sba business plan template download

Business Plan

  • Last Updated: December 21, 2021

Business plan development

A well thought out and researched business plan is the cornerstone to starting and running a business. Sound business plans can help you obtain financing, identify key milestones, and provide benchmarks to monitor progress toward your goals.

Be sure to check out the free or low-cost training opportunities, plus free professional business advising, from your local Small Business Development Center !

Get Your Free Business Plan from our collection of over 800 business plans listed below!

Updated January 10 th , 2022

How to Write a Business Plan

The following are the nine sections of a traditional business plan identified by the SBA :

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Service or product line
  • Marketing and sales
  • Funding request
  • Financial projections

The following are resources to help you develop your own business plan:

  • How to Write a Business Plan – from the SBA Learning Center , this free course explains the importance of business planning, defines and describes the components of a business plan to help you develop your own.
  • Business plan template – review of two formats and their content from SBA.
  • Build Your Business Plan – this SBA tool provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
  • Developing a Successful Business Plan – In this webinar business planning expert Tim Berry helps entrepreneurs and small businesses better understand how to create a business plan
  • Business Plan Outline – An in-depth look at how to create an individualized business plan with tools to make it easy.
  • How to Write a Business Plan – A step by step guide to writing a successful business plan.
  • Shopify – This comprehensive guide walks you through the nuts and bolts of writing your very own business plan.
  • How to Write a Business Plan in 8 Simple Steps – A step by step guide with in-depth information on writing each section of a business plan.
  • How to Write a Business Plan for Funding – A how-to guide on what is needed for a business plan to present to would-be investors and lenders.
  • Business Plan Checklist – Keep yourself on track while writing your business plan.

Where to Find a Business Plan

  • Score – Business planning, finance, sales, marketing, and management templates & guides.
  • Bplans – contains the largest single collection of free sample business plans online as well as helpful tools and know-how for managing your business.
  • Business Plan Handbook – Reference for Business/Advameg contains the first 11 volumes of the Business Plan Handbook series, a compilation of business plans for small businesses.
  • The Finance Resource – Free online business plan samples
  • More Business – Free online sample business plans for various industries.
  • Klariti – Online templates, checklists, forms, and tutorials for entrepreneurs.

Business Plan Templates – an Alphabetized List

The following is a collection of sample business plans. Many of the business plan samples are provided by Palo Alto Software, the Makers of Business Plan Pro . Individuals working with their local SBDC , may receive a discount code for business plan software from participating SBDCs. You may use your promo code to set up your own LivePlan account using the SBDC discount .

  • 3D Printing Service
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Accounting (Automated)
  • Accounting Firm
  • Acupuncture Clinic
  • Advertising Agency
  • Advertising Consulting
  • Affiliate Marketing Website
  • Agricultural Consultants
  • Agriculture Farm
  • Agriculture Fruit Farm
  • Aircraft Equipment Maker
  • Aircraft Rental Instruction
  • Air Ground Supplier
  • Airline Business
  • Airline Charter Company
  • Airport Shuttle
  • Airport Taxi
  • Alpaca Farm
  • Ambulance Service
  • Amusement Park
  • Animal Day Care
  • Antique Store
  • Apartment Complex
  • Apartment Rental Website
  • Apparel Designer
  • Aquarium Services
  • Architectural Engineering
  • Architecture Firm
  • Army Navy Store
  • Art Film Theater
  • Art Gallery
  • Artificial Flowers Import
  • Art Packaging Installation
  • Art Sales Custom Framing
  • Art School Gallery
  • Art School Museum
  • Art Supply Store and Gallery
  • ASP B2B Technology
  • Assisted Living Facility
  • Astrology Tarot Card
  • Athletic Shoe Store Franchise
  • ATM Company
  • Attorney Employment Agency
  • Au Pair Agency
  • Auction House
  • Auditing and Consulting
  • Auto Inspection Company
  • Auto Inspectors
  • Auto Finance Company
  • Auto Parts Store
  • Auto Repair Service
  • Automobile Parts (Export)
  • Automobile Restoration
  • Automotive Dealer
  • Automotive Repair Shop
  • Baby Boutique
  • Bail Bonding Company
  • Banquet Hall
  • Bar and Tavern
  • Barber Shop
  • Bartending School
  • Baseball Batting Cages
  • Basketball Camp
  • Batting Cages
  • Beauty Salon
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Bed and Breakfast – Caribbean
  • Bed and Breakfast Inn
  • Benefits Administration
  • Beverage Distributor
  • Beverage Machine Rental
  • Beverage Manufacturer
  • Bicycle Art
  • Bicycle Shop (Retail)
  • Biodiesel Plant
  • Boarding School
  • Boat and Yacht Dealer
  • Boat Storage Facility
  • Booking Agency
  • Bookkeeping Practice
  • Bowling Alley
  • Bowling Entertainment Center
  • Bridal Gown Shop
  • Bridal Shop
  • Business Analysis Publishing
  • Business Brokerage
  • Business Development
  • Business Support Insurance
  • Business Valuation Expert
  • Butcher Shop
  • Cabinet Contractor
  • Cable TV Installer
  • Cafe Bistro Coffeehouse
  • Call Center
  • Candle Making
  • Candy Store
  • Car Audio Store
  • Car Parts Store
  • Car Rental Agency
  • Car Wash (Self-service)
  • Career Counselor
  • Carpentry Contractor
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Cash Flow Note Buyer
  • Cash for Gold Store
  • Catering and Ballroom Rental
  • Catering Company
  • Cell Phone Store
  • Cell Phones Retailer
  • Charter School
  • Check Cashing Store
  • Cheese Shop
  • Chemical Laboratory
  • Chicken Farm
  • Child Day Care Services
  • Children’s Center
  • Children’s Play Program
  • Children’s Website
  • Chinese Restaurant
  • Chiropractic Business
  • Chiropractic Practice
  • Christmas Store
  • Cigar Manufacturing
  • Classified Ads Website
  • Cleaning Services
  • Clothing E-commerce Site
  • Clothing Manufacturer
  • Clothing Retail
  • Clothing Store
  • Cloud Computing Service
  • Coffee Distribution
  • Coffee Export
  • Coffee Kiosk
  • Coffee Roaster
  • Coffeehouse
  • Comic Book Store
  • Commercial Bank
  • Commercial Catalog Sales
  • Commercial Contractor
  • Commercial Diving Service
  • Commodities Trading Firm
  • Computer Consulting
  • Computer Hardware Reseller
  • Computer Laser Accessories
  • Computer Repair
  • Computer Repair Service
  • Computer Software
  • Computer Software Retailer
  • Computer Support
  • Computers Reseller
  • Concert Promoter
  • Concierge Service
  • Construction
  • Construction Carpenter
  • Construction Inspection
  • Construction Irrigation
  • Construction Manufacturer
  • Construction Repair
  • Consulting Firm
  • Consulting Seminars
  • Convenience Store
  • Convenience Store Cafe
  • Convenience Store Gas Station
  • Convenience Store Soda Fountain
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Cosmetic Herbal Sundries
  • Cosmetics Retailer
  • Cosmetology (Beauty) School
  • Countertop Installation Service
  • Country Club
  • Courier Service
  • Court Reporting Service
  • Credit Monitoring Service
  • Credit Repair Service
  • Crowdfunding Website
  • Cruise Ship
  • Cultural Consulting Firm
  • Cupcake Store
  • Currency Exchanger
  • Custom Pottery
  • Custom Printed T-Shirts
  • Dance Studio
  • Data Recovery
  • Data Recovery Service
  • Database Software
  • Day Care Center
  • Debt Collection Agency
  • Debt Consolidation Service
  • Decorative Pottery
  • Defense Contractor
  • Deli Restaurant
  • Delicatessen and Bakery
  • Demolition Company
  • Dental Clinic
  • Dental Laboratories
  • Dental Laboratory
  • Dental Office
  • Department Store
  • Dessert Bakery
  • Diabetic Supply Company
  • Diamond Retailer
  • Diamond Wholesaler
  • Diaper Manufacturer
  • Dinner Theater
  • Dinner Train
  • Direct Mail Service
  • Display Case Marketing
  • Document Shredding
  • Dog and Cat Kennel
  • Dog Groomer and Kennel
  • Dog Obedience School
  • Dollar Store
  • Drapery Fabricator
  • Driving School
  • Drug Rehab Center
  • Dry Cleaner
  • Dry Cleaning Home Delivery
  • Drywall Installer
  • E-commerce Fabric Store
  • E-commerce Fire Rescue Equipment
  • E-commerce Start-up
  • E-Commerce Website
  • Educational Software K-12
  • Electrical Contractor
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic Filing Storage
  • Electronics Repair Shop
  • Electronics Retailer
  • Embroidery Shop
  • Emergency Shelters
  • Energy Conservation
  • Engineering Business
  • Engineering Consulting
  • Engineering Firm
  • Environmental Car Dealership
  • Environmental Laboratory
  • Equipment Leasing Broker
  • Equipment Rental Sales
  • Escort Agency
  • Escrow Service
  • Ethnic Food Import
  • Ethnic Food Restaurant
  • Event Planner
  • Exec Employment Agency
  • Export Watch Manufacturer
  • Exterminator Service
  • Eye Surgery Equipment Maker 
  • Family Medicine Clinic
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Fashion Consultant
  • Fast Food Restaurant
  • Film Production Company
  • Financial Planner
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Website
  • Fine Dining Restaurant
  • Fireworks Store
  • Fish and Tackle Shop
  • Fish Breeder
  • Fishing Equipment
  • Fishing Supplies and Fly Shop
  • Fitness Center and Gym
  • Flea Market
  • Flight School
  • Flower Shop
  • Food Preparation
  • Foreclosure Advisory
  • Formwork Construction
  • Franchise System
  • Franchised Restaurant
  • Frozen Custard Shop
  • Freight Brokerage
  • Fundraising Company
  • Funeral Home
  • Furniture Manufacturer
  • Furniture Store
  • Garden Products Recycling
  • Gas Station
  • Genealogy Service
  • General Contractor
  • General Freight Trucking
  • Gift Basket
  • Gift Basket Company
  • Gift Card Distributor
  • Global Event Planning
  • Global Marketing
  • Go Kart Track
  • Gold Trading Company
  • Golf Course
  • Golf Driving Range
  • Golf Pro Shop
  • Gourmet Coffee Shop
  • Gourmet Food Store
  • Grant Search Company
  • Graphic Design
  • Graphic Design Company
  • Gravel Rock Products
  • Green Energy Products
  • Greeting Card Maker
  • Grocery Store
  • Gun Shooting Range
  • Gymnastics Center
  • Hair and Nail Salon
  • Hair Replacement and Salon
  • Halloween Shop
  • Handyman Maintenance
  • Hardware Retail Franchise
  • Hardware Store
  • Hardwood Floor Refinisher
  • Haunted House
  • Health Club
  • Health Plan Administration
  • Healthy Restaurant
  • Hearing Testing Systems
  • Heavy Equipment Maker
  • Heavy Equipment Rental
  • High-Tech Marketing
  • Holding Company
  • Home Health Care
  • Home Healthcare Agency
  • Home Inspection Service
  • Home Oxygen Delivery
  • Home Real Estate Inspection
  • Horse Boarding Real Estate
  • Horse Reseller
  • Horse Training
  • Hotel and Resort
  • Houseboat Rental
  • Human Resources Consulting
  • Hunting Supply Store
  • HVAC Contractor
  • Hydroponics Farm
  • I.D. Verification Technology
  • Ice Cream Shop
  • Ice Skating Rink
  • Import Export Company
  • Independent Video Store
  • Indoor Soccer Facility
  • Infomercial Company 
  • Information Technology
  • Infusion Therapy Pharmacy
  • Inline Skating Products
  • Insurance Agency
  • Insurance Industry Support Services 
  • Insurance Premium Finance
  • Integrated Communications
  • Interior Decorator
  • Interior Design
  • Interiors Contractor 
  • International IT Consulting
  • International Travel Agency
  • Internet ASP
  • Internet Cafe
  • Internet Court Documents
  • Internet Marketing Firm
  • Internet Media Advertising
  • Internet Service Provider
  • Inventory Control Software
  • Investing Club
  • Investment Bank
  • Investment Website
  • Irish Pub Bar
  • IT Consulting Firm
  • Italian Renaissance Theme Restaurant
  • Italian Restaurant
  • Janitorial Service
  • Janitorial Services
  • Jet Ski Rental 
  • Jewelry Store
  • Juice and Smoothie Bar 
  • Karaoke Bar
  • Karaoke Bar & Bowling Alley
  • Landscape Contractor
  • Laser Tag Facility
  • Laser Tag Gaming Center
  • Laundry Mat
  • Law Practice
  • Lawn and Garden Services
  • Lead Generation Website
  • Lift Bed Manufacturer
  • Limousine Service
  • Limousine Taxi
  • Lingerie Shop
  • Lingerie Store
  • Liquor Store
  • Loan Brokerage
  • Machine and Lathe Shop
  • Machine Tooling
  • Magazine Publisher
  • Maid and Cleaning Service
  • Mail Order Returns
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Martial Arts School
  • Masonry Contractor
  • Massage Products
  • Massage Therapist
  • Maternity Clothing
  • Maternity Clothing Store
  • Mattress Store
  • Medical Billing
  • Medical Billing Company
  • Medical Equipment
  • Medical Equipment Developer
  • Medical Internet Marketing
  • Medical Laboratory
  • Medical Language Translation
  • Medical Practice
  • Medical Scanning Lab
  • Medical Software
  • Medical Transcription
  • Medicine Dispenser
  • Mediterranean Restaurant
  • Membership Social Events
  • Men’s Salon
  • Mexican Restaurant
  • Microbrewery
  • Midwife Service
  • Miniature Golf Course
  • Mining Software
  • MLM Cleaning Products
  • MLM Water Filter
  • Mobile Car Detailing
  • Mobile Home Manufacturer
  • Mobile Home Park
  • Mobile Oil Change
  • Mopeds Rental
  • Mortgage Broker
  • Mortgage Brokerage
  • Motel – Hunting Lodge
  • Motorcycle Dealer
  • Motorcycle Shop
  • Movie Theater
  • Multi-Sport Complex
  • Music Festival
  • Music Recording Distribution
  • Music Recording Producer
  • Musical Instrument Store
  • Mutual Fund
  • Nightclub Saloon
  • Nightclub, Dance Classes
  • Nonprofit Business Plans
  • Nonprofit Food Bank
  • Nonprofit Law Firm
  • Nonprofit Recording Co-op
  • Nonprofit Trade Association
  • Not for Profit Organization
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Home
  • Nutritionist Practice 
  • Occupational Health
  • Office Consulting
  • Office Equipment Rental
  • Office Furniture Manufacturer
  • Office Supply Store
  • Oil Company
  • Online Auction Website
  • Online Booking
  • Online Casino
  • Online Clothing Store
  • Online Data Storage
  • Online Dating Website
  • Online Print Shop
  • Online School
  • Optometry Practice
  • Organic Restaurant
  • Outdoor Gear Designer
  • Outpatient Surgical Center
  • Outsourced Call Center
  • Outsourced Computer Support
  • Pack and Ship Store
  • Packaging and Shipping
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • Paintball Facility
  • Paintball Store and Field
  • Painting Contractor
  • Painting Contractors
  • Pallet Manufacturer
  • Paralegal Firm
  • Parenting Center
  • Parking Garage
  • Party Equipment Rental
  • Pasta Italian Restaurant
  • Pasta Manufacturer
  • Patent Agent
  • Paternity Testing Clinic
  • Patient Advocacy Service
  • Payday Lender
  • Payroll Service Company
  • Performance Auto Shop
  • Personal Event Planning
  • Personal Shopper
  • Personal Shopping Services
  • Personnel Management
  • Pet Photography
  • Pet Products Manufacturer
  • Pet Supplies
  • Pharma Sales Company
  • Photo Booth Company
  • Photography Studio
  • Physical Fitness Gym
  • Physical Therapy Massage
  • Physical Therapy Practice
  • Pie Restaurant
  • Pilates Studio
  • Pizza Delivery
  • Pizza Restaurant
  • Pizzeria Franchise
  • Plant Nursery
  • Plastics Recycling
  • Plumbing Contractor
  • Podiatry Practice
  • Polygraph Service
  • Pool Cleaning Service
  • Pool Table Store
  • Portrait Photographer
  • Pottery Store
  • Poultry (Chicken) Farm
  • Powder Coating Service
  • Power Plant
  • Power Washing Service
  • Print Brokerage
  • Print Services Broker
  • Private Equity Firm
  • Private Investigator
  • Private Placement Broker
  • Process Serving Service
  • Promotional Products Maker
  • Property Appraiser
  • Property Management Firm
  • Psychology Practice
  • Public Relations
  • Public Relations Firm
  • Quick Lube Oil Change
  • Quilt Artist (Custom)
  • Radio Station
  • Radiology Center
  • Real Estate Brokerage
  • Real Estate Developer
  • Real Estate Property Management
  • Real Estate Website
  • Record Label
  • Recording Studio
  • Recreation Center
  • Recycling Center
  • Recycling Waste Materials
  • Regional Airline
  • Reiki Practitioner
  • Religious Coffeeshop
  • Rent to Own Store
  • Rental Remodeling
  • Repo Company
  • Residential Remodeling
  • Resort Hotel Ski Lodge
  • Restaurant Business Plan List (Several Types)
  • Retail Property Sub-leasing
  • Retail Tennis Shop
  • Rock Climbing Gym
  • Roller Skating Rink
  • Roofing Contractor
  • Salsa Manufacturer
  • Salvage Company
  • Sandwich Shop
  • Sandwich Shop (franchise)
  • Satellite Communications
  • Scholarship Consulting
  • School Bus Operator
  • School Fundraising
  • Scrapbooking Store
  • Scrapbooking Supply Store
  • Scuba Supply Store
  • Security Guard Service
  • Security System Company
  • Self-Storage
  • Self Storage Facility
  • Seminars Company
  • SEO Company
  • Septic Tank Contractor
  • Shared Office Building
  • Shaved Ice Beverage
  • Sheet Metal Fabricator
  • Shipment Monitoring
  • Sightseeing Bus Tours
  • Singles Bar
  • Skate Park Skiing
  • Skateboard Shop
  • Skydiving Service
  • Slaughter House
  • Small Engine Repair
  • Snow Plow Service
  • Soap Manufacturer
  • Soccer Club
  • Social Networking Website
  • Soft Pretzel Shop
  • Software Developer
  • Software Publisher
  • Software Testing
  • Solar Energy Farm
  • Solar Panel Installation
  • Solar Water Heater Distributor
  • Soup Kitchen
  • Soybean Farm
  • Specialty Baker
  • Speech Therapist
  • Sporting Goods Store
  • Sports Agency
  • Sports Equipment Cafe
  • Sports Medical Equipment
  • Sports Memorabilia
  • Sports Memorabilia Store
  • Sprinkler Installation
  • Staffing Agency
  • Stained Glass Gallery
  • Stationery Store
  • Steak Buffet Restaurant
  • Structured Settlement
  • Summer Camp
  • Surf Clothing and Sportswear
  • Surgery Practice
  • Surgical Medical Equipment
  • Surveyor Instrument
  • Sushi Restaurant
  • Talent Agency
  • Tanning Salon
  • Tapas Restaurant
  • Tattoo Parlor
  • Tattoo Removal Service
  • Tattoo Shop
  • Tax Preparation Company
  • Taxi Business
  • Taxi Cab Service
  • Taxidermy Service
  • Teachers’ Employment Agency
  • Telemarketing Company
  • Telemarketing Consultants
  • Test Preparation
  • Theatre Production
  • Theatrical Music Producer
  • Thrift Shop
  • Tires and Rims Shop
  • Title Insurance Company
  • Title Loan Company
  • Tobacco Retail Business
  • Tourism Website Services
  • Tracking Device Maker
  • Trade Association
  • Travel Agency
  • Travel Agency – Upscale
  • Tree Removal Service
  • Trophy Store
  • Trucking Company
  • T-Shirt Company
  • Tutoring Service
  • Tuxedo Rental Service
  • Uniform Supply Company
  • Used Book Store
  • Used Car Dealer
  • Used Sports Equipment Store
  • Vacuum Cleaner Store
  • Vending Machine Company
  • Vending Services
  • Venture Capital Firm
  • Veterinary Clinic
  • Video Documentation Service
  • Video Game Store
  • Video Gaming Center
  • Video Production Company
  • Video Television Production
  • Vinyl Record Store
  • Virtual Secretary
  • Vitamin Shop
  • Voice Recognition Software
  • VoIP Company
  • Waste Management
  • Water Purification
  • Web Development Firm
  • Web Hosting Company
  • Wedding Consultant
  • Wedding Planner
  • Weight Loss Center
  • Weight Loss Seminars
  • Welding Service and Supply
  • Wholesale Bicycle Distributor
  • Wholesale Juice
  • Wi-Fi Kiosk
  • WiFi Kiosks
  • Window Cleaning Service
  • Windshield Repair Service
  • Wine Distributor
  • Wireless DataComm
  • Women’s Clothing Boutique
  • Women’s Shoe Store
  • Wood Pellet Manufacturer
  • Word Processing Service
  • Workout Gym
  • Wrestling Entertainment
  • Yacht Charter Service
  • Yoga Center
  • Yoga Studio

Additional Small Business Resources

Already in business or thinking about starting your own small business? Check out our various small business resources:

  • View more small business help topics here: Small Business Information Center
  • View business reports here: Small Business Snapshots
  • View industry-specific research here: Market Research Links

Remember, you can also receive free professional business advice and free or low-cost business training from your  local Small Business Development Center !

  • business management , Business Plans , business research , business resources , entrepreneurship , managing your small business , market research , sbdc , sbdc advisor , small business , small business help , small business help topics , small business resources

Business Advising?

Economic study, market research.

sba business plan template download

Contact Information

Address: 501 W. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. San Antonio, Texas 78207

Phone: 1-800-689-1912

sba business plan template download

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SBA Business Plan Template: Full Guide [2023]

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  • January 12, 2023
  • Small Businesses

SBA business plan template

In 2020, SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan program approved more than 42,000 loans totalling $22 billion . Yet, SBA loans are notoriously difficult to obtain for small businesses: less than 15% of SBA loan applications were granted by big banks. If you’re applying for a SBA loan , you will need a solid business plan template for your loan application.

In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in your business plan to build a complete, clear and solid business plan lenders will approve. Read on!

Why do you need a business plan for your SBA loan application?

Other than your basic eligibility requirements, the primary element that lenders would review is your business plan. Having a good business plan determines if your business is a lucrative opportunity for SBA lenders.

Also, a solid business plan makes it easier to get your loans approved because banks would be confident that your business would be successful and you would be able to repay your loan.

However, business plans tend to differ depending on the nature and status of your business. If you’re running an independent business or launching a startup for example, your business plan will be reviewed more thoroughly.

1. Executive summary

The executive summary is the most important page of your SBA business plan template . We can’t make this clearer. This is the first section that the lenders will have a look at.

Before we go into specifics, keep in mind the executive summary actually is a summary. Keep it brief: your executive summary should never be more than 2 pages maximum .

Your executive summary should consists of 5 parts:

  • The “mission statement “: what problem(s) is your business solving?
  • Product and service : what is it that you sell? to whom? where?
  • People : who are the founders / management? What about their experience? How many people / teams do you employ?
  • Key financials and projections : what are your key metrics and financials today (revenues, customers, etc.)? What do you expect these to be in 3/5 years from now?
  • Funding ask : what (how much) are you asking as part of this loan? Where will you spend it? For what?

2. Company description

The company description is where we go into more details about your business, and which problem(s) it actually solves.

You should explain here clearly:

What is the problem at stake?

You should list here the 2/3 friction points you aim to tackle.

Remember: even if your business isn’t necessarily innovative, your business is potentially solving a problem, as obvious as it may be, for many people out there. The more obvious the problem is, the more people it affects, the better

What is your solution?

Your business is commercialising a product and/or a service which solves the problem mentioned above. Here, you should explain 2 things: how your product / service works, and what benefits it brings to your customers.

Ideally, you should compare the pain points explained earlier (the problem) to the benefits your solution brings to your customers. That way, it is crystal clear to lenders and investors your solution really adds value to potential customers .

When explaining your business’ solution, you should explain clearly who is your customer persona . In other words, who are your customers (or who do you think they will be)? Which gender, age range, social background, interests, etc?

Where are you going?

The third section of the company description should explain what your strategy is in the short to long term. Are you expecting to launch new products? To expand regionally, internationally? Etc.

3. Market plan and analysis

The market plan and analysis section tell investors and lenders that you have extensively studied the market and reveal your competitive plan.

Your market plan and analysis section should include the following:

Industry overview and outlook

Here you need to clearly identify 2 very important metrics:

  • Market size : how big is your market?
  • Market growth: how fast does your market grow?

If you are operating in a niche market, chances are that you will face some challenges: the information might not be publicly available. In any case, you should be able to make a high-level estimation of your market. Read our article on market sizing and how to estimate TAM, SAM and SOM for your startup .

When looking for these metrics, you have multiple sources of information: public reports, specialised press, etc. Even public companies publish press releases and annual reports including some of their proprietary market estimates so be sure to look there too.

Competitive landscape

Here we must answer 2 key questions:

How fragmented is your market?

Are there 3 big players sharing 90% market share or thousands of small players? Here, refer to public market reports and your own understanding of the competitive landscape .

A few questions you could ask yourself, among others:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Are they local, regional, national or global?
  • Are there any product alternatives to your product?
  • What about their IP / technological advantage?

Where do you position yourself vs. competition?

Is your solution a game changer other competitors don’t have (yet)? Do you have competitors with similar products/services?

Ideally, you would create a small table with, for each type of competitors and their main characteristics.

For instance, do they all a global presence? Do they cover all the products you offer? What is their relative price positioning (expensive vs. accessible)?

4. Organization and management

The amount of details you need to include here varies depending on the size of your company.

No matter how many leadership roles there are, an organizational chart effectively shows lenders and investors how the management system is structured.

If you plan on running your business alone indefinitely, you can write a short paragraph explaining your qualifications and previous professional experiences.

The first thing you should include in this section is a list of each management position. This list includes who will fill the role and the qualifications of these people. These people are the heart of your company, and their skills and experience are vital in ensuring your company’s success.

Next, provide any additional information about how the management team will contribute to the business’s success. Be sure to give as many details as possible since lenders need to be comfortable and confident that you have a good team running your business.

Lastly, include information about the Board of Directors (and/or any other advisors to your business).

5. Service or product line

The level of detail and the content of this section changes depending on the type of business you have. A number of questions you need to answer are shown below (but not limited to):

  • Are you selling products or services (or both)?
  • How many products do you sell?
  • What are they?
  • What is their pricing?
  • How do they work?
  • Are your products protected by any kind of intellectual property (copyright, patent, etc.)?
  • If you do not manufacture all of your product(s): who are they suppliers? Where do they fit in the value chain ? etc.

sba business plan template download

Expert-built financial model templates for tech startups

6. Marketing and sales

Your SBA business plan template should include a marketing and sales plan where you describe your strategy for acquiring potential clients.

Here, you should give details about your marketing plan. A few questions you should answer are:

  • How you plan to build and support your sales strategy ?
  • What channel(s) are you using (online vs. offline)?
  • How it makes sense for your target audience (the customer persona mentioned above)?

What about your metrics?

Sales and marketing goals and KPIs are also provided in this section. Don’t forget to include a detailed report about budgets for both sales and marketing.

Include metrics such as conversion rate, customer acquisition cost (CAC) , the efficiency of your sales team, etc.

It’s ok if you don’t know them already (if you are about to launch you new venture for example), yet you should have at least targets for them. How many website visitors do you expect to generate next year? What is your target conversion rate? Etc.

This particular report would be of great interest to lenders since they will glimpse how you handle your budget. Indeed, if you expect to spend in average $100 Customer Acquisition Cost, lenders will tie the number into your financial projections later on (more on that below).

Proving lenders you are able to link your financial projections with your actual business metrics (customers, sales volume, etc.) is a big plus . Indeed, that way you will show lenders you understand very clearly your business and how it ties into your financials (more on that in our article on why you should build a solid financial projections ).

7. Funding request

The funding request is the section of your SBA business plan template where you communicate to your investors how much you need.

This report also includes how you plan on repaying your loan. It’s also essential to explain how you plan to spend the funding you’ll receive for your business.

Will you spend the loan in working capital , in equipment, in inventory, salaries or marketing costs? The more specific you are, the better.

If you haven’t done so, we really recommend you read our article on how to determine how much you should raise for you business . While raising too little creates obvious problems, raising too much isn’t necessarily better.

On top of the amount, a good practice is to include a pie chart of where you will spend that money over a given period (your runway). Will you spend the bulk of it in product development to build your MVP? Or will you use a large portion in sales & marketing to commercialise your product and find product-market fit?

Our financial model templates include a cash burn dashboard where you can easily assess how much you should raise, and where you will spend your money. We also included charts ready to be included in your pitch deck. See how to use our cash burn dashboard here .

The funding request usually includes an overview of the business. You also have to outline how much funding you need for the next five years.  The standard timeframe for repaying your loan is usually ten years, so lenders expect to see some success in your business by that time. Mention a  detailed explanation of how the funds will be used and strategic financial plans for the future here.  Include financial information for current operations if applicable.

8. Financial projections

The financial projections section of your SBA business plan is one of the most important one.

Why? Lenders will have a thorough review of your expected financials over the next 3 to 5 years and judge whether your financial projections:

Are realistic (and use verifiable assumptions)

We are all by nature optimistic, especially when we are running businesses. It’s good to be optimistic, yet it is another one to be unrealistic.

Also, when presenting your financial projections, make sure to make it clear what are your assumptions. The more sources you can find to back up your forecasts, the better.

If you need help building realistic projections for your business, we have lots of free content. Make sure to check out our guides below:

  • The 5 Mistakes To Avoid For Your Startup Financial Plan
  • How To Build Realistic Revenue Projections For Your Startup?

Allow you to repay the SBA loan in the future

It’s great if you have built rock-solid and realistic financial projections for your business plan. Yet, if your plan doesn’t allow you to meet your debt obligations (the SBA loan and any other debt your business might have), lenders will not grant you any loan.

When assessing whether your financial plan allows you to repay the debt, you should check if the positive cash flows your business generates are enough to cover your debt repayment (and interests).

What financials should you include?

In short, you should present 3 different set of financials:

  • Profit-and-loss
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow statement

If you don’t know them already, these are the financial statements every business need to prepare at least annually (with the help of an accountant). For more information on what they are and how to prepare them, read our articles below:

  • 4 Key Financial Statements For Your Startup Business Plan
  • SBA Loan Application: 6 Steps To Build Solid Financial Projections

9. Appendix

This section is the best place to add supporting documents like charts, graphs, and data.

For example, a complete list of documents like licenses, contracts, maps, etc. makes you more attractive to lenders as it gives them more content to review. If you do so, make sure to reference the documents in appendix and link them to pages in earlier sections. Avoid using the appendix as a dump section: it should be well organised and structured (else no one will bother looking at it).

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How to Write an SBA Business Plan

If you’re thinking about starting a small business, or if you’ve been a business owner for a while but have never applied for capital, you may be wondering where and how to go about it. The good news is that documenting a business plan for SBA loans doesn’t have to be a difficult task. In fact, it can be fun!

A good business plan walks you through each stage of establishing and managing your small business. You’ll use your SBA business plan as a guide to organize, run, and grow your new company. It’s a way to structure through the key elements of your company.

SBA business plans help you get the required capital or acquire new clients or business partners. Investors want to feel convinced and optimistic they’ll see a return on their investment. Your SBA business plan is the weapon you’ll use to persuade people that working alongside your business or investing in your business is a smart choice. That being said, here’s everything you need to know about SBA loans and business plans and how you can increase your chances for success.

What is an SBA Loan?

If you’re a small business owner, you’re in luck. As the name implies, SBA loans are loan programs issued by banks and credit unions backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or a member of its network of supported participating lenders. This means that if you cannot pay back your loan, the government helps repay the traditional lender (bank) that provided the loan.

The SBA requires guarantees from your business partners who own at least 20% of the business, implying if you get an SBA loan, you are putting your assets at stake in case you’re unable to repay the loan. Additionally, companies that have at least 2 years of strong business and financials are mostly eligible for SBA loans. However, if your small business is struggling to make ends meet, an SBA loan may not be the right fit for you.

Irrespective of the personal guarantee requirement, SBA loans are one of the most popular ways to get capital to grow and manage your small business. Not only can you leverage their flexible repayment terms, but you can also take advantage of their low-interest rates to grow your small business. If you want to learn more about it, here’s our guide on SBA business loans . 

But before we move any further, let’s take a look at what the SBA is. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency in the U.S. that offers help and counseling to small businesses and startups by providing tools such as business planners, small business loans, and other training programs.

It also offers professional business documentation to guide small companies and startups through the procedures for applying for a small business loan. To do so, you must have a strong sense of what your business goals are and what your company does, along with a solid plan.  

If your business plan isn’t convincing and effective, you might have difficulty getting an SBA business loan. This is why it is important to have a clear vision of the business goal you want to achieve while working on the documentation.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what an SBA business plan includes.

Why You Need a Business Plan for SBA Business Loans

SBA business loans require a significant amount of documentation highlighting your business goals and your personal finances. You’ll need to mention your previous tax returns, bank statements, and different application forms based on the type of SBA business loan you require.

Alongside your past financial statements, the traditional lender issuing the SBA business loan would want to know about the future of your business. They’ll ask you about your plan on how you’d utilize the loan on your business and that your future cash flow estimates indicate that your company can afford loan repayments. 

This is where SBA business plans come into the picture. Besides providing other documentation required for the loan, you’ll need to draft a business plan to go with the rest of the loan application. Not only will your SBA business plan describe your business to your lender, but it will also have financial statements that the bank will require to help identify if you qualify for a loan.

Now, let’s take a look at what the SBA business plan template includes.

Writing an SBA Business Plan: A Comprehensive Guide

Learning how to write a brilliant SBA business plan is a crucial step toward creating a fruitful business. Put simply, a business plan explains exactly what your product or service is and why consumers would want to purchase it, alongside how you will handle any market challenges and environmental risks. It can help you determine what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve your business goals. This, in turn, can help you to market your business, motivate your teams, and thereby make well-informed decisions.

A strong SBA business plan can also serve as a communication tool for future investors and potential loan providers. It will help you portray your present financial status, active revenue sources, and how you plan to meet revenue estimates. Even though a business plan isn’t relevant for all types of credit, it plays a crucial role in SBA business loans. While no two business plans are similar, every plan should have the following elements:

1. Executive Summary

Your business plan’s executive summary is your only opportunity to introduce your business to potential investors and lenders, which is why it needs to be concise and powerful. This summary should provide a brief gist of the history and background of your business that should be engaging enough for your readers. Oftentimes, it is helpful to write this part at the end – after you’ve spent considerable time examining and articulating all the details of your business.

2. Company Summary

Explain what your product or service does and why consumers or businesses will want to purchase it. Make sure to highlight all the areas where your product or service has leverage over the competition.

On the other hand, add the pending or established copyrights or trademarks, as well as the present or future plans for further research and development (R&D).

3. Market Analysis

Mentioning the strategy would highlight the marketability of your business, your competition, and your position into the competitive landscape. 

In the marketing analysis, provide all the information about your target industry, including the market size, target market, the market requirements, and hurdles to entry, like legal conditions and supply issues. Additionally, any information on the market tests you have undertaken should be included in your business plan. You must also include your direct and indirect competition in the market analysis section.

4. Marketing Plan

In your marketing plan, consider highlighting how to promote your business and generate leads for revenue. Describe the functionalities or characteristics of your product or service and how it helps consumers. 

Mention how your product or service differs from your competitors in the market and how you will grow your business and generate revenue. Additionally, provide details about your product’s life cycle and intellectual property issues.

5. Management Team

To highlight your human capital, describe your business in terms of structure and leadership. Let your readers know the roles of your employees and their qualifications. Elaborate on this in your documentation, and try providing their resumes as well. 

6. Financial Summary

Funding and financial analysis are two of the most crucial areas in your business. Highlight the funding your small business would require and provide supporting financial data on your previous and future financial activity.

Add necessary documents that portray your company’s present financial status, including cash flow statements, income statements, revenue sheets, and balance sheets. Mention your expectations for revenues along with the expense of your products, rent, fuel, electricity, utilities, salaries, and other aspects. 

7. Appendix

There are different ways you can organize and present the information given above so you can share it with potential lenders and investors, current and future team members, management teams, and anyone who needs to go through the vision of your company.

Conduct your research and find a business plan format that suits your business goals. There are multiple SBA business plan types for different readers, including investors and employees, so you can change your plan based on your target audience. 

Here are a few things you must keep in your mind:

  • Create a business plan in a way such that it’s easier to find key information. Create a cover page and table of contents (ToC) that makes basic information easier to find. Moreover, it’s recommended to use dividers with tabs if you’re making hard copies of the documentation and putting them in a binder. 
  • Make it as detailed as possible. Based on your product or service, you may also want to add a section on Action Plans, which includes data on compliance and safety processes, legal landscapes, regulations, operational & management plans, an employee manual, job descriptions of your staff, and everything you’d want to put on the hard copies (or in the digital document).
  • Use an Appendix for highlighting additional information. The Appendix is where you attach supporting documents, including financial and market analyses, staff resumes, logo & branding examples, and so on.

Why more businesses are working with BSBCON

Nowadays, more and more business owners and entrepreneurs are trying their luck in the ever-competitive market. 

Business is a vast landscape. There are a number of ways you can leverage to build and promote a marketing idea. However, the first thing you need to promote a product or service is a solid plan, and to propose this plan, your company needs business plan writers.

Think of BSBCON as a crucial and cost-effective extension of your own business. BSBCON is a leading company that offers SMB consulting solutions, including providing thorough business plans, pitch decks, strategic planning, and more, that save you both time and resources.

If you want to increase your chances of securing capital, grants, or investors, partner with BSBCON and get a solid business blueprint with a professional business plan. 

BSBCON’s SBA business plan writers offer all such insights, including marketing plans & strategies, pitch decks & storyboards, market research & in-depth analysis, business planning, bookkeeping & accounting, financial modeling – and the list goes on! Get in touch with BSBCON’s SMB consultants today to see how they can help you. With BSBCON, you get guidance to build a strategically designed, SBA-approved business plan that offers everything potential investors need to evaluate your business and business goals.

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Free SBA Business Plan Template

Free SBA Business Plan Template in Word, Google Docs, PDF

Free Download this SBA Business Plan Template Design in Word, Google Docs, PDF Format. Easily Editable, Printable, Downloadable.

Start and grow your business with confidence using our SBA Business Plan Template. Download for free and access a high-quality, editable, and printable template approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Create a comprehensive business plan that meets SBA guidelines, including executive summary, company description, market analysis, marketing strategy, financial projections, and more. Achieve success today!

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How To Write SBA Business Plan With Free Template

A business plan is a vital document for any entrepreneur who wants to start or grow a small business. It outlines your vision, goals, strategies, market analysis, financial projections, and more. It helps you to organize your thoughts, identify potential challenges and opportunities, and communicate your vision to others. A well-written business plan can also help you secure funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA), which offers loans and grants to eligible small businesses. The SBA has specific requirements and standards for business plans, and you need to follow them carefully if you want to increase your chances of getting approved.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps of writing a SBA business plan with an example. We will cover the following topics:

SBA – what is it? & What is the purpose of the SBA business plan?

What are the main components of a SBA business plan?

How to write each section of a sba business plan with an example.

How to format and present your SBA business plan?

SBA Business Plan Template

Creating a business plan that meets the standards of the Small Business Administration (SBA) can be challenging, but not with our SBA Business Plan Template. This template is based on the best practices and guidelines of the SBA, and it will walk you through the key sections of a business plan, such as the executive summary, market analysis, competitive advantage, financial projections, and more. You can easily adapt the template to your specific industry, niche, and goals, and save yourself time and hassle in the process. Our SBA Business Plan Template is not just a document – it’s a tool that will help you secure funding, attract customers, and grow your business successfully. We have years of experience in helping small businesses achieve their dreams, and we are confident that our template will help you too.

SBA Business Plan

SBA - what is it? and what is the purpose of the SBA business plan?

What is sba.

SBA stands for  Small Business Administration . It is an independent agency of the United States government that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The SBA is a valuable resource for small businesses. If you are starting or running a small business, the SBA can help you get the financing, counseling, and training you need to succeed.

The SBA offers a variety of programs and services, including:

Loans: The SBA guarantees loans made by banks and other lenders to small businesses. This can help small businesses get the financing they need to start or grow their business. Surety Bonds: The SBA provides surety bonds to small businesses that need them to bid on government contracts. This can help small businesses compete for government contracts that they might not otherwise be able to get. Consulting: The SBA offers counseling and training to small businesses on a variety of topics, such as business planning , marketing, and financial management. Government Contracting: The SBA helps small businesses get government contracts. The SBA has a set-aside program that reserves a certain percentage of government contracts for small businesses. Advocacy: The SBA advocates on behalf of small businesses in Washington, D.C. The SBA works to ensure that small businesses have a voice in the federal government.

Here are some of the benefits of SBA loans:

Low interest rates:   SBA loans  typically have lower interest rates than conventional loans. This can save you money on your monthly payments. Longer repayment terms: SBA loans typically have longer repayment terms than conventional loans. This can give you more time to pay back your loan. Guarantee: The SBA guarantees 75% of SBA loans. This means that the lender is only at risk for 25% of the loan amount. This makes it easier for small businesses to get approved for loans.

Learn how to write a  business plan for loan in just 7 simple steps

Purpose of sba business plan.

The purpose of an SBA business plan is to provide a roadmap for your business. It should outline your goals, strategies, and financial projections. The SBA business plan is a requirement for many SBA loans, but it can also be a valuable tool for any small business owner. If you are thinking about starting or running a small business, an SBA business plan is a valuable tool. It can help you to secure funding, guide your business, attract investors, improve your management skills, and track your progress.

Here are some of the specific purposes of an SBA business plan:

  • To secure funding:  The SBA business plan is a key document that lenders will review when considering your loan application. It will help them to understand your business and its potential for success.
  • To guide your business:  The SBA business plan can help you to stay focused on your goals and make informed decisions about your business. It can also help you to identify potential problems and develop solutions.
  • To attract investors:  If you are looking to attract investors, an SBA business plan can be a valuable tool. It will help you to communicate your vision for your business and convince investors  that your business is a good investment.
  • To improve your management skills:  The process of writing an SBA business plan can help you to improve your management skills. It will force you to think critically about your business and develop a plan for its success.
  • To track your progress:  The SBA business plan can be used to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. It can also help you to identify areas where your business is doing well and areas where it needs improvement.

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The main components of an SBA business plan are:

  • Executive summary:  This is a brief overview of your business, including its products or services, target market, and competitive advantages.
  • Company description:  This section provides more detailed information about your business, such as its history, legal structure, and management team.
  • Products and services:  This section describes the products or services that your business offers.
  • Market analysis:  This section analyzes your target market, including its size, growth potential, and competitive landscape.
  • Marketing plan:  This section outlines your strategies for reaching and acquiring customers.
  • Operations plan:  This section describes how your business will be run on a day-to-day basis.
  • Management team:  This section introduces your management team and their qualifications.
  • Financial projections:  This section provides estimates of your business’s revenue, expenses, and cash flow.
  • Appendix:  This section includes supporting documents, such as financial statements, marketing materials, and product samples.

The SBA does not have a set format for business plans, so you can tailor your plan to the specific requirements of the lender you are applying to. However, the SBA does recommend that all business plans include the following elements:

  • A clear and concise overview of your business
  • A realistic assessment of your market and competition
  • A well-defined marketing plan
  • A sound financial plan
  • A strong management team

If you are applying for an SBA loan , it is important to carefully prepare your business plan. The SBA will review your plan carefully to assess the viability of your business and your chances of success.

Here are some additional tips for writing an SBA business plan:

  • Be clear and concise. The SBA reviewers are busy people, so they don’t have time to read through long, rambling business plans.
  • Be realistic. Don’t make unrealistic projections about your revenue or growth.
  • Be specific. Don’t just say that you’re going to “market your product.” Explain exactly how you’re going to do it.
  • Be persuasive. The goal of your business plan is to convince the SBA to lend you money. So make sure your plan is well-written and persuasive.

Access our 14 free sample business plans now!

A business plan is a document that describes your business idea, goals, strategies, and operations. It helps you communicate your vision to potential investors, lenders, partners, and customers. It also helps you plan and manage your business effectively.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a standard business plan template that you can use to write your own plan. The template consists of eight major sections that cover the essential aspects of your business. Here is a brief overview of each section and an example of how to write it.

  • Exective Summary
  • Company Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Organization and Management
  • Product or Service Description
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Funding Request
  • Financial Projections

1. Exective Summary

This section summarizes the main points of your business plan in one or two pages. It should capture the reader’s attention and interest, and highlight your unique value proposition, target market, competitive advantage, financial projections, and funding needs. You should write this section last, after completing the rest of your plan.

XYZ Inc. is a software company that develops and sells cloud-based solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Our products help SMBs manage their accounting, invoicing, payroll, inventory, and customer relationship management (CRM) processes more efficiently and securely.

We have a proven track record of delivering high-quality software solutions to over 1,000 customers across various industries. We have a strong team of experienced developers, marketers, and customer support specialists who are passionate about solving our customers’ problems and providing them with exceptional service.

We are seeking $500,000 in debt financing from the SBA to expand our product portfolio, increase our marketing efforts, and hire more staff. We expect to generate $2 million in revenue and $500,000 in net income in the first year of operation, and grow at an annual rate of 25% for the next five years.

2. Company Description

This section provides detailed information about your company’s history, mission, vision, values, goals, objectives, legal structure, ownership, location, and facilities. It should also describe the problems your business solves, the customers you serve, and the competitive advantages that make your business stand out.

XYZ Inc. was founded in 2019 by John Smith and Jane Doe, two software engineers who saw a gap in the market for affordable and easy-to-use cloud-based solutions for SMBs. They started developing their first product, XYZ Accounting, in their garage, and launched it in 2020 after securing their first customer.

Our mission is to empower SMBs with innovative and reliable software solutions that help them streamline their business processes and grow their revenue. Our vision is to become the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for SMBs in the U.S. and beyond. Our values are excellence, innovation, customer satisfaction, integrity, and teamwork.

We are a Delaware corporation with 10% ownership by John Smith, 10% ownership by Jane Doe, and 80% ownership by XYZ Holdings LLC, a holding company owned by John Smith and Jane Doe. We operate from our headquarters in San Francisco, California, where we have a 5,000 square foot office space that accommodates our development, marketing, and customer support teams. How to write each section of a SBA business plan with an example?

3. Market Analysis

This section analyzes the industry, market, and competition for your business. It should provide data and evidence to support your market opportunity, customer needs, demand, trends, growth potential, and competitive landscape. It should also explain how you plan to enter, position, and differentiate your business in the market.

The cloud-based software market for SMBs is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% from 2020 to 2025, reaching $50 billion in revenue by 2025, according to a report by Market Research Inc. The main drivers of this growth are the increasing adoption of cloud computing, the need for cost-effective and scalable solutions, and the demand for remote work and collaboration tools.

Our target market is SMBs in the U.S. that have between 10 and 500 employees and operate in various industries such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, education, and professional services. We estimate that there are over 5 million SMBs in the U.S. that fit this criteria, and that they spend an average of $10,000 per year on software solutions.

Our main competitors are ABC Inc., DEF Inc., and GHI Inc., which offer similar cloud-based solutions for SMBs. However, we have several competitive advantages that set us apart from them:

– We offer a more comprehensive and integrated suite of products that cover all the essential business functions of SMBs. – We offer a more affordable and flexible pricing model that allows SMBs to pay only for what they use and scale up or down as needed. – We offer a more user-friendly and intuitive interface that makes our products easy to learn and use. – We offer a more personalized and responsive customer service that provides 24/7 support and training.

We plan to enter the market by leveraging our existing customer base, referrals, testimonials, and online reviews. We also plan to position our business as a one-stop shop for SMBs that need cloud-based solutions to run their businesses efficiently and securely. We also plan to differentiate our business by offering superior quality, value, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

4. Organization and Management

This section describes the organizational structure, management team, roles and responsibilities, qualifications, and compensation of your business. It should also include any advisors, consultants, board members, or key employees that are involved in your business. It should demonstrate how your team has the skills, experience, and expertise to execute your business plan successfully.

XYZ Inc. has a simple and flat organizational structure that consists of three main departments: development, marketing, and customer support. Each department is led by a manager who reports directly to the CEO. The CEO is also the co-founder and majority owner of the business.

Our management team consists of:

– John Smith: CEO and co-founder. John has over 10 years of experience in software development and management. He is responsible for overseeing the overall strategy, vision, and direction of the business.

– Jane Doe: CTO and co-founder. Jane has over 10 years of experience in software engineering and design. She is responsible for leading the development team and ensuring the quality and functionality of our products.

– Mark Lee: Marketing manager. Mark has over 5 years of experience in digital marketing and sales. He is responsible for leading the marketing team and executing the marketing strategy and campaigns.

– Lisa Kim: Customer support manager. Lisa has over 5 years of experience in customer service and training. She is responsible for leading the customer support team and providing excellent service and support to our customers.

We also have a board of advisors that consists of:

– Bob Jones: A seasoned entrepreneur and investor who has founded and sold several successful software companies.

– Mary Smith: A former SBA loan officer who has extensive knowledge and experience in financing small businesses.

– Tom Lee: A professor of computer science at Stanford University who is an expert in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Our key employees consist of:

– 10 software developers who are skilled in various programming languages, frameworks, and tools.

– 5 marketing specialists who are proficient in various digital marketing channels, techniques, and platforms.

– 5 customer support representatives who are trained in various software products, features, and issues. We compensate our employees with competitive salaries, bonuses, stock options, and benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave.

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5. product or services description.

This section describes the products or services that your business offers, and how they benefit your customers. It should also explain the features, functions, quality, design, development, production, delivery, installation, maintenance, and support of your products or services. It should also address any intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks, or licenses that your business owns or needs.

XYZ Inc. offers a suite of cloud-based software solutions for SMBs that help them manage their accounting, invoicing, payroll, inventory, and CRM processes more efficiently and securely. Our products are:

– XYZ Accounting: A software solution that helps SMBs track their income and expenses, create and send invoices, manage their taxes, and generate financial reports. – XYZ Payroll: A software solution that helps SMBs calculate and pay their employees’ salaries, wages, taxes, and benefits. – XYZ Inventory: A software solution that helps SMBs monitor and control their inventory levels, costs, and movements. – XYZ CRM: A software solution that helps SMBs manage their customer relationships, interactions, sales pipeline, and loyalty programs.

Our products have the following benefits for our customers:

– They save time and money by automating and streamlining their business processes. – They improve accuracy and compliance by reducing errors and risks. – They enhance security and reliability by protecting their data and ensuring their availability. – They increase productivity and profitability by optimizing their performance and growth.

Our products have the following features and functions:

– They are cloud-based, which means they can be accessed from any device, anywhere, and anytime. – They are integrated, which means they can share data and communicate with each other seamlessly. – They are customizable, which means they can be tailored to fit the specific needs and preferences of each customer. – They are scalable, which means they can handle any volume of transactions and users without compromising speed or quality.

Our products have the following quality standards:

– They are developed using the latest technologies and best practices in software engineering and design. – They are tested rigorously and regularly to ensure their functionality and compatibility. – They are updated frequently to incorporate new features and improvements.

Our products have the following development, production, delivery, Installation, maintenance, and support processes:

– We use an agile methodology to develop our products in short iterations based on customer feedback and market research. – We use a cloud service provider to host our products on secure servers that have high availability and performance. – We use a subscription-based model to deliver our products to our customers via the internet. – We provide online tutorials and manuals to help our customers install and use our products easily. – We provide 24/7 technical support via phone, email, chat, and social media to help our customers resolve any issues or questions they may have.

We own the intellectual property rights to our products, including the source code, design, logo, name, and domain. We have registered our trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and obtained a patent for our unique algorithm that powers our products. We also have licenses from various third-party providers that we use to enhance our products’ functionality and security.

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6. marketing and sales.

This section outlines the marketing strategy and sales plan for your business. It should describe how you plan to reach, attract, and retain your target customers, and how you plan to promote, price, distribute, and sell your products or services. It should also include your sales forecasts, goals, and metrics.

Our marketing strategy is based on four main elements: segmentation, targeting, positioning, and differentiation. We segment our market based on the size, industry, location, and needs of our potential customers. We target SMBs in the U.S. that have between 10 and 500 employees and operate in various industries such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, education, and professional services.

 We position our business as a one-stop shop for SMBs that need cloud-based solutions to run their businesses efficiently and securely. We differentiate our business by offering superior quality, value, innovation, and customer satisfaction. Our marketing mix consists of four main components: product, price, place, and promotion. 

Our product is a suite of cloud-based software solutions for SMBs that help them manage their accounting, invoicing, payroll, inventory, and CRM processes more efficiently and securely. Our price is based on a subscription-based model that allows SMBs to pay only for what they use and scale up or down as needed. Our place is online via our website where we showcase our products features, benefits, testimonials, and reviews. 

Our promotion consists of various digital marketing channels such as email marketing social media marketing search engine optimization (SEO) search engine marketing (SEM) content marketing influencer marketing referral marketing

Our sales plan consists of three main stages: lead generation lead conversion customer retention We generate leads by using various online platforms such as Google Ads Facebook Ads LinkedIn.

7. Funding Request

This section should describe how much funding you need and how you plan to use it. It should also include information about your current financial situation, such as your  cash flow  and balance sheet. You should also explain why you need the funding and how it will help your business grow. For example, if you’re looking to expand your product line or hire more staff, you might need additional funding to cover those costs.

We are seeking $500,000 in debt financing from the SBA to expand our product portfolio, increase our marketing efforts, and hire more staff.

8. Financial Projections

  • This section should include financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. It should also include a break-even analysis and a description of how you plan to finance your business. You should provide detailed projections for the next three to five years, including revenue, expenses, and profits. For example, if you’re seeking funding from investors or lenders, they will want to see your financial projections to determine the potential return on investment.

We expect to generate $2 million in revenue and $500,000 in net income in the first year of operation, and grow at an annual rate of 25% for the next five years. We will finance our business through a combination of debt financing and equity financing from investors.

How To Format And Present Your SBA Business Plan?

If you are planning to apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, you will need to prepare a business plan that meets the SBA’s requirements. A business plan is a document that describes your business’s goals, strategies, market, financial projections, and management team. It also shows how you will use the loan funds and how you will repay them.

A well-written business plan can help you convince lenders and investors that your business is viable and worth supporting. However, writing a business plan can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the format and content that the SBA expects. Here are some tips on how to format and present your SBA business plan:

– Follow the SBA’s recommended outline. The SBA provides a detailed outline of the sections and sub-sections that your business plan should include. You can find the outline on the SBA website or download a template from various online sources. The outline covers the following topics: executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product line, marketing and sales, funding request, financial projections, and appendix. – Use clear and concise language. Your business plan should be easy to read and understand by anyone who reviews it. Avoid using jargon, technical terms, or acronyms that may confuse your readers. Use simple sentences and paragraphs, and use bullet points, tables, charts, and graphs to illustrate your points. Use headings and sub-headings to organize your information and make it easy to scan. – Provide evidence and support for your claims. Your business plan should not be based on assumptions or guesses. You should provide factual data and analysis to back up your statements about your market, competitors, customers, industry trends, financial projections, and so on. You can use primary sources (such as surveys, interviews, or testimonials) or secondary sources (such as reports, articles, or statistics) to support your claims. Make sure to cite your sources properly and include them in the appendix. – Be realistic and honest. Your business plan should reflect the true state of your business and its potential. Do not exaggerate or overestimate your strengths, opportunities, or prospects. Do not underestimate or ignore your weaknesses, threats, or risks. Be honest about the challenges you face and how you plan to overcome them. Be realistic about the amount of money you need and how you will use it. Do not make promises or guarantees that you cannot keep. – Proofread and edit your business plan. Before you submit your business plan to the SBA or any other lender or investor, make sure to check it for errors and inconsistencies. Use a spell-checker and a grammar-checker tool to catch any typos or mistakes. Ask someone else to read your business plan and give you feedback. Make sure your business plan is complete, accurate, coherent, and professional.

Recommended: How To Write A Business Plan In Just 7 Simple Steps

Other SBA Business Plan Templates That Can Help You Prove a Loan With Your SBA Business Plan

  • Coffee Shop Business Plan Template
  • Snack Bar Business Plan Template
  • Food Hall Business Plan Template
  • Printing Shop Business Plan Template

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SBA Business Plan Template Essentials: The Complete Guide

Business Plan Template

Free Business Plan Template

Ayush Jalan

  • December 12, 2023

10 Min Read

sba business plan template download

The very first thought of any entrepreneur before setting up a business is capital. And taking a loan to set up your business is a common way to do that. If done right, it can ensure a high ROI. It also provides you with the scope for the expansion of your business without compromising on your operational funds.

If you are a small business owner, you are in luck.

The Small Business Administration ( SBA ) is a U.S. government agency that provides assistance and guidance to small businesses by providing tools like business planners, training programs, and small business loans.

It also provides a professional business plan template exclusively to guide businesses while applying for a small business loan. To do so, we recommend having a strong sense of what your business is and does, along with a solid plan.

If your business plan is not effective and goal-appropriate, you might have trouble navigating an SBA template. Hence, while drafting a business plan it is crucial to have a clear vision of the goal you want to achieve through the plan.

In this article, we’ll see what an SBA business plan is and what it includes.

What Is an SBA Business Plan?

An SBA business plan is essentially the mapping of the objectives of your business with precise details of how you will execute them. It is a well-structured and detailed way to represent your business, its strategies, and operations. When applying for an SBA loan, having an SBA business plan is a requirement.

Creating your business plan using an SBA business plan template helps you stay on track and not deviate from the requirements of the loan. It shows lenders that you have complete knowledge about your business venture and instills trust.

Importance of an SBA Business Plan

Research shows that businesses that create and follow a plan are 16% more likely to succeed than those that don’t plan. Regardless of the type of business plan you choose, having a plan is always beneficial.

We recommend the SBA business plan for companies that are seeking a small business loan. The SBA business plan template is drafted exclusively to help entrepreneurs navigate their way through the whole process of the SBA loan.

It is designed to assist entrepreneurs to seek answers to tough questions before they start building their businesses. An SBA business plan helps you develop a strategic framework for running your business.

It propels you towards researching your market, identifying your competition, and analyzing all the possible methods of implementing your strategies. Now that you know what an SBA business plan is and its significance, it is time to dive into the understanding of its contents.

Let’s see what an SBA business plan template contains.

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SBA Business Plan Template

As with many traditional business plans, an SBA business plan also follows a similar format. The SBA business plan template contains nine major sections. These sections include the executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization, product description, marketing, funding request, and financial projections. Let’s try to understand each.

1. Executive Summary

An executive summary is simply an introduction to your SBA business plan. It should contain a brief abstract of your business plan. This section will include the noteworthy points of your plan for anyone to get a quick gist of your business and your strategies.

This section of your plan should contain the following aspects:

Introduce your Business:

Start your executive summary by briefly introducing your business to your readers.

  • Target market: Mention your target customers to whom you are selling your product or service.
  • The solution you offer: Explain how your product or service is the ideal solution for the problem your target customer base is facing. Business model: Your business model, at its core, is how you will generate sales and make profits.
  • Market competition: Identify your potential competition in the market and mention them.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: Describe how you will market your product and mention your sales channels.
  • Financial projections: This is essentially a forecast of future expenses and revenues.
  • Execution of your plan: Explain how you will implement your plan and strategize all your objectives.

2. Company Description

In this company overview section of your SBA business plan, you will describe what your company does and every detail about your company. It includes your target customers, your business partners, your competitors, and more.

Below are the major key points this section should include:

  • Identity and objective: Mention your company’s identity and what your company does. You may also include your company’s ethics and values.
  • Your company’s offerings: Define in detail what your company offers. Explain the product or service that you are selling.
  • The problem you solve: Specify the problem you chose to solve to cater to the needs of your customers.
  • Target customers: State which section of the people you have targeted. You should also mention your customers’ priorities and values.
  • Your strengths: Include the advantages you have over your competition in the market. You can also list these companies’ names and mention how you are different from them.
  • Partners: Mention your company’s business partners, partnership period, and how they contribute to the business.

3. Market Analysis

In this section, you write a detailed analysis of the market in which you’re going to set up your business. The following are the aspects you should include in your SBA business plan:

  • Mention in detail what other companies in your industries are doing.
  • Explain in detail the strengths and advantages of your competition
  • Specify the market trends and themes that have occurred
  • Examine the reasons that are responsible for the success of other companies in your industry.
  • Figure out if you are capable enough to outrun your competition by doing what they are doing but in a better and more efficient way.
  • Research if any of your competitors have strategic advantages like the ideal location, cheap procurement of raw materials, etc.

4. Organization and management

In this section, you will define the structure of your business. This will include the legal and organizational structure of your business, and the management practices you follow.

Legal structure

Here, you describe the legal structure of your business . Is it going to be a general or limited partnership, an LLC, a sole proprietorship, or be incorporated as a C or S corporation? Explain in complete detail how you will structure your business legally and how it will impact your business operations.

Organizational chart

Attach an organizational chart of the internal structure and hierarchy of your business. This will include roles, responsibilities, and relationships between individuals in the company.

5. Service or Product

Once you’re done with the above, you now give a complete description of the product or service you’re selling to your customers. The following are the key aspects that this section of your SBA business plan should have:

  • Describe in detail the product or service you’re providing to your targeted customer base.
  • Explain the pricing of your product. You should also mention all the costs that have contributed to the final price of the product.
  • List down all the possible uses of your product and how your customers will benefit from it.
  • Discuss the product life-cycle of your product. Explain in detail the four stages of a product life-cycle: Introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
  • Include a plan mentioning how you will handle the intellectual properties, copyright, and patent filings.
  • Mention all or any research and developments you have regarding your business.

6. Marketing and Sales

Next, include your marketing strategies , sales channels, and the budget of both. Below is the important point that should be in this section:

  • Write a detailed plan of how you will market your product to draw your customers
  • Provide the details of the sales process and mention the sales channels you are choosing.
  • Mention the details of your budget regarding marketing and sales of the product
  • Discuss the goals of your marketing and sales strategies
  • Review and address your pricing strategy as it affects your marketing and sales.

7. Funding request

The most prominent reason why entrepreneurs create an SBA business plan is to make lenders believe that they are a viable and reliable business venture. This section is simply for putting forward your funding requests . The following should be included in this section:

  • Specify the amount of funding you will require for running your business for the next five years
  • Explain in detail how you will use the funding that was provided
  • Mention what type of funding are you looking for
  • Add a detailed description of your future financial plans, which include repaying debts, managing the cash flow , budgeting expenses, etc.

8. Financial Projection

The purpose of financial projection is to make it possible for the reader to assess your company’s financial stability. It includes the current financial reports of your business and future projections.

It is focused to convince potential funders that your company is financially stable and solvent. The below information should be included in your SBA business plan:

  • Attach income statements for the past three to five years
  • Attach balance sheets of the past three to five years
  • Attach cash flow statements for the past three to five years
  • Mention the collaterals that you possess
  • Projected income statements
  • Projected balance sheets
  • Projected cash flow statements
  • Budgeted capital expenditures

The ideal way to represent future projections is by using monthly or quarterly projections in the first year and henceforth with annual projections. Explain how the projections and the information represented are relevant to your funding request. Consider the SBA loan rates and the guarantee fee while projecting your new payment amounts.

9.  Appendix

The Appendix is the last section of your SBA business plan. It contains all the additional documentation that is important to explain a specific aspect of your business. It could also include documents that are exclusive to a particular lender that may not fit into the predefined outline of a business plan .

Usually, the common information in an appendix includes:

  • Credit history
  • Product photos
  • Letters of reference
  • Licenses and permits
  • Legal documents

Get Your Small Business Started with an SBA Template

Choosing the perfect business plan for your business can be tricky, especially while seeking lenders to set up your business. However, it is not difficult once you know what your lenders are looking for in your business plan.

Fortunately, an SBA business plan is apt and compatible with all the requirements of lenders. Create your SBA business plan now and start your journey toward building your business.

Build your Business Plan Faster

with step-by-step Guidance & AI Assistance.


About the Author

sba business plan template download

Ayush is a writer with an academic background in business and marketing. Being a tech-enthusiast, he likes to keep a sharp eye on the latest tech gadgets and innovations. When he's not working, you can find him writing poetry, gaming, playing the ukulele, catching up with friends, and indulging in creative philosophies.

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 Writing a business plan is one of the most important steps in starting a new business.  But what should be in that plan, and how do you get started? 

Download the Microsoft Word template above to help guide you through the process of creating a business plan. It is free to download and does not require any commitments from you. This template can be beneficial to people seeking to start a business, or operate an existing one without having first written a plan. The document will guide you through everything from analyzing the market opportunity to financing and much more.

And don’t forget, SCORE counselors stand ready to help you with writing this plan or any other facet of starting, growing, or running a business.

Copyright © 2024 SCORE Association,

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.


8 Business Plan Templates You Can Get for Free

Author: Kody Wirth

8 min. read

Updated April 10, 2024

A business plan template can be an excellent tool to simplify the creation of your business plan. 

The pre-set structure helps you organize ideas, covers all critical business information, and saves you time and effort on formatting.

The only issue? There are SO many free business plan templates out there. 

So, which ones are actually worth using? 

To help remove the guesswork, I’ve rounded up some of the best business plan templates you can access right now. 

These are listed in no particular order, and each has its benefits and drawbacks.

What to look for in a business plan template

Not all business plan templates are created equal. As you weigh your options and decide which template(s) you’ll use, be sure to review them with the following criteria in mind:

  • Easy to edit: A template should save you time. That won’t be the case if you have to fuss around figuring out how to edit the document, or even worse, it doesn’t allow you to edit at all.
  • Contains the right sections: A good template should cover all essential sections of a business plan , including the executive summary, product/service description, market/competitive analysis, marketing and sales plan, operations, milestones, and financial projections. 
  • Provides guidance: You should be able to trust that the information in a template is accurate. That means the organization or person who created the template is highly credible, known for producing useful resources, and ideally has some entrepreneurial experience.
  • Software compatibility: Lastly, you want any template to be compatible with the software platforms you use. More than likely, this means it’s available in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or PDF format at a minimum. 

1. Bplans — A plan with expert guidance

Preview of Bplans' free business plan template download asset.

Since you’re already on Bplans, I have to first mention the templates that we have available. 

Our traditional and one-page templates were created by entrepreneurs and business owners with over 80 years of collective planning experience. We revisit and update them annually to ensure they are approachable, thorough, and aligned with our team’s evolving best practices.  

The templates, available in Word, PDF, or Google Doc formats, include in-depth guidance on what to include in each section, expert tips, and links to additional resources. 

Plus, we have over 550 real-world sample business plans you can use for guidance when filling out your template.

Download: Traditional lender-ready business plan template or a simple one-page plan template .

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2. SBA — Introduction to business plans

sba business plan template download

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers two different business plan templates along with a short planning guide. 

While not incredibly in-depth, it’s enough to help you understand how traditional and lean plans are structured and what information needs to be covered. The templates themselves are more like examples, providing you with a finished product to reference as you write your plan.

The key benefit of using these templates is that they were created by the SBA. While they may provide less guidance, you can be assured that the information and structure meet their expectations.

Explore: The SBA’s planning guide and free templates

3. SCORE — Planning workbook

sba business plan template download

SCORE’s template is more like a workbook. It includes exercises after each section to help you get your ideas down and turn them into a structured plan.

The market research worksheets are especially useful. They provide a clear framework for identifying your target market and analyzing competitors from multiple angles. Plus, they give you an easy way to document all the information you’re collecting.

You will likely have to remove the exercises in this template to make it investor-ready. But it can be worth it if you’re struggling to get past a blank page and want a more interactive planning method.

Download: SCORE’s business plan template

4. PandaDoc — A template with fillable forms

sba business plan template download

PandaDoc’s library offers a variety of industry-specific business plan templates that feature a modern design flair and concise instructions. 

These templates are designed for sharing. They include fillable fields and sections for non-disclosure agreements, which may be necessary when sending a plan to investors.  

But the real benefit is their compatibility with PandaDoc’s platform. Yes, they are free, but if you’re a PandaDoc subscriber, you’ll have far more customization options. 

Out of all their templates, the standard business plan template is the most in-depth. The rest, while still useful, go a bit lighter on guidance in favor of tailoring the plan to a specific industry.

Explore: PandaDoc’s business plan template library  

5. Canva — Pitch with your plan

A sample of the 696 free business plan templates available from Canva. The templates represented here are for a restaurant and two options designed around a minimalist beige aesthetic.

Canva is a great option for building a visually stunning business plan that can be used as a pitch tool. It offers a diverse array of templates built by their in-house team and the larger creative community, meaning the number of options constantly grows.

You will need to verify that the information in the template you choose matches the standard structure of a traditional business plan. 

You should do this with any template, but it’s especially important with any tool that accepts community submissions. While they are likely reviewed and approved, there may still be errors.

Remember, you can only edit these templates within Canva. Luckily, you only need a free subscription, and you may just miss out on some of the visual assets being used. 

To get the most value, it may be best to create a more traditional planning document and transfer that information into Canva. 

Explore: Canva’s business plan gallery

6. ClickUp — The collaborative template

Preview of ClickUp's business plan template within the project management platform. It includes a number of fillable cells to help guide the creation process.

Out of all the project management tools that offer free business plan templates, ClickUp’s is the most approachable.

Rather than throwing you into all the features and expecting you to figure it out—ClickUp provides a thorough startup guide with resource links, images, and videos explaining how to write a plan using the tool. 

There’s also a completed sample plan (structured like an expanded one-page plan) for you to reference and see how the more traditional document can connect to the product management features. You can set goals, target dates, leave comments, and even assign tasks to someone else on your team. 

These features are limited to the ClickUp platform and will not be useful for everyone. They will likely get in the way of writing a plan you can easily share with lenders or investors. 

But this is a great option if you’re looking for a template that makes internal collaboration more fluid and keeps all your information in one place.

Sign Up: Get a free trial of ClickUp and explore their template library

7. Smartsheet — A wide variety of templates

A preview of the Smartsheet business plan template. It provides a preview of the cover page, directory, and small views of the remaining template pages.

I’m including Smartsheet’s library of templates on this list because of the sheer number of options they provide. 

They have a simple business plan template, a one-page plan, a fill-in-the-blank template, a plan outline, a plan grading rubric, and even an Excel-built project plan. All are perfectly usable and vary in visual style, depth of instructions, and the available format.

Honestly, the only drawback (which is also the core benefit) is that the amount of templates can be overwhelming. If you’re already uncertain which plan option is right for you, the lengthy list they provide may not provide much clarity.

At the same time, it can be a great resource if you want a one-stop shop to view multiple plan types.

Explore: Smartsheet’s business plan template library  

8. ReferralRock affiliate marketing business plan

Preview of the ReferralRock affiliate marketing business plan template. It just represents the cover page of the full template.

I’m adding ReferralRock’s template to this list due to its specificity. 

It’s not your standard business plan template. The plan is tailored with specific sections and guidance around launching an affiliate marketing business. 

Most of the template is dedicated to defining how to choose affiliates, set commissions, create legal agreements, and track performance.

So, if you plan on starting an affiliate marketing business or program, this template will provide more specific guidance. Just know that you will likely need to reference additional resources when writing the non-industry sections of your plan.

Download: ReferralRock affiliate marketing business plan template

Does it matter what business plan template you use?

The short answer is no. As long as the structure is correct, it saves you time, and it helps you write your business plan , then any template will work. 

What it ultimately comes down to, is what sort of value you hope to get from the template. 

  • Do you need more guidance? 
  • A simple way to structure your plan? 
  • An option that works with a specific tool?
  • A way to make your plan more visually interesting?

Hopefully, this list has helped you hone in on an option that meets one (or several) of these needs. Still, it may be worth downloading a few of these templates to determine the right fit. 

And really, what matters most is that you spend time writing a business plan . It will help you avoid early mistakes, determine if you have a viable business, and fully consider what it will take to get up and running. 

If you need additional guidance, check out our library of planning resources . We cover everything from plan formats , to how to write a business plan, and even how to use it as a management tool . 

If you don’t want to waste time researching other templates, you can download our one-page or traditional business plan template and jump right into the planning process.

Content Author: Kody Wirth

Kody Wirth is a content writer and SEO specialist for Palo Alto Software—the creator's of Bplans and LivePlan. He has 3+ years experience covering small business topics and runs a part-time content writing service in his spare time.

Check out LivePlan

Table of Contents

  • Qualities of a good template
  • ReferralRock
  • Does the template matter?

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Free Business Plan Template for Small Businesses (2024)

Use this free business plan template to write your business plan quickly and efficiently.

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A good business plan is essential to successfully starting your business —  and the easiest way to simplify the work of writing a business plan is to start with a business plan template.

You’re already investing time and energy in refining your business model and planning your launch—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to writing a business plan. Instead, to help build a complete and effective plan, lean on time-tested structures created by other  entrepreneurs and startups. 

Ahead, learn what it takes to create a solid business plan and download Shopify's free business plan template to get started on your dream today. 

What this free business plan template includes

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Products or services offered
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financial plan

This business plan outline is designed to ensure you’re thinking through all of the important facets of starting a new business. It’s intended to help new business owners and entrepreneurs consider the full scope of running a business and identify functional areas they may not have considered or where they may need to level up their skills as they grow.

That said, it may not include the specific details or structure preferred by a potential investor or lender. If your goal with a business plan is to secure funding , check with your target organizations—typically banks or investors—to see if they have business plan templates you can follow to maximize your chances of success.

Our free business plan template includes seven key elements typically found in the traditional business plan format:

1. Executive summary

This is a one-page summary of your whole plan, typically written after the rest of the plan is completed. The description section of your executive summary will also cover your management team, business objectives and strategy, and other background information about the brand. 

2. Company overview

This section of your business plan will answer two fundamental questions: “Who are you?” and “What do you plan to do?” Answering these questions clarifies why your company exists, what sets it apart from others, and why it’s a good investment opportunity. This section will detail the reasons for your business’s existence, its goals, and its guiding principles.

3. Products or services offered

What you sell and the most important features of your products or services. It also includes any plans for intellectual property, like patent filings or copyright. If you do market research for new product lines, it will show up in this section of your business plan.

4. Market analysis

This section includes everything from estimated market size to your target markets and competitive advantage. It’ll include a competitive analysis of your industry to address competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Market research is an important part of ensuring you have a viable idea.

5. Marketing plan

How you intend to get the word out about your business, and what strategic decisions you’ve made about things like your pricing strategy. It also covers potential customers’ demographics, your sales plan, and your metrics and milestones for success.

6. Logistics and operations plan

Everything that needs to happen to turn your raw materials into products and get them into the hands of your customers.

7. Financial plan

It’s important to include a look at your financial projections, including both revenue and expense projections. This section includes templates for three key financial statements: an income statement, a balance sheet, and a cash-flow statement . You can also include whether or not you need a business loan and how much you’ll need.

Business plan examples

What do financial projections look like on paper? How do you write an executive summary? What should your company description include?  Business plan examples  can help answer some of these questions and transform your business idea into an actionable plan.

Professional business plan example

Inside our template, we’ve filled out a sample business plan featuring a fictional ecommerce business . 

The sample is set up to help you get a sense of each section and understand how they apply to the planning and evaluation stages of a business plan. If you’re looking for funding, this example won’t be a complete or formal look at business plans, but it will give you a great place to start and notes about where to expand.

Example text in a business plan company overview section

Lean business plan example

A lean business plan format is a shortened version of your more detailed business plan. It’s helpful when modifying your plan for a specific audience, like investors or new hires. 

Also known as a one-page business plan, it includes only the most important, need-to-know information, such as:

  • Company description
  • Key members of your team
  • Customer segments

💡 Tip: For a step-by-step guide to creating a lean business plan (including a sample business plan), read our guide on how to create a lean business plan .

Example text in a business plan's marketing plan section

Benefits of writing a solid business plan

It’s tempting to dive right into execution when you’re excited about a new business or side project, but taking the time to write a thorough business plan and get your thoughts on paper allows you to do a number of beneficial things:

  • Test the viability of your business idea. Whether you’ve got one business idea or many, business plans can make an idea more tangible, helping you see if it’s truly viable and ensure you’ve found a target market. 
  • Plan for your next phase. Whether your goal is to start a new business or scale an existing business to the next level, a business plan can help you understand what needs to happen and identify gaps to address.
  • Clarify marketing strategy, goals, and tactics. Writing a business plan can show you the actionable next steps to take on a big, abstract idea. It can also help you narrow your strategy and identify clear-cut tactics that will support it.
  • Scope the necessary work. Without a concrete plan, cost overruns and delays are all but certain. A business plan can help you see the full scope of work to be done and adjust your investment of time and money accordingly.
  • Hire and build partnerships. When you need buy-in from potential employees and business partners, especially in the early stages of your business, a clearly written business plan is one of the best tools at your disposal. A business plan provides a refined look at your goals for the business, letting partners judge for themselves whether or not they agree with your vision.
  • Secure funds. Seeking financing for your business—whether from venture capital, financial institutions, or Shopify Capital —is one of the most common reasons to create a business plan.

Why you should you use a template for a business plan

A business plan can be as informal or formal as your situation calls for, but even if you’re a fan of the back-of-the-napkin approach to planning, there are some key benefits to starting your plan from an existing outline or simple business plan template.

No blank-page paralysis

A blank page can be intimidating to even the most seasoned writers. Using an established business planning process and template can help you get past the inertia of starting your business plan, and it allows you to skip the work of building an outline from scratch. You can always adjust a template to suit your needs.

Guidance on what to include in each section

If you’ve never sat through a business class, you might never have created a SWOT analysis or financial projections. Templates that offer guidance—in plain language—about how to fill in each section can help you navigate sometimes-daunting business jargon and create a complete and effective plan.

Knowing you’ve considered every section

In some cases, you may not need to complete every section of a startup business plan template, but its initial structure shows you you’re choosing to omit a section as opposed to forgetting to include it in the first place.

Tips for creating a successful business plan

There are some high-level strategic guidelines beyond the advice included in this free business plan template that can help you write an effective, complete plan while minimizing busywork.

Understand the audience for your plan

If you’re writing a business plan for yourself in order to get clarity on your ideas and your industry as a whole, you may not need to include the same level of detail or polish you would with a business plan you want to send to potential investors. Knowing who will read your plan will help you decide how much time to spend on it.

Know your goals

Understanding the goals of your plan can help you set the right scope. If your goal is to use the plan as a roadmap for growth, you may invest more time in it than if your goal is to understand the competitive landscape of a new industry.

Take it step by step

Writing a 10- to 15-page document can feel daunting, so try to tackle one section at a time. Select a couple of sections you feel most confident writing and start there—you can start on the next few sections once those are complete. Jot down bullet-point notes in each section before you start writing to organize your thoughts and streamline the writing process.

Maximize your business planning efforts

Planning is key to the financial success of any type of business , whether you’re a startup, non-profit, or corporation.

To make sure your efforts are focused on the highest-value parts of your own business planning, like clarifying your goals, setting a strategy, and understanding the target market and competitive landscape, lean on a business plan outline to handle the structure and format for you. Even if you eventually omit sections, you’ll save yourself time and energy by starting with a framework already in place.

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Business plan template FAQ

What is the purpose of a business plan.

The purpose of your business plan is to describe a new business opportunity or an existing one. It clarifies the business strategy, marketing plan, financial forecasts, potential providers, and more information about the company.

How do I write a simple business plan?

  • Choose a business plan format, such as a traditional or a one-page business plan. 
  • Find a business plan template.
  • Read through a business plan sample.
  • Fill in the sections of your business plan.

What is the best business plan template?

If you need help writing a business plan, Shopify’s template is one of the most beginner-friendly options you’ll find. It’s comprehensive, well-written, and helps you fill out every section.

What are the 5 essential parts of a business plan?

The five essential parts of a traditional business plan include:

  • Executive summary: This is a brief overview of the business plan, summarizing the key points and highlighting the main points of the plan.
  • Business description: This section outlines the business concept and how it will be executed.
  • Market analysis: This section provides an in-depth look at the target market and how the business will compete in the marketplace.
  • Financial plan: This section details the financial projections for the business, including sales forecasts, capital requirements, and a break-even analysis.
  • Management and organization: This section describes the management team and the organizational structure of the business.

Are there any free business plan templates?

There are several free templates for business plans for small business owners available online, including Shopify’s own version. Download a copy for your business.

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