business plan example for online business

The 7 Best Business Plan Examples (2024)

As an aspiring entrepreneur gearing up to start your own business , you likely know the importance of drafting a business plan. However, you might not be entirely sure where to begin or what specific details to include. That’s where examining business plan examples can be beneficial. Sample business plans serve as real-world templates to help you craft your own plan with confidence. They also provide insight into the key sections that make up a business plan, as well as demonstrate how to structure and present your ideas effectively.

business plan example for online business

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business plan example for online business

Example business plan

To understand how to write a business plan, let’s study an example structured using a seven-part template. Here’s a quick overview of those parts:

  • Executive summary: A quick overview of your business and the contents of your business plan.
  • Company description: More info about your company, its goals and mission, and why you started it in the first place.
  • Market analysis: Research about the market and industry your business will operate in, including a competitive analysis about the companies you’ll be up against.
  • Products and services: A detailed description of what you’ll be selling to your customers.
  • Marketing plan: A strategic outline of how you plan to market and promote your business before, during, and after your company launches into the market.
  • Logistics and operations plan: An explanation of the systems, processes, and tools that are needed to run your business in the background.
  • Financial plan: A map of your short-term (and even long-term) financial goals and the costs to run the business. If you’re looking for funding, this is the place to discuss your request and needs.

7 business plan examples (section by section)

In this section, you’ll find hypothetical and real-world examples of each aspect of a business plan to show you how the whole thing comes together. 

  • Executive summary

Your executive summary offers a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. You’ll want to include a brief description of your company, market research, competitor analysis, and financial information. 

In this free business plan template, the executive summary is three paragraphs and occupies nearly half the page:

  • Company description

You might go more in-depth with your company description and include the following sections:

  • Nature of the business. Mention the general category of business you fall under. Are you a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of your products?
  • Background information. Talk about your past experiences and skills, and how you’ve combined them to fill in the market. 
  • Business structure. This section outlines how you registered your company —as a corporation, sole proprietorship, LLC, or other business type.
  • Industry. Which business sector do you operate in? The answer might be technology, merchandising, or another industry.
  • Team. Whether you’re the sole full-time employee of your business or you have contractors to support your daily workflow, this is your chance to put them under the spotlight.

You can also repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, Instagram page, or other properties that ask for a boilerplate description of your business. Hair extensions brand Luxy Hair has a blurb on it’s About page that could easily be repurposed as a company description for its business plan. 

company description business plan

  • Market analysis

Market analysis comprises research on product supply and demand, your target market, the competitive landscape, and industry trends. You might do a SWOT analysis to learn where you stand and identify market gaps that you could exploit to establish your footing. Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis for a hypothetical ecommerce business: 

marketing swot example

You’ll also want to run a competitive analysis as part of the market analysis component of your business plan. This will show you who you’re up against and give you ideas on how to gain an edge over the competition. 

  • Products and services

This part of your business plan describes your product or service, how it will be priced, and the ways it will compete against similar offerings in the market. Don’t go into too much detail here—a few lines are enough to introduce your item to the reader.

  • Marketing plan

Potential investors will want to know how you’ll get the word out about your business. So it’s essential to build a marketing plan that highlights the promotion and customer acquisition strategies you’re planning to adopt. 

Most marketing plans focus on the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. However, it’s easier when you break it down by the different marketing channels . Mention how you intend to promote your business using blogs, email, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Here’s an example of a hypothetical marketing plan for a real estate website:

marketing section template for business plan

Logistics and operations

This section of your business plan provides information about your production, facilities, equipment, shipping and fulfillment, and inventory.

Financial plan

The financial plan (a.k.a. financial statement) offers a breakdown of your sales, revenue, expenses, profit, and other financial metrics. You’ll want to include all the numbers and concrete data to project your current and projected financial state.

In this business plan example, the financial statement for ecommerce brand Nature’s Candy includes forecasted revenue, expenses, and net profit in graphs.

financial plan example

It then goes deeper into the financials, citing:

  • Funding needs
  • Project cash-flow statement
  • Project profit-and-loss statement
  • Projected balance sheet

You can use Shopify’s financial plan template to create your own income statement, cash-flow statement, and balance sheet. 

Types of business plans (and what to write for each)

A one-page business plan is a pared down version of a standard business plan that’s easy for potential investors and partners to understand. You’ll want to include all of these sections, but make sure they’re abbreviated and summarized:

  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financials 

A startup business plan is meant to secure outside funding for a new business. Typically, there’s a big focus on the financials, as well as other sections that help determine the viability of your business idea—market analysis, for example. Shopify has a great business plan template for startups that include all the below points:

  • Market research: in depth
  • Financials: in depth

Internal 

Your internal business plan acts as the enforcer of your company’s vision. It reminds your team of the long-term objective and keeps them strategically aligned toward the same goal. Be sure to include:

  • Market research

Feasibility 

A feasibility business plan is essentially a feasibility study that helps you evaluate whether your product or idea is worthy of a full business plan. Include the following sections:

A strategic (or growth) business plan lays out your long-term vision and goals. This means your predictions stretch further into the future, and you aim for greater growth and revenue. While crafting this document, you use all the parts of a usual business plan but add more to each one:

  • Products and services: for launch and expansion
  • Market analysis: detailed analysis
  • Marketing plan: detailed strategy
  • Logistics and operations plan: detailed plan
  • Financials: detailed projections

Free business plan templates

Now that you’re familiar with what’s included and how to format a business plan, let’s go over a few templates you can fill out or draw inspiration from.

Bplans’ free business plan template

business plan example for online business

Bplans’ free business plan template focuses a lot on the financial side of running a business. It has many pages just for your financial plan and statements. Once you fill it out, you’ll see exactly where your business stands financially and what you need to do to keep it on track or make it better.

PandaDoc’s free business plan template

business plan example for online business

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is detailed and guides you through every section, so you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. Filling it out, you’ll grasp the ins and outs of your business and how each part fits together. It’s also handy because it connects to PandaDoc’s e-signature for easy signing, ideal for businesses with partners or a board.

Miro’s Business Model Canvas Template

Miro's business model canvas template

Miro’s Business Model Canvas Template helps you map out the essentials of your business, like partnerships, core activities, and what makes you different. It’s a collaborative tool for you and your team to learn how everything in your business is linked.

Better business planning equals better business outcomes

Building a business plan is key to establishing a clear direction and strategy for your venture. With a solid plan in hand, you’ll know what steps to take for achieving each of your business goals. Kickstart your business planning and set yourself up for success with a defined roadmap—utilizing the sample business plans above to inform your approach.

Business plan FAQ

What are the 3 main points of a business plan.

  • Concept. Explain what your business does and the main idea behind it. This is where you tell people what you plan to achieve with your business.
  • Contents. Explain what you’re selling or offering. Point out who you’re selling to and who else is selling something similar. This part concerns your products or services, who will buy them, and who you’re up against.
  • Cash flow. Explain how money will move in and out of your business. Discuss the money you need to start and keep the business going, the costs of running your business, and how much money you expect to make.

How do I write a simple business plan?

To create a simple business plan, start with an executive summary that details your business vision and objectives. Follow this with a concise description of your company’s structure, your market analysis, and information about your products or services. Conclude your plan with financial projections that outline your expected revenue, expenses, and profitability.

What is the best format to write a business plan?

The optimal format for a business plan arranges your plan in a clear and structured way, helping potential investors get a quick grasp of what your business is about and what you aim to achieve. Always start with a summary of your plan and finish with the financial details or any extra information at the end.

Want to learn more?

  • Question: Are You a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur?
  • Bootstrapping a Business: 10 Tips to Help You Succeed
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: 20 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur
  • 101+ Best Small Business Software Programs 

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Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Simple Business Plan

By Joe Weller | October 11, 2021

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A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful company, regardless of size or industry. This step-by-step guide provides information on writing a business plan for organizations at any stage, complete with free templates and expert advice. 

Included on this page, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan and a chart to identify which type of business plan you should write . Plus, find information on how a business plan can help grow a business and expert tips on writing one .

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that communicates a company’s goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, finances, and methods needed to achieve them. Additionally, it may include a mission statement and details about the specific products or services offered.

A business plan can highlight varying time periods, depending on the stage of your company and its goals. That said, a typical business plan will include the following benchmarks:

  • Product goals and deadlines for each month
  • Monthly financials for the first two years
  • Profit and loss statements for the first three to five years
  • Balance sheet projections for the first three to five years

Startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses all create business plans to use as a guide as their new company progresses. Larger organizations may also create (and update) a business plan to keep high-level goals, financials, and timelines in check.

While you certainly need to have a formalized outline of your business’s goals and finances, creating a business plan can also help you determine a company’s viability, its profitability (including when it will first turn a profit), and how much money you will need from investors. In turn, a business plan has functional value as well: Not only does outlining goals help keep you accountable on a timeline, it can also attract investors in and of itself and, therefore, act as an effective strategy for growth.

For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to writing a strategic plan or download free strategic plan templates . This page focuses on for-profit business plans, but you can read our article with nonprofit business plan templates .

Business Plan Steps

The specific information in your business plan will vary, depending on the needs and goals of your venture, but a typical plan includes the following ordered elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Description of business
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Description of organizational management
  • Description of product or services
  • Marketing plan
  • Sales strategy
  • Funding details (or request for funding)
  • Financial projections

If your plan is particularly long or complicated, consider adding a table of contents or an appendix for reference. For an in-depth description of each step listed above, read “ How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step ” below.

Broadly speaking, your audience includes anyone with a vested interest in your organization. They can include potential and existing investors, as well as customers, internal team members, suppliers, and vendors.

Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan?

Your business’s stage and intended audience dictates the level of detail your plan needs. Corporations require a thorough business plan — up to 100 pages. Small businesses or startups should have a concise plan focusing on financials and strategy.

How to Choose the Right Plan for Your Business

In order to identify which type of business plan you need to create, ask: “What do we want the plan to do?” Identify function first, and form will follow.

Use the chart below as a guide for what type of business plan to create:

Is the Order of Your Business Plan Important?

There is no set order for a business plan, with the exception of the executive summary, which should always come first. Beyond that, simply ensure that you organize the plan in a way that makes sense and flows naturally.

The Difference Between Traditional and Lean Business Plans

A traditional business plan follows the standard structure — because these plans encourage detail, they tend to require more work upfront and can run dozens of pages. A Lean business plan is less common and focuses on summarizing critical points for each section. These plans take much less work and typically run one page in length.

In general, you should use a traditional model for a legacy company, a large company, or any business that does not adhere to Lean (or another Agile method ). Use Lean if you expect the company to pivot quickly or if you already employ a Lean strategy with other business operations. Additionally, a Lean business plan can suffice if the document is for internal use only. Stick to a traditional version for investors, as they may be more sensitive to sudden changes or a high degree of built-in flexibility in the plan.

How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step

Writing a strong business plan requires research and attention to detail for each section. Below, you’ll find a 10-step guide to researching and defining each element in the plan.

Step 1: Executive Summary

The executive summary will always be the first section of your business plan. The goal is to answer the following questions:

  • What is the vision and mission of the company?
  • What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?

See our  roundup of executive summary examples and templates for samples. Read our executive summary guide to learn more about writing one.

Step 2: Description of Business

The goal of this section is to define the realm, scope, and intent of your venture. To do so, answer the following questions as clearly and concisely as possible:

  • What business are we in?
  • What does our business do?

Step 3: Market Analysis

In this section, provide evidence that you have surveyed and understand the current marketplace, and that your product or service satisfies a niche in the market. To do so, answer these questions:

  • Who is our customer? 
  • What does that customer value?

Step 4: Competitive Analysis

In many cases, a business plan proposes not a brand-new (or even market-disrupting) venture, but a more competitive version — whether via features, pricing, integrations, etc. — than what is currently available. In this section, answer the following questions to show that your product or service stands to outpace competitors:

  • Who is the competition? 
  • What do they do best? 
  • What is our unique value proposition?

Step 5: Description of Organizational Management

In this section, write an overview of the team members and other key personnel who are integral to success. List roles and responsibilities, and if possible, note the hierarchy or team structure.

Step 6: Description of Products or Services

In this section, clearly define your product or service, as well as all the effort and resources that go into producing it. The strength of your product largely defines the success of your business, so it’s imperative that you take time to test and refine the product before launching into marketing, sales, or funding details.

Questions to answer in this section are as follows:

  • What is the product or service?
  • How do we produce it, and what resources are necessary for production?

Step 7: Marketing Plan

In this section, define the marketing strategy for your product or service. This doesn’t need to be as fleshed out as a full marketing plan , but it should answer basic questions, such as the following:

  • Who is the target market (if different from existing customer base)?
  • What channels will you use to reach your target market?
  • What resources does your marketing strategy require, and do you have access to them?
  • If possible, do you have a rough estimate of timeline and budget?
  • How will you measure success?

Step 8: Sales Plan

Write an overview of the sales strategy, including the priorities of each cycle, steps to achieve these goals, and metrics for success. For the purposes of a business plan, this section does not need to be a comprehensive, in-depth sales plan , but can simply outline the high-level objectives and strategies of your sales efforts. 

Start by answering the following questions:

  • What is the sales strategy?
  • What are the tools and tactics you will use to achieve your goals?
  • What are the potential obstacles, and how will you overcome them?
  • What is the timeline for sales and turning a profit?
  • What are the metrics of success?

Step 9: Funding Details (or Request for Funding)

This section is one of the most critical parts of your business plan, particularly if you are sharing it with investors. You do not need to provide a full financial plan, but you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How much capital do you currently have? How much capital do you need?
  • How will you grow the team (onboarding, team structure, training and development)?
  • What are your physical needs and constraints (space, equipment, etc.)?

Step 10: Financial Projections

Apart from the fundraising analysis, investors like to see thought-out financial projections for the future. As discussed earlier, depending on the scope and stage of your business, this could be anywhere from one to five years. 

While these projections won’t be exact — and will need to be somewhat flexible — you should be able to gauge the following:

  • How and when will the company first generate a profit?
  • How will the company maintain profit thereafter?

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Download Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet

This basic business plan template has space for all the traditional elements: an executive summary, product or service details, target audience, marketing and sales strategies, etc. In the finances sections, input your baseline numbers, and the template will automatically calculate projections for sales forecasting, financial statements, and more.

For templates tailored to more specific needs, visit this business plan template roundup or download a fill-in-the-blank business plan template to make things easy. 

If you are looking for a particular template by file type, visit our pages dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Excel , Microsoft Word , and Adobe PDF business plan templates.

How to Write a Simple Business Plan

A simple business plan is a streamlined, lightweight version of the large, traditional model. As opposed to a one-page business plan , which communicates high-level information for quick overviews (such as a stakeholder presentation), a simple business plan can exceed one page.

Below are the steps for creating a generic simple business plan, which are reflected in the template below .

  • Write the Executive Summary This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what’s in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company. 
  • Add a Company Overview Document the larger company mission and vision. 
  • Provide the Problem and Solution In straightforward terms, define the problem you are attempting to solve with your product or service and how your company will attempt to do it. Think of this section as the gap in the market you are attempting to close.
  • Identify the Target Market Who is your company (and its products or services) attempting to reach? If possible, briefly define your buyer personas .
  • Write About the Competition In this section, demonstrate your knowledge of the market by listing the current competitors and outlining your competitive advantage.
  • Describe Your Product or Service Offerings Get down to brass tacks and define your product or service. What exactly are you selling?
  • Outline Your Marketing Tactics Without getting into too much detail, describe your planned marketing initiatives.
  • Add a Timeline and the Metrics You Will Use to Measure Success Offer a rough timeline, including milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure your progress.
  • Include Your Financial Forecasts Write an overview of your financial plan that demonstrates you have done your research and adequate modeling. You can also list key assumptions that go into this forecasting. 
  • Identify Your Financing Needs This section is where you will make your funding request. Based on everything in the business plan, list your proposed sources of funding, as well as how you will use it.

Simple Business Plan Template

Simple Business Plan Template

Download Simple Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel |  Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF  | Smartsheet

Use this simple business plan template to outline each aspect of your organization, including information about financing and opportunities to seek out further funding. This template is completely customizable to fit the needs of any business, whether it’s a startup or large company.

Read our article offering free simple business plan templates or free 30-60-90-day business plan templates to find more tailored options. You can also explore our collection of one page business templates . 

How to Write a Business Plan for a Lean Startup

A Lean startup business plan is a more Agile approach to a traditional version. The plan focuses more on activities, processes, and relationships (and maintains flexibility in all aspects), rather than on concrete deliverables and timelines.

While there is some overlap between a traditional and a Lean business plan, you can write a Lean plan by following the steps below:

  • Add Your Value Proposition Take a streamlined approach to describing your product or service. What is the unique value your startup aims to deliver to customers? Make sure the team is aligned on the core offering and that you can state it in clear, simple language.
  • List Your Key Partners List any other businesses you will work with to realize your vision, including external vendors, suppliers, and partners. This section demonstrates that you have thoughtfully considered the resources you can provide internally, identified areas for external assistance, and conducted research to find alternatives.
  • Note the Key Activities Describe the key activities of your business, including sourcing, production, marketing, distribution channels, and customer relationships.
  • Include Your Key Resources List the critical resources — including personnel, equipment, space, and intellectual property — that will enable you to deliver your unique value.
  • Identify Your Customer Relationships and Channels In this section, document how you will reach and build relationships with customers. Provide a high-level map of the customer experience from start to finish, including the spaces in which you will interact with the customer (online, retail, etc.). 
  • Detail Your Marketing Channels Describe the marketing methods and communication platforms you will use to identify and nurture your relationships with customers. These could be email, advertising, social media, etc.
  • Explain the Cost Structure This section is especially necessary in the early stages of a business. Will you prioritize maximizing value or keeping costs low? List the foundational startup costs and how you will move toward profit over time.
  • Share Your Revenue Streams Over time, how will the company make money? Include both the direct product or service purchase, as well as secondary sources of revenue, such as subscriptions, selling advertising space, fundraising, etc.

Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Lean Business Plan Templates for Startups

Download Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

Startup leaders can use this Lean business plan template to relay the most critical information from a traditional plan. You’ll find all the sections listed above, including spaces for industry and product overviews, cost structure and sources of revenue, and key metrics, and a timeline. The template is completely customizable, so you can edit it to suit the objectives of your Lean startups.

See our wide variety of  startup business plan templates for more options.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan

A business plan for a loan, often called a loan proposal , includes many of the same aspects of a traditional business plan, as well as additional financial documents, such as a credit history, a loan request, and a loan repayment plan.

In addition, you may be asked to include personal and business financial statements, a form of collateral, and equity investment information.

Download free financial templates to support your business plan.

Tips for Writing a Business Plan

Outside of including all the key details in your business plan, you have several options to elevate the document for the highest chance of winning funding and other resources. Follow these tips from experts:.

  • Keep It Simple: Avner Brodsky , the Co-Founder and CEO of Lezgo Limited, an online marketing company, uses the acronym KISS (keep it short and simple) as a variation on this idea. “The business plan is not a college thesis,” he says. “Just focus on providing the essential information.”
  • Do Adequate Research: Michael Dean, the Co-Founder of Pool Research , encourages business leaders to “invest time in research, both internal and external (market, finance, legal etc.). Avoid being overly ambitious or presumptive. Instead, keep everything objective, balanced, and accurate.” Your plan needs to stand on its own, and you must have the data to back up any claims or forecasting you make. As Brodsky explains, “Your business needs to be grounded on the realities of the market in your chosen location. Get the most recent data from authoritative sources so that the figures are vetted by experts and are reliable.”
  • Set Clear Goals: Make sure your plan includes clear, time-based goals. “Short-term goals are key to momentum growth and are especially important to identify for new businesses,” advises Dean.
  • Know (and Address) Your Weaknesses: “This awareness sets you up to overcome your weak points much quicker than waiting for them to arise,” shares Dean. Brodsky recommends performing a full SWOT analysis to identify your weaknesses, too. “Your business will fare better with self-knowledge, which will help you better define the mission of your business, as well as the strategies you will choose to achieve your objectives,” he adds.
  • Seek Peer or Mentor Review: “Ask for feedback on your drafts and for areas to improve,” advises Brodsky. “When your mind is filled with dreams for your business, sometimes it is an outsider who can tell you what you’re missing and will save your business from being a product of whimsy.”

Outside of these more practical tips, the language you use is also important and may make or break your business plan.

Shaun Heng, VP of Operations at Coin Market Cap , gives the following advice on the writing, “Your business plan is your sales pitch to an investor. And as with any sales pitch, you need to strike the right tone and hit a few emotional chords. This is a little tricky in a business plan, because you also need to be formal and matter-of-fact. But you can still impress by weaving in descriptive language and saying things in a more elegant way.

“A great way to do this is by expanding your vocabulary, avoiding word repetition, and using business language. Instead of saying that something ‘will bring in as many customers as possible,’ try saying ‘will garner the largest possible market segment.’ Elevate your writing with precise descriptive words and you'll impress even the busiest investor.”

Additionally, Dean recommends that you “stay consistent and concise by keeping your tone and style steady throughout, and your language clear and precise. Include only what is 100 percent necessary.”

Resources for Writing a Business Plan

While a template provides a great outline of what to include in a business plan, a live document or more robust program can provide additional functionality, visibility, and real-time updates. The U.S. Small Business Association also curates resources for writing a business plan.

Additionally, you can use business plan software to house data, attach documentation, and share information with stakeholders. Popular options include LivePlan, Enloop, BizPlanner, PlanGuru, and iPlanner.

How a Business Plan Helps to Grow Your Business

A business plan — both the exercise of creating one and the document — can grow your business by helping you to refine your product, target audience, sales plan, identify opportunities, secure funding, and build new partnerships. 

Outside of these immediate returns, writing a business plan is a useful exercise in that it forces you to research the market, which prompts you to forge your unique value proposition and identify ways to beat the competition. Doing so will also help you build (and keep you accountable to) attainable financial and product milestones. And down the line, it will serve as a welcome guide as hurdles inevitably arise.

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eCommerce Blog

Starting a Business | 6 min read

How to write a business plan for your online business

business plan example for online business

Your business plan is vital to your success, and for more than one reason. First, your business plan provides a strong foundation from which to move forward without losing momentum by wondering what to do next. Second, a well-written business plan is required when presenting your business to potential investors.

Don't be intimidated by the idea of writing. You can start with an informal plan and clean it up later by fitting it into a business plan template when (or if) you're looking to secure a loan. Your starter plan doesn't need to have perfect grammar or really be in any shape to show to investors — that comes later. The most important thing is that you do it!

Below well show you how to write a business plan step-by-step, with 9 key sections that every business plan should include.

Point 1: Your Business Plan Executive Summary

The Executive Summary of your business plan covers the objectives of your business and lays out your mission. It's basically an overview of your business and the problems your business will seek to solve for your clients. Discuss your motivations and business goals. It's recommended to write the Executive Summary last, after you've outlined everything else.

Point 2: Your Business Description

Describe your business from your own point of view and discuss how you plan to grow. Explain where your profits will come from. Explain what kinds of customers you're going to target and how your products or services are going to help them specifically.

Point 3: Market Analysis and Competition

Show that you've thoroughly analyzed the market you're targeting and prove that there's a demand for the product or service you're offering. Include information about the size of your market and how many customers you expect to have, and how many will be repeat customers. Discuss your competition and how your business will stand out from the others.

Point 4: Your Product or Service

Here you explain in detail the product or service at the heart of your business. Remember to lay it out as if you're describing it to someone brand new to your idea (it can be easy to forget to do this and phrase things more for someone already "in-the-know" since that's where you're coming from when you write it).

Point 5: Marketing and Sales Plan

In this section, describe how you'll reach the marketplace you're aiming for. Are you going to create a website and social media profiles? Do you plan to attend trade shows? How about paid advertising? Don't limit yourself to what you'll do at the beginning — if you plan to hold off on paying for ads until later, make a note of that.

Point 6: Ownership, Management, and Personnel

This section includes a description of how you'll staff and manage your business, who the owners are (if more than you alone), and the types of personnel you'll need. Include team members you'll be looking to hire as well as those already working with you at this stage. Write a one-paragraph profile of each existing major team member, including yourself.

Point 7: Financial Plan and Projections

This is a very important section, both for your own planning and especially if you're going to seek investors. Create a cash flow projection to describe your monthly predicted revenue and expenses, a break-even analysis to show how many sales you need to make to cover your initial expenses and make a profit, a sample profit-and-loss statement using anticipated values, and a balance sheet describing your business's current assets, liabilities, and equity. These are the kinds of financial data you'll need to assemble every year at tax time, at which point you'll have real numbers to work with rather than projections.

Point 8: Investment

What will your investors receive, based on your cash flow? This doesn't just include outside investors who you might approach later (and with a more formal business plan). It should also include estimates for the return on investment for anyone who has put money into the formation of the business, like you and anyone you're already working with.

Point 9: Appendices

The appendices are a collection of any supporting data you have, such as testimonials, research excerpts, charts, and other information relevant to your business.

Informal vs. Formal Business Plans

Your informal business plan only needs to be around 10 pages , and you can leave the appendices out if you desire. As mentioned, the informal plan doesn't have to be perfect, but it should still be reasonably professional — you may want to recruit a trusted friend or editor to proofread, for example.

Your formal business plan, on the other hand, can be up to 40 pages and should be written to the best standards you can manage, since the formal plan is the one you'd bring with you to secure a business loan or court investors. The appendices will come in handy here to help convince them of the value of investing in your business. Remember, your formal business plan should be impressive but honest.

Business Plans Templates for Download

how to write a business plan

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24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

I believe that reading sample business plans is essential when writing your own.

sample business plans and examples

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As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, it’s easier for you to learn how to write a good one.

But what does a good business plan look like? And how do you write one that’s both viable and convincing. I’ll walk you through the ideal business plan format along with some examples to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Business Plan Format

Business plan types, sample business plan templates, top business plan examples.

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game. To me, the same logic applies to business.

If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare for battle before breaking into a market.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, I’m sure you’re wondering where to begin.

business plan example for online business

Free Business Plan Template

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get your free template.

First, you’ll want to nail down your formatting. Most business plans include the following sections.

1. Executive Summary

I’d say the executive summary is the most important section of the entire business plan. 

Why? Essentially, it's the overview or introduction, written in a way to grab readers' attention and guide them through the rest of the business plan. This is important, because a business plan can be dozens or hundreds of pages long.

There are two main elements I’d recommend including in your executive summary:

Company Description

This is the perfect space to highlight your company’s mission statement and goals, a brief overview of your history and leadership, and your top accomplishments as a business.

Tell potential investors who you are and why what you do matters. Naturally, they’re going to want to know who they’re getting into business with up front, and this is a great opportunity to showcase your impact.

Need some extra help firming up those business goals? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free course to help you set goals that matter — I’d highly recommend it

Products and Services

To piggyback off of the company description, be sure to incorporate an overview of your offerings. This doesn’t have to be extensive — just another chance to introduce your industry and overall purpose as a business.

In addition to the items above, I recommend including some information about your financial projections and competitive advantage here too.:

Keep in mind you'll cover many of these topics in more detail later on in the business plan. So, keep the executive summary clear and brief, and only include the most important takeaways.

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

This example was created with HubSpot’s business plan template:

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

This executive summary is so good to me because it tells potential investors a short story while still covering all of the most important details.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Start with a strong introduction of your company, showcase your mission and impact, and outline the products and services you provide.
  • Clearly define a problem, and explain how your product solves that problem, and show why the market needs your business.
  • Be sure to highlight your value proposition, market opportunity, and growth potential.
  • Keep it concise and support ideas with data.
  • Customize your summary to your audience. For example, emphasize finances and return on investment for venture capitalists.

Check out our tips for writing an effective executive summary for more guidance.

2. Market Opportunity

This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market.

The main question I’d ask myself here is this: Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will my product fill that gap?

More specifically, here’s what I’d include in this section:

  • The size of the market
  • Current or potential market share
  • Trends in the industry and consumer behavior
  • Where the gap is
  • What caused the gap
  • How you intend to fill it

To get a thorough understanding of the market opportunity, you'll want to conduct a TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis and perform market research on your industry.

You may also benefit from creating a SWOT analysis to get some of the insights for this section.

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

I like this example because it uses critical data to underline the size of the potential market and what part of that market this service hopes to capture.

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

  • Focus on demand and potential for growth.
  • Use market research, surveys, and industry trend data to support your market forecast and projections.
  • Add a review of regulation shifts, tech advances, and consumer behavior changes.
  • Refer to reliable sources.
  • Showcase how your business can make the most of this opportunity.

3. Competitive Landscape

Since we’re already speaking of market share, you'll also need to create a section that shares details on who the top competitors are.

After all, your customers likely have more than one brand to choose from, and you'll want to understand exactly why they might choose one over another.

My favorite part of performing a competitive analysis is that it can help you uncover:

  • Industry trends that other brands may not be utilizing
  • Strengths in your competition that may be obstacles to handle
  • Weaknesses in your competition that may help you develop selling points
  • The unique proposition you bring to the market that may resonate with customers

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

I like how the competitive landscape section of this business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

It also highlights specific industry knowledge and the importance of location, which shows useful experience in this specific industry. 

This can help build trust in your ability to execute your business plan.

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

  • Complete in-depth research, then emphasize your most important findings.
  • Compare your unique selling proposition (USP) to your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Show a clear and realistic plan for product and brand differentiation.
  • Look for specific advantages and barriers in the competitive landscape. Then, highlight how that information could impact your business.
  • Outline growth opportunities from a competitive perspective.
  • Add customer feedback and insights to support your competitive analysis.

4. Target Audience

Use this section to describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?

If your immediate answer is "everyone," you'll need to dig deeper. Here are some questions I’d ask myself here:

  • What demographics will most likely need/buy your product or service?
  • What are the psychographics of this audience? (Desires, triggering events, etc.)
  • Why are your offerings valuable to them?

I’d also recommend building a buyer persona to get in the mindset of your ideal customers and be clear on why you're targeting them.

Target Audience Business Plan Example

I like the example below because it uses in-depth research to draw conclusions about audience priorities. It also analyzes how to create the right content for this audience.

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

  • Include details on the size and growth potential of your target audience.
  • Figure out and refine the pain points for your target audience , then show why your product is a useful solution.
  • Describe your targeted customer acquisition strategy in detail.
  • Share anticipated challenges your business may face in acquiring customers and how you plan to address them.
  • Add case studies, testimonials, and other data to support your target audience ideas.
  • Remember to consider niche audiences and segments of your target audience in your business plan.

5. Marketing Strategy

Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy. I’d suggest including information:

  • Your brand positioning vision and how you'll cultivate it
  • The goal targets you aim to achieve
  • The metrics you'll use to measure success
  • The channels and distribution tactics you'll use

I think it’s helpful to have a marketing plan built out in advance to make this part of your business plan easier.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler.

In my opinion, it really works because it offers a comprehensive picture of how they plan to use digital marketing to promote the community.

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

  • Include a section about how you believe your brand vision will appeal to customers.
  • Add the budget and resources you'll need to put your plan in place.
  • Outline strategies for specific marketing segments.
  • Connect strategies to earlier sections like target audience and competitive analysis.
  • Review how your marketing strategy will scale with the growth of your business.
  • Cover a range of channels and tactics to highlight your ability to adapt your plan in the face of change.

6. Key Features and Benefits

At some point in your business plan, you'll need to review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services.

Laying these out can give readers an idea of how you're positioning yourself in the market and the messaging you're likely to use. It can even help them gain better insight into your business model.

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

In my opinion, the example below does a great job outlining products and services for this business, along with why these qualities will attract the audience.

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

  • Emphasize why and how your product or service offers value to customers.
  • Use metrics and testimonials to support the ideas in this section.
  • Talk about how your products and services have the potential to scale.
  • Think about including a product roadmap.
  • Focus on customer needs, and how the features and benefits you are sharing meet those needs.
  • Offer proof of concept for your ideas, like case studies or pilot program feedback.
  • Proofread this section carefully, and remove any jargon or complex language.

7. Pricing and Revenue

This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams. Your pricing strategy must be solid enough to turn a profit while staying competitive in the industry. 

For this reason, here’s what I’d might outline in this section:

  • The specific pricing breakdowns per product or service
  • Why your pricing is higher or lower than your competition's
  • (If higher) Why customers would be willing to pay more
  • (If lower) How you're able to offer your products or services at a lower cost
  • When you expect to break even, what margins do you expect, etc?

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

I like how this business plan example begins with an overview of the business revenue model, then shows proposed pricing for key products.

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

  • Get specific about your pricing strategy. Specifically, how you connect that strategy to customer needs and product value.
  • If you are asking a premium price, share unique features or innovations that justify that price point.
  • Show how you plan to communicate pricing to customers.
  • Create an overview of every revenue stream for your business and how each stream adds to your business model as a whole.
  • Share plans to develop new revenue streams in the future.
  • Show how and whether pricing will vary by customer segment and how pricing aligns with marketing strategies.
  • Restate your value proposition and explain how it aligns with your revenue model.

8. Financials

To me, this section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to figure out funding strategies, investment opportunities, and more.

 According to Forbes , you'll want to include three main things:

  • Profit/Loss Statement - This answers the question of whether your business is currently profitable.
  • Cash Flow Statement - This details exactly how much cash is incoming and outgoing to give insight into how much cash a business has on hand.
  • Balance Sheet - This outlines assets, liabilities, and equity, which gives insight into how much a business is worth.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details I’d include in this section.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet is a great example of level of detail you’ll need to include in the financials section of your business plan.

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

  • Growth potential is important in this section too. Using your data, create a forecast of financial performance in the next three to five years.
  • Include any data that supports your projections to assure investors of the credibility of your proposal.
  • Add a break-even analysis to show that your business plan is financially practical. This information can also help you pivot quickly as your business grows.
  • Consider adding a section that reviews potential risks and how sensitive your plan is to changes in the market.
  • Triple-check all financial information in your plan for accuracy.
  • Show how any proposed funding needs align with your plans for growth.

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others could be charts or graphs.

The formats above apply to most types of business plans. That said, the format and structure of your plan will vary by your goals for that plan. 

So, I’ve added a quick review of different business plan types. For a more detailed overview, check out this post .

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

If you’re planning to start a small business, preparing a business plan is crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business.

You can check out this guide for more detailed business plan inspiration .

2. Feasibility Studies

Feasibility business plans focus on that business's product or service. Feasibility plans are sometimes added to startup business plans. They can also be a new business plan for an already thriving organization.

3. Internal Use

You can use internal business plans to share goals, strategies, or performance updates with stakeholders. In my opinion, internal business plans are useful for alignment and building support for ambitious goals.

4. Strategic Initiatives

Another business plan that's often for sharing internally is a strategic business plan. This plan covers long-term business objectives that might not have been included in the startup business plan.

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

When a business is moving forward with an acquisition or repositioning, it may need extra structure and support. These types of business plans expand on a company's acquisition or repositioning strategy.

Growth sometimes just happens as a business continues operations. But more often, a business needs to create a structure with specific targets to meet set goals for expansion. This business plan type can help a business focus on short-term growth goals and align resources with those goals.

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some of my favorite templates.

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template..

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot and is perfect for businesses of any size — no matter how many strategies we still have to develop.

Fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline give this one-page business plan a framework for how to build your brand and what tasks to keep track of as you grow.

Then, as the business matures, you can expand on your original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

Why I Like It

This one-page business plan is a fantastic choice for the new business owner who doesn’t have the time or resources to draft a full-blown business plan. It includes all the essential sections in an accessible, bullet-point-friendly format. That way, you can get the broad strokes down before honing in on the details.

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business. You’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it.

There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a workable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

This business plan kit is essential for the budding entrepreneur who needs a more extensive document to share with investors and other stakeholders.

It not only includes sections for your executive summary, product line, market analysis, marketing plan, and sales plan, but it also offers hands-on guidance for filling out those sections.

3. LiveFlow’s Financial Planning Template with built-in automation

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

This free template from LiveFlow aims to make it easy for businesses to create a financial plan and track their progress on a monthly basis.

The P&L Budget versus Actual format allows users to track their revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, operating profit margin, net profit, and more.

The summary dashboard aggregates all of the data put into the financial plan sheet and will automatically update when changes are made.

Instead of wasting hours manually importing your data to your spreadsheet, LiveFlow can also help you to automatically connect your accounting and banking data directly to your spreadsheet, so your numbers are always up-to-date.

With the dashboard, you can view your runway, cash balance, burn rate, gross margins, and other metrics. Having a simple way to track everything in one place will make it easier to complete the financials section of your business plan.

This is a fantastic template to track performance and alignment internally and to create a dependable process for documenting financial information across the business. It’s highly versatile and beginner-friendly.

It’s especially useful if you don’t have an accountant on the team. (I always recommend you do, but for new businesses, having one might not be possible.)

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’s financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

I absolutely love this business plan template because of its ease-of-use and hands-on instructions (in addition to its finance-centric components). If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire business plan, consider using this template to help you with the process.

6. Harvard Business Review’s "How to Write a Winning Business Plan"

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of " Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum ", you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service.

You’ll also learn the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

This business plan guide focuses less on the individual parts of a business plan, and more on the overarching goal of writing one. For that reason, it’s one of my favorites to supplement any template you choose to use. Harvard Business Review’s guide is instrumental for both new and seasoned business owners.

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business.

Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, and fund your business. It will also give small business tax information and includes marketing, sales, and service tips.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of starting a business, in addition to writing your business plan, with a high level of exactitude and detail. So if you’re in the midst of starting your business, this is an excellent guide for you.

It also offers other resources you might need, such as market analysis templates.

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty-gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to its success.

This template has two things I love: comprehensiveness and in-depth instructions. Plus, it’s synced with PandaDoc’s e-signature software so that you and other stakeholders can sign it with ease. For that reason, I especially love it for those starting a business with a partner or with a board of directors.

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan.

Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need — a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

We love both of the SBA’s templates because of their versatility. You can choose between two options and use the existing content in the templates to flesh out your own plan. Plus, if needed, you can get a free business counselor to help you along the way.

I’ve compiled some completed business plan samples to help you get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business.

I chose different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Let’s take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

One of the major business expenses is marketing. How you handle your marketing reflects your company’s revenue.

I included this business plan to show you how you can ensure your marketing team is aligned with your overall business plan to get results. The plan also shows you how to track even the smallest metrics of your campaigns, like ROI and payback periods instead of just focusing on big metrics like gross and revenue.

Fintech startup, LiveFlow, allows users to sync real-time data from its accounting services, payment platforms, and banks into custom reports. This eliminates the task of pulling reports together manually, saving teams time and helping automate workflows.

"Using this framework over a traditional marketing plan will help you set a profitable marketing strategy taking things like CAC, LTV, Payback period, and P&L into consideration," explains LiveFlow co-founder, Lasse Kalkar .

When it came to including marketing strategy in its business plan, LiveFlow created a separate marketing profit and loss statement (P&L) to track how well the company was doing with its marketing initiatives.

This is a great approach, allowing businesses to focus on where their marketing dollars are making the most impact. Having this information handy will enable you to build out your business plan’s marketing section with confidence. LiveFlow has shared the template here . You can test it for yourself.

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

Sometimes all you need is a solid mission statement and core values to guide you on how to go about everything. You do this by creating a business plan revolving around how to fulfill your statement best.

For example, Patagonia is an eco-friendly company, so their plan discusses how to make the best environmentally friendly products without causing harm.

A good mission statement  should not only resonate with consumers but should also serve as a core value compass for employees as well.

Patagonia has one of the most compelling mission statements I’ve seen:

"Together, let’s prioritise purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home."

It reels you in from the start, and the environmentally friendly theme continues throughout the rest of the statement.

This mission goes on to explain that they are out to "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to protect nature."

Their mission statement is compelling and detailed, with each section outlining how they will accomplish their goal.

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

This executive summary for a smart home device startup is part of a business plan created by students at Mount Royal University .

While it lacks some of the sleek visuals of the templates above, its executive summary does a great job of demonstrating how invested they are in the business.

Right away, they mention they’ve invested $200,000 into the company already, which shows investors they have skin in the game and aren’t just looking for someone else to foot the bill.

This is the kind of business plan you need when applying for business funds. It clearly illustrates the expected future of the company and how the business has been coming along over the years.

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

This fictional business plan for an art supply store includes everything one might need in a business plan: an executive summary, a company summary, a list of services, a market analysis summary, and more.

One of its most notable sections is its market analysis summary, which includes an overview of the population growth in the business’ target geographical area, as well as a breakdown of the types of potential customers they expect to welcome at the store. 

This sort of granular insight is essential for understanding and communicating your business’s growth potential. Plus, it lays a strong foundation for creating relevant and useful buyer personas .

It’s essential to keep this information up-to-date as your market and target buyer changes. For that reason, you should carry out market research as often as possible to ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience and sharing accurate information with your investors.

Due to its comprehensiveness, it’s an excellent example to follow if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store and need to get external funding to start your business .

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

If you’re looking for a SaaS business plan example, look no further than this business plan for a fictional educational software company called Curriculum Companion Suites. 

Like the business plan for the NALB Creative Center, it includes plenty of information for prospective investors and other key stakeholders in the business.

One of the most notable features of this business plan is the executive summary, which includes an overview of the product, market, and mission.

The first two are essential for software companies because the product offering is so often at the forefront of the company’s strategy. Without that information being immediately available to investors and executives, then you risk writing an unfocused business plan.

It’s essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" and this example does just that. In other words, why do you do what you do, and why should stakeholders care? This is an important section to include if you feel that your mission will drive interest in the business and its offerings.

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

Culina's sample business plan is an excellent example of how to lay out your business plan so that it flows naturally, engages readers, and provides the critical information investors and stakeholders need. 

You can use this template as a guide while you're gathering important information for your own business plan. You'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do since Culina’s plan outlines these details so flawlessly for inspiration.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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Online Boutique Business Plan

business plan example for online business

Some Aspects to Consider Before Writing an Online Boutique Business Plan

Find the right ecommerce platform for your business.

There are several popular eCommerce websites, but only a few would be ideal for your business. Check out the terms and conditions of becoming a seller on all possible eCommerce websites and pick the one that fits the best for your business needs.

Offer unique designs

Your designs should catch the eyeballs and appeal to the heart. It is necessary to help you stand out from thousands of other options.

It also helps you create your unique style and become more memorable to your target audience.

And as you’ll be working in an intensely competitive market, your unique designs can become your business’s USP.

Know what your customers want

This is essential to the success of an online boutique.

Because more often than not, people shop online because they can’t find what they want in physical stores.

Stay updated with the latest styles and trends, add your unique touch to them and you are ready to get going!

Build your network

Though an online business comes minus several hassles of a physical store, it has its own set of challenges too.

And though that shouldn’t discourage you from starting your business, you should keep in mind that having a network of people who can help you along the way by giving advice, helping you learn necessary skills, and so on is important.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

Reading  sample business plans  will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample for you to get a good idea about what a perfect online boutique business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Online Boutique Business Plan Outline

This is the standard online boutique business plan outline covering all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

Executive summary: The executive summary of your online boutique plan provides a high-level overview of the entire plan

Company overview: this section of your plan provides a detailed description of your online boutique, its vision, mission, and future goals., product & service offerings: this section describes the product and service offerings your online boutique intends to provide., market analysis: your market analysis section will provide a detailed description of your industry, target market, competitive advantage, and growth potential., sales and marketing strategies: your marketing plan will outline the marketing and sales strategies you will use to attract new customers or pet owners., management team: the management team section will introduce your management team to readers. the list may include the founders and other key people involved in the business operations., operations plan: it’s a section outlining business procedures and day-to-day business activities that ensure seamless business operations., financial plan: this section provides a clear overview of your financial projection and financing needs. a well-prepared financial plan is key to raising capital for a new business..

  • Problem Definition & Validation
  • Mission Statement
  • Keys to Success
  • Avante – 5-Year Highlights
  • Company Ownership / Legal Entity
  • Interior Operating Facilities
  • Hours of Operation
  • Start-up Summary
  • Casual Jumper
  • Patchwork Jacket
  • Contemporary Overalls
  • Production Process
  • Shoe Segment
  • Accessories and Bags
  • Jewelry and Bags
  • Market Trends
  • Competitive Advantage
  • SWOT analysis
  • Distribution Strategy
  • Direct Sales
  • Trade Publications
  • Trade shows and Lifestyle Exhibitions
  • Targeted Online Advertising
  • Positioning Statement
  • Target Market Segment
  • Online Marketing Channels
  • Offline Marketing Channels
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Organization chart
  • Management Team
  • Hiring plan
  • Important Assumptions
  • Brake-even Analysis
  • Profit Yearly
  • Gross Margin Yearly
  • Projected Cash Flow
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Business Ratios

Download a sample online boutique business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free online boutique business plan pdf to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your online boutique. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

You may also explore our clothing and fashion business examples before you start writing.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

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Write your business plan with Upmetrics

A business plan software like Upmetrics is the best way to draft your business plan. This incredible tool comes with step-by-step instructions, customizable templates, and an extensive library of 400+ sample business plans to help you get started.

So, whether starting an online boutique or planning to grow an existing one, Upmetrics is the tool you need to create a business plan.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning today!

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Frequently asked questions, do you need a business plan for an online boutique.

Yes, you surely need a business plan for an online boutique. It’s an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.

How to get funding for your online boutique?

There are several ways to get funding for your online boutique, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:

  • Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
  • Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
  • Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought-after startup options.

Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available. Check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.

What is the easiest way to write your online boutique business plan?

A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any online boutique business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .

What key components should an online boutique business plan include?

The following are the key components your online boutique business plan must include:

  • Executive summary
  • Business Overview
  • Market Analysis
  • Products and services
  • Sales and marketing strategies
  • Operations plan
  • Management team
  • Financial plan

Can a good online boutique business plan help me secure funding?

Indeed. A well-crafted online boutique business plan will help your investors better understand your business domain, market trends, strategies, business financials, and growth potential—helping them make better financial decisions.

So, if you have a profitable and investable business, a comprehensive business plan can certainly help you secure your business funding.

About the Author

business plan example for online business

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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What is a business plan and why is it important.

  • Initiate with Your Business Concept: Lay the Groundwork: Start by introducing your business idea into Plannit AI's Business Plan Generator. This first step is crucial, as it sets the tone for a tailored, insightful business plan that truly resonates with your vision. Capture the Essence: Our platform is designed to grasp the nuances of your concept, ensuring that the generated plan accurately reflects the core and potential of your business.
  • Navigate Through the AI-Guided Questionnaire: Tailored Interactive Experience: Plannit AI’s AI-guided questionnaire is your interactive guide through the planning process. It meticulously gathers information about your business's objectives, strategies, and market positioning, ensuring a comprehensive and reflective plan. Intelligent Feedback and Suggestions: As you progress through the questionnaire, benefit from smart prompts and suggestions, ensuring that your plan is not just detailed but also strategically sound and aligned with industry standards.
  • Generate Your Plan with Advanced AI: Intuitive Plan Creation: With the questionnaire complete, Plannit AI's advanced algorithms intelligently analyze your responses. They then craft a detailed, customizable, and strategically aligned business plan, providing you with a structured, coherent, and actionable format. Benefit from AI-Powered Insights: Plannit AI offers AI-driven insights and suggestions, ensuring your plan is not just a document but a strategic tool equipped with tailored AI prompts and an in-app plan editor. Get inspired by browsing through our sample business plans, a collection of successful strategies across various industries.
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How to Write a Business Plan?

  • Roadmap for Success: At its core, a business plan acts as a strategic guide, providing detailed steps on how your business will achieve its objectives. It helps you navigate the startup phase, manage growth effectively, and tackle unforeseen challenges with a well-thought-out strategy.
  • Securing Funding: For startups and businesses looking to expand, a business plan is crucial for securing loans or attracting investors. It demonstrates to potential financial backers that your business has a clear vision, a solid strategy for profitability, and a plan for delivering returns on their investment.
  • Informed Decision-Making: A well-prepared business plan offers valuable insights into your market, competition, and potential challenges. This information is vital for making informed decisions, from day-to-day operations to long-term strategic shifts.
  • Market Analysis and Strategy: It allows you to conduct an in-depth analysis of your target market, understand customer needs, and position your product or service effectively. The marketing strategy outlined in your business plan helps in identifying the best channels and tactics to reach your audience and achieve market penetration.
  • Financial Planning: One of the most critical components of a business plan is the financial forecast. It outlines your funding requirements, expected revenue, profit margins, and cash flow projections. This section is essential for budgeting, financial management, and ensuring the financial viability of your business.
  • Goal Setting and Performance Measurement: A business plan sets clear, measurable goals and objectives. It provides a framework for monitoring performance, measuring success, and making necessary adjustments to stay on track.

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Online Services Business Plan

Start your own online services business plan

Web Applications, Inc.

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Web Applications is a start-up company that is designed to offer Web-based business management applications. Web Applications has developed an Internet-based application called Online Office Manager, for which a patent is pending. Online Office Manager allows businesses and individuals to keep in touch even when working in different locations. Online Office Manager provides applications which replace the physical office. With Online Office Manager, your office moves with you at all times, and you have 24-hour access to it. Users can get Online Office Manager by subscribing to our server on the Internet.

As with any start-up company, Web Applications recognizes its risks. We are a new company and as such, we will need to meet market acceptance. To that end, the company is working to determine trends in the industry, the needs of the customer, and how best to address the needs of the customer.

We expect to compete as a thriving company in the computer applications software industry. The software market has long been one of the computer industry’s fastest growing segments. Revenues for the worldwide software market reached $122 billion two years ago, up 15% from the year before that, according to estimates by International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm in Framingham, Massachusetts. Revenues continued to show robust growth last year. IDC projects that revenues will grow at a compound annual rate of approximately 12% for the next several years, surpassing $220 billion three years from now.

The company is seeking a moderate start-up investment. The company’s revenue projections for year one are for a 10-fold growth. Web Applications expects to achieve profitability within six months of beginning operations.

Online services business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Mission

At Web Applications, our mission is to provide an online office system that links workers in different locations to their mother company.

Company Summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">

Web Applications, Inc. was established in 1998 to provide a Web-based business application with features that give users the ability to remain in touch with operations at all times from anywhere in the world. The company was formed by Mr. Lester Andrews and is a Georgia incorporated S-Corporation.

2.1 Start-up Summary

Start-up costs, expenses and funding sources are laid out in the tables and chart below.

Online services business plan, company summary chart image

2.2 Financial Risks and Contingencies

The company recognizes that it is subject to both market and industry risks. We believe our risks are as follows, and we are addressing each as indicated.

  • Start-up company . We face all the risks associated with being a start-up company. We feel that we can overcome these with our experience in the industry and by quickly establishing desired relationships.
  • Security . Security is a major issue, but all features provide security options; documents and directories can be password-protected and have specific, user-only access rights.

Web Applications has developed an Internet-based application called Online Office Manager, for which a patent is pending. Online Office Manager allows businesses and individuals to keep in touch effectively even with a distance factor. Online Office Manager provides applications which replace the physical office. With Online Office Manager, your office moves with you at all times and you have 24-hour access to it. Users can get Online Office Manager by subscribing to our server on the Internet. There is no need to buy any software or upgraded versions of the software.

3.1 Service Description

Main Features

  • Communication and productivity . This feature will allow you to see who is online within an organization. Our communication feature will enable the user to initiate and conduct a chat session, and will give them the means to initiate NetMeeting. Users can send and receive files directly through the Internet. Documents can also be stored in one central location.
  • Email . Users will be able to send and receive emails and faxes in a personal mailbox. Within the email tool, users can create and use different folders to hold their private email. They will also have quick access to folders in an organization, and the ability to create and maintain an address book.
  • Messaging . Users will be able to send text messages to others online. This feature will receive and log messages giving a “while you were out” type application.
  • Schedules . Scheduling meetings can be done en-mass, i.e. users select a group of users and request a meeting. They can also specify which users must be present for the meeting to occur, and which are optional. When confirmations are received for all those required, a message is placed on everyone’s calendar. The user will also be able to set up scheduled reminders that fire off at a certain time. The system can maintain a database of resources. For the individual users, they can store their own personal schedule.
  • Document Management . Users can store different documents on the system. Checked-in documents are saved in a manner which will allow for easy retrieval at a later time. Document searching can be done using a keyword, and the document can be viewed in a number of different formats without having to install any software.

Secondary Features

  • Online bill payments . This service will be name branded from services like Checkfree. It will allow users to electronically pay bills all in one location. 
  • Threaded bulletin board . This allows users to leave messages and multiple individuals to respond, leave their own message, and track the history.
  • Package tracking . Users can view the status of packages that are being shipped with FedEx, UPS, etc.
  • Travel planner . Will allow users to make travel arrangements and get discounts. Users can create travel profiles and itineraries online.
  • Credit check services . This will allow users to check credit ratings of potential business partners or vendors.
  • Conduct surveys . Users can create a survey and distribute it on the system. Responses can be given and returned to the system where they will be tabulated and maintained. 

Online Office Manager comes in three packages and customers can choose the one with the applications that best suit their needs.

3.2 Future Services

In the future, we will implement Phase 2 of our plan. Our research and development (R&D) will yield innovation with input from customers and the marketplace. Given below is a detailed look at the future applications that will be a part of the Phase 2 program. The biggest and most complex application of Phase 2 will be the telephone/fax service.

Telephone/Fax services .

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Other Future Applications

  • Job postings–Enables people to browse various categories and sub-categories of ads and submit resumes.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

We expect to compete as a thriving company in the computer applications software industry. Applications software are computer programs designed to accomplish user tasks, such as word processing, graphic design, desktop publishing, inventory control, and more. The software industry consists of three general market segments: application solutions, application tools, and systems software. The software market has long been one of the computer industry’s fastest growing segments. Revenues for the worldwide software market reached $122 billion in 1997, up about 15% from 1996 according to estimates by IDC. Revenues continued to show robust growth in 1998. IDC projects that revenues will grow at a compound annual rate of approximately 12% for the next several years, surpassing $220 billion by 2002.

  • System-level software comprises operating systems, operating systems enhancements, and data center management. The worldwide market for system-level software increased 13% in 1997, to $35.1 billion. This figure should exceed $53 billion by 2001, based on an 11% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Applications software can be either developed by outside vendors and sold in packaged form, or custom-made by users themselves. Many computer users don’t have the time or desire to write their own computer programs or to hire a software developer; they can choose from thousands of quality packaged programs ready for use with little or no modification. The proliferation of computers has increased the number of people who use computers relative to those who can program them, increasing the packaged software’s importance. Custom software is tailored to the needs of a specific individual or organization.

4.1 A Brief Look at the Internet

In just five years, the Internet has undergone a major metamorphosis. From an obscure network used by a limited number of academics and researchers, the Internet has been transformed into a global Web of more than 100 million interconnected computers encompassing users from all walks of life. Described below are the various segments of the Internet:

  • Hardware : networking equipment. This sector provides the primary infrastructure on which the Internet is built. Two prominent types of network equipment are routers and remote access concentrators. Cisco Systems Inc. with sales of approximately $9.9 billion and a market share of 67%, dominated the routers market in 1998. Ascend Communications, Inc. (1998 sales of $1.48 billion) and Cisco share leadership of the remote access concentrator market, with shares of approximately 28% and 27%, respectively.
  • Software . Two of the main types of Internet software are browsers and security programs. Microsoft Corporation and Netscape Communications Corporation dominate the key software component of the World Wide Web. The security segments are needed to ensure the safety of networks and transactions. Security Dynamics Technology Inc. (1998 sales of $41 million) has taken the lead in providing authentication and encryption products.
  • Services . Internet service providers (ISPs) offer a way for people to enter the Internet. According to IDC, America Online has approximately 43% share of the total subscribers in the ISP segment, followed by Microsoft’s MSN, and AT&T’s WorldNet.
  • Destinations . Destinations are websites that people can go to for information, entertainment, or commerce.

4.2 Brief Look at the Computer Industry

In the first six months of 1997, a total of 37 million personal computers (PC) were shipped worldwide. That figure rose to 40 million during the same time period in 1998 and, according to IDC, this figure is expected to rise by 16% in 1999. PC growth in 1997 and 1998 was boosted by the introduction of the sub-$1,000 PC. This price point is due in large part to the sharp drop in prices of the major components that go into the PC. Another way PC makers have addressed lower price points is through cost-reduction efforts made possible by new manufacturing and distribution strategies. Two important initiatives are underway:

  • Build to order (BTO). Under BTO, PC’s are assembled by the manufacturer.
  • Channel assembly. Under channel assembly, distributors or resellers build and configure the machines.

In both cases, the building or configuring occurs when an order is received. By using these methods, indirect PC vendors hope to keep inventories lower and, through the cost savings achieved, offer more competitive prices to customers. Compaq, Dell, IBM, and Hewlett Packard dominate the computer industry.

4.3 Market Segmentation

A review of all of our markets is given below:

  • Telecommuters . Telecommuting seems to be on a steady growth curve, with approximately 11 million telecommuters in the U.S. today, according to the latest survey from FIND/SVP, a research and consulting firm. Telecommuting will continue to grow because there are frequent references to productivity gains in the range of 15-25% for telecommuters.
  • Service . Customers not only expect the best service but value for money, which is what we give them in our product.

Online services business plan, market analysis summary chart image

4.4 The Y2K Issue

One of the more pressing issues facing the computer industry is the Year 2000 problem, also referred to as “Y2K” and “the millennium bug.” Unless addressed properly, this problem will cause many computers worldwide to stop functioning properly. Y2K arises from the fact that until the mid-1980s or so, programmers used two-digit numbers to represent years. For example, “97” was used to represent the year 1997. While this design saved computer storage space, which was expensive and in limited supply, it also produced the situation in which all dates input in these computers refer to the twentieth century. The Gartner Group, a Connecticut-based information technology (IT) consulting firm, estimates the worldwide repair bills in the $300 billion – $600 billion range, but this includes only the cost of fixing programs written in Cobol. Software Productivity Research, a Massachusetts based software-consulting firm, has made a broader estimate that includes repairs, damages, and litigation. This group estimates that the total cost from 1994 to 2005 will top $3.6 trillion.

Our products will not be affected by the Y2K problem.

4.5 Service Business Analysis

Competition There is one major company with whom we will be competing and that is HotOffice Technology. Its product, HotOffice, is a low-end business planner that focuses on the basic business structure. Other companies compete in the industry, but they only specialize on one of the many features we offer.

HotOffice Technology HotOffice Technologies, Inc. is a Web-based Intranet Service provider for small business, especially those with collaboration needs, multiple offices, mobile workers, telecommuters, and virtual offices. HotOffice offers small businesses an affordable, secure Intranet solution at a fraction of the cost of purchasing and maintaining a traditional Intranet or Extranet. This subscription service provides a large, powerful suite of collaboration and communication tools in one simple, easy-to-use interface accessible anytime, anywhere. From any PC with Internet access, HotOffice provides instant connection via the Web to email, calendar, documents, bulletin boards, online conference rooms, business centers, and more.

Strengths Large penetration to the main channels. At the time of this writing, they have the first entry to market. We plan on taking a significant part of that market share within a few months by providing additional features that will be more attractive for users.

  • These companies form a large group of firms that offer one form of the many applications that we offer. They either specialize in selling hard drive space or email functions.

Barriers to Entry Web Applications will benefit from several significant barriers to entry which include:

  • Market penetration. Once we are in the market and established, it will be difficult for someone to break into a market where someone is already operating successfully.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

We intend to become the leader and most creative provider of Web-based business management applications on the market. We aim to create a user-friendly application that will be an integral component in any personal or business environment. We will do this by developing an innovative and progressive development and management team. We will also accomplish our goal by using customer input to further develop our products and services.

We will leverage this new product in the computer software industry to dominate the growing Web-based applications market, especially the small businesses. We have a premium, value-added product with three different packages from which the user can choose the one that best suits their needs. These strategic product lines will enable domination of the target market. The products all share the core applications but differ in range of services.

As a company, we feel that there are a number of opportunities we can capitalize on and they include:

Small Businesses

  • Better communication. Businesses will be able to set up meetings without incurring travel costs. Our products break down the walls that are created by the distance separating team or group members.
  • Alternative for office network. With our product and its applications, there will be no need for businesses to set up office networks or purchase additional hardware.
  • Cost effective. It is cost effective in that only a monthly fee is required, as opposed to huge amounts of money for set up costs and servers.
  • Setting up on main branch office. We will help companies to set up the system and ease the transition with no delay in ordering equipment and daily operations.
  • Control sales team activities. Our product will give those in the sales department the ability to get quick approvals and close deals faster. 
  • No laptop needed. All user information will be placed online and kept in various departments. This will eliminate the need to carry laptops when traveling, thus reducing the chance of laptop theft, which is high in airports.

Individuals

  • Eliminate need for multiple software packages. All applications needed are in one place and more can be added per user request, thus eliminating the need of purchasing individual software packages.
  • Portable personal information manager (PIM). Even as you travel, your own PIM on the server will be at work taking messages and putting them in the desired folders. The PIM becomes a personal secretary keeping you informed of special events.
  • No laptop needed. All user information will be placed online and kept in various departments. This will eliminate the need to carry laptops when traveling, thus reducing the chance of laptop theft, which is high in airports.

We will outsource all sales operations to a company to be named.

5.1 Sales Forecast

We are confident that our Online Office Manager will be eagerly embraced by mobile computer using businesses and e-commerce businesses.  We are forecasting a 10-fold revenue increase over the years covered in this plan, as shown in the table and charts below.

Online services business plan, strategy and implementation summary chart image

5.2 Marketing Strategy

The message associated with our product is value-added applications. Dynamic Communication Solutions has identified a brief promotional plan that is diverse and will include a range of marketing communications including the few listed below.

  • Public relations.
  • Trade shows.
  • Industry conferences and seminars.
  • Print advertising. Dynamic Communication Solutions will follow a print advertising program in publications such as Creative Loafing , Belleview Business Chronicle , and the Buckhead Local Paper . Shown below is a breakdown of the various publications.

5.3 Pricing Strategy

We plan to set our pricing based on competitors’ pricing. Prices will also be based on market prices for similar off-the-shelf products. The automatic upgrade and product enhancement features do not affect the price of any of the services. The figure below shows our tentative pricing schedule, these are monthly rates. We will work in conjunction with Dynamic Communication Solutions to come up with a working pricing schedule. Users will have three payment options:

  • Six-month payment.

5.4 Value Proposition

Web Applications offers the following value propositions for customers.

  • Collaboration . Users can work on the same document at the same time from different locations. Both will be able to edit the document and work on the cosmetics simultaneously. This collaboration ability eliminates the need to send the same document back and forth, saving time for both users.
  • Communication . Applications allow all users to keep in touch in real time and make any necessary business decisions there and then without holding down the other party involved. Communication can be through several different applications that are offered. This allows for rapid decision-making, helping managers and sales teams make and close deals with greater ease. This will also help speed up the approval process when placing orders.
  • Document management . This product allows documents to be stored, viewed, and searched at any given time. Users can create and arrange folders in a manner that will make it easy to retrieve documents. Basically, they have the ability to create their own filing system online.
  • Information sharing . With features such as online chat, information can be shared quickly and easily. In the event that sensitive information is being shared, users do not have to worry because security measures have been taken to safeguard all information from outsiders.
  • Personal virtual office . With each personal office space, users will have the ability to keep track of all daily tasks. Users have access to their office at anytime, from anywhere.

5.5 Strategic Alliances

The company plans to form strategic alliances with Dynamic Communication Solutions, For Sale By Internet, and a sales company to be announced. The company may develop research alliances to further refine the product and adapt it to new markets in different industries. Below is an explanation of key relationships:

  • Dynamic Communication Solutions . This is a company with over ten years of experience in marketing and marketing management. We will outsource all marketing operations to Dynamic Communication Solutions because we feel that they have stability and marketing channels that will be effective for our product. This relationship will eliminate the need to develop our own marketing team. 
  • For Sale By Internet . This company develops and manages company websites on a contract basis. The company is located in Kirkland, Washington and boasts a Webmaster with over seven years experience in the field. We will benefit from this relationship by having an experienced company handle all design and website management. Also, this will allow us to focus on developing applications for other industries.  
  • Sales . We will outsource all sales operations to a company to be named later.

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Our management philosophy is based on responsibility and mutual respect. At Web Applications, we have an environment that encourages creativity and achievement. Web Applications management is highly experienced and qualified. Its key management team includes Mr. Lester Andrews and Mr. Dwight Austin. 

6.1 Management Team

Mr. Lester Andrews – President and CEO Lester Andrews has over 10 years in the Information System field. In 1987, he attended the DeVry Institute of Technology where he graduated with a degree in Electronics Engineering. He went on to work for Vanstar (formally Computerland) in the networking department handling accounts such as Compaq, Intel, APC, HP, and various others. After leaving Vanstar, he pursed a career that included consulting designing, installing and setting up networks, and network maintenance. Mr. Andrews also worked as a Manager of Information Systems for the Medicare SMART program. 

Mr. Dwight Austion – COO/CFO Mr. Austion graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Sociology and has a vast amount of managerial experience. Between 1994 and 1995, he worked at Turner Broadcasting Systems (TBS) as a project manager. During this time, he was responsible for preparing and delivering presentations for proposals to sell new services. Mr. Austion also managed the daily operations with an annual budget of $320,000. Between 1995 and 1996, Mr. Austion was project manager at Taylor and Mathis/Beacon properties, a Belleview-based real estate company. He had the task of supervising a staff of 20 employees and 10 sub-contractors. He was also in charge of operations, which were run on an annual budget of $450,000. Mr. Austion also worked as project manager for Flower’s Baking Company, where he managed contract services and had an operating budget of $600,000. In December 1997, he took his managerial skills to Hospital Housekeeping Systems where he became operating manager for day staff. He worked closely with the chief operating officer and had an operating budget of $1.2 million.

6.2 Outside Support

For Sale By Internet – Website Developer For Sale By Internet is led by Webmaster, Mr. Brian Taylor. Having attended the University of Washington between 1983 and 1987, Mr. Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration & Philosophy in the honors program. Altogether, Mr. Taylor has eight years of experience in the planning, creation, and management of website development. He started his computer career as a Microsoft Contractor at ComputerLand in 1983. As a PC Repair Assistant Manager, he designed and instigated innovative techniques of operation that would further satisfy the customer. As a Software Install Manager for Entex, Mr. Taylor managed the New Software Installation Group that consisted of 12 install technicians. Responsibilities included writing and investigating new databases, and operating parameters to speed up install and delivery time of new PCs. Between July, 1994 and December, 1995, Mr. Taylor was a top salesman for Microrim Software, selling relational databases and accounting software. He then went on to work for CARA testing Microsoft’s IE30 Web browser for JavaScript and VBscript bugs. From October, 1996 to this present day, Mr. Taylor has be a Webmaster for For Sale By Internet. Through this company, Mr. Taylor develops and manages websites on a contract basis. 

Dynamic Communication Solutions – Marketing This is a company with over ten years of experience in marketing and marketing management. We will outsource all marketing operations to Dynamic Communication Solutions because we feel that they have stability and marketing channels that will be effective for our product.

To be announced – Sales   We will outsource all sales operations to a company to be named.

To be announced – Customer service We will outsource this department to an answering service.

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

Funding Requirements and Uses Based on our projections, we feel an investment in our company is a sound investment. In order to proceed, we are requesting an investment of $101,600 by June, 1999. The funds will be used to purchase equipment and to cover initial operating expenses. The $101,600 will be used to implement Phase 1 of our operations. Once the company is in full operation, we will require an additional capital investment to fund Phase 2 of our operations.

Phase 2 We will be in discussion with developers on the best direction to take and what cost savings we can achieve. The specific details for Phase 2 are still to be determined, but three major areas (server, small PBX, and business development funds) will require approximately $30,000 by January, 2000.

Exit/Payback Strategy We can provide an exit for this investment within three years by a dividend of excess profits. The increase in profits generated by sales revenue will provide funds to repay the investment.

Conclusion Based on our projections, we feel an investment to Web Applications is a sound business investment. In order to proceed, we are requesting an investment of $101,600 as soon as possible.

7.1 Break-even Analysis

With average first year fixed monthly costs and an average margin as shown below, Web Applications calculates it will break even at the sales volume presented in the table and chart. The company management plans to reach such level by the end of 2000.

Online services business plan, financial plan chart image

7.2 Important Assumptions

The following chart contains assumptions important to the success of the company.

7.3 Projected Profit and Loss

The projected income statement for Web Applications is shown below. The company is basing its revenue projections on anticipated sales of products.

Online services business plan, financial plan chart image

7.4 Projected Cash Flow

The cash flow statement can be found in the chart and table below.

Online services business plan, financial plan chart image

7.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The projected balance sheet is provided below.

7.6 Business Ratios

The following table outlines some of the more important ratios from the Computer Programming Services industry. The final column, Industry Profile, details specific ratios based on the industry as it is classified by the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code, 7371.

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Your employer can now match your student loan payments to your 401(k), but it may not be right for everyone

Affiliate links for the products on this page are from partners that compensate us (see our advertiser disclosure with our list of partners for more details). However, our opinions are our own. See how we rate student loans to write unbiased product reviews.

  • Getting free retirement funds from your employer is great, but it won't be useful for everyone.
  • Look into your employer's vesting schedule if you choose to use this benefit.
  • The CARES Act also allows employers to contribute to student loans, which may be better.

Insider Today

The Secure 2.0 Act brought about a new list of retirement plan rules when it was passed into law in December of 2022, although some of the legislative changes didn't go into effect until the beginning of 2024. This includes a new provision of the legislation that lets employers match funds into eligible retirement accounts based on employee payments on their student loans .

Employers who opt into this plan can consider an employee's student loan payment as the basis for an employer "match" into an eligible workplace retirement plan like a 401(k) , which paves the way for workers to pay down student debt and save for retirement at the same time.

But is this really a good idea? That may depend on who you ask and what the alternatives are, but experts agree there are upsides and serious downsides to consider for workers who receive this benefit.

Borrowers with limited funds can stretch their money further

Financial advisor Marcel Miu of Simplify Wealth Planning says that a significant advantage of getting student loan matching funds into a retirement account is the ability to build retirement savings even while focusing on paying down student debt.

This provision essentially allows workers to "double dip" with their student loan payments, he says, meaning they are paying off their loans while simultaneously growing their nest egg without having to split their limited financial resources between the two.

This can also be a motivational boost since the match could encourage employees to make student loan payments consistently since they're also receiving some benefits for retirement.

It's not a great deal for income-driven repayment plans

Millions of borrowers are repaying their federal student loans on income-driven repayment plans. These plans base student loan payments on income and family size, and there are many situations where borrowers with relatively low incomes qualify for a $0 monthly payment.

Take the new SAVE Plan from the Biden administration, for example, which has higher thresholds to qualify for a $0 monthly payment than other income-driven plans. According to the US Department of Education , 2.9 million borrowers who enrolled in this plan as of late last year were paying $0 monthly payments.

Workers who have a $0 monthly payment on student loans wouldn't qualify to receive matching funds to retirement through an employer with this provision in the Secure 2.0 Act.

They could, however, qualify for a traditional match on contributions to a workplace retirement plan if they save for retirement and their employer offers this benefit as an alternative.

Watch out for vesting schedules

Financial advisor Daniel Cieniewicz of Hyperion Financial says that not all employers have chosen to adopt this provision due to a lack of interest and complexity surrounding the law. And even among those that do, workers should watch out for vesting schedules and other requirements to receive their match.

Vesting percentages means the employer's contributions may require an employee to stay employed at the company in order to have the employer-contributed funds "vest," said the advisor.

"Otherwise, if an employee leaves prior to the funds vesting, the funds are forfeited back to the company."

Watch out for tax consequences

Student loan borrowers should also be aware of the tax consequences involved in accepting this benefit from an employer, whether good or bad. First off, Miu says that although student loan debt is paid with after-tax earnings, there is a student loan interest deduction.

"Student loan borrowers can deduct up to $2,500 in interest paid each year," he said.

Single borrowers with an  AGI under $75,000 are eligible for the full benefit, as are joint filers under $155,000. The ability to take this deduction phases out completely for single filers who earn $90,000 or more and married taxpayers filing jointly who earn $185,000 or more a year.

This means borrowers who make student loan payments may be able to deduct the interest they pay (up to the limits) each year, no matter what.

On the flip side of that, there are tax consequences that come with not contributing directly to a tax-advantaged retirement account like a 401(k). Cieniewicz points out that pre-tax retirement plan contributions lower an individual's adjusted gross income, thus saving on federal taxes.

"By making these contributions to a student loan rather than a retirement plan, you could be forfeiting this benefit," he said.

There are alternatives

While letting an employer match student loan payment amounts (or part of them) into an eligible workplace retirement plan can lead to getting "free money" and give you a boost toward retirement when you couldn't otherwise afford to save, there are other ways for employers to help out in this realm.

Specifically, Patricia Roberts of Gift of College says that employers can also make direct payments to student loans for their workers pursuant to the CARES Act and as extended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

"These permitted payments of up to $5,250 per employee , per year are fully tax-free to the employee on whose behalf they are made and can be made through December 31, 2025, unless extended by Congress," she said.

While offering this benefit wouldn't help workers save for retirement, it could help them get out from under the burden of crushing student loan debt considerably faster. With debt out of the way or at least under control, those employees may have more bandwidth to start saving for retirement on their own.

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  22. Online Services Business Plan Example

    Web Applications is a start-up company that is designed to offer Web-based business management applications. Web Applications has developed an Internet-based application called Online Office Manager, for which a patent is pending. Online Office Manager allows businesses and individuals to keep in touch even when working in different locations.

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