terms and costs, and how those expenses will be covered (i.e. added to the sale of the item). Indicate if there any shipping or labeling requirements that need to be considered and how you will meet those requirements. Finally, outline the transaction process and your return policies.

- Promotion – What methods of promotion you will use to communicate the features and benefits of your products or services to your target customers? Will you advertise? If so, where? What percentage of advertising will be handled by each advertising option? How much business do you anticipate each form of advertising will result in? How much is this all going to cost? Also indicate if you plan to offer coupons or other incentives to get customers in the door.

- People – Decide your sales strategy and the people who will provide sales and service that will be used in marketing your products or services to the customer. Who are the people or sales team that will be providing this service, and what kind of sales training will they receive? Do you plan to offer any incentives to your customer service representatives and how do you plan to measure customer satisfaction?


6. Ownership and Management Plan.


(One to three paragraphs) biographies of the key personnel involved in forming and running the business and why they are capable of running the business. You should include key staff personnel and members of your Board of Directors. 


7. Operating Plan.


Who will do what, when and how. List out responsibilities for day to day and long term activities


Contingencies: Define what will happen if certain responsibilities are not adhered to, and what to do in case of death, illness, cash flow issues, if sales are not met, at what point to abandon the project, how to mediate if the company leaders wish to go in different directions.


8. Financial Plan.



What are the start up costs (one off)


What are the regular fixed costs and how often do they occur (costs that do not change too much based on product sold)


What are the variable costs (costs that change based on product sold), you can include an estimated VAT amount here as well.


Predicted sales


How much based on research do you think you will sell in your first year? This can be a rough figure if you have never made any sales. 


Assets and Liabilities

If you already have loans/equipment/property etc you can list these out and create a projected balance sheet. If not move on to the next question



 Sales Forecast and Income Projections

You can fill out the below and add more product if needs be. 

  Product 1   Predictive Gross Sales   Margin    
Year 1


 Predictive Unit Sales Price per product Sales x Price Cost per product Sales x (Price-Cost per product) Fixed Costs Additional Tax and Interest






  Predictive Unit Sales Price per product Gross Profit Cost per product Gross Margin: (Sales x (Price-cost per product)) - Fixed Costs Net Margin: Gross Margin - TAX & Interest  
Total Year 1              
Year 2              
Year 3              


Break Even Point:


Which month/year would the money you have borrowed & invested pay off?



Cash Flow Projection:


                           Predictive Gross Margin Fixed Costs Paid

Investment Activities

(ie buying inessential equipment to help sales)

Finance (Loan/ investment brought in)

Net Cash

( Margin + Finance) - (Investment + Fixed Costs)

1st Quarter           

2nd Quarter


3rd Quarter


4th Quarter


5th Quarter


6th Quarter


7th Quarter


8th Quarter