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How to Write a Business Plan for a Startup
Last Updated: April 1, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Jack Herrick . Jack Herrick is an American entrepreneur and wiki enthusiast. His entrepreneurial projects include wikiHow, eHow, Luminescent Technologies, and BigTray. In January 2005, Herrick started wikiHow with the goal of creating "the how-to guide for everything." He has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Dartmouth College. There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 108,134 times.
As a startup, you will need a business plan. For example, you will need to show your plan to a bank if you are seeking a loan. You also need to show the plan to any investor. Business plans are helpful because they force you to step back and analyze your business critically. You should consider your target market, the products or services you will offer, and your projected finances. Writing a business plan isn’t difficult, though it will require considerable research and planning.
Explaining Your Marketing Plan
- Your mission. What is your driving goal every day? Don’t simply write, “Make money.” Identify how you will make money. For example, you can write: “Our mission is to offer residents of the Lakeview neighborhood the best day spa experience in the Near North Side of Chicago. We are committed to providing value and quality in a fun atmosphere that is never predictable.”
- Your goals. For example, a day spay might have the following goal: “To attract a minimum of 35 customers each day in the first year of operations.” Make your goals as concrete as possible.
- Description of the industry. Explain whether the industry is growing or poised for growth in the short and long term.
- The factors that will drive your success. How will you set yourself apart? For example, “You All Day will separate itself from the pack based on the owner’s deep experience running a day spa in Seattle for ten years. This experience includes familiarity with successful marketing techniques and trends analysis.”
- Your legal form. Are you a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation? Also explain why you selected this form.
Don’t skimp on how much energy and time you put into your mission. When asked about creating wikiHow’s mission, Jack Herrick, founder of wikiHow, responded: “We had the whole management team — alongside members of the wikiHow community — reviewing it, discussing it, and going back and forth on the wording. Those two sentences were many hours of work.”
- You can search for industry information in other places. For example, talk to people in your industry at trade shows. Also search online. Many industries have trade associations, which have websites with information.
- For example, when analyzing the day spa industry, you might want to talk about how it is growing because more upper-income men in urban areas are visiting. (If that’s true).
- By analyzing the industry, you gain insight as to your likely target market and how you can reach them.
- Age. What is the average age of your likely customer? If you don’t know, then visit similar businesses and note the ages of the clientele.
- Gender. Will men or women—or both—primarily use your products or services?
- Location. Generally, your market will be located near your business. However, if you have a web-based business, your target audience could have no geographic boundaries.
- Income level.
- Occupation. For example, a day spa might target stressed-out white collar professionals.
- Education level. There is often a link between education, income, and occupation—though not always. For example, a discount bookstore might target an educated audience that nevertheless has a lower income.
- To find competitors, look in the phone book and do a general Google search. Make sure to read their website and stop into the business.
- If you’re opening a restaurant, you’ll want to see a sample menu, as well as the hours of operation.
- Also identify indirect competitors. For example, a day spa is competing with more than other spas. You also compete with any business that offers relaxation, such as massage parlors or meditation centers.
- Name of your competitor.
- What you offer that they don’t. Think about products and services, but also location, ease of ordering, etc. What will make the consumer experience different at your business?
- What they offer that you don’t. Identify why you don’t offer their products or services. For example, they may be serving multiple niches while you are focused on only one. Alternately, they may have a favorable location.
- Whether you will sell pizza by the slice, as whole pies, or both
- How big your pizzas will be
- What toppings your customers can offer
- If you will have take-out and delivery options
- What other food items will be sold
- What type of advertising or promotion will you use? How often will you use paid promotion?
- What other promotion other than paid advertising will you use? For example, you might use social media, professional networks, etc.
- Will you create a logo and use it on cards, letterhead, websites, etc.?
- How large will your promotional budget be?
Discussing Your Business Organization
- State how much you expect to pay each employee in your first three years of business.
- Also name your professional support, such as your business lawyer, accountant, and insurance agent. Professionals are independent contractors you use but don’t employ. Calculate how much you expect to spend on each professional.
- You might write: “Lisa Jones is the sole proprietor of You All Day and will run day-to-day operations. As a certified massage therapist, she ran the Relax! chain of day spas in the Greater Seattle area for ten years. A former accountant, Lisa has an MS in accounting from the University of New Hampshire and worked as a CPA briefly before going into the spa business.”
- If you are asking for a loan, then include resumes for each owner. You can put them in the appendix at the end of the document.
- You should create professional-looking financial statements using a spreadsheet.
- You’ll have to gather quite a bit of information to make the financial statement. For example, you will need information on your assets, investments, and personal debts.
- You might also want to get a free copy of your credit report and review it as you draft your business plan.
Analyzing Business Finances
- Common startup costs include insurance, licenses, equipment, advertising, and employee expenses.  X Trustworthy Source U.S. Small Business Administration U.S. government agency focused on supporting small businesses Go to source
- Also identify the source of the startup capital. For example, if your startup has three initial owners, state how much each is contributing to the business and their ownership percentage.
- If you need financing, state how much. Include the terms of any proposed loan.
- You’ll need to make some assumptions in order to come up with a forecast of sales. You should explain these assumptions in your business plan.
- For example, you can write, “We assume continued interest in day spas in the Chicago area.”
- Another assumption is the overall health of the economy. “Although the Chicagoland economy has grown more slowly than other regions of the country, we assume that the Chicago economy will grow on par with other large metropolitan areas in the coming decade.”
- You can also include a four-year projection, though this is optional.
- Also talk about how you will build up your cash reserves. For example: “In addition to normal cash flow, we will focus on obtaining sufficient cash reserves for emergencies. These reserves include a line of credit with a bank, which we can use when business is slow. We will also invest excess cash in certificates of deposits at our bank.”
- Fixed costs: these don’t vary depending on your sales volume. For example, your rent, employee salaries, and insurance are fixed costs.
- Variable costs: these fluctuate depending on your sales and include shipping, inventory, and manufacturing costs.
Finishing Your Business Plan
- Add a cover page to your document. You can title it “[Company Name]’s Business Plan” or “Business Plan for [Your Name].” If you have a logo, include that too.
- For example, you can write, “You All Day is a start-up dedicated to providing men and women in Chicago a high-quality day spa experience at an affordable price. We specialize in pedicures, manicures, massage, and herbal aromatherapy. The Near North Side of Chicago has grown substantially over the past 20 years, with young, educated millennials settling in to start families. This area is currently under served, and we hope You All Day can meet the demand of the local market.”
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Industry Analysis
- Market and Competition
- Products and Services
- Marketing and Sales Plan
- Operations and Management
- Financial Forecasts
- Review for typos and other errors. An accountant should check your numbers to make sure they are accurate.
- Analyze the overall presentation. Is the information crammed in so that the document is tiring to read? If so, spread out the information so that there is a lot of white space on each page.
- You can also show the plan to a business adviser. If you live in the U.S., you can show it to someone at your nearest Small Business Development Center, which provides help drafting business plans. You can find your nearest SBDC by visiting this website: https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc .
- You might want to include tabbed partitions between each section of your business plan. This will make it easier for someone to flip through it and find what they are looking for.
- Don’t be afraid to change your business plans as you research and draft the document. That’s one of the reasons for writing the plan in the first place. For example, you might have intended to target women as consumers only to realize that there are growth opportunities with men. You can adjust your plans accordingly. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.extension.iastate.edu/ffed/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Appendix-A-Business-Plan-Values-Vision-Mission-Goals-Leah-Risselman.pdf
- ↑ https://business.vic.gov.au/business-information/marketing-and-sales/increasing-sales-through-marketing/do-market-research
- ↑ https://openstax.org/books/entrepreneurship/pages/7-5-reality-check-contests-and-competitions
- ↑ https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/market-research-competitive-analysis
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/business-plan-product-description
- ↑ https://business.gov.au/planning/business-plans/develop-your-marketing-plan
- ↑ https://openstax.org/books/entrepreneurship/pages/11-4-the-business-plan
- ↑ https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/calculate-your-startup-costs
- ↑ https://www.alberta.ca/preparing-financial-projections-and-monitoring-results.aspx
- ↑ https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/entrepreneurial-private-business/small-business-solutions/blogs/preparing-a-cash-flow-forecast-simple-steps-for-vital-insight.html
- ↑ https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/business-financials/breakeven-analysis
- ↑ https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan
- ↑ https://smallbusinessbc.ca/article/5-reasons-business-plan-review/
About This Article
To write a business plan for a startup, break your plan up into several sections, including an executive summary, a description of your company, an industry analysis, market and competition information, your products and services, your marketing and sales plan, operations and management information, your financial forecasts, and finally, an appendix. To format your business plan, use a professional font, like Times New Roman, and include a cover page with your company's name and logo on it. To learn how to write each section of your business plan, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Everything you need to know about business plan cover pages
You have only one chance to make a good first impression with the readers of your business plan.
People do judge books—and business plans—by their covers. A quick glance at the cover can easily be enough to make up one’s mind.
So set yourself up for success with a powerful cover page that stands out and entices the reader to find out more about your business.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Definition: What is a Business Plan Cover Page?
Cover page (also known as title page or cover sheet) is the first page of a business plan that communicates what the enclosed document is about and highlights the key company information like name, logo and contact details, making a good impression with professional and attractive appearance.
Purpose: Why is Business Plan Cover Page Important?
Many businesses spend hours preparing their business plans but then do not pay enough attention to the title page. This is a huge mistake .
5 ways a strong cover page can help you make a positive first impression:
- Clearly indicate what the presented document is about
- Provide the necessary information for a reader to contact you
- Create a powerful first impact that sets the stage for how readers will engage with your document
- Avoid falling victim to negative preconceived notions as a result or unprofessional or unattractive cover
- Maximize the chance of the plan being read by making the document stand out from the crowd and immediately drawing your reader’s attention
Keep reading to find out which elements you need to include in the cover page, how to structure it to maximize the impact of your business plan, and to take a look at some successful examples .
Contents: What Should You Include in a Business Plan Cover Page?
Surprisingly, there are no strict rules about what to show on your business plan cover sheet, but there certainly are best practices that you should follow.
Here are 9 elements that are typically included on business plan covers, 3 of which are essential and you should not miss to include them. The remaining 6 are optional for your consideration.
1. Must-haves: 3 mandatory cover page elements
1.1. Business name: The name of the company that is the subject of the plan.
1.2. Document title: The words “ Business Plan ” in a prominent spot so that it is clear what kind of document this is.
1.3. Contact information: Name, title and contact details (e.g., phone, email, social media, website, address) of the primary contact persons presenting the plan (e.g., CEO, Founder, Owner, President) so that any interested parties know exactly to whom to direct their inquiries and can reach them quickly and easily.
2. Nice-to-haves: 6 optional cover page elements:
2.1. Company logo: The logo of the company if available and desired.
2.2. Tagline: Short, memorable summary of the business described in the plan.
2.3. Date: In order to make sure your plan does not look outdated, include only the year of the business plan completion date. If you are including both the month also, it is advisable to create a new cover sheet each time you send out the plan.
2.4. Version control: Numbering each copy of the plan enables you to more easily keep track of who you sent what version of the document to.
2.5. Disclaimer: Disclaimer can help protect you and your company from confidentiality and other legal issues resulting from the distribution of the business plan by indicating that the plan is for information only, not an offering of stock in the company, and not to be shared with third parties without your prior consent.
2.6. Visuals: Graphic elements or images to enhance the professional look and visual appeal of the document.
Let’s have a more detailed look at these cover page elements so you know what exactly to include into each of them:
The most prominent feature on your business plan cover is the name of your company.
Instantly, the reader should notice the name of your business. In fact, if readers take away nothing else from the cover page, they should remember your company’s name.
As this is the most noticeable feature on the page, use a large font that stands out, but is easy to read, looks professional and corresponds to the typeface that you used for the rest of the document.
Placing a high-quality company logo on the cover page helps to make the business plan look more professional and establish a brand identity by allowing readers to connect visually to the business right from the beginning.
If your logo includes the full name of the company, you do not have to display both the company name and logo on the cover page, it is sufficient to choose one of the two.
The readers need to know what the presented document is about – immediately and clearly.
The cover page should clearly state whether it is a Business Plan, Executive Summary, Financial Forecast, Marketing Plan, Recovery Plan, or any other kind of plan.
For example, write the words “ Business Plan ” in a prominent spot on the cover sheet to make it crystal clear what type of document this is. You may include any additional words that are part of the title, such as “Three/Five-Year Business Plan” if needed or relevant.
As a focal point on the cover page, the document title should be in a large font size .
There is no rule though about whether the Document Title or Company Name and Logo should be of the largest font size, as all are of key importance. So it is entirely your decision what feature you prefer to highlight on the cover page of the document.
Contact details should always be on the business plan cover page, letting the reader know who is presenting the document and how to contact them if they need more information.
It is helpful to indicate the names and titles of the company’s primary contact persons for investors and other business plan readers, such as:
- External distribution: company founder, owner, president, partner, CEO
- In-house corporate plans: head of division, departmental manager, executive officer
Next, provide the contact details that will allow the interested parties to reach these primary contact persons quickly and easily, including:
- Name and title of primary contact(s)
- Phone number
- Email address
- Social media handles
- Website address
- Postal address
The contact information is typically displayed in the smallest font on the cover page.
Company tagline, or a motto , is a catchy memorable marketing slogan that captures the essence of a business in a few short and simple words: >> What you do >> How you do it >> Why are you different from the competition
For example, you will undoubtedly recognize the following company mottos:
As such, the tagline is a useful part of the cover page as it helps the business plan readers better understand what you do straight away, and even excite them to read the business plan and study it with more interest.
When was this business plan finalized and issued ? The readers will be interested to know. Hence, it is advisable to state the document completion date on the cover page.
Strictly speaking, you do not need to denote anything more specific that the year in which you completed the business plan. (“Business Plan: 2021”) This will ensure that the plan does not appear outdated for an entire year.
Imagine that you are a potential investor who in December 2021 receives a business plan dated January 2021. It would be natural to assume that the document has been rejected many times by other investors over the last 12 months.
Alternatively, you can include both the current month and year on the cover sheet. (“Business Plan: January 2021”) Each time you update the document and send it out or present it, you will need to check if this date of completion needs updating .
The date is featured on the cover sheet less prominently and in a smaller font size than the document title and company name, and is often displayed below the plan title.
As your business develops, you may revise your business plan any number of times and send it to multiple recipients . To keep track of the different versions of the plan that you produce and which version you sent to whom, you may decide to use a version control system.
However, it does not make the best impression when someone receives a “Version 25” of your plan.
Instead, consider devising a simple coding system . For example: “Copy D.5” would indicate it is the fifth copy of a fourth version of the document or “Version 4.5” could mean a fifth copy of a document version completed in April.
Numbering each copy of your business plan before distribution, and keeping a list of which individual has received which copy, would enable you to keep track of how many copies are in circulation, and, if needed, ask to have a copy returned, or trace the responsible party in case a copy is circulated without your permission.
Confidentiality Statement & Disclaimer
Why should your plan include a disclaimer.
Legal issues may arise as a result of circulating your business plan.
For example, anyone who is in the possession of the document could potentially divulge the confidential information.
Also, in some countries, offering ownership in your company in return for an investment is considered as selling of stock, which is a regulated activity. The best way to protect yourself is to consult a lawyer.
Nevertheless, including a disclaimer in the business plan helps to protect your company by indicating the plan itself is not an offering of stock for sale but rather a document for information purposes only.
The same disclaimer can also be used to help protect the confidentiality of the information disclosed in your business plan by informing the reader that the plan is confidential and not to be shared with other parties without the owner’s consent, especially when you are not adding a non-disclosure agreement.
What Should the Disclaimer Say?
These are the two most common ways how to show the disclaimer in the business plan:
1. Display a brief disclaimer , just one or two sentences, directly on the front cover , probably at the bottom of the page. Consult a lawyer for the most appropriate wording, but a standard disclaimer might look something to the effect this:
2. Write “ Confidential ” on the cover sheet and include a longer disclaimer and confidentiality statement in the main body of the business plan, perhaps on the first page after the cover sheet.
In addition, you can also include the text “Confidential” into the header or footer of the document.
Design: How Should You Format a Business Plan Cover Page?
The cover page is the first thing the readers will see when they open your business plan. Thus, your business plan cover should be neat , clean , attractive , and professional enough to draw your readers’ attention , make a good first impression and set the tone for your business plan’s content.
Cover page that is messy, dated, unattractive or in any way unprofessional can create negative preconceptions in the recipients’ minds before they even start reading the business plan.
Your design should be clean and professional, which can be accomplished by observing the following best practices:
Most successful businesses have a strong association with their brand identity , including a company logo, typeface and color scheme. Visual identity helps to establish recognition, familiarity, trust and confidence in customers by evoking the right emotions and sending the right message.
As a result, companies take care to develop a brand identity and keep consistent across all marketing collateral and business materials.
Likewise, your brand identity should be integrated into all parts of your business plan, including the cover page. The best practice is to make the plan consistent with the logo, font type and color scheme as they appear across your other company’s documents.
If you do not have a brand identity created yet, keep the color scheme of the plan cover simple.
The easiest is to have a logo designed, which is inexpensive and easy to do nowadays, and then use your logo colors across the business plan. Alternatively, consider using an online color scheme generator to select colors that go well together.
To stay on the safe side, use maximum of two to three colors, one of which should be black. You can use different shades of the same color (e.g., light blue and dark blue).
First and foremost, the fonts you use in the business plan, including its cover, need to be readable .
The most important information should be displayed in a way that it stands out from the rest of the elements on the business plan cover page, for example, differentiated by font size , weight or color .
Ideally, the typefaces and their color(s) should be consistent with the brand identity used in all of the other company’s marketing materials.
Do not combine more than two typefaces. It is ok to combine a sans-serif (e.g., Times New Roman) with a sans-serif (e.g., Arial) typeface.
Again, less is definitely more here. Refrain from cluttering the business plan cover sheet with photos and graphics.
If you do use a visual element, make sure to leave enough white space around it so the page does not look too busy.
The resolution of any images, including the company logo, should be of high enough quality to not look pixelated.
There is no need for a fancy over-designed cover page, unless you are a large corporation or perhaps a design agency. Equally, beware of any templates with outdated designs that will make your cover look like it was created back in 1999.
Professional designers often combine different alignments (left / right / center) of elements on a page (text, images) to achieve a desired design effect. However, a design novice should play it safe and keep the alignment simple and consistent , especially when it comes to professional documents, such as a business plan.
You should be able to comfortably fit all of the recommended elements on the cover sheet (e.g., company name and logo, document title, contact details, date, disclaimer), and still leave enough white space on the page.
Making a great first impression does not equal to creating a cover that is graphically busy and cluttered with unimportant details. Instead, set yourself up for success by keeping the business plan cover sheet neat , clean , simple and concise .
Carefully proofread the cover page to avoid, at all costs, any mistakes and typos , which would do you a great disservice in the eyes of the reader. Even better, have someone else to look it over.
Finally, make sure that the cover page looks good in every format you will be distributing the business plan in, probably including a PDF electronic file and a printed hard copy.
Some common issues include:
- Photos look pixelated due to low image resolution
- Colors do not print well (e.g., dark font color on a dark background)
- White space left at the edges of a printout because and image does not stretch (i.e., “bleed” in designer terms) enough into the edges of the page
Most importantly, the cover page should look professional and stand out from the crowd so that your business plan has a better chance of being read.
Finally, remember that these aren’t rigid rules. The overall goal for a cover page is to look neat and professional so that it stands out from the crowd and your business plan has a better chance of being read. In the end, that’s the most important outcome.
The cover sheet is the first thing the readers of your business plan will see. Make a good first impression.
Examples: Sample Images
Here are some examples to further illustrate the structure and format of a business plan cover page:
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15+ Business Plan Examples to Win Your Next Round of Funding
By Jennifer Gaskin , Jun 09, 2021
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” according to words of wisdom dubiously attributed to Benjamin Franklin. While there’s no solid evidence that Franklin actually coined this phrase, the sentiment rings true for any business.
Not having a solid plan makes it unlikely you’ll achieve the goals you seek, whether the goals are getting your to-do list done or launching a successful organization.
In the early stages of a company, that means developing things like pitch decks, business plans, one-sheeters and more. With Venngage’s Business Plan Builder , you can easily organize your business plan into a visually appealing format that can help you win over investors, lenders or partners.
Learn more about how to create a business plan so you can hit the ground running after reading through this list for inspirational examples of business plans.
START CREATING FOR FREE
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Simple business plan example, startup business plan example, small business plan example, nonprofit business plan example, strategic business plan example, market analysis business plan example, sales business plan example, organization and management business plan example, marketing and sales strategy business plan example, apple business plan example, airbnb business plan example, sequoia capital business plan example.
While your business plan should be supported by thorough and exhaustive research into your market and competitors, the resulting document does not have to be overwhelming for the reader. In fact, if you can boil your business plan down to a few key pages, all the better.
CREATE THIS PLAN TEMPLATE
The simple, bold visual aesthetic of this business plan template pairs well with the straightforward approach to the content and various elements of the business plan itself.
Use Venngage’s My Brand Kit to automatically add your brand colors and fonts to your business plan with just a few clicks.
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For a typical startup, the need to appear disruptive in the industry is important. After all, if you’re not offering anything truly new, why would an investor turn their attention toward your organization. That means establishing a problem and the ways in which you solve it right away.
CREATE THIS PRESENTATION TEMPLATE
Whether it’s a full-scale business plan or, in this case, a pitch deck, the ideal way for a startup to make a splash with its plans is to be bold. This successful business plan example is memorable and aspirational.
In the Venngage editor, you can upload images of your business. Add these images to your plans and reports to make them uniquely your own.
All businesses start out small at first, but that doesn’t mean their communications have to be small. One of the best ways to get investors, lenders and talent on board is to show that you’ve done your due diligence.
In this small business plan example, the content is spread over many pages, which is useful in making lengthy, in-depth research feel less like a chore than packing everyone on as few pages as possible.
Organizations that set out to solve problems rather than earning profits also benefit from creating compelling business plans that stir an emotional response in potential donors, benefactors, potential staff members or even media.
CREATE THIS REPORT TEMPLATE
Simplicity is the goal for nonprofits when it comes to business plans, particularly in their early days. Explain the crisis at hand and exactly how your organization will make a difference, which will help donors visualize how their money will be used to help.
Business plans are also helpful for companies that have been around for a while. Whether they’re considering new products to launch or looking for new opportunities, companies can approach business plans from the strategy side of the equation as well.
Strategic business plans or strategy infographics should be highly focused on a single area or problem to be solved rather than taking a holistic approach to the entire business. Expanding scope too much can make a strategy seem too difficult to implement.
Easily share your business plan with Venngage’s multiple download options, including PNG, PNG HD, and as an interactive PDF.
One-page business plan example
For organizations with a simple business model, often a one-page business plan is all that’s needed. This is possible in any industry, but the most common are traditional ones like retail, where few complex concepts need to be explained.
This one-page strategic business plan example could be easily replicated for an organization that offers goods or services across multiple channels or one with three core business areas. It’s a good business plan example for companies whose plans can be easily boiled down to a few bullet points per area.
Especially when entering a saturated market, understanding the landscape and players is crucial to understanding how your organization can fit it—and stand out. That’s why centering your business plan around a market analysis is often a good idea.
In this example, the majority of the content and about half the pages are focused on the market analysis, including competitors, trends, pricing, demographics and more. This successful business plan example ensures the artwork and style used perfectly matches the company’s aesthetic, which further reinforces its position in the market.
You can find more memorable business plan templates to customize in the Venngage editor. Browse Venngage’s business plan templates to find plans that work for you and start editing.
Company description business plan example
Depending on the market, focusing on your company story and what makes you different can drive your narrative home with potential investors. By focusing your business plan on a company description, you center yourself and your organization in the minds of your audience.
This abbreviated plan is a good business plan example. It uses most of the content to tell the organization’s story. In addition to background about the company, potential investors or clients can see how this design firm’s process is different from their rivals.
With Venngage Business , you can collaborate with team members in real-time to create a business plan that will be effective when presenting to investors.
Five-year business plan example
For most startups or young companies, showing potential investors or partners exactly how and when the company will become profitable is a key aspect of presenting a business plan. Whether it’s woven into a larger presentation or stands alone, you should be sure to include your five-year business plan so investors know you’re looking far beyond the present.
CREATE THIS PROPOSAL TEMPLATE
With Venngage’s Business Plan Builder , you can customize a schedule like this to quickly illustrate for investors or partners what your revenue targets are for the first three to five years your company is in operation.
The lifeblood of any company is the sales team. These are the energetic folks who bring in new business, develop leads and turn prospects into customers. Focusing your energy on creating a sales business plan would prove to investors that you understand what will make your company money.
In this example sales business plan, several facets of ideal buyers are detailed. These include a perfect customer profile that helps to convey to your audience that customer relationships will be at the heart of your operation.
You can include business infographics in your plan to visualize your goals. And with Venngage’s gallery of images and icons, you can customize the template to better reflect your business ethos.
Company mergers and shakeups are also major reasons for organizations to require strong business planning. Creating new departments, deciding which staff to retain and charting a course forward can be even more complex than starting a business from scratch.
This organization and management business plan focuses on how the company can optimize operations through a few key organizational projects.
Executive summary for business plan example
Executive summaries give your business plan a strong human touch, and they set the tone for what’s to follow. That could mean having your executive leadership team write a personal note or singling out some huge achievements of which you’re particularly proud in a business plan infographic .
In this executive summary for a business plan, a brief note is accompanied by a few notable achievements that signal the organization and leadership team’s authority in the industry.
Marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin, and clever companies know how they play off each other. That’s why centering your business plan around your marketing and sales strategy can pay dividends when it comes time to find investors and potential partners.
This marketing and sales business plan example is the picture of a sleek, modern aesthetic, which is appropriate across many industries and will speak volumes to numbers-obsesses sales and marketing leaders.
Do business plans really help? Well, here’s some math for you; in 1981, Apple had just gone public and was in the midst of marketing an absolute flop , the Apple III computer. The company’s market cap, or total estimated market value, could hit $3 trillion this year.
Did this Apple business plan make the difference? No, it’s not possible to attribute the success of Apple entirely to this business plan from July 1981, but this ancient artifact goes to show that even the most groundbreaking companies need to take an honest stock of their situation.
Apple’s 1981 business plan example pdf covers everything from the market landscape for computing to the products that founder Steve Jobs expects to roll out over the next few years, and the advanced analysis contained in the document shows how strategic Jobs and other Apple executives were in those early days.
Inviting strangers to stay in your house for the weekend seemed like a crazy concept before Airbnb became one of the world’s biggest companies. Like all disruptive startups, Airbnb had to create a robust, active system from nothing.
As this Airbnb business plan pitch deck example shows, for companies that are introducing entirely new concepts, it’s helpful not to get too into the weeds. Explain the problem simply and boil down the essence of your solution into a few words; in this case, “A web platform where users can rent out their space” perfectly sums up this popular company.
Sequoia Capital is one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world, backing startups that now have a combined stock market value of more than $1 trillion, according to a Forbes analysis .
For young companies and startups that want to play in the big leagues, tailoring your pitch to something that would appeal to a company like Sequoia Capital is a good idea. That’s why the company has a standard business plan format it recommends .
Using Sequoia Capital’s business plan example means being simple and clear with your content, like the above deck. Note how no slide contains much copy, and even when all slides appear on the screen at once, the text is legible.
In summary: Use Venngage to design business plans that will impress investors
Not every business plan, pitch deck or one-sheeter will net you billions in investment dollars, but every entrepreneur should be adept at crafting impressive, authoritative and informative business plans.
Whether you use one of the inspirational templates shared here or you want to go old school and mimic Apple’s 1981 business plan, using Venngage’s Business Plan Builder helps you bring your company’s vision to life.
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