How To Write A Business Plan: The Essential Parts and A Free Sample Template

Updated: August 28, 2019

As an entrepreneur, one of the basic things you have to learn is how to write a business plan. This is a very important task which you need to do specially if you’re thinking of putting up a new business.

In a simple sense, a business plan serves as your road map that will guide your business to success.

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry defines a business plan as a written outline that evaluates all aspects of the economic viability of your business, including a description and analysis of your prospects.

Thus, writing a business plan is really an essential step for any prudent entrepreneur to take, regardless of the size of the business.

Having a business plan lowers your financial risk. It happened several times in my life already when I had to forego or delay a particular venture because the business plan showed that my current resources were not enough to make it successful.

In a way, I was able to save money, time and energy by being diligent in writing a business plan.

“The most intelligent man (or woman) living cannot succeed in accumulating money–nor in any other undertaking–without plans which are practical and workable” – Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, page 83

Business plans come in many forms, mostly depending on where it will be used. It can just be a two-page pitch for a venture capitalist or a 20-page feasibility study for yourself and your potential investors.

However, regardless of the intended purpose, a business plan usually has these common and essential elements below.

Mission, Vision and Values Statements

These define the philosophy and purpose of your business. It states your ultimate goals and describes how you want your business to be regarded by your target market.

For guidance regarding this matter, you may refer to my previous article entitled, Mission, Vision and Values: Defining The Purpose Of Your Business.

The Executive Summary

This is a concise summary of the plan’s important points. This section gives a synopsis of your entire business plan and is often intended to give readers a clear idea of what the business is all about.

Although placed at the beginning of the document, it is actually written last, after the entire business plan is completed.

Business Description

This section will explain in greater detail what the business is all about. It will also state the rationale behind the business – it’s importance, target market and profitability.

This part also describes the business processes involved in running the venture as well as the business model that will be used.

It shall also enumerate the equipments that will be utilized, the space requirements and other operating necessities.

The Business Organization

This portion lists the key positions in the business organization, including the different departments, the required number of personnel and the duties and responsibilities of each person involved.

You can also provide a profile description of the management team. Write down the necessary leadership skills, personal resources and required background experience of the people that will run the business.

Products and Marketing Plan

This part will discuss the products and services of the business. What are you offering? Who is your target market? How big is your audience? What is the current situation of the industry?

Along with your demographics and market analysis, provide the strategies that will be used to influence sales. This means defining your edge and showing how you plan to compete against existing brands.

Financial Strategies

If you’re pitching your business plan to potential investors, then you must make this part as comprehensive as you can. This section describes how the money will flow in and out of your business.

Include a breakdown of capitalization expenses, a detailed budget for operating costs, sales and profit projections, a breakeven analysis, the expected duration for return of investment (ROI) and other performance statistics. Your financial strategy must show investors that your business will be profitable; but more importantly, it should provide you with a realistic view of how the business is expected to perform.

The internet is full of resources and useful information on how to write an effective business plan.

Some of them will provide you with a more detailed guide on each section and teach you how to design a business plan for specific needs.

Nevertheless, I would like to share with you a business plan sample template which you can use. Just click the free tool to download this Microsoft Word file.

FREE TOOL: Business Plan Sample Template

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45 comments

  1. hi fitz,

    i am planning to start a business, either a water refilling station and laundry shop. i am starting from scratch. can you help me with the info gathering? thanks!

  2. Hi, Fitz! Thanks for the many tips. They’ve been helpful, so far. I hope you can also assist me in coming up with a draft of proposal for a school to service their image-building requirement (includes image-building techniques and do’s on personnel retraining, market survey service, marketing strategy formulation, advertising and press relations planning and implementation, collateral design and print production). Am doing this after their top brass has initially consulted me on their predicament. I must include that this is an asap request. They’ve been contributing so much to the society but other competing schools’ advertising are eating them up. Please help. Thanks! – rolly

  3. good day all,

    please anyone should help me out, iam planing to establish Lundary Business, i dont have any idea about the business, i need someone to help for the things i need to know before starting the business and also the daily earn in the business.

  4. Hi everyone. As much as I want to help, please understand that I currently don’t have the luxury of time to assist you in your business endeavors.

    What I can offer is an occasional advise if ever you find yourself stuck along the way. Just send me an email and I’ll give you some tips.

    Thanks!

  5. […] want to start a business? If yes, then you should first write a business plan. There are new shortcuts. You really have to do this or else you will regret […]

  6. These are great tips but I’d like to add one more to add to your readers……Don’t forget to revisit your business plan during these rough economical times.

    My wife and I have been running our own business for years. And we had a business plan but what we forgot to include, in writing, was how to profit if a recession occurs. Without the steps in writing, it made it hard to make profits.

    So we went back to our original plan, made edits, and added how to earn profits under such circumstances. Since doing so the profits have been flowing, again. I hope this tip benefits your readers as much as it benefited us!

  7. Thanks Michiel for that tip.

    I agree with preparing your business plan for rough economic times – something that many entrepreneurs overlook when planning for a business.

  8. […] Prepare your finances. Have enough capital not only to buy one or two dogs, but more importantly, a budget for dog food, vaccines and veterinary care. Also consider the expenses for registration and marketing. It’s a business – so prepare a business plan. […]

  9. Hi! Can anyone help me in making an executive summary for a water refilling station? I need a perfect sample for this one as I do not have any idea in making one. I also have limited information from my client. I am still a student and this is just one of our many requirements for the final term. Please help. Thanks! 🙂

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