Do you want to increase the odds that your business startup will be a success? Then download this step-by-step business plan template and use it to lay the groundwork for your new business.

Writing a business plan gives you an opportunity to carefully think through every step of starting your company so you can better prepare and handle any challenges.

While a thorough business plan is essential in the financing process, it's helpful even if you don’t need outside financing.

Creating a business plan can:

  • Help you discover any weaknesses in your business idea so you can address them before you open for business
  • Identify business opportunities you may not have considered and plan how to take advantage of them
  • Analyze the market and competition to strengthen your idea
  • Give you a chance to plan strategies for dealing with potential challenges so they don’t derail your startup
  • Convince potential partners, customers and key employees that you’re serious about your idea and persuade them to work with you
  • Force you to calculate when your business will make a profit and how much money you need to reach that point, so you can be prepared with adequate startup capital
  • Determine your target market and how to reach them

Laying out a detailed, step-by-step plan gives you a blueprint you can refer to during the startup process and helps you maintain your momentum.

What this business plan template includes

Writing a business plan for a startup can sometimes seem overwhelming. To make the process easier and more manageable, this template will guide you step-by-step through writing it. The template includes easy-to-follow instructions for completing each section of the business plan, questions to help you think through each aspect, and corresponding fillable worksheet/s for key sections.

After you complete the 11 worksheets, you will have a working business plan for your startup to show your SCORE mentor.

The business plan sections covered in this template include:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Products and Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Management and Organization
  • Startup Expenses and Capitalization
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendices

The Appendices include documents that supplement information in the body of the plan.  These might be contracts, leases, purchase orders, intellectual property, key managers’ resumes, market research data or anything that supports assumptions or statements made in the plan.

The last section of the template, “Refining Your Plan,” explains ways you may need to modify your plan for specific purposes, such as getting a bank loan, or for specific industries, such as retail or manufacturing.

Complete the Business Plan Template for a Startup Business to create a working business plan for your startup.

Then, contact your local SCORE mentor to review and refine your plan either online or in person.

Business Plan Template for a Startup Business