How to Write a Business Plan

how to write a business planHow to Write a Business Plan – Tutorial

Learn how to write a business plan – custom, SBA approved, with these easy to follow instructions. 

Instructions are on the right of this page. Every required segment of the business plan is included.

A real life business plan example is given for each section.

Start Here

Business Plan Example

  • Here is the business plan example in its entirety so you can see the end result.
  • It is quite simple, yet powerfully effective.
  • NOTE: The business plan example is for a brick and mortar business. But this step-by-step tutorial will show you how to write a business plan for ANY type of business. 

Loan officers and SBA (Small Business Association) reps are not impressed with the 100 page, corporate type business plans, and in fact prefer simpler, to the point business plans.

Business Plan Outline

Check out the business plan outline in the post to the right of this screen. But don’t panic thinking it looks too complicated. We will be taking each item and writing just a few paragraphs (maybe even just one or two).   

FREE Questionnaire

  • A FREE questionnaire is provided for you HERE.
  • It will help you as you take notes.
  • It will also help you better understand what you should include in your business plan.

As with the outline, do not be overwhelmed when you see all the questions. Take it one step at a time and you WILL learn how to write a business plan. (Hate writing? Try this idea.)

Business Plan Template?

Lenders want to see custom business plans, not business plans created with templates or software. Using this free tutorial you will learn how to write a business plan that is unique and customized for your business. Read more about business plan templates.

 Sylvia,

You are right about not using a business plan template…I bought a business plan template. I spent months working on it, but it was not my plan, it was not me…The template was not cutting it.

Then one day I googled and found you. I thank God for you, because I finished the first draft… I can see the vision clear on paper, and the numbers are matching.

Thank you so much.

Peggie

Do I Really Need a Business Plan?

business plan

 

According to Tim Berry, a recent survey of business owners who created a business plan determined they were twice as likely to grow their business and obtain funding or capital investment. That’s huge!

 

2,877 people completed the survey. Of those, 995 had completed a plan.

  • 297 of them (36%) secured a loan
  • 280 of them (36%) secured investment capital
  • 499 of them (64%) had grown their business

1,556 of the 2,877 had not yet completed their plan.

  • 222 of them (18%) secured a loan
  • 219 of them (18%) secured investment capital
  • 501 of them (43%) had grown their business

Do It!

You really can learn how to write a business plan. See how much easier it is than you might believe. Start with one of the more simple sections of the business plan:  Owner/Management. Within this section you discuss yourself. That should be easy right? Click on the Owner/Management link and let’s get this project started!

More Resources

  •  You Can Write Your Own Successful Business Plan is an excellent resource to help you learn how to write a business plan. 
  • While learning how to write a business plan you will need to determine how you will fund your business. Here you will find truly viable options: Funding Options
  • When writing the business description you will need to include your chosen business entity. Learn the various types of business structures.
  • For your financial statements you will need to know your startup costs. Click the link to learn about typical start up costs.
  • For a brick and mortar business you should learn how to negotiate a lease and choose a location.
  • Much more startup detail can be found at this page: How to Start Your Own Business

11 Comments on How to Write a Business Plan

  1.  Hi! My name is [anonymous] and I was reading your “Business Plan Mentor” blog and I can’t wait to put your information to use but I hit a brick wall while reading the “owner/management” section. I’m destined to start a fashion boutique for teens/young women but I am really lacking the experience. I’m an observer and noticed what goes into a boutique. I would also like to add that I am a 23 year old fashion design/merchandising student who had taken a marketing class as well a business management class and am finding it difficult to get a job within a retailing store so I can have the experience. I am also a single mother of a young child and is another reason why it would be difficult to try to find a job with flexibility. I would really like to be my own boss and have dreamt of having my own boutique for years. I will truly appreciate your response/advice. Thank you in advance :-)

    • Your concerns are certainly valid. As you might have read on BusinessPlanMentor.com industry experience is a requirement when applying for a business loan. So it is important that you continue to apply for retail store jobs to get that experience.

      If you are having difficulty finding a job in your chosen industry you should take a good hard look at your resume and cover letter. The cover letter is vital to getting an interview. Be sure to make it custom to each employer. Emphasize your education in relation to the industry. Make a point of stating that your ultimate goal is to one day own a boutique and developing experience in the retail industry is extremely important to you. This could very well sway the hiring manager into giving you an opportunity because they know you will take the job seriously and will really make an effort to learn and follow through. Do not mention that you are a single mother and need flexible hours in the cover letter. And avoid saying that in the interview. Not until after you have been offered a position do you bring up the request for flexible hours. You don’t want to give a potential employer a reason to not offer you the job.

      In the meantime keep working toward your goals and learning all about business ownership. If you haven’t already, read through the “How to Start Your Own Business” section of BusinessPlanMentor.com so you get a good sense of what will be required when you are finally ready to start your own business.

      I wish you great success with your future endeavors!

  2. Thanks for guideline in Write a Business Plan.

  3. Are there any mentores that can actually help with starting your own business? Anyone

    • BizPlanMentor BizPlanMentor // December 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm // Reply

      Hi ms miller,

      Thank you for visiting and reaching out. I answered your question on the post “Business Owners Share Their Startup Tips” but I’ll repeat it here:

      For personal one on one mentoring you can look for a business startup coach online. I don’t know of one personally but I’ll be happy to help you search. I’ll reply here when I find some options.

      In the meantime, please be sure to read the many detailed posts here in the How to Start Your Own Business section (top, right).

      Also I offer A LOT of detailed, step-by-step, how-to open your own business in my ebook. Look at the orange bar at the very top for the link.

      Since I owned a retail store, much of the info is specifically for brick and mortar businesses. I promise the ebook will be tremendously helpful.

      Feel free to ask specific questions and I’ll do my best to help you.

      Sylvia

      • BizPlanMentor BizPlanMentor // December 14, 2013 at 7:09 am // Reply

        Ok Ms Miller, I found you a one-on-one business start up coach. I hope to add this service to my business model here at BusinessPlanMentor.com, but I’m not yet set up for this.

        Please check out this site:
        http://startabusinessforcheap.com/

        I have contacted the coach already. Hopefully the two of you can connect. I will also email you privately.

        I hope this is helpful to you.
        Sylvia

    • Ms. Miller I can definitely help you. My youtube channel is Start A Business For Cheap. You can e-mail me at startabusinessforcheap@yahoo.com

  4. Dadrian St.Hill Hinds // December 11, 2013 at 10:14 am // Reply

    I need help with details of shares or capital structure and the address registered and operational

  5. BizPlanMentor BizPlanMentor // December 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm // Reply

    Hello Dadrain,

    You’ll need to give me more info. I’m not fully understanding the incomplete statement. From what I’m seeing here I would direct you to an attorney and CPA that specialize in business structure.

    Sylvia

  6. Dadrian St.Hill Hinds // December 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm // Reply

    I need help with the business plan for a day care centre ..mainly the target market

  7. BizPlanMentor BizPlanMentor // December 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm // Reply

    Ok Dadrian, the target market is simply your customer. Who are you targeting as your customer? For a day care center the obvious answer is parents of small children.

    You can also “target” expectant parents, single moms, and so on.

    For the business plan you want to research and include statistics. If you are in the U.S. you could use data from census.gov. Narrow down your target market to your city. Since the data will be years old and obsolete, it should be used as general info. You want to show that your area has enough of your customer base. With a day care center that market should be fairly constant.

    Your city might even have this information on their website already.

    The entire section on the target market can be fairly short. It is part of the Market Analysis section. Look here for more detail:
    http://businessplanmentor.com/business-plan-market-analysis/

    Also, you can get more help with the business plan here:
    http://businessplanmentor.com/business-plan-ebook/

    I hope this helped you somewhat. If you have any other questions…ask away!

    Sylvia

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