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Business Plan Outline
By US Small Business Administration (SBA)

The following outline of a typical business plan can serve as a guide. You can adapt it to your specific business. Breaking down the plan into several components helps make drafting it a more manageable task.


bulletGive a detailed description of the business and its goals.
bulletDiscuss the ownership of the business and the legal structure.
bulletList the skills and experience you bring to the business.
bulletDiscuss the advantages you and your business have over your competitors.


bulletDiscuss the products/services offered.
bulletIdentify the customer demand for your product/service.
bulletIdentify your market, its size and locations.
bulletExplain how your product/service will be advertised and marketed.
bulletExplain the pricing strategy.

Financial Management

bulletExplain your source and the amount of initial equity capital.
bulletDevelop a monthly operating budget for the first year.
bulletDevelop an expected return on investment and monthly cash flow for the first year.
bulletProvide projected income statements and balance sheets for a two­year period.
bulletDiscuss your break­even point.
bulletExplain your personal balance sheet and method of compensation.
bulletDiscuss who will maintain your accounting records and how they will be kept.
bulletProvide "what if" statements that address alternative approaches to any problem that may develop.


bulletExplain how the business will be managed on a day­to­day basis.
bulletDiscuss hiring and personnel procedures.
bulletDiscuss insurance, lease or rent agreements, and issues pertinent to your business.
bulletAccount for the equipment necessary to produce your products or services.
bulletAccount for production and delivery of products and services.

Concluding Statement

bulletSummarize your business goals and objectives and express your commitment to the success of your business.
bulletOnce you have completed your business plan, review it with a friend or business associate..
bulletWhen you feel comfortable with the content and structure make an appointment to review and discuss it with your lender. The business plan is flexible document that should change as your business grows.


What is included in a business plan

Competitive Analysis and Marketing

Operational and Financial Management

Do it Yourself Outline: Marketing Plan

Product or Service Analysis

Marketing Strategies - Market Mix

Marketing Tips, Tricks, and Traps

Convert Features into Benefits

Financial Management

Balance Sheet

Monthly Cash Flow Projection


See Also:

7 Essential Pieces to a Winning Business Plan
Writing a good business plan for your business requires time, commitment and a good business plan template. Be sure include the following seven sections in your business plan:

9 Pointers for Evaluating a Business Proposal
Finding a business opportunity on the net is easy. But evaluating the right one for you, takes a little knowledge. What should you look for when evaluating an opportunity? Here are 9 pointers.

8 Steps to Creating a Simple Business Plan for 2004
Here are 8 simple steps to creating your own business plan.

Top 10 Tips to Create A Business Plan!
(For People Who Hate Business Plans)

One of the key challenges for any business is to remain focused and invest resources for maximum pay-off. A business plan can help, but most small business owners hate doing them! In the spirit that any map is better than no map, here are the top ten keys to creating your own map to success:

Ten Tips To Jump Start Your Business Plan
The process of putting together a coherent business plan will probably take longer than you estimate. Along the way you will probably stop and say, "you know, we haven't really thought our strategies out very well, have we?" or "we don't really know our competition as well as we thought we did."

Why you need a killer executive summary in your business plan
The purpose of the executive summary is to entice the reader to review, or request to review, the entire business plan. The executive summary is not a mini version of the entire business plan. Keep it brief. It should be viewed as a marketing tool, a very important marketing tool. 

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