Business Plan Template for a Startup Business
Business plan templates are a useful tool for companies of all sizes, especially startups. In this article, we’ll share our custom-developed simple business plan template for a startup business and walk you through its various sections.
For example, the Start-Up Expenses and Capitalization section helps you detail the costs associated with starting your business and explains any assumptions. This allows you to quickly show your SCORE mentor that your plans are realistic.
The Executive Summary
The executive summary is what gets people to turn the page to read your business plan. It should be clear, concise, and exciting.
Explain what the business does, how large the market is, and why it is a good idea to start up the business.
Keep in mind that the business plan will be read by potential investors and lenders. Avoid sharing too much background information or details in the executive summary; these should be reserved for the detailed plan itself.
The Business Plan Outline
Business plans can quickly become large, cumbersome documents that require a lot of time to produce. This template takes a lean approach, limiting the number of sections and reducing the length of the plan.
The plan includes information on the company, industry and competitive analysis, team members, their experience and responsibilities, and a cash flow statement. This section helps show potential investors that the startup can afford to pay its bills and remain viable.
Investors and lenders look for realistic projections and a business plan that is based on facts. If you have any additional documents that provide a fuller picture of your business or support the assumptions and projections in your plan, place them in the appendix.
These business plan templates are fast to write and focused on key elements only. You can use them for presenting to potential investors and lenders.
The Marketing Plan
This section explains how your business plans to attract customers. For example, a new accounting firm might focus on providing exceptional client experiences by offering free consultations.
Some entrepreneurs prefer a lean startup format that simplifies the process of creating a business plan and encourages regular updates and changes to reflect the evolving needs of a startup business. Others prefer a more traditional template that allows for more detail and may be preferred by potential lenders or investors.
The Operations Plan
The operations plan section of the business plan explains how you physically produce goods or deliver services. This is a necessary section to help investors understand your product development process.
This section can also serve as a handy checklist for you to refer back to when launching your startup. It will help you think through all of the different facets of your business and ensure that you’ve covered all bases.
The Management Plan
This is the section of the business plan that will describe how your business plans to operate. This includes information like product lines, pricing strategies and the steps it will take to get products from your manufacturing plant into the hands of customers.
It will also include information about strategic partnerships and how your business will leverage its assets to gain a competitive edge. This section can also include an action plan to track work tasks that need to be completed.
The Sales Forecast
A business plan should include a detailed sales forecast that includes monthly capacity and revenue projections. It should also incorporate modeling and “what-if” scenarios.
Business plans can quickly become large, cumbersome documents that require substantial time investment from the creator. That’s why templates that offer guidance—in plain language—about how to complete each section can be invaluable. They can help the startup business build a complete and effective document in less time.
The 12-Month Profit and Loss Projection
A good business plan should include a source of equity and debt for startup costs. This is an important assumption for investors and lenders to make when reviewing your plan.
This spreadsheet template includes sample line items that reflect common startup costs and shows how long it will take to get your company generating revenue to cover expenses. It will also allow you to track monthly and yearly profit and loss projections.
The Opening Day Balance Sheet
A business plan can be a valuable tool for companies of all sizes and stages, but startups especially need one to secure funding. This sample template includes all the key sections of a great plan.
It follows the lean startup approach, a popular method for startups that focus on minimizing waste and moving fast. It’s easy to customize and works with Excel. It also outlines all the key elements needed to pitch a business plan to potential investors or lenders.