Basic Business Plan Outline

The thing you have to remember about business plans is that each business structure will require different planning elements. Its because of this that there is no exact “one size fits all” business planning outline that will work for every business.

However, a general outline will help a potential business owner take a “snap shot” of what a business plan should look like. Just remember that a successful business plan will capture all the important information regardless of its placement in the plan. Here is a basic outline that I generally use for my clients:

Section #1

Introduction / Executive Summary

Page 1

Section #2

Management Plan

2.1 Ownership Structure

2.2 Management Team

Page 2

Section #3

Assessing the Market

3.1 Definition of the Industry

3.2 Industry Overview

3.3 Key Trends and Characteristics of the Industry

3.4 Local Market Demographics and Target Markets

3.5 Market Summary

3.6 SWOT Analysis

3.7 Competitive Analysis

Page 4

Section #4

Marketing Plan

4.1 Key Services and Products

4.2 Pricing Strategies

4.3 Distribution

4.4 Promotional Plan

Page 10

Section #5

Operational Plan

5.1 General Operating Procedures and Facility

5.2 Operational Workflow

5.3 Human Resource Requirements

5.4 Insurance Requirements

5.5 Government Requirements

5.6 Working Capital Requirements

5.7 Capital Requirements

5.8 Inventory Requirements

Page 13

Section #6

Financial Plan

6.1 Costs and Financing

6.2 Financial Projections and Notes to Financial Projections

Page 18


#1 Resument of Owner

#2 Proof of Commercial Financing

#3 Proof of Equity

#4 Inventory and Equipment Quotes

#5 Lease Agreement

#6 Funding Application

#7 Letter of Agreement

Please remember this is a basic outline and depending on the type of business, it may have more or less planning elements.

To view this outline in .pdf format, please click here. If you want to edit and use this outline you can download it in word format – please click here and save to your desktop.

To see how this outline works in a complete business plan, please go to our samples section here.

Alright, let’s get started…Simply click on the following links for step by step instructions and complete examples:

The Executive Summary

Business Description and Company Information

Products And Services

Marketing plan and industry analysis

Marketing Strategy

Operational Plan

Management Plan

Cost and Financing Section 

Financial Plan

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