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Website Design Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

website design business plan _ website development business plan template

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their website design businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a website design business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

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What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your website design business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a website design business, or grow your existing website design business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your website design business in order to improve your chances of success. Your website design business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Website Design Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a website design business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the lender will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

Personal savings is the most common form of funding for a website design business. Venture capitalists will usually not fund a website design business. They might consider funding a website design business with a national presence, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could never achieve such results.  With that said, personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for website design businesses.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

If you want to start a website design business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your website design business plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of website design business you are operating and its status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a website design business that you would like to grow, or are you operating website design businesses in multiple markets?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the website design industry. Discuss the type of website design business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.  

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of website design business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of website design businesses:

  • WordPress website design : this type of business builds websites with WordPress, due to its capabilities, plugin options, and templates.
  • Custom website design: this type of business involves developing both the front end and backend of a website using coding, programming, databases, forms, etc. without a content management platform.
  • Other platform website design: this type of business uses a variety of other platforms to develop specific types of site, such as e-commerce. Platforms like Shopify or Squarespace make specific site development relatively easy.

In addition to explaining the type of website design business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of websites launched, the types of sites developed, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the website design industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the website design industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your website design business plan:

  • How big is the website design industry (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your website design business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your website design business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: large corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and individuals.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of website design business you operate. Clearly, large corporations would respond to different marketing promotions than nonprofits, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most website design businesses primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.  

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other website design businesses.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes individuals who prefer to use template-based platforms to build their website on their own, or from dedicated in-house design teams.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other website design businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be website design businesses located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • Do they specialize in specific site types (i.e. content sites, e-commerce sites, etc.)?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide either a wider range or more specialized range of services?
  • Will you offer features such as social media integration?
  • Will you provide superior customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a website design business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of website design company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to WordPress site development, will your website design business provide custom design options?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your website design company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, will you operate from a physical office, or will you primarily interact with clients online and/or at their home or place of business? In this section, discuss how your location will affect demand for your services.

Promotions : The final part of your website design marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local websites
  • Signs and billboards
  • Social media marketing
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your website design business, including marketing, providing consultations, programming, troubleshooting, keeping abreast of new technology, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to launch your 100th e-commerce site, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to open a website design business in a new location.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your website design business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing website design businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in programming, or successfully running small businesses.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you complete/launch one website per week, or will you have teams working on multiple projects at once? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your website design business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a website design business:

  • Office build-out
  • Cost of buying or leasing a company vehicle
  • Cost of office supplies such as computers and software
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office lease, or an overview of the services you offer.  

Putting together a business plan for your website design business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the website design industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful website design business.  

Web Design Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my website design business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Website Design Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of website design business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a website design business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of website design businesses?

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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.   Click here to see how a Growthink business plan writer can create your business plan for you.

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Options and Tips for Creating a Web Design Business Plan

Don’t get too intimidated by writing a web design business plan, a lot of it just means getting down onto paper things you likely have been considering anyway. According to Entrepreneur “Writing…

Estimated Read Time:   40 minutes

eau claire seo

Don’t get too intimidated by writing a web design business plan , a lot of it just means getting down onto paper things you likely have been considering anyway. According to Entrepreneur “Writing out your business plan forces you to review everything at once: your value proposition, marketing assumptions, operations plan, financial plan and staffing plan.”

If I can do it – and go from 1 to 10 people in three years, you can too 😉 My wife will tell you… I’m no genius.

Web Design Business Plan

Table of Contents

Main Points in a Web Design Business Plan Outline:

1. business concept –.

What is the web design industry like in your immediate area and region? What are the high-level possibilities for the success of your web design business? What are the prime differentiating factors and how you will set yourself apart from the competition?

2. Who is the market for your web design firm?

Who are your customers? Are you serving only mid-sized businesses? Only editorial publications? Churches? Non-profits? Teenie tiny mom and pop shops? Fortune 500 companies? What niche are you looking to serve? What is the demand like for the service? And this leads us into our next question.. What does your pricing need to look like to serve these customers? And it’s not always getting your price down into affordability; maybe you need to price higher so that your company seems more professional and that you can offer above and beyond service. “Price high and justify.”

3. Income and Cash Flow Statement, Balance Sheet etc.

“Start by estimating the revenues generated by an average sale. Then subtract the costs that change with each transaction, like sales commissions and costs of producing the products sold. The result is your “unit contribution.” Next, predict your monthly overhead, or expenses that don’t vary directly with sales volume, such as rent, salaries, utilities, legal fees, and accounting expenses. Finally, divide your monthly overhead by your unit contribution. That number will tell you how many transactions you’ll need per month to break-even.” From this article on Inc. of The Basics of a Business Plan by the Numbers.

Get started with this One Page Web Design Business Plan

General Principles for writing a Web Design Business Plan:

1. Keep your business plan short and simple.

Go for it right now with this One Page Web Design Business Plan .

2. Use visual charts to quickly show key numbers.

3. Do what you do best, and make it look professional.

4. Ask key questions like what will be it’s annual revenue in a year, and in 5 years.

5. What things can I delegate? Sales, Technical or others? How will you attract these people to help, and what will be your key differentiators of process and culture?

6. Is the business plan going to help you raise money? 

7. How much of an initial investment will the business need?

Tools for Creating a Business Plan:

1. – Visual planning tool, helpful if you really don’t know where to start. It will give you the sections and the template is already there.

2. The Art of The Start 2.0 (Book by Guy Kawasaki) – “It’s most relevant for technology or IT companies, but he has a way of writing that’s very clear, very to the point. There’s not a lot of pedantic info that you’ll find in textbooks.”

3. Score – Business Planning Templates –  Quickly assess your marketing plan, Free business listing list for search engine optimization, Marketing must haves etc.

Thank you for reading! Share the love. 🙂

Keep the content coming, by tweeting this.

Other Links related to Web Design Plans:

  • Web Design Sample Business Plan – Executive Summary
  • 9 Steps to starting your freelance web design business – Business Tuts
  • Plan a Web Development Business Part Two- BPlans
  • How to Make a Business Plan for a Website Development Startup – Color Whistle

Getting Your First Web Design Clients

My first web design client was my future mother-in-law, a real doozie. A non-profit, I was paid $500 and an iPad. I’ve also been paid as little as – negative $ for making a website, because I was so eager for real world experience. Do you want a website? I want to give you one.. just let me pay for your hosting and I’ll make the website out of the salt from the sweat of my children.

Don’t sell yourself short. Charge a decent amount.

So the first real website I sold was a couple months later. I was just learning WordPress and I sold a site for 10 monthly payments of $250 dollars. Because it was a fairly simple marketing website and didn’t have a ton of custom features on it, this was actually a pretty solid deal for a starting out web designer.

The first half of selling yourself as a web designer is evidence. Let’s see the goods.

Make sure you have a decent portfolio out there, that you made yourself..

I don’t care if it’s on WordPress, straight HTML, or Ruby on Rails. Get that thing out in the open, give it the best you got and make sure it shows the best of your best work. Code up a non-profit’s website for free if you have to, and show as many real projects as you possibly can. I iterated on my website 3 times, with 2 live at my domain before I ever got my first real set of clients. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to exist.

Here’s my site I made in 2012 (click here to see it in the Internet Wayback Machine):

Getting your first Web Design Client

Here’s the site in 2013 (click here to see it in the Internet Wayback Machine):

Anthology of my website design

Yes.. I agree my portfolio was a little weak at this point, but guess what? I was getting clients. I wasn’t by any means, raking them in, but people I knew were coming to me and asking if I could help with their website or help them make a new website. I was eager to be of service, and make enough money to stop bussing tables.

Let the world know you’re making websites now.

Change your job on Facebook to ‘Self Employed Web Designer’, change your LinkedIn –  don’t put Aspiring Web Designer in your Twitter profile, put Web Designer. You’re a big boy (or girl) now. I personally took a good hard running jump at web design, and with one client and one month covered in expenses jumped out into the market as a web designer. No more restaurant job (which for me didn’t pay THAT well anyways.) When people hear that’s what you do, and you take a friendly and helpful attitude when they reach out, or you offer your services you can quickly earn some awareness around the new service you offer.

Don’t wait until you have it perfected, just go for it.

I’m not suggesting you make the new 3M website, or try to sell yourself as a ten year veteran of website design. You can, however, say you will go above and beyond for a client as you are starting out fresh and will do everything in your power to make them an excellent website. If you’ve created a couple of examples, then that can help adjust expectations and although you may need to put ungodly amounts of time into your first couple websites you will earn your chops in the struggle. You’ll figure out how to z-index a logo over the top of overlapping nav div.

In defense of the designer-developer.

Yes, I’m suggesting you will have to write code. Can you sell a website for $2,500 dollars and give half of it away to a front-end developer when you’re starting out? Perhaps, perhaps not. I personally couldn’t, and so… I learned to code. Basics at first, how to modify WordPress themes ever so slightly with CSS. Then cutting and splicing bits of PHP, then eventually writing my own themes from scratch. This is why I suggest having a couple of websites under your belt before really having someone pay you for your web design services; you can find the rhythm that works for you. If you are an epic visual designer who can confidently charge $5,000 for your first website you could potentially find the right person to develop it for you and you can pay them adequately to make it good. It’s really to each is own, because I preach design/development, and you have an equally right  person 2 doors down who wouldn’t touch a CMS to save his life. Literally … my old neighbor above me would sell sites for 7-8k and I thought he was an internet god. He would write the HTML, CSS, and Javascript (In Dreamweaver, hello throwback,) and then outsource custom Content Management System development for 2k. I just wanted to learn how to not pay that 2k .

Other ways to promote your new web design business

  • Look for ways to trade your services for advertising : I sold my services in an auction by a Minneapolis newspaper  in exchange for adspace in their lifestyle magazine VitaMN.
  • Get every viable social media handle/url under the name you’re using to freelance , promote yourself vigorously on TWO of these, and understand you’re not going to do ALL of them well .
  • Make a list of all the acquaintances who have small businesses, and that could use a website. Send them a quick note, and always be of the mind that you’re there to be of service – not sell.
  • Go old school and create a flyer : I put boots on the ground and peddled my wares (a one page services sheet – without pricing on it) around every business that I could open the door to in my area of Uptown Minnesota. I focused on what I did that was different. Alot of times this is personal service, since you likely have less clients and more time and attention than alot of web design shops in town. – To be perfectly honest, this didn’t get me a client. Maybe what I’m really suggesting here is hustling your ass off and being as present as possible… take every opportunity to share what you do until you gain momentum.
  • Put out content on a blog on your website and promote it on social media : Don’t sell dude. Don’t do it. You can still see my oldest posts on this blog that are salesy… it’s not going to kill your blog, but it’s really boring and no-one wants to read those. Just give as much value as you can, share your experiences and focus on the ONE SERVICE you are really trying to sell and things you’re learning in that discipline. Use it as an opportunity to dig deeper into your craft, and to share as you go.

Price High and Justify

After you promote the living shit out of yourself on social media, talk to your long lost friend with a supplement or house painting business, and make a few mistakes it’s time to price high and justify . You have to charge what people will pay, but as soon as you can push that number up as high as it can reasonably go. Why? If you have high prices it means you can make more excellent work! Justify the price with above and beyond service and you’ll feel great about what you do. Your work will mean more profitable businesses that benefit from the excellent websites you make. It feels good to help people feed their families by helping them get the word out about what makes their business special. And in the end, that’s what it boils down to for me.

Make Sure Your Process Differentiates You from Competitors

5 Key differentiating features of my web design process

It’s important to recognize what your business’s competitive advantage is, and unless you want to build a business that depends upon what’s special about YOU as an individual you have to draw out and nurture the special things about your process. To focus on your own unique specialties alone builds a prison fortress around you, and if you ever want to hire or contract out parts of the business you’re stuck with a business that only works with you sweating away at the center of it; the wizard behind the curtain, slowly getting too tired to perform at the same level.

So for me the key pieces of my web design process as I am learning to define them are:

1. responsiveness to changes that clients need..

– Example: Client asks for a lighter color scheme in development, instead of fretting we work hard to satisfy the request and push back when appropriate to keep within a reasonable budget.

Key to fulfilling: Web design services should not be dirt cheap, and if they are they aren’t taking into consideration the time it takes to build something fully customized for the business’s needs. Templated solutions get generic unfulfilling results. (However, I still feel that for some customers templated solutions such as and WordPress Themes from Themeforest without custom code can occasionally fulfill their needs and suggest that they try those routes if their budget doesn’t allow to really hire someone to do it right.)

2. Examining the overall market for the client and tailoring the content on the site to the scenarios that could be useful to their favorite kinds of clients.

– Example: Your site is serving people who just suffered hail damage to their home, we assess that a key to surprising and delighting these types of customers is serving up content that is about how to buff out hail damage on their car.

Key to fulfilling: It’s crucial we think about the psychology of the people coming into the site. This is the number one question we ask when making a website: “how can we serve your ideal customer with this content, this imagery, the messages we’re sharing and the story we’re telling.”

3. Building out the main service pages of the website in the hope that the content will attract new customers, making key items like ‘contact us’ and ‘buy now’ super easy to access on the main promos, sidebars, and at the end of content.

– Example: Adding bigger content pieces after key visual blocks on service pages so that the service page is indexable by Google and people who want to really dig into what you have that option. Big old juicy buttons that say “Contact us now” or “Request a quote” are super obvious and surrounded by trust factors such as positive testimonials, industry badges, a phone number, or 3 key differentiating features in bullet points.

Keys to fulfilling: It’s important not only to think about how people are going to perceive this site when they get there but how they are going to get there in the first place. By thinking about big content pieces that could provide big value for the client during the design process, the website can be built in a way that emphasizes and makes those big content pieces that are serving a real need available and to the forefront of the site with menu structure, and other pieces of navigation and structure.

4. Imagery is outside the box, and elicits a positive emotional response from key individuals your business is targeting.

– Example: A Death to Stock Photo image that feels less stock photo-esque and more candid than most stock photos.


Even better, you and your storefront, your set of tools. An ACTUAL satisfied client, smiling and holding your product or enjoying your work.

Keys to fulfilling: Often this involves imagining what a positive interaction between your business and your client will look like. Is it you sitting with them, them smiling, and a chart of upward momentum on the computer screen in front of you? Is it freshly cut grass without them lifting a finger, so they get to smile and sip fresh lemonade on their porch? This is the story we want to display. We want the imagery to feel candid, real and maybe even a bit unusual. But a visitor should be able to see it and think to themselves, I want to be there. They should be able to imagine themselves in the place of the person pictured on the site.

5. The copy is written in a way that quickly explains the core benefit/value from your product or service, invites the visitor to participate, and explains why it will be awesome for them.

– Example: A moving company could say “Your back will thank you, call us for a custom quote today.” A remodeling company could say, “You’ll feel as good as your home will look.” with a call to action button that says, “Get a quote for a fresh look.”

Keys to fulfilling: Never be generic! Shake out the cobwebs in your marketing brain right now. Seriously, every single product or service has a unique and special story behind it, and the customers you serve need to know why anyone would choose you . Why have they in the past? I speak to the business owners and people representing businesses in their marketing teams, and I ask: “Tell me the story of positive customer experience, that you’re aware of.” What does that look like. Tell that story on the site. The more you get curious about these stories and the core benefit a product or service is providing, very few things are truly boring. The more you get interested in the story of the product or service, and tell that positive experience story the more you’ll see that almost anything can be interesting.

And the moral of the story is:

As you can see, the key differentiating features of this design process is a personal connection, customizing the solution to the industry and those specific businesses prime differentiating features, and enthusiasm. That enthusiasm through every piece of the puzzle is crucial. It’s important to note at every step of the process that this is for a business composed of REAL PEOPLE, whose food and shelter depends on telling the story to the world, and REAL PEOPLE who benefit from the product or service being served. This is the real end value. So anyone I work with, or for feels that: the enthusiasm and the genuine intent to provide value. This is key to this design process. 

How to Speak About Design to Establish Trust

How to Talk about Design to Establish Trust

“I thought you might like the flourishes in the header, it has that bohemian, natural feeling you were talking about when we first met up to discuss the project.” = FIRE ME . “Thought you might like,” “Going for that feeling,” and “I was inspired to take a fun direction,” all scream of whimsical dainty little artist types who could literally die from the harsh realities of designing for real economic pressures. The real economic reality is that families food and shelter depends on the success of a business, and a key component of how a business does is how that business presents itself to the world through design.

I’m not saying you can’t feel a feeling and apply it to your work in design, but design isn’t art. It is meant to solve real world problems. So instead of focusing on your feelings while presenting to the client, focus on design principles, web design best practices, and the persona’s and scenario’s you established during your discovery phase. Focus the conversation around:

  • Design Principles
  • Web Design best practices
  • Persona’s and scenario’s

Why do design principles even matter?

I’ve had a couple situations lately, where someone seems to be questioning why a font choice even matters. They rolled their eyes when I mentioned a study that called Baskerville the most trusted font. It got me thinking. How am I presenting this wrong? Because I know in my heart of hearts that design matters. <- FIRE ME,  but I can’t seem to always make it dead obvious to people I’m presenting work to.

I want to show them two ads side by side, one with high quality fonts that were chosen with serious intention and one with quickly chosen free fonts , and ask them which of them makes the product they represent seem more expensive, or which one makes the product seem more quality. Because good design does indeed represent products and services in a better light, and makes them seem more high quality. You know that, and I know that, but:

But how do we make the value of design dead obvious?

1. Resolve to help them find solutions to pain points. – Your website looks like shit on mobile, let’s fix that. Your logo has gradients and shadows in it to the point it’s hard to use on shirts and in other simple ways. Let’s address those and work from there how design can help solve problems you’re aware of now. Maybe it expands from there; as a designer, you’re a problem solver and the more you can identify and come up with creative and solid solutions for, the more design solutions you get to get paid for.

2. Dive into their world and become aware of what they value. – For web design you might realize the client cares more about looking cool than contact form submissions. You might realize they value their relationship with their family deeply, that a certain type of customer is their favorite . Once we realize what they care about deeply… pause pause pause …we can help them communicate those values through the design.  By diving in, visiting their shop, asking a lot of questions, and being present we can then better let them know how good design will help them do that.

3. Focus on the things they do understand like ‘Trust factors’, ‘color psychology’ and ‘telling the story.’ – ‘We have to tell the story of your business better,’ is going to resonate with some people better than my fascination with the font Baskerville. Even though I deeply care about typography, it’s just not always as accessible of a topic, or as interesting to clients. What they do understand is how adding a Better Business Bureau badge next to the contact form will help increase the likelihood of people contacting them, and how blue is associated with trust and how green get’s associated with natural, fresh, or innovative. This really depends on the particular client, as some clients can go deep without a lot of prep.

Let’s circle back for a bit and make sure you’re working with the right kind of client:

The client defines the value and the designer discovers it. Ask the client what their business or organization does and why is it important to their target audience. If they don’t give you a quick comprehensible answer they are not ready to work with a designer or an agency. If they do answer the question you should next ask them what success looks like and what their goals are. DO NOT lead them toward what you think success might be. Let them define it.

When you get their feedback, dig deeper. A good way to do this is by asking who their target audience is and what their target audience needs are. If they can’t answer this they are not ready for the value a designer or an agency will provide. The client needs to have experience communicating with their target audience in order to set proper goals. If there’s no goal, how will you know whether or not a project is successful? Here are some red flags to look out for in the beginning stages of communicating with a potential client. I asked a fellow designer, Brenna French to share some thoughts on this issue:

“You sit down at a coffee shop excited to talk to a potential client about the project and the first thing they say is, I want to build a website how much would that be? This is a red flag because this means their mindset is already focused on getting a deal and not on the value you can provide for their business or their target audience.

This goes both ways in the relationship by the way, you never want to position the project or conversation around money. If you talk about money right away this shows the client that you are money hungry or desperate for work. Remember you are a professional and you are serious about your work and the value you can provide. Positioning the conversation around value sets the tone for the whole relationship in a positive way.

Say you get past that money conversation and everything is going well so far so you start talking about the project. The client starts to explain that they are wanting a one-page website design and they also want the main colors to be blue and orange because to them those are beautiful colors, oh yeah they also want a picture of themselves in the main header. This is a red flag because they have too many ideas of what they are visually wanting the end product to look like.

As a design professional, I don’t want to execute the client’s wants in mind. I design the best possible solution for the client’s target audience so the client will reach their business goals. From my experience, a client that has a specific visual direction is difficult to work with. Position the conversation around value. By the end of the conversation, you both are excited to get started. You set clear expectations and attracted the client by positioning the conversation around value.”

– Brenna French

Ask these questions of new possible clients: Is the client sure of their target audience?

Is the client aware of their target audience’s needs?

Are they able to answer right away, what is it that you do and why is it important to your target audience?

Do they start talking about their budget right away? (If they do it might be a red flag – try to change the conversation to talk about value that you’ll provide, not an arbitrary number you come with on the fly without fully understanding the project.)

Do they give off the impression that they understand you’re the expert, that they understand that are only responsible for Content – and Business Goals?

Do they have alot of ideas already about how the website should look? – A possible red flag.

That last one is challenging, and occasionally working for small businesses it’s important to kindly educate your clients on what is your responsibility and what is yours. But needless to say, if they come out of the gate giving strong layout suggestions and explaining their specific vision for look and feel you’re being pigeon-holed into the position of technician implementing someone else’s design, not the dynamic problem-solving designer.

Ways to talk and words to use

Talk confidently and make sure to include examples of previous work where you solved a specific goal-oriented problem. Now is the time to ask what their primary objective is, and to set up a metric for the design you’re working on currently. 100 e-mail list subscriptions, 15 contact form submissions by legitimate prospects, 20 sales the first three months of launch. Make specific goals have a date attached to them. Gathering this information after the design should be part of what you’re being paid to do, and part of what you’re selling.

Do user testing on the old site when they come in, if it’s worth testing. Talk about testing critical things. Words and phrases to use: research, effective, goals, trust-worthy, tell your story, appeal to your core demographic. Always do research on their industry before getting into the site design. Their competitors, and brand positioning. By doing this you better understand what they are up against and you position yourself as the expert with a unique understanding of their dilemma. This is another reason to hold off giving a price for the work until you fully understand the problem at hand.

Share research. You don’t always have to have it on hand when you are discussing a particular issue. But you should do your due diligence, if they want a pop-up newsletter subscription box then you should be able to go find the research on which way of doing that is most effective (right away, timed, or exit intent,) or general tips on making a pop-up effective. I find it especially effective to share these bits of research right before you show the design at all. Come up with three pieces of research to support points that might be contentious or that push their comfort level on the design. Share them briefly before going over the design.

When you get into showing the design, avoid the real estate tour; ‘here’s the logo,’ ‘here’s the nav,’ etc. Go straight for the heart of why the design serves their goals. Talk about flow and conversions, and especially focus on how the design presents their story in a unique and compelling way to appeal to their core demographic. Never ask for feedback, ask if they have any questions. In this way, you can further ingrain yourself in their mind as an expert. I think of it as a bit of swagger. Humble swagger, but you have to have some swagger in this industry.

Content Strategy for Web Designers to Attract Ideal Customers

Devising a workable and effective content strategy can be difficult for any company or brand, as the needs and desires of readers, clients, and businesses always vary from individual to individual, and from day to day. With a bit of work and the following content strategy guide to get you started, you should be well on your way to developing a stellar web design content strategy ! The most important part is that you start, and these practical and actionable strategies will help you get your ass in gear.

Begin with an Introspective Evaluation

Before taking that first step down the road of content creation, the best tactic is to initially spend some time to evaluate where your company, your content, and your brand currently stand. Begin this evaluation by honestly answering a few simple questions:

How is our brand currently perceived in the marketplace?

What are good and bad aspects of the brand’s existing content?

What content-related goals would we like to achieve?

How does our brand match up to other web design competitors?

With these basic questions answered about your brand and where your company currently stands, you can move onto an overall content strategy design by answering “The Five Ws”:

Who is the audience of our content?

When should particular content be available?

Where (in which channels) should the content exist?

Why is the content relevant (or) why will the audience care?

What is the message or purpose of the content?

For example, throughout this article I’ll illustrate examples with a fictional up-and-coming web design firm called Green Lemon Design. The Green Lemon team — who are looking to establish themselves in the web design market as a talented, young, and energetic choice for lower to mid-tier web designs — might answer these questions in the following (simplified) form:

Potential clients: Users seeking low- to mid-range website design and consultation services.

Existing clients: Users who have worked with us in the past.

Most content on the website should be available 24/7, while content that is time-sensitive (such as a month-long new client special deal) can be temporary.

Onsite, Blog, Email, Twitter, Facebook

The audience should be seeking professional and affordable web design services that we can offer (for potential customers) or additional customer support and services (for existing clients).

To inform and educate our audience on the skills and capabilities of our brand, to impress with our past successes and portfolio, and to establish good rapport and relationships with both potential and existing clients.

Establishing Brand, Voice, and Tone Guidelines

With the basic questions answered that inform you of a need to change your content strategy , now is a good time to evaluate the brand, voice, and tone guidelines you’ll utilize throughout the content.

Brand guidelines can cover logo design to color pallette and everything in between. For content strategy , the best places to start are:

Fonts and typefaces : What fonts will be used throughout the content? How about sizes for various elements (paragraphs, headers, testimonials, etc)?

Web Design Business Content Strategy - Typography Standards

Colors and palettes : What colors best suit your brand or company and can be utilized throughout the content? – Example above includes a distinctive color palette that could be applied to other elements.

Images and logos : Which particular static images or logos should be prominent throughout the content? – It’s useful to repeat symbols such as the ‘greenish lemon’ throughout this piece. This may be particular to the content you put out on your site in general, or a particular blog post or content hub.

Videos and animations : As above, are there any video clips that should be frequent or readily available somewhere in the content?

Voice & Tone

Determine early in the process what kind of voice and tone you wish to attach to your content and thus associate with your brand. This can be difficult at first, particularly without much in the way of experienced writers on staff, but finding an appropriate voice can be a huge boon to your content strategy as a whole.

For example, Green Lemon Web Design may elect to take on a very informal, even humorous tone throughout their content. As a young and fresh company, they may feel most comfortable keeping their tone light-hearted and fun, to attract the business and clientele of smaller, younger companies like themselves.

Onsite Content: The Bread of Your Content Strategy Sandwich

Time to get down to the real core of your content strategy by first devising the outline of content that should exist onsite. Remember, anything  that exists on the company or brand website (with the exception of the blog) is considered onsite content and should be under your complete control.

For our fictitious Green Lemon Web Design, the outline for onsite content strategy might include the following sections:

Voice & Tone : Errors/alerts, testimonials, FAQ, portfolio should have a fun and humorous tone, while a more serious, business tone is necessary for transactional and billing-related messages.

Images : In addition to the logo and color palette established previously, we’d like some professional photography to splash through the core onsite pages (about us, contact us, etc), but with a refreshing twist: Each photo should contain a small green lemon strategically placed and tucked somewhere in the graphic, to bring a branded element into the design for brand awareness and maximum impact.

Portfolio : A list of clients we’ve assisted in the past with small testimonials from business partners from each when relevant.

About Us : Details about how Green Lemon came to be, including headshots of all employees with short, fun bios from each. Employees must provide a quote (think high school graduation yearbook quote, or ask a curious question to get your team showing their true colors.) In my experience looking at analytics for a lot of sites, people visit these pages more than you might initially think. It make sense, because we want to know about the people in your business. Tell us more, give us the inside scoop, tell your story.

Contact Us/Get a Quote : Standard form with name, email, and (optional) telephone fields for potential clients to get in touch. Should we include our company promise to establish return correspondence within 4 hours?

FAQ : Answer basic questions, primarily focused at potential customers. What is our typical turnaround time? What post-design support can we offer? Include a handful of fun and humorous questions at the end as well.

Services : Describe all services we offer, broken into categories (consultation, marketing, technology, industries, etc).

Errors & Alerts : 404 error should be squeezed green lemon with one final drop of juice falling out. Logged in clients with unread messages or invoices should see amusing flash message on each screen until dismissed. Little alerts and responses to contact form inquiries can be an opportunity to show a bit of the companies friendly, human character as well as display being adept with technology and attention to detail.

Blog Posts: That’s the Good Stuff

While strong onsite content is of course critical to the success of any strategy, very often the real meat and potatoes of your online presence is contained within the blog. The blog offers an avenue for expressing ideas and sharing content that is timely, relevant, and inspirational for the audience.

A blog is also a more appropriate channel to take risks — even slight ones — with the content your brand produces. Blog content can be anything from industry news and competitor-vs.-self comparisons to tutorials and how-to guides.

A successful blog is a channel for content that relates to the brand or company, but then extends well beyond the purview of the brand to provide relevant and interesting content for the audience to consume.

Don’t get caught in the old-school idea of a blog, where one or a handful of curators post personal stories and anecdotes. While that type of content is certainly acceptable and sometimes appropriate to a modern blog, try to expand the content well outside the bounds of that traditionally small umbrella.

For example, Green Lemon might highlight some potential blog ideas for their new web designer content strategy :

Leveraging Influencers

A post discussing highly influential creatives in the design space and how they have inspired Green Lemon and other designers. We should emphasize the great projects these creatives have worked on over the years to entice our readers by illustrating how Green Lemon understands the industry and that our team (or freelancer) strives to meet the same standards of excellence.

Discuss the importance of social media contact, even amongst these influences, by tagging them on Twitter with a link to the blog post. An ideal tactic is not to directly ask a question of the power user in question, but to ask a question of our general Twitter audience (e.g. “Designers: How has @Influencer inspired you in your own projects? #GreenLemonDreaming”).

Content Hub Posts

Posts that emphasize a highly-curated and relevant series of links and posts found elsewhere that relate to a particular topic, such as web design. Since a popular group of articles gathered in this singular “content hub”-style post will drive a lot of SEO traffic and referral linkbacks to our site, we can be confident that the effort in putting together these posts is worthwhile and will generate a great deal of buzz and traffic for Green Lemon.

Emphasizing Keywords

As a relatively new company, we cannot be afraid to try emphasizing localized keywords to drive interest and traffic to Green Lemon and bring in potential clients.

A great technique is to create a series of blog posts that highlight particular keywords and heavily focus the relevant aspects of the content on those keywords.

To drive localized traffic we can start with “Web Design in Minneapolis” and “Web Design in Minnesota,” which should feature some location-specific content mixed into the standard information. This can be as simple as pictures or mentions of local attractions in the city or state that residents of these areas who read the article will relate to.

Conversely, we’ll need more broad language and images to accompany our post about “WordPress Web Design,” which should shy away from localized content but instead contain information solely about the techniques and technologies (CMS organization, colors/typefaces, content release schedule, etc).

Inactivity is a Death Sentence

While the initial questions and answers when getting started in the content strategy process as seen above might seem at first to provide only a very rudimentary insight the steps to implement a strategy, there is one key lesson to learn when it comes to anything related to content: Don’t get bogged down by the minutiae and thus never take action .

Don't get bogged down in Minutiae and never take action

The biggest mistake anyone can make when it comes to content strategy is to be too passive, to over-assess and over-plan to the point of inaction. Particularly in the online space — where content moves at the speed of light (both figuratively and literally) — failing to act at all on a new content strategy is far worse than taking action and modifying or adjusting the content strategy plan as you learn and grow along the way.

That’s not to say planning and strategy are not important, but in many situations for both companies and clients alike, it is far more important to just “get out there” with the content so the audience can begin to interact with the content or brand than it is to delay far too long with nothing to show for it from a public perspective.

Maintaining Your Flexibility

Content strategies come in all shapes and sizes and should not be solely thought of as a brand-wide, all-inclusive methodology for every piece of content the brand creates.

Instead, content strategies can and should be developed in a modular fashion. Similar to a well-crafted website, an interchangeable content strategy allows for flexibility throughout the process over time, as variables change and the success (or failure) of a particular strategy evolves over time.

This technique should most commonly be used to distinguish between the various channels in which your content resides. A strategy module that suits email campaigns is likely not as well suited for handling social media interactions on Twitter, just as the static onsite content used throughout the site will differ significantly from the content posted on a blog.

Embrace these differences and freely develop multiple modules of your content strategy to fit each appropriate channel. You can and should still maintain an overall parent strategy that infuses elements into every child strategy below that (fonts, colors, common logos/images, etc), but much of the content beyond that will shift as the medium changes.

Take Risks, It's More Fun

The Necessity of Taking Risks

A very useful tool when first developing a content strategy is to evaluate the various levels of “risk” involved in any given style or example of content. That is, when a reader or user engages with that content, how likely are they to expect it versus how likely are they to be pleasantly surprised? Additionally as the content creator, how likely is a piece of content to feel standard and safe versus something risky that could fail or be taken poorly, but provide benefit if successful?

There are numerous risk strategies out there, but a solid standard for content strategy used by Portent, Inc. is the 70-20-10 rule .

This rule effectively states that 70% of your content should be safe and expected, 20% should be moderately risky and challenges the standard 70% of your content, and the last 10% should be very risky , such that it is entirely unexpected content or may horribly fail in some way (but will offer large benefits if successful).

How Risky Should My Content Strategy Be?

For the fictitious Green Lemon Web Design, they have elected to disperse their content using the 70-20-10 rule in roughly this manner:

70%: Most onsite stuff, such as About Us, FAQ, Services, Contact Us/Get a Quote, etc.

20%: Most blog posts that relate to the industry; those that provide assistance to clients, potential customers, or casual readers.

10%: A handful of blog posts that go against the normal, such as emphasizing the great work our competitors have been doing in the past few months or a post about a seemingly unrelated topic to drive traffic and user interest (books, gaming, fishing, etc). We’d also like to add a comparison chart of services and pricing between Green Lemon and popular competitors, which may include features we are weaker at than others but may ingratiate readers to us for our honesty.

Whatever the exact risk assessment is that your own brand settles on, it is vital to not be too afraid of taking risks from time to time. Being a little out there or edgy with your content will make a lasting, memorable impression instead of the countless other examples that are boring and forgotten after a short glance.

A Handful of Content Examples

Below you’ll find a list of example content titles that a new web design firm like Green Lemon — or even you — might find useful to pursue, roughly categorized by intended audience and/or creators.

For Web Designers

Web-for-All: Accessibility for Modern Web Design

Why Improved Design Cannot Solve Content Issues

Content Optimization for Mobile Platforms

Why Email Requires a Responsive Design

And Dash of That..: How A/B Testing Dramatically Improves User Experience

A Bridge Too Far: When Additional Feature Requests Should Be Ignored

This Ain’t Your Granddad’s Pixel: How Modern Displays Are Changing Web Design

Creating Beautiful Graphics and Logos in Pure CSS

The Homepage: When Automation Must Take a Back Seat to Human Control

For Web Marketers

Identifying Your Audience and Content to Meet User Demands

Community is Everything: Why Building a Community is Critical to Content Strategy

Risk vs. Reward: Why Safe is Often the Least Safe

Cultivating Client Relationships

I Like You: Spreading Your Content via Third Party Services

Localization, Love, and Liberation: Why i18n is Critical to Content Strategy

For Clients

Miniature Adults: How Children Utilize the Web and Interact with Your Site

Stay Awhile and Listen: How to Genuinely Engage with Readers

Establishing a Content Strategy for Personal Websites

Online Trapdom: Why Free Services Rarely Are

Just You Being You: How Social Media Encourages a False Sense of Self

Look At All My Resources!

While this article should provide a great starting point to establishing your own web marketer content strategy , there are multitudes of resources online with great information to boost your knowledge and get you down the right path toward content nirvana.

Below are a handful of prime resources to chew through at your leisure, so please enjoy!

Creating a Content Compass : Explores the diverging content strategy of a particular web project across the entirety of a brand’s content universe.

The Magic Content Marketing Ratio: Email Conversion Rate

4 Keys to Capturing a New Audience for Your Content Marketing

Being Real Builds Trust : Discusses why trust with users and clients is among the most vital components of strong marketing content strategy .

Help Your Content Go Anywhere With a Mobile Content Strategy

Future-Ready Content : Developing a web design content strategy that is as future-proof as possible, not just technically but in the manner in which content is created.

Contently Comic: Sponsored Insanity : Explores the pitfalls and trouble that can come from unnecessary sponsored content.

The Most Important Audience for Your Content Marketing : Your Own Employees : How brand and businesses should ensure employees fully understand and adhere to the marketing content strategy .

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How to Write a Web Design Business Plan

A man sitting on a leather couch looking at a laptop

If you’re ready to take your web design business to the next level, creating a business plan is a great place to start. Whether you’re a freelancer who wants to go full time or a professional designer who wants to grow your web design business, a business plan can help you set ambitious goals and determine how to achieve them.

When done right, your business plan should read like a how-to guide, spelling out exactly how you’ll start, build, and grow your web design business. You’ll pitch your business, analyze competitors, identify risks, and set key milestones. You’ll also make financial projections, and share the operational plans, marketing strategies, and sales tactics you’ll use to get there. 

Your business plan should address several audiences at once. It’s a powerful tool for you as you analyze opportunities and devise strategies for meeting your goals. It’s also a great resource to use when pitching clients , partners, and investors on the services you offer.

This versatility speaks to the ultimate value of creating a business plan. While it requires research and foresight up front, it will help you build a web design business that’s both successful and sustainable.

Key components of a web design business plan

Executive summary.

Your business plan should start with an executive summary. Think of this as a TL;DR for anyone reading the document: business plans are often long, and a user-friendly summary can make the read less intimidating.

Introduce the reader to your web design business, and summarize what they’ll find in your business plan. Provide a concise overview of the business’s mission, vision, and key objectives. Highlight the services you’ll offer, emphasizing standout features and competitive advantages that may pique the reader’s interest.

This executive summary should be short. If your business plan is 25 pages long, give it one to two pages. If it’s 10 pages long, write just a few paragraphs.

Though the executive summary is the first thing people will read, it should probably be the last thing you write. After all, it's tough to sum up the rest of your business plan when you haven’t written it yet.

Company description

Help clients, partners, and investors get to know your web design business by telling your business's story . Walk them through your background as a web designer, and share the company’s raison d’être: when, how, and why did you realize this business needed to exist?

This is a great place to build credibility. If past experiences or accomplishments set you apart from other web designers, highlight them. Similarly, if you’re working with a team, share who they are, what roles they’ll fill, and why they’ll make great collaborators .

You’ll also want to cover some nitty-gritty details, like the company’s legal structure (think: LLC, DBA, etc.) and ownership information. 

This section should be concise, but comprehensive—about one to two pages long. You want to fully introduce your web design business without wasting the reader’s time.

Market analysis

To build a successful business, you need a clear understanding of your target customer, your competitors, and the web design industry at large. This information will live in the market analysis section of your business plan, which should be about two to four pages long.

Start by defining your target customer : who is your business trying to reach? Instead of aiming for all web design clients, identify a target market segment—a smaller group of web design customers with shared needs, interests, behaviors, or demographic characteristics. 

Research this group in detail, and use client personas to bring them to life. Client personas are specific but fictitious representations of your target customers. They can help you illustrate the challenges your target customers face and the impact your business will have on them.

With your target clients defined, you can analyze your competitors: which website design businesses occupy a similar niche ? Identify at least five competitors, and honestly evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Then, clarify how you plan to compete. 

Use your client research to pinpoint where your competitors are falling short. By delivering something they don’t (i.e., lower prices, specific services, etc.), you can stand out . Wherever possible, back up your assumptions with research. Cite trend data, keyword research , or testimonials that show your target customers want something no one else offers.

Round out your analysis with a critical look at your business model: what are its strengths and weaknesses? For example, a smaller target market may be easier to penetrate, but it caps the number of clients you can reach.

Then, assess the web design industry at large. Highlight trends you’re capitalizing on, new technologies you’re taking advantage of, or market weaknesses you’re circumventing.

Services and portfolio

Now that you’ve illustrated the need for your business, give your reader a glimpse of it. List the services you’ll offer , complete with sample prices . Establish your brand identity with a logo, mission statement , and style guide . And include examples of the work you’ll create. These can be relevant portfolio samples , case studies , or freshly made mock-ups.

Spend one to two pages fleshing out your business. Instead of scattering visuals throughout your text, store them in an appendix at the end of your business plan. This will keep your reader from losing momentum and allow them to skip ahead as they see fit. 

Marketing and sales strategies

Once you have a great product, you need a strategy for landing customers and generating revenue. Dedicate one to two pages to the marketing and sales tactics you’ll use, and be specific. If you do the heavy lifting now, you’ll know exactly how to grow your business once you launch it.

List the marketing channels you plan to leverage, and establish a strategy for each one. Create a content calendar for social media posts , newsletters , and content marketing campaigns. Specify what you’ll do for SEO , post on your blog , and spend on paid advertising. You can also detail which networking events you’ll attend or host, how many cold calls you’ll make, and how you’ll generate referrals. Focus on the marketing channels that deliver real value for your business: where is your target audience, and how can you reach them.

Your efforts shouldn’t stop at landing clients. You also need to impress the ones you have. Zero in on your competitive advantage , whether that’s writing standout proposals , offering subscription services , or promising the best value around. Create a plan for regularly checking in with past clients , and consider how you can use discounts , packages, and promotions to keep them coming back for more.

Operational plan

Dedicate one to two pages to business logistics: what will your day-to-day operations look like? 

Think about who you need to hire , what roles they’ll fill, and what responsibilities they’ll have. Compare office spaces, list essential equipment, and consider what web design tools you’ll need to do your best work. Factor in sneaky necessities, like WiFi and office supplies. You’ll also want to think about nice-to-haves, like snacks and coffee for your team.

Your plan doesn’t need to be exhaustive, but it should be practical. These expenses will affect your financial projections, so you want to be as realistic as possible.

This is also a great place to map out internal policies. If you have project management protocols , client communication best practices , or other in-house guidelines, detail them here.

Financial plan

Show that you’ve done your due diligence with a thorough financial plan.* Map out what your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement will look like every month until you break even. Then, keep going until you reach profitability.

These financial projections should be pragmatic and thorough. Clarify where you’ll get the funding to start your business. If you’re working with investors, list your investment terms. And include every cost you can think of: taxes, depreciation and amortization, operational expenses, and more.

Keep your growth estimates conservative, and explain your math. Don’t expect to gain new clients without increased marketing and sales efforts, and don’t assume you can raise your rates without investing in new tools or team members. 

While any charts, graphs, or spreadsheets you create will live in your appendix, you should still spend one to two pages contextualizing them. Back up your numbers by explaining the calculations you’ve done and the assumptions you’ve made in your forecasts.

Milestones and timelines

While your financial projections offer a timeline for profitability, there may be other major milestones you’re keen to meet. Ask yourself what success looks like at different stages, and create a one-page timeline detailing when you expect to reach each landmark. 

This timeline will help you track your progress as you scale your business . If you miss a milestone, you can analyze why—and adjust the rest of your expectations accordingly.

Risk assessment

While it may seem counterintuitive to end on a low note, thoughtfully addressing risks is a great way to build trust. Dedicate one page to the challenges your business may face, and explain how you’ll handle each one.

By thinking through and planning for the worst case scenario, you can show partners and investors that your business is in good hands. You can also confidently take the next steps in your business journey, knowing that starting a website business isn’t as intimidating as it seems.

As a reminder, your appendix should hold any visuals referenced in your business plan. That includes examples of work, style guide resources, financial projections, and more.

This appendix can be as long as needed. Between your portfolio, style guide, and financial projections, you’ll easily clear two pages. Just be cognizant of your reader’s time and attention. Only feature resources that are illustrative or impactful, and ensure your appendix is easy to read. 

Creating a business plan will show you how to start a web design business, ensuring you’ve accounted for every cost and contingency. Over time—as the industry changes and your goals evolve—you can adapt your business plan to reflect your current ambitions. 

Your web design business plan should include:

Executive summary (one to two pages)

Company description (one to two pages)

Market analysis (two to four pages)

Services and portfolio (one to two pages)

Marketing and sales strategies (one to two pages)

Operational plan (one to two pages)

Financial plan (one to two pages)

Milestones and timelines (one page)

Risk assessment (one page)

Appendix (two or more pages)

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sample business plan for web development company

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How to Write a Web Design Agency Business Plan [Sample Template]

Are you about starting a web design company? If YES, here is a complete sample web design company business plan template & feasibility study you can use for FREE . If you are a web designer, there is no limit to the amount you can make as a professional especially if you know how to generate market for your services. The truth is that starting a web design business is one of the businesses you can successfully launch without a start – up capital.

The fact that you are a web designer does not in any way restrict you to a certain way of doing business. First and foremost, you must have mastered the skill, and then you should look outside the box. Looking outside the box could mean that you should also acquire complimentary skills like graphic designing, video editing and video coverage skills et al.

The bottom line is that if you want to make more money as a web designer, then you should be ready to go out of your way to develop innovative business ideas that is in sync with your skills; ideas that won’t take you too far from your core area of business.

Here below is a sample Web Design Business Plan;

A Sample Web Design Company Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

The web design industry is an industry that basically involves designing websites and hosting same on the World Wide Web (the internet space) for individuals and corporate organization. In recent time, there is hardly any serious minded business / organization or individual who wants to make impact that does not have a website. A website is one of the most potent platforms to communicate your message or market your services and products.

As internet access becomes affordable, the number of those who visit the internet on a per second basis has tremendously increase hence the increase in the demand for the services of website designers. The fact that there are no entry barrier in the web design industry gives room for any serious minded person to learn the trade and start making money from the industry.

Despite the fact the web design industry is still growing, it is becoming over-saturated, as there are many aspiring entrepreneurs who are becoming web designers due to the massive opportunities available in the industry.

The major factors and incentives which endear people to this industry is the fact that it is in vogue in the world today, and its usefulness cannot be over- emphasized, therefore anybody who wishes to become professional in all aspects of it, and become relevant in any field in the world today will be prompted to go into the web design industry.

The Web Design Services industry is an open industry, hence a low level of market share concentration. Even though large multiservice agencies operate in the industry, revenue is also spread among thousands of small firms and freelancers.

As a matter of fact, no single web design company can account for more than 5.0 percent of the total revenue generated in the industry. This is the reason why freelance web designers accounts for a large percent of the players in the web design services industry.

Everyone will quite agree that the web design industry has come to stay and of course it is one industry that plays key roles not only in the business world, but also in almost all the aspect of what goes around in our world today. The web design industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much active in all the parts of the world.

Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 150,898 registered graphic design companies, employing about 215,562 and the industry rakes in about $24bn annually. Going forward, the industry is projected to grow at the rate of 4.9 percent annually.

Over and above, the web design service industry is very open to any aspiring entrepreneur who have the required skills to start his or her own web design business and of course make good money from the industry. As a matter of fact, it was projected that over the next five years, new technology will continue to emerge that will make it easier for more players to come into the industry hence increasing the competition in the industry.

2. Executive Summary

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC is a U.S based and world class web design company. We have been able to secure a standard and well – positioned office facility in a central business district in Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland. We are a web design company that is set to compete in the highly competitive web design services industry not only in the United States market, but also in the global market.

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC will offer all aspects of web design services and graphic design services such as Web Design, Print Media Design, Advertising and Corporate Branding, Graphic and Commercial art services, Corporate Identification design services (logos), Cartoons and Animations.

Our business goal is to become one of the leading web design company in the United States and we will make sure that every website we design conforms to international best practices. Our workers are going to be selected from a pool of talented and highly creative web designers and graphic artists in and around Baltimore and also from any part of the world as the business grows.

We will make sure that we take all the members of our workforce through the required trainings that will position them to meet the expectation of the company and to compete with leading web design companies in the United States and throughout the globe.

We have put plans in place to build a state of the art web design cum graphics studio in Baltimore – Maryland. Our studio will be well equipped and we will ensure that we follow the trend in the industry. At Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC, our client’s best interest will always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics.

We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely. We will cultivate a working environment that provides a human, sustainable approach to earning a living, and living in our world, for our partners, employees and for our clients.

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC is founded by David Foreman and his friend and business partner for many years Jonathan Cosby. They have a combine experience in web designing, graphic designing, corporate branding and advertising and business management et al.

3. Our Products and Services

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC was established with the aim of maximizing profits in the web design cum graphic design industry. We want to compete favorably with the leading web design companies in the United States which is why we have but in place a competent quality assurance team that will ensure that any website we design or related services rendered meet and even surpass our customers’ expectations.

We will work hard to ensure that Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC is not just accepted nationally in the United States of America, but also in other parts of the world. Our products and services are listed below;

  • Designing Websites for both corporate clients and individual clients
  • Developing Websites and Custom Platform Web Development
  • Word Press Web Development
  • Optimizing Website Functionality for owners of existing websites
  • Search Engine Optimization Services and Code Writing Services
  • Web Graphic Design and Commercial art services
  • Corporate Identification design service
  • Other web design related services

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a standard and world class web cum graphic design company whose services and brand will not only be accepted in the United States of America, but also in other parts of the world.
  • Our mission is to provide professional and highly creative web design services and other related services that will assist businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations in promoting their brands and reaching out to a wide range of potential customers all over the globe.
  • We want to build a web design company that can favorably compete with other leading brands in the wed design services industry.

Our Business Structure

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC, is a web design cum graphic design company that intend starting small in Baltimore, but hope to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading graphic web design companies in the industry both in the United States and on a global stage.

We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own. This is why we are committed to only hire the best hands within our area of operations.

At Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, creative, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders (the owners, workforce, and customers).

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Creative Director

Human Resources and Admin Manager

  • Sales and Marketing Executive
  • Web Designer cum Graphic Artist (5)

Content Creator

Client Service Executive

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Creative Director:

  • Serve as project manager of the organization; works directly with employees
  • Responsible for designing concepts for website to be developed for client (s)
  • In charge of copy writing and laying out chronological advertisement plans
  • Develops strategic plan by studying technological and financial opportunities; presenting assumptions; recommending objectives.
  • Accomplishes subsidiary objectives by establishing plans, budgets, and results measurements; allocating resources; reviewing progress; making mid-course corrections.
  • Coordinates efforts by establishing procurement, production, marketing, field, and technical services policies and practices; coordinating actions with corporate staff.
  • Builds company image by collaborating with customers, government, community organizations, and employees; enforcing ethical business practices.
  • Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; benchmarking state-of-the-art practices; participating in professional societies.
  • Make certain that production and development department perform efficiently, coordinate employee efforts, and facilitate communications between management and graphic designer
  • Ensures that the organization work in line with international best practices.
  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out staff induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily office and factory activities.

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Model demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
  • Creates new markets cum businesses for the organization
  • Empowers and motivates the sales team to meet and surpass agreed targets

Accountant / Cashier:

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC
  • Serves as internal auditor for Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC

Web Designer cum Graphic Designers (5)

  • Liaises with clients to determine their requirement and budget
  • Responsible for Optimizing Website Functionality for owners of existing websites
  • Responsible for Search Engine Optimization Services and Code Writing Services
  • Responsible for developing concepts, graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and websites
  • Responsible for managing client proposals from typesetting through to design, print and production
  • Responsible for reviewing final layout and suggesting improvement if necessary
  • Responsible for working with clients, briefing and advising them with regards to design style, format, print production and timescales et al
  • Determine size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and font style and size
  • Responsible for liaising with external printers on a regular basis to ensure deadlines are met and material is printed to the highest quality
  • Responsible for preparing drafts or material based on an agreement brief.
  • Researches and advice the organization on style, genre and other trendy info as it relates to website design and graphic design.
  • Responsible for creating content based on clients demand
  • Serves as editor for the organization
  • Presents contents to customers for evaluation
  • Liaises and works effectively with web designer and graphic artists
  • Welcomes clients and potential clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the creative director in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries

6. SWOT Analysis

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured web cum graphic design business that can favorably compete in the highly competitive web design service industry in the United States and the world at large.

Part of what the team of business consultant did was to work with the management of our organization in conducting a SWOT analysis for Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC;

Our core strength lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team of creative and highly proficient web cum graphic designers, a team with excellent qualifications and experience various niche areas in the web design service industry. Aside from the synergy that exist in our carefully selected web designer, our designs and services will be guided by best practices in the industry.

As a new web design company in Baltimore – Maryland, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from top profile clients in the already saturated and highly competitive web design services industry; that is perhaps our major weakness. Another weakness is that we may not have the required cash to pump into promoting our business the way we would want to.

  • Opportunities:

No doubt, the opportunities in the web design cum graphic design services industry is massive considering the number of individuals and corporate organizations whose businesses depends on the services of web designers and graphic artist. As a web design cum graphic design Services Company, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that is available in the industry.

Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing / spending power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new web design cum graphic design company in same location where our target market exist and who may want to adopt same Business model like us.


  • Market Trends

The trend in the web cum graphic design services industry is that the target market keep expanding, people and organizations are now seeing the need for them to have an official website and also to engage the services of graphic designers either in branding or packaging their products and services or in helping them create animations that will help them communicate their brand to a wide range of clients.

For example, politicians no longer rely on graphic artists to design and produce colorful campaign handbills, posters, billboards and other print related campaign materials but also to help them produce animations and cartoons that will help them effectively communicate their message.

Another common trend in the web design services industry is that, most web design firms no longer settle for clients within the location where their physical office is located but also from any part of the world. The truth is that with the advent of the internet, it is now easier for a web design company or a web designer to work for clients in any part of the world.

A web design company can be located in the United States of America and have their biggest client in United Arab Emirates. Many thanks to the power of the internet which has brought the world closer to us. Lastly, the web design industry will continue to evolve due to the advancement of computer technology and software applications designs et al.

8. Our Target Market

Before starting our web design business, we are certain that there is a wide range of both corporate and individual clients who cannot successfully run their businesses without the services of web cum graphic designers. In view of that, we have created strategies that should enable us reach out to various corporate organizations and individual who we know can’t afford to do without our services.

We have conducted our market research and survey and we will ensure that all our web design cum graphic design services is well accepted in the market place. Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically market our products and services to;

  • Banks, Insurance Companies and other related Financial Institutions
  • Blue Chips Companies
  • Corporate Organizations
  • Manufacturers and Distributors
  • Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Contractors
  • Research and Development Companies
  • The Government (Public Sector)
  • Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
  • Celebrities, Politicians, Public Figures and Public Speakers
  • Sport Organizations
  • Religious Organizations
  • Political Parties
  • Television Stations
  • Printing Press (Publishing Houses) and Authors
  • Branding and Advertising agencies
  • Entrepreneurs and Start – Ups

Our Competitive Advantage

Surviving in the business world as a web design industry requires more than, your expertise, knowing how to deliver standard web designs but also how to network with key people that matters; decision makers that can decide who will get a web design contract.

Without a shadow of doubt, there are loads of big time investors, that have a stake in the web design industry; but one thing is certain, there is room big enough to accommodate both the big web design companies and the small web design companies.

What smaller web design companies need to do to survive in the industry is to concentrate on providing web design services to households, event planners, estates, communities, schools, hospitals and hotels et al before bidding for big web design contracts from corporations and government agencies.

We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the web design services industry means that you are not only expected to be able to deliver consistent and highly creative and users’ friendly websites, but you must be able to meet set targets.

No one would want to continue to hire your services if don’t always meet up with the target date of completion of projects. Our competitive advantage lies in the power of our team; our workforce.

We have a team of creative and highly proficient web designers and graphic designers, a team with excellent qualifications and experience various niche areas in the web design services industry. Aside from the synergy that exist in our carefully selected web cum graphic designers our designs and services will be guided by best practices in the industry.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category (startups web design businesses in the United States) in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.


  • Sources of Income

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the web design services industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to meet and surpass the expectations of all our clients.

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC will generate income by offering the following web design and graphic design related services;

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain; there would always be corporate organization and individual who would need the services of web cum graphic design firms.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in web design services industry and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income / profits from the first six month of operations and grow our web cum graphic design company to enviable heights.

We have been able to critically examine the web design market and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Baltimore – Maryland.

Below is the sales projection for Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC, it is based on the location of our business and of course the wide range of our services and target market;

  • First Year-: $100,000
  • Second Year-: $300,000
  • Third Year-: $750,000

N.B -: This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same web design services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We are mindful of the fact that there are stiffer competition in the web design services industry; hence we have been able to hire some of the best marketing experts to handle our sales and marketing.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the web design cum graphic design industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall business goal of Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC.

Our corporate goal is to grow Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC to become one of the top 10 web design brands in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategy that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the United States of America but also in other parts of the world.

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our web cum graphic design company by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to individuals, corporate organizations, religious organizations and key stake holders.
  • Promptness in bidding for web design and graphic design contracts from the government and other cooperate organizations
  • Advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and radio station.
  • List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver excellent design and services
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage direct marketing approach
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our in house brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market.

We are set to become the number one choice for both corporate clients and individual clients in the whole of the United States and beyond which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our web cum graphic design company.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our services
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Baltimore – Maryland.
  • Engage in road show from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Contact corporate organizations by calling them up and informing them of Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC and the services we offer
  • List our web cum graphic design company in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise our web cum graphic design company in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

At Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC we will keep the prices of our services below the average market rate for all of our customers by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance from corporate organizations who would hire our services.

In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to all our customers at regular intervals. We are aware that there are some one – off jobs or government contracts which are always lucrative, we will ensure that we abide by the pricing model that is expected from contractors or organizations that bid for such contracts.

  • Payment Options

At Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC, our payment policy will be all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that we will make available to our clients;

  • Payment by via bank transfer
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft
  • Payment via mobile money
  • Payment with cash

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans with little or no itches.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.

This means that the start-up can either be low or high depending on your goals, vision and aspirations for your business. The materials and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked.

As for the detailed cost analysis for starting a web design company; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money. However, this is what it would cost us to setup Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC in the United of America;

  • Business incorporating fees in the United States of America will cost – $750.
  • The budget for Liability insurance, permits and license will cost – $3,500
  • Acquiring an office space or warehouse that will accommodate the number of employees for at least 6 months (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) will cost – $100,000.
  • Equipping the office (computers, printers, projectors, markers, servers / internet facility, furniture, telephones, filing cabinets, and electronics) will cost – $30,000
  • Amount required to purchase the needed software applications – $ 3,500
  • Launching an official Website will cost – $500
  • Amount need to pay bills and staff members for at least 2 to 3 months – $70,000
  • Additional Expenditure such as Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions will cost – $5,000

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set – up a medium scale but standard web cum graphic design company firm in the United States of America.

Generating Funding / Startup Capital for Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC is a business that will be owned and managed by David Foreman and his friend and business partner for many years Jonathan Cosby. They are the sole financial of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;

  • Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
  • Generate part of the start – up capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $85,000 and soft loan from family members $15,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $150,000 from our bank. All the papers and document has been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

One of our major goals of starting Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.

We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our web design and graphic services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

Nine & Ten Technology®, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List / Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check:>Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts various banks in the United States: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Securing a standard office facility for our studio: Completed
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of All form of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the start – up capital from the founders: Completed
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of Logo for the business: Completed
  • Secure trademark for our products: In Progress
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the Needed furniture, office equipment, software applications, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the business: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in various industries: In Progress

More on Online Startups

How to write a business plan for a software development company?

software development company business plan

Creating a business plan for a software development company is an essential process for any entrepreneur. It serves as a roadmap that outlines the necessary steps to be taken to start or grow the business, the resources required, and the anticipated financial outcomes. It should be crafted with method and confidence.

This guide is designed to provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary for creating a software development company business plan, covering why it is so important both when starting up and running an established business, what should be included in your plan, how it should be structured, what tools should be used to save time and avoid errors, and other helpful tips.

We have a lot to cover, so let's get to it!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for a software development company?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for a software development company?
  • What goes in the financial forecast for a software development company?
  • What goes in the written part of a software development company business plan?
  • What tool can I use to write my software development company business plan?

Having a clear understanding of why you want to write a business plan for your software development company will make it simpler for you to grasp the rationale behind its structure and content. So before delving into the plan's actual details, let's take a moment to remind ourselves of the primary reasons why you'd want to create a software development company business plan.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Small businesses rarely experience a constant and predictable environment. Economic cycles go up and down, while the business landscape is mutating constantly with new regulations, technologies, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging when we least expect it.

In this dynamic context, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your software development company. Otherwise, you are navigating in the dark which is dangerous given that - as a business owner - your capital is at risk.

That's why crafting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to take a step-by-step approach. First, you'll have to assess your current position (if you're already in business), and then identify where you'd like your software development company to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your software development company, you'll focus on three key areas:

  • Resources: you'll determine the human, equipment, and capital resources needed to reach your goals successfully.
  • Speed: you'll establish the optimal pace at which your business needs to grow if it is to meet its objectives within the desired timeframe.
  • Risks: you'll identify and address potential risks you might encounter along the way.

By going through this process regularly, you'll be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation, paving the way for the long-term success of your business.

To get visibility on future cash flows

If your small software development company runs out of cash: it's game over. That's why we often say "cash is king", and it's crucial to have a clear view of your software development company's future cash flows.

So, how can you achieve this? It's simple - you need to have an up-to-date financial forecast.

The good news is that your software development company business plan already includes a financial forecast (which we'll discuss further in this guide). Your task is to ensure it stays current.

To accomplish this, it's essential to regularly compare your actual financial performance with what was planned in your financial forecast. Based on your business's current trajectory, you can make adjustments to the forecast.

By diligently monitoring your software development company's financial health, you'll be able to spot potential financial issues, like unexpected cash shortfalls, early on and take corrective actions. Moreover, this practice will enable you to recognize and capitalize on growth opportunities, such as excess cash flow enabling you to expand to new locations.

To secure financing

A detailed business plan becomes a crucial tool when seeking financing from banks or investors for your software development company.

Investing and lending to small businesses are very risky activities given how fragile they are. Therefore, financiers have to take extra precautions before putting their capital at risk.

At a minimum, financiers will want to ensure that you have a clear roadmap and a solid understanding of your future cash flows (like we just explained above). But they will also want to ensure that your business plan fits the risk/reward profile they seek.

This will off-course vary from bank to bank and investor to investor, but as a rule of thumb. Banks will want to see a conservative financial management style (low risk), and they will use the information in your business plan to assess your borrowing capacity — the level of debt they think your business can comfortably handle — and your ability to repay the loan. This evaluation will determine whether they'll provide credit to your software development company and the terms of the agreement.

Whereas investors will carefully analyze your business plan to gauge the potential return on their investment. Their focus lies on evidence indicating your software development company's potential for high growth, profitability, and consistent cash flow generation over time.

Now that you recognize the importance of creating a business plan for your software development company, let's explore what information is required to create a compelling plan.

Information needed to create a business plan for a software development company

You need the right data in order to project sales, investments and costs accurately in the financial forecast of your software development company business plan.

Below, we'll cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan.

Carrying out market research for a software development company

As you consider writing your business plan for a software development company, conducting market research becomes a vital step to ensure accurate and realistic financial projections.

Market research provides valuable insights into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies, and other key factors that can significantly impact the commercial success of your business.

Through this research, you may uncover trends that could influence your software development company.

You may discover that there is a growing demand for software that can be used across different platforms and devices. This could indicate that consumers are looking for more versatile and cost-efficient solutions. Additionally, your research might reveal that there is a trend towards more automated software, suggesting that customers are looking for ways to streamline their processes.

Such market trends play a significant role in forecasting revenue, as they offer valuable data about potential customers' spending habits and preferences.

By incorporating these findings into your financial projections, you can present investors with more accurate information, helping them make informed decisions about investing in your software development company.

Developing the sales and marketing plan for a software development company

As you embark on creating your software development company business plan, it is crucial to budget sales and marketing expenses beforehand.

A well-defined sales and marketing plan should include precise projections of the actions required to acquire and retain customers. It will also outline the necessary workforce to execute these initiatives and the budget required for promotions, advertising, and other marketing efforts.

This approach ensures that the appropriate amount of resources is allocated to these activities, aligning with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.

The staffing and equipment needs of a software development company

Whether you are at the beginning stages of your software development company or expanding its horizons, having a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) is vital to ensure your business's success.

To achieve this, both the recruitment and investment plans must align coherently with the projected timing and level of growth in your forecast. It is essential to secure appropriate funding for these plans.

A software development company might incur staffing costs such as hiring software developers, testers, and project managers. They might also incur costs for equipment such as computers, software licenses, and other development tools. Additionally, they might need to pay for office space, phone lines, and other associated costs.

To create a financial forecast that accurately represents your business's outlook, remember to factor in other day-to-day operating expenses.

Now that you have all the necessary information, it's time to dive in and start creating your business plan and developing the financial forecast for your software development company.

What goes into your software development company's financial forecast?

The objective of the financial forecast of your software development company's business plan is to show the growth, profitability, funding requirements, and cash generation potential of your business over the next 3 to 5 years.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a software development company are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's look at each of these in a bit more detail.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for a software development company shows how much revenue and profits your business is expected to generate in the future.

projected profit and loss statement example in a software development company business plan

Ideally, your software development company's P&L statement should show:

  • Healthy growth - above inflation level
  • Improving or stable profit margins
  • Positive net profit

Expectations will vary based on the stage of your business. A startup will be expected to grow faster than an established software development company. And similarly, an established company should showcase a higher level of profitability than a new venture.

The projected balance sheet of your software development company

The balance sheet for a software development company is a financial document that provides a snapshot of your business’s financial health at a given point in time.

It shows three main components: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: are resources owned by the business, such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers) and loans.
  • Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the cumulative profits and losses of the business to date (called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

example of projected balance sheet in a software development company business plan

Examining the balance sheet is important for lenders, investors, or other stakeholders who are interested in assessing your software development company's liquidity and solvency:

  • Liquidity: assesses whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to honour its liabilities due over the next 12 months. It is a short-term focus.
  • Solvency: assesses whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term.

Looking at the balance sheet can also provide insights into your software development company's investment and financing policies.

In particular, stakeholders can compare the value of equity to the value of the outstanding financial debt to assess how the business is funded and what level of financial risk has been taken by the owners (financial debt is riskier because it has to be repaid, while equity doesn't need to be repaid).

The cash flow forecast

A projected cash flow statement for a software development company is used to show how much cash the business is generating or consuming.

cash flow forecast in a software development company business plan example

The cash flow forecast is usually organized by nature to show three key metrics:

  • The operating cash flow: do the core business activities generate or consume cash?
  • The investing cash flow: how much is the business investing in long-term assets (this is usually compared to the level of fixed assets on the balance sheet to assess whether the business is regularly maintaining and renewing its equipment)?
  • The financing cash flow: is the business raising new financing or repaying financiers (debt repayment, dividends)?

As we discussed earlier, cash is king and keeping an eye on future cash flows an imperative for running a successful business. Therefore, you can expect the reader of your software development company business plan to pay close attention to your cash flow forecast.

Also, note that it is customary to provide both yearly and monthly cash flow forecasts in a business plan - so that the reader can analyze seasonal variation and ensure the software development company is appropriately funded.

The initial financing plan

The initial financing plan, also known as a sources and uses table, is a valuable resource to have in your business plan when starting your software development company as it reveals the origins of the money needed to establish the business (sources) and how it will be allocated (uses).

software development company business plan: sources & uses example

Having this table helps show what costs are involved in setting up your software development company, how risks are shared between founders, investors and lenders, and what the starting cash position will be. This cash position needs to be sufficient to sustain operations until the business reaches a break-even point.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what goes into the financial forecast of your software development company business plan, let's shift our focus to the written part of the plan.

The written part of a software development company business plan

The written part of the business plan is where you will explain what your business does and how it operates, what your target market is, whom you compete against, and what strategy you will put in place to seize the commercial opportunity you've identified.

Having this context is key for the reader to form a view on whether or not they believe that your plan is achievable and the numbers in your forecast realistic.

The written part of a software development company business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

In your software development company's business plan, the first section is the executive summary — a captivating overview of your plan that aims to pique the reader's interest and leave them eager to learn more about your business.

When crafting the executive summary, start with an introduction to your business, including its name, concept, location, how long it has been running, and what sets it apart. Briefly mention the products and services you plan to offer and your target customer profile.

Following that, provide an overview of the addressable market for your software development company, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.

Next, include a summary of key financial figures like projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Finally, in the "ask" section, detail any funding requirements you may have.

2. The presentation of the company

In your software development company business plan, the second section should focus on the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.

In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide an overview of the business's legal structure, details about the owners, and their respective investments and ownership shares. This clarity is crucial, especially if you're seeking financing, as it helps the reader understand which legal entity will receive the funds and who controls the business.

Moving on to the location part, you'll offer an overview of the company's premises and their surroundings. Explain why this particular location is of interest, highlighting factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.

When describing the location of your software development company, you could emphasize its access to a highly educated and highly skilled talent pool. The company may be located in a region with an abundance of universities and businesses in the technology sector, providing a robust employment market for software developers. You might also point out the area's access to affordable office space, and its proximity to major transportation hubs, making it easy for third-party financiers to visit and stay connected to the company. Additionally, you could highlight the area's vibrant culture and desirable quality of life, making it an attractive place for employees to live and work.

Finally, you should introduce your management team. Describe each member's role, background, and experience.

Don't forget to emphasize any past successes achieved by the management team and how long they've been working together. Demonstrating their track record and teamwork will help potential lenders or investors gain confidence in their leadership and ability to execute the business plan.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of what your company offers, who are the target customers, and what distribution channels are part of your go-to-market. 

For example, your software development company might offer website design and development services, mobile application development and custom software development services to its customers. Website design and development services could help customers with creating an attractive, functional website. Mobile application development services could provide customers with the ability to design and develop mobile applications to reach their customers in new ways. Custom software development could help customers design and develop custom made software solutions for their specific needs. All of these products and services could help customers achieve their goals and stay competitive in their markets.

4. The market analysis

When presenting your market analysis in your software development company business plan, you should detail the customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and any regulations that may apply.

The goal of this section is to help the reader understand how big and attractive your market is, and demonstrate that you have a solid understanding of the industry.

You should start with the demographics and segmentation subsection, which gives an overview of the addressable market for your software development company, the main trends in the marketplace, and introduces the different customer segments and their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

The target market section should follow and zoom on the customer segments your software development company is targeting, and explain how your products and services meet the specific needs of these customers.

For example, your target market might include businesses who need custom software solutions for their operations. These businesses can be of any size that have a need for the development company to create a specialized software solution that fits their specific needs. These businesses may need software that is tailored to their industry, such as an accounting firm needing an automated accounting system or a retail store needing a custom point of sale system.

Then comes the competition subsection, where you should introduce your main competitors and explain what differentiates you from them.

Finally, you should finish your market analysis by giving an overview of the main regulations applicable to your software development company.

5. The strategy section

When crafting the strategy section of your business plan for your software development company, it's important to cover several key aspects, including your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

In the competitive edge subsection, clearly explain what sets your company apart from competitors. This is particularly critical if you're a startup, as you'll be trying to establish your presence in the marketplace among entrenched players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you aim to maintain profitability while offering competitive prices to your customers.

For the sales & marketing plan, outline how you plan to reach and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones through loyalty programs or special offers.

In the milestones subsection, detail what your company has achieved thus far and outline your primary objectives for the coming years by including specific dates for expected progress. This ensures everyone involved has clear expectations.

Lastly, in the risks and mitigants subsection, list the main risks that could potentially impact the execution of your plan. Explain the measures you've taken to minimize these risks. This is vital for investors or lenders to feel confident in supporting your venture - try to proactively address any objection they might have.

Your software development company could face the risk of running into technical difficulties that may delay project completion. These technical difficulties could arise from a lack of skilled personnel, insufficient resources, or unforeseen issues that occur during the development process. Your software development company might also face the risk of a security breach that could compromise confidential customer data. This could occur if the company doesn't have the proper security measures in place or if malicious actors are able to find vulnerabilities in the software.

6. The operations section

The operations of your software development company must be presented in detail in your business plan.

The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).

You should then state the operating hours of your software development company - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.

The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.

Your software development company may have a number of key assets and IP. These could include proprietary software code and hardware designs. For example, your company might have developed unique software algorithms that are protected by copyrights or patents. It could also have hardware designs that are protected by trade secrets or trademarks. These assets and IP could be vital in helping the company maintain its competitive edge.

Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we talked about earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of the content of a software development company business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours.

What tool should I use to write my software development company's business plan?

In this section, we will be reviewing the two main solutions for creating a software development company business plan:

  • Using specialized online business plan software,
  • Outsourcing the plan to the business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your software development company's business plan

Using online business planning software is the most efficient and modern way to write a software development company business plan.

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

Hiring a business plan writer to write your software development company's business plan

Outsourcing your software development company business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

Business plan writers are experienced in writing business plans and adept at creating financial forecasts without errors. Furthermore, hiring a consultant can save you time and allow you to focus on the day-to-day operations of your business.

However, hiring business plan writers is expensive as you are paying for the software used by the consultant, plus their time, and their profit margin of course.

From experience, you need to budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a complete business plan, more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders or investors).

You also need to be careful when seeking investment. Investors want their money to be used to grow the business, not spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services (and other consulting services such as legal services) needs to be negligible relative to the amount raised.

The other drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself: you just get the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business plan software - which makes it difficult to maintain the document up to date without hiring the consultant on a retainer.

For these reasons, outsourcing the software development company business plan to a business plan writer should be considered carefully, weighing both the advantages and disadvantages of hiring outside help.

Ultimately, it may be the right decision for some businesses, while others may find it beneficial to write their business plan using online software.

Why not create your software development company's business plan using Word or Excel?

Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write a software development company business plan is not advisable. Allow me to explain the reasons.

Firstly, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel or any spreadsheet demands technical expertise in accounting principles and financial modelling. Without a degree in finance and accounting and significant financial modelling experience, it's unlikely that the reader will fully trust your numbers.

Secondly, relying on spreadsheets is inefficient. While it may have been the go-to option in the past, technology has evolved, and software now performs such tasks much faster and more accurately.

The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Moreover, software offers ease in comparing actuals versus forecasts and maintaining up-to-date forecasts for clear visibility on future cash flows, as we discussed earlier in this guide. Such tasks are cumbersome when using spreadsheets.

Now, let's address the written part of your software development company business plan. While it may be less prone to errors, using software can significantly boost productivity. Word processors lack instructions and examples for each section of your business plan. They also won't automatically update your numbers when changes occur in your forecast, and they lack automated formatting capabilities.

In summary, while some entrepreneurs may consider Word or Excel for their business plan, it's far from the best or most efficient solution when compared to specialized software.

  • A business plan has 2 complementary parts: a financial forecast showcasing the expected growth, profits and cash flows of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to judge if the forecast is realistic and relevant.
  • Having an up-to-date business plan is the only way to keep visibility on your software development company's future cash flows.
  • Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.

We hope that this practical guide gave you insights on how to write the business plan for your software development company. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our team if you still have questions.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • In-depth business plan structure
  • Key steps to write a business plan?
  • Free business plan template

Know someone who owns or wants to start a software development company? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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How To Make Business Plan For Your Web Design  Agency & Web Development Startup?

Category: Web Development

Date: January 24, 2024

How To Make Business Plan For Your Web Design Agency & Web Development Startup?

I have started ColorWhistle in 2014 as a web development company , so called startup web development company 🙂

Are you planning to start a web design and development company? Whether you’re starting or growing your business, you definitely need a business plan.

Only a business plan can give you answers to a wide-ranging list of questions. It sure is tedious, but it definitely pays off.

The good news is you don’t have to spend days to write a business plan. We will walk you through on how to make a business set up for your  web design agency or web development company . In case you already created one, you can use our guide as a reference to see what you missed.

Web Development Company & Web Design Business Plan

If you want to stand out and be noticed and if you want to succeed, you need to have the right business strategy. Let’s take a look.

1. Who Is Your Audience (ICP)?

Investing in an ICP is an investment in your future. It’s the foundation for growth, efficiency, and a thriving customer base. So, don’t leave your dream customers to chance. Build your ICP today and watch your business soar.

Imagine your dream customer. Someone who not only needs your web design and development services but actively seeks it out, embraces its value, and becomes a loyal advocate. That’s the essence of an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). It’s a detailed portrait of your perfect buyer, built on shared traits, motivations, and challenges.

Targeting specific customers does not mean that you’re excluding others. You are simply targeting a particular set of audience who are more likely to buy from you. Answer these below questions to figure out your target audience.

  • Figure out who will seek your web design and development services based on age, location, gender, income level, education level, occupation, ethnic background and relationship status
  • Which medium does your audience turn for information?
  • How and when will they use your services?
  • Is your target audience easily accessible?
  • Will they really benefit from your services?
  • Can your target audience afford your web design and development services?

2. Understand Your Competitors

Knowing your competitors and what they are offering can help your web design agency and web development company stand out. You can set pricing accordingly and better prepare for rival marketing campaigns. Try to find out answers for these questions.

  • What is their market position and what are people purchasing from them
  • What is their pricing structure?
  • How good is their social media review?

Also, figure out their weakness and find out how it can be addressed by your services.

In today’s economy, there is really no shortage for candidates for any position. It will appear as though employers can find the best candidate for any job. However, it is not that simple. There is always a possibility of hiring the wrong person which can have a negative impact.

Impressive work qualification and work experience are certainly required but, you also have to figure out if they blend with the culture of your organization.

Some of the ways you can improve recruitment process are by looking for a career-oriented person, accessing practical experience, determining strengths needed for the position, asking the right job interview questions, checking candidate background reference, and using phone interviews to pre-screen.

4. Finding Work For Your Start-Up

The next step is finding the work and here is where it can be a challenge to get noticed. One option is to try advertising on  webmaster forums  and business forums. Here you will find people who are looking for web design and other online services and you can connect with those people.

Alternatively, you can try using sites like ‘ UpWork ‘, ‘ Toptal ‘ and ‘ People Per Hour  ‘ which are aimed at connecting online workers with the businesses who need them. You can even try going around your local area and asking businesses if they already have a website!

5. Cash Flow Management

When it comes to financial management of a company, cash is king. Whether you’re a startup or growing business,  cash flow management  is essential for business survival. Failing to manage cash flow puts your business with too much stock, long payment terms, overspending and overtrading. So be prepared, an accurate cash flow projection can give you heads up before trouble strikes.

Looking for Web Development Services?

Seize and experience the transformative impact of Web Development Services & Solutions with ColorWhistle.

Few Takeaways

In order to compete, you are probably going to have to offer very low rates at least to start with and this is where things can get tough. But a great solution is to use a white label company like ours.

Many businesses hire ColorWhistle to provide work that they will then resell to their own customers.

As we’re based in India we can work for comparatively low rates, that means you can charge more for our work and still make a profit – and your clients don’t need to know we were involved!

You can then use our services either to outsource all your customers – making an almost entirely passive income, or you can use our services to lighten the load or to handle the bits that you don’t want to do.

Either way, you optimize your workflow meaning you can take more projects on and offer the most competitive rates around while doing what you love! Why not give us a call or send us an email to find out more?

In conclusion, running a  web design services company  is a great way to make money but you need to ensure you take time to research the market and that you do everything you can to increase your output while cutting overheads.

sample business plan for web development company

In quest of the Perfect Web Development Services & Solutions Buddy?

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  • Outsourcing Website Development Services to One Vendor vs Multiple Vendors
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Sankarnarayan. R

About the Author - Sankarnarayan. R

The founder and mastermind behind ColorWhistle is Sankarnarayan, a professional with over fourteen years of experience and a passion for website design services and digital marketing services. At ColorWhistle, our team has a wide range of skills and expertise and we always put our clients’ satisfaction first. This is what sets us apart from the competition – an eye for detail and the best website development services from the start to the completion of your project.

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7-Step Guide to Start Web Development Business

sample business plan for web development company

One of the essential requirements in starting a business is a website. Your website is the portal where potential leads can learn more about your business . It’s also the conduit that communicates your brand’s message, offers, mission, and milestones to the world . Starting a website development business would be a lucrative idea, especially if you have a basic foundation in various computer languages. And did you know the number of web designers and developers is projected to grow by up to 13 percent between 2020 and 2030? So if you want a slice of the pie in this industry, follow this guide for starting a web development business.

What is Website Development? 

sample business plan for web development company

Web development refers to website creation, modification, and maintenance . It pertains to developing and hosting websites via the internet for business or personal purposes . It includes all aspects of website development, such as web design, content, interface, speed, scripting, network security, and more. In some cases, web development also includes ranking websites on search engines through SEO techniques. 

The primary priority of creating websites for businesses is catering to user experience . A company website must be well-designed so users can quickly and easily navigate the site. A person or business that offers web development services is called a web developer. Some of their responsibilities are:

  • Meeting with clients to discuss website design and development requirements
  • Creating website wireframes
  • Coding using HTML, XML, or other programming languages
  • Working with web designers or graphic designers for the website’s design and layout
  • Working with the entire web development team to discuss website content
  • Including graphics, audio, and video on the website
  • Testing and launching the website
  • Troubleshooting the website on various browsers
  • Maintaining the website backend and frontend 

Skills you need:

sample business plan for web development company

Web developers need a few skills to get started in a web development business, which are:

  • Adobe Suite
  • UX (User Experience) Design
  • UI (User Interface) Design
  • Multimedia content development
  • Attention to detail
  • Multi-tasking
  • Good communication skills
  • Good understanding of SEO

7 Steps in Starting a Web Development Business

Follow this seven-step guide for starting a website development business. 

1. Set up your workspace

Whether you’re starting small or creating a brick-and-mortar office, setting up a conducive work environment is critical in this industry . Web developers need a good work atmosphere to encourage creativity and productivity, which is highly demanded in this niche. 

Some factors you need to consider are:

  • Steady power supply
  • Distraction-free work environment 
  • Regular office supplies, such as paper, printer, folders, etc. 
  • Investing in good software and hardware
  • Invest in good backup technology
  • Consider reasonable payment and payroll systems

2. Assemble your A-star team

sample business plan for web development company

Once you have the basic business foundation and equipment, it’s time to assemble a team of experts . First and foremost, find experts with as versatile skills as possible. This way, you can offer a variety of services to clients. 

In web development, you’ll have to find experts with coding, graphic design, and other digital marketing skills. You can visit freelancer marketplaces and find professionals there. Another option when starting in this industry is to outsource some services .

For instance, you can outsource web and app designs to on-demand graphic design services like Penji. Penji offers branding packages, marketing, web, app, UI, and UX designs. Here’s how it works . 

3. Set service offers and pricing model

Think about what kinds of services you want to offer. Of course, website creation should be your priority. However, you can provide other services, such as hosting, site redesigns, website maintenance, content creation, social media management, SEO, online advertising, email marketing, and more . Next, consider what kind of business structure you want so that you can decide on the pricing model.

Do you wish to bill clients by the hour or per project? One popular business pricing model is a subscription-based service. You can bill clients at fixed rates, so you’ll have recurring payments monthly. This type of pricing model is more convenient, as you only have to set pricing tiers and don’t have to monitor hours and projects worked for client payments. 

4. Determine your target audience

One of the first steps in excelling in website development is identifying your target audience . Are you offering web development and design to bloggers? Entrepreneurs? Or what about agencies that need help developing websites for their clients? 

Knowing who you’re marketing to helps you craft the right messages and create the most impactful graphics for positive results.  

5. Shape your branding

sample business plan for web development company

You must ensure your business stands out in this cut-throat industry. Write everything down on your business plan, including your mission, vision, short-term and long-term goals, financial projections and targets, estimated expenses, and revenue .

But most importantly, define your branding . Identify the reason why you’re offering website development in the first place. What makes your company stand out? What solutions do you provide to resolve customer pain points? And what unique services do you offer that your competitors don’t? Your branding must be the selling point that persuades clients to choose you over competitors . 

6. Work on the administrative and legal requirements

Before launching your business, make it official by working on the administrative and legal requirements. Get your business permits and licenses, insurance packages for in-house employees, benefits, and draft employee and client contracts. 

The disadvantage of hiring in-house employees is the high monthly upkeep, especially when offering benefits. This is why most new small businesses prefer to outsource some of their services to third-party providers . 

If you want to outsource web design , work with Penji’s professional web designers. Get unlimited web designs at fixed monthly rates.

7. Promote your business

Developing a business website is so crucial that even website development services need a website to advertise their offers online. Build an online presence by diversifying various digital marketing tactics , such as paid advertising, organic advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, and more. 

Building your portfolio is also recommended because clients will most likely do their due diligence and search for it on your website. 

Need help with your portfolio? Penji has your back! Penji offers unlimited web and app designs, branding visuals, marketing graphics, and more for affordable fixed rates. Sign up now for a limited 15 percent discount. 

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

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan for web development company

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

Thank you for downloading the offer.

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.

sample business plan for web development company

  • 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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550+ Business Plan Examples to Launch Your Business

550+ Free Sample Business Plans

Need help writing your business plan? Explore over 550 industry-specific business plan examples for inspiration.

Find your business plan example

Accounting, Insurance & Compliance

Accounting, Insurance & Compliance Business Plans

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Children & Pets

Children & Pets Business Plans

  • Children's Education & Recreation
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Cleaning, Repairs & Maintenance

Cleaning, Repairs & Maintenance Business Plans

  • Auto Detail & Repair
  • Cleaning Products
  • View All 39

Clothing & Fashion Brand

Clothing & Fashion Brand Business Plans

  • Clothing & Fashion Design
  • View All 26

Construction, Architecture & Engineering

Construction, Architecture & Engineering Business Plans

  • Architecture
  • Construction
  • View All 46

Consulting, Advertising & Marketing

Consulting, Advertising & Marketing Business Plans

  • Advertising
  • View All 54


Education Business Plans

  • Education Consulting
  • Education Products

Business plan template: There's an easier way to get your business plan done.

Entertainment & Recreation

Entertainment & Recreation Business Plans

  • Entertainment
  • Film & Television
  • View All 60


Events Business Plans

  • Event Planning
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Farm & Agriculture

Farm & Agriculture Business Plans

  • Agri-tourism
  • Agriculture Consulting
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Finance & Investing

Finance & Investing Business Plans

  • Financial Planning
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Fine Art & Crafts

Fine Art & Crafts Business Plans

Fitness & Beauty

Fitness & Beauty Business Plans

  • Salon & Spa
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Food and Beverage

Food and Beverage Business Plans

  • Bar & Brewery
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Hotel & Lodging

Hotel & Lodging Business Plans

  • Bed and Breakfast

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IT, Staffing & Customer Service Business Plans

  • Administrative Services
  • Customer Service
  • View All 22

Manufacturing & Wholesale

Manufacturing & Wholesale Business Plans

  • Cleaning & Cosmetics Manufacturing
  • View All 68

Medical & Health

Medical & Health Business Plans

  • Dental Practice
  • Health Administration
  • View All 41


Nonprofit Business Plans

  • Co-op Nonprofit
  • Food & Housing Nonprofit
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Real Estate & Rentals

Real Estate & Rentals Business Plans

  • Equipment Rental

Retail & Ecommerce

Retail & Ecommerce Business Plans

  • Car Dealership
  • View All 116


Technology Business Plans

  • Apps & Software
  • Communication Technology

Transportation, Travel & Logistics

Transportation, Travel & Logistics Business Plans

  • Airline, Taxi & Shuttle
  • View All 62

View all sample business plans

Example business plan format

Before you start exploring our library of business plan examples, it's worth taking the time to understand the traditional business plan format . You'll find that the plans in this library and most investor-approved business plans will include the following sections:

Executive summary

The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages. You should also plan to write this section last after you've written your full business plan.

Your executive summary should include a summary of the problem you are solving, a description of your product or service, an overview of your target market, a brief description of your team, a summary of your financials, and your funding requirements (if you are raising money).

Products & services

The products & services chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives. It includes information about the problem that you're solving, your solution, and any traction that proves that it truly meets the need you identified.

This is your chance to explain why you're in business and that people care about what you offer. It needs to go beyond a simple product or service description and get to the heart of why your business works and benefits your customers.

Market analysis

Conducting a market analysis ensures that you fully understand the market that you're entering and who you'll be selling to. This section is where you will showcase all of the information about your potential customers. You'll cover your target market as well as information about the growth of your market and your industry. Focus on outlining why the market you're entering is viable and creating a realistic persona for your ideal customer base.


Part of defining your opportunity is determining what your competitive advantage may be. To do this effectively you need to get to know your competitors just as well as your target customers. Every business will have competition, if you don't then you're either in a very young industry or there's a good reason no one is pursuing this specific venture.

To succeed, you want to be sure you know who your competitors are, how they operate, necessary financial benchmarks, and how you're business will be positioned. Start by identifying who your competitors are or will be during your market research. Then leverage competitive analysis tools like the competitive matrix and positioning map to solidify where your business stands in relation to the competition.

Marketing & sales

The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments. You'll address how you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success.

The operations section covers the day-to-day workflows for your business to deliver your product or service. What's included here fully depends on the type of business. Typically you can expect to add details on your business location, sourcing and fulfillment, use of technology, and any partnerships or agreements that are in place.

Milestones & metrics

The milestones section is where you lay out strategic milestones to reach your business goals.

A good milestone clearly lays out the parameters of the task at hand and sets expectations for its execution. You'll want to include a description of the task, a proposed due date, who is responsible, and eventually a budget that's attached. You don't need extensive project planning in this section, just key milestones that you want to hit and when you plan to hit them.

You should also discuss key metrics, which are the numbers you will track to determine your success. Some common data points worth tracking include conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, profit, etc.

Company & team

Use this section to describe your current team and who you need to hire. If you intend to pursue funding, you'll need to highlight the relevant experience of your team members. Basically, this is where you prove that this is the right team to successfully start and grow the business. You will also need to provide a quick overview of your legal structure and history if you're already up and running.

Financial projections

Your financial plan should include a sales and revenue forecast, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, and a balance sheet. You may not have established financials of any kind at this stage. Not to worry, rather than getting all of the details ironed out, focus on making projections and strategic forecasts for your business. You can always update your financial statements as you begin operations and start bringing in actual accounting data.

Now, if you intend to pitch to investors or submit a loan application, you'll also need a "use of funds" report in this section. This outlines how you intend to leverage any funding for your business and how much you're looking to acquire. Like the rest of your financials, this can always be updated later on.

The appendix isn't a required element of your business plan. However, it is a useful place to add any charts, tables, definitions, legal notes, or other critical information that supports your plan. These are often lengthier or out-of-place information that simply didn't work naturally into the structure of your plan. You'll notice that in these business plan examples, the appendix mainly includes extended financial statements.

Types of business plans explained

While all business plans cover similar categories, the style and function fully depend on how you intend to use your plan. To get the most out of your plan, it's best to find a format that suits your needs. Here are a few common business plan types worth considering.

Traditional business plan

The tried-and-true traditional business plan is a formal document meant to be used for external purposes. Typically this is the type of plan you'll need when applying for funding or pitching to investors. It can also be used when training or hiring employees, working with vendors, or in any other situation where the full details of your business must be understood by another individual.

Business model canvas

The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea.

The structure ditches a linear format in favor of a cell-based template. It encourages you to build connections between every element of your business. It's faster to write out and update, and much easier for you, your team, and anyone else to visualize your business operations.

One-page business plan

The true middle ground between the business model canvas and a traditional business plan is the one-page business plan . This format is a simplified version of the traditional plan that focuses on the core aspects of your business.

By starting with a one-page plan , you give yourself a minimal document to build from. You'll typically stick with bullet points and single sentences making it much easier to elaborate or expand sections into a longer-form business plan.

Growth planning

Growth planning is more than a specific type of business plan. It's a methodology. It takes the simplicity and styling of the one-page business plan and turns it into a process for you to continuously plan, forecast, review, and refine based on your performance.

It holds all of the benefits of the single-page plan, including the potential to complete it in as little as 27 minutes . However, it's even easier to convert into a more detailed plan thanks to how heavily it's tied to your financials. The overall goal of growth planning isn't to just produce documents that you use once and shelve. Instead, the growth planning process helps you build a healthier company that thrives in times of growth and remain stable through times of crisis.

It's faster, keeps your plan concise, and ensures that your plan is always up-to-date.

Download a free sample business plan template

Ready to start writing your own plan but aren't sure where to start? Download our free business plan template that's been updated for 2024.

This simple, modern, investor-approved business plan template is designed to make planning easy. It's a proven format that has helped over 1 million businesses write business plans for bank loans, funding pitches, business expansion, and even business sales. It includes additional instructions for how to write each section and is formatted to be SBA-lender approved. All you need to do is fill in the blanks.

How to use an example business plan to help you write your own

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How do you know what elements need to be included in your business plan, especially if you've never written one before? Looking at examples can help you visualize what a full, traditional plan looks like, so you know what you're aiming for before you get started. Here's how to get the most out of a sample business plan.

Choose a business plan example from a similar type of company

You don't need to find an example business plan that's an exact fit for your business. Your business location, target market, and even your particular product or service may not match up exactly with the plans in our gallery. But, you don't need an exact match for it to be helpful. Instead, look for a plan that's related to the type of business you're starting.

For example, if you want to start a vegetarian restaurant, a plan for a steakhouse can be a great match. While the specifics of your actual startup will differ, the elements you'd want to include in your restaurant's business plan are likely to be very similar.

Use a business plan example as a guide

Every startup and small business is unique, so you'll want to avoid copying an example business plan word for word. It just won't be as helpful, since each business is unique. You want your plan to be a useful tool for starting a business —and getting funding if you need it.

One of the key benefits of writing a business plan is simply going through the process. When you sit down to write, you'll naturally think through important pieces, like your startup costs, your target market , and any market analysis or research you'll need to do to be successful.

You'll also look at where you stand among your competition (and everyone has competition), and lay out your goals and the milestones you'll need to meet. Looking at an example business plan's financials section can be helpful because you can see what should be included, but take them with a grain of salt. Don't assume that financial projections for a sample company will fit your own small business.

If you're looking for more resources to help you get started, our business planning guide is a good place to start. You can also download our free business plan template .

Think of business planning as a process, instead of a document

Think about business planning as something you do often , rather than a document you create once and never look at again. If you take the time to write a plan that really fits your own company, it will be a better, more useful tool to grow your business. It should also make it easier to share your vision and strategy so everyone on your team is on the same page.

Adjust your plan regularly to use it as a business management tool

Keep in mind that businesses that use their plan as a management tool to help run their business grow 30 percent faster than those businesses that don't. For that to be true for your company, you'll think of a part of your business planning process as tracking your actual results against your financial forecast on a regular basis.

If things are going well, your plan will help you think about how you can re-invest in your business. If you find that you're not meeting goals, you might need to adjust your budgets or your sales forecast. Either way, tracking your progress compared to your plan can help you adjust quickly when you identify challenges and opportunities—it's one of the most powerful things you can do to grow your business.

Prepare to pitch your business

If you're planning to pitch your business to investors or seek out any funding, you'll need a pitch deck to accompany your business plan. A pitch deck is designed to inform people about your business. You want your pitch deck to be short and easy to follow, so it's best to keep your presentation under 20 slides.

Your pitch deck and pitch presentation are likely some of the first things that an investor will see to learn more about your company. So, you need to be informative and pique their interest. Luckily, just like you can leverage an example business plan template to write your plan, we also have a gallery of over 50 pitch decks for you to reference.

With this gallery, you have the option to view specific industry pitches or get inspired by real-world pitch deck examples.

Ready to get started?

Now that you know how to use an example business plan to help you write a plan for your business, it's time to find the right one.

Use the search bar below to get started and find the right match for your business idea.

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sample business plan for web development company

Website Development Business Plan 2023: The Complete Guide

Website Development Business Plan 2023

Running a web development business is not an easy task but we've made a complete guide that will help you start your business and run it efficiently.

Website Development Business Plan 2023 – Web development businesses have seen a lot of growth in the last few years. The growth of Technology and the preference of consumers has made it necessary for all businesses to have an online website. And the presence of these websites fuels web development businesses and companies.

If you want to start your own web development business and need to know how to run it efficiently then this article is for you. This article contains all the important points that you need to keep in mind before starting a business.

Successful Website Development Business Plan

Running a business, especially a web development business that includes a lot of online work and complicated procedures can be difficult. 

To help you with that we have mentioned a checklist of all the important points that you need to know about running a web development business.

Make a Business Plan 

Before you establish your company or start a business you need to have a proper vision of your business. What type of services you will offer, what rates should be finalized for the services you provide, how many people you expect in your team, and other important aspects related to running a business.

Thinking about all these aspects prior to the establishment of the company will help you get a clear idea of how you need to make a work plan.

Calculate the Costs and Profits 

You need to calculate what your investment will be and what will be the estimated profit on it. Decide whether you want to continue the business online or want a physical office to operate. Decide the budget and plan your Investments.

Once you plan the investment, decide on an estimated profit that you expect from the business. Deciding on the financial aspects of the business will help you manage your financial issues in the future.

Set your Rates

Once you have decided on the investment and set an expected profit you need to decide the rates of the services that you will provide. You can provide single services or packages depending on the type of customers you have.

Setting fixed rates will help you have a clear idea about the approximate profits you will make annually and this will help in the financial management of the company.

Form a Legally Registered Company 

After doing all the planning about the company you need to take some steps towards the establishment of the company. One of the major steps is to register your company with the Registrar under The Companies Act.

Decide what type of company you will own for example it could be a proprietorship or a partnership. Based on what type of company is established there will be legal procedures. If you need help with the establishment of the company and filling of the application you can go to Vakilsearch and take help from their expert legal advisors.

ITR Registration 

When you run a functional company, you need to file Income Tax Returns every financial year. To file the ITR you need to register for it. This registration process can be done online. You can take help from Vakilsearch for the application process so that your ITR registration is done easily.

Obtain Permits and License

Besides the registration of the company and the ITR registration , you also need to get certain permits and licenses for continuing the business. One of the important licenses that you might need is GST registration and if you plan to have an office then you also need a Shop and Establishment license for it.

Most of the registrations and licenses that you will need for your business can be done online. Vakilsearch is a platform that can help you with the online application filing and registration process. Visit our website, enter your contact details and name and a legal consultant will soon contact you. They will help you through the entire procedure and make it hassle-free for you.

Create a Business Website 

Once you have done the establishment of the company and received all the permits and licenses you need to create a business website. The business website must include your company name, contact details along with the portfolio and the services you offer. This will help attract potential customers and make it easy for them to contact you and know more about your services.

Focus on Branding and Marketing 

After starting the business you need to focus on branding and marketing. It can be done via social media or Digital media. You can hire digital marketers for the purpose of marketing and branding your company. This will help attract more and more potential customers and help the business grow.

Find New Clients 

Along with branding and marketing, you also need to actively find new clients for your company. You can do so by reaching out to different brands and companies and asking them if they need help with website development. You can also try the method of cold pitching or cold emailing which has proven to be effective for many new startups.

Keep Upskilling 

When you start getting clients and your business starts running effectively you need to focus on Upskilling. Trends and technologies of digital services and online services keep changing frequently and it is very important that you train your team to be up to date.

Website Development Business Plan – Web development includes creating a website and creating web pages that will appear on those websites. Multiple coding languages are used for this purpose and this type of business has seen a lot of growth because of technology advancements. If you want to start a web development business you need to go through a lot of legal procedures, paperwork, etc.

Vakilsearch is an online platform that will help you with all the legal procedures required during the establishment of a company or business. You can go to our website and enter your contact details. Our legal advisors will contact you and solve all your queries. They will also help you in filing online applications, and registrations and in managing your finances.

Helpful Links:

  • How to Copyright a Website in India ?
  • What Type of Business Should I Do ?
  • Is Your Logo Appropriate for the Business ?

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Write a business development plan

Now that you’re in the growth stage of your business, set things in motion with a business development plan.

A business development plan sets goals for growth and explains how you will achieve them. It can have a short-term or long-term focus. Review and revise your plan as often as you can. And keep building on it as your business evolves.

How to write a business development plan

Your business development plan is your roadmap to growth, so make it clear, specific and realistic.

What to include in a business development plan

  • Opportunities for growth: Identify where growth will come from – whether it’s in creating new products, adding more services, breaking into new markets, or a combination of these.
  • Funding plan: Determine how you’ll fund your business growth. How much capital do you already have? How much more do you need and how will you get it? Check out our guide on financing your business.
  • Financial goals: Work out what revenue, costs and profits you’ll have if things stay the same. Use those numbers as a basis for setting new, more ambitious financial goals.
  • Operational needs: Identify what things about your business will need to change in order to achieve growth. Will you need extra people, more equipment, or new suppliers?
  • Sales and marketing activities: Figure out what sales and marketing efforts will effectively promote growth and how these efforts will change as the business gets bigger and better. Make sure your sales and marketing plan is sturdy enough to support your growing business.
  • Team needs: You may need people to take on some of the tasks you’ve been doing. Think about what parts of running the business you enjoy most – and you’re good at – and what parts you might want to delegate to others. And give some thought to the culture you want to develop in your business as it grows. Check out our guide on hiring employees.

A sample business development plan

Avoid these common business development mistakes.

  • Thinking short-term instead of long-term
  • Underestimating how much money it will take to grow
  • Not budgeting enough money to cover the costs of growth
  • Focusing on too many growth opportunities: think quality, not quantity

Micro-planning can keep you focused

You may want to create some micro-plans for specific growth projects so their details don’t get overlooked. And you can build in some KPIs to measure your progress and successes. As your business grows, take note of your progress and make periodic adjustments to your business development plan to make sure it’s still relevant.

Support is out there

Remember you’re not the first to go through this. Seek out mentors, advisors or other business owners who can help you with your planning. Your accountant or bookkeeper may also be able to help or point you in the direction of the right people.

Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the content provided.

Growing your business

Are you ready to drop the hammer and take your business to the next level? Let’s look at how to grow.

Before you leap into growth, reflect on where you’ve come from. Find out the stage of business growth you’re at.

Understanding your business performance will help you grow. Check out common examples of small business KPIs.

Increasing sales revenue is one obvious way to help grow your business. But how do you sell more?

You can grow your business by selling more things to more people, or fewer things to fewer people. Let’s look at how.

You’re all set to grow your business. But there’s so much to keep track of. Xero’s got resources and solutions to help.

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Meet any target: business development plan template

sample business plan for web development company

A company’s goals are an integral part of its productivity. When your team understands what targets they need to hit, they have something clear to strive for and feel a sense of pride when they succeed. Setting intentions about where your business is going and how to get there is an important part of the building process.

Gain clarity about what your company’s objectives are with the help of a free business development plan template. We’ll share a fully customizable template with you that you can use on But before that, this article looks at the benefits of using such templates and what you should include in a business development plan.

Get the template

What is a business development plan template?

sample business plan for web development company

A business development plan template is a customizable document that outlines the objectives of your business and actionable steps to meet them. These can be your company’s long or short-term goals, amounts needed for start-up costs, or specific milestones, such as hitting a specific monthly sales target, or getting your first repeat client. The plan outlines steps to take to get to those goals and assigns specific tasks to individuals to hold them accountable for meeting the deadlines.

A business development plan template is a pre-formatted tool that describes your business objectives and how you’ll achieve them.

Although you can always write these plans down in a regular, static document, many businesses opt to use a customizable pre-built format to get off to a strong start.

Why use a business development plan template?

As a business owner, creating a custom, agile business development plan helps you gain clarity regarding decision-making on areas, such as investments, resources, and budgeting. Unlike with pen and paper, or even a word doc, a template is dynamic. You can move initiatives around, assign ownership, store all relevant information on the template itself, and customize any aspect of the template from labels, template structure and appearance, automations, and more.

Of course, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to creating a well-thought-out document. Below, we’ll discuss some of the things you may want to consider and include in your business development plan.

What to include in a business development plan

A business development plan comes into play during the growth stage of your business. By specifying your targets and plans of action, the business development plan becomes a roadmap for achieving growth and success. To ensure you have a strong plan, consider including the elements summarized below.

Financial goals

A business’s growth is largely based on its financial success, so it’s critical to assess your current financial position to set targets for the future. Start by:

  • Looking to your past and current revenue as a baseline for what your business brings in
  • Assessing your overhead costs versus your profits
  • Setting goals for bringing in higher profits and revenue in the coming months and years
  • Getting specific about your timeline, so you can reassess your financial position when you hit those dates

Funding plan

Meeting your financial goals and achieving financial growth requires funding. Use this section of the business development plan to determine the amount of business capital you currently have and what steps you can take to secure more funding in the future within your target market segment.

Opportunities for growth

Look at your business to identify where you have room to grow. This will vary depending on what industry and business you work in. For some, this might mean developing a new line of products or adding additional services that can attract new clients and boost revenue.

Operational needs

Examine operational needs and take a practical look at what needs to change in the daily function of your business to support expansion and further development. This could mean investing in new equipment or hiring additional personnel to oversee specific departments or projects.

Sales and marketing plans

An important part of business growth is how you promote your company to consumers. Determine a marketing strategy to get customers excited about your new products and services or to inform consumers of investments you’re making in equipment upgrades. Your marketing plans are how you’ll communicate your investments and improvements to drive growth through customer interest.

Understand strengths and weaknesses 

Creating a business development plan requires a firm understanding of your company’s strengths and weaknesses. To identify these, consider performing a SWOT analysis . You can use the resulting information to develop a strategic plan to leverage strengths and improve on weak areas across all aspects of your business.

Building your team

For a business to grow successfully, you must also expand your workforce. This means hiring new team members and learning to delegate tasks with a lower priority or difficulty level, so you can focus on matters of high-level priority. Use this part of your plan to assess what tasks you can assign to someone else and how many people you might need to hire to meet the demands of your growing business.

Having a plan to develop your business is a great foundation. But you also need tools to put that plan into action. Starting with a solution that lets you bring people together, communicate priorities, and manage tasks can increase your chances of success. supports business development and planning

Your business development plan template is the starting point for your company’s expansion. As you move toward creating targets and future plans for your business, you can make use of the many other features and templates on to understand where you’re at with your business and what areas are ready to support growth. lets you create workflows to plan and track projects and day-to-day processes. Connect off-platform tools necessary for collaboration and communication with team members from around the world, and leverage no-code automation opportunities to streamline repetitive tasks.

You can start with our Business Development Plan Template, customizing the columns to meet your specific needs.  Take notes, mention team members on tasks to get their feedback, or color-code your business development plan to create a visual that’s easy to digest at a glance.

sample business plan for web development company

Once you’re ready to put your business development plan into action, turn to our Template Center for plenty of other tools to help you get started on various tasks.

Related templates 

A business development plan template isn’t the only useful tool for growing your business. Consider some of these other options to help your teams increase efficiency and promote growth.

One-page business plan template

Our easy-to-use One-page Business Plan Template is meant to provide an overview of your objectives and deadlines at a glance. Completing the one-page business plan template creates a reference point for the scope of your business objectives that you can easily return to at any time.

Business executive summary template

Our Business Executive Summary Template is an ideal tool when you’re preparing to pitch your company to investors. It offers a guide for emphasizing the core of your business plan in a way that appeals to the interests of your target audience. You can include sales/marketing plans, staff expenses, and long-term goals to provide prospective stakeholders with a clear picture of where your business stands and where it’s going.

Writing business plans is easier when you start with a template. But knowing what to include and what might be most important can help you make the most of such documents. Check the FAQs below for some more tips.

FAQs about business development plan templates

sample business plan for web development company

What are the main parts of a business plan?

A solid business plan should have four key components. The main parts of a business plan include:

  • An executive summary
  • A marketing plan
  • Key management bios
  • A financial plan that includes cost and pricing information

What is the most important part of a business plan?

The executive summary is the most important part of any business plan. The executive summary acts as the preface to the overall business plan and the hook that gets readers excited about the possibility of investing in your company. The goal of the executive summary is to entice the investor to read the rest of your plan, so aim for the most polished version possible.

Build your company’s future with a business development plan template from 

Your business development strategy is critical to growing your company and meeting future goals. Using templates from can help you build your business development plan to drive success.

Having a business plan creates a 30% higher chance of growth for your business compared to businesses that don’t start with written action plans. A customizable, user-friendly business development plan template provides a starting point to realizing your objectives.

sample business plan for web development company

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