Business Plan Template for Small Businesses, Startups, and Entrepreneurs

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free business plan template

This simple, modern, investor-approved business plan template is designed to make planning easy. It’s a proven format that has helped over 1 million businesses write business plans for bank loans, funding pitches, business expansion, and even business sales.
  • Instructions included More than just a template, you’ll learn how to write a winning business plan
  • SBA-lender approved format Your plan will be in the format lenders and investors expect
  • Fill-in-the-blanks simplicity You don’t need to be an expert, this template makes business planning easy
  • 100% free We’re here to help you succeed in business, no strings attached

Start your business plan today

Whether you’re writing a business plan for a bank loan, venture capital or angel investments, business expansion, or even for selling your business—our template will help you achieve your goals. It’s a proven template that works and will help you get started right away, saving you critical time and making the business planning process much easier. You can see the template outline below or you can download it as a Word document using the form on this page.

Why you need a business plan

Writing a business plan can seem like a big task, especially if you’re starting a business for the first time and don’t have a financial background. Even if you do have some experience, getting a refresher on what a modern business plan looks like is always a good idea. After all, business plans have changed over the years, and what lenders and investors expect now is different than it was even just 10 years ago. Your business plan will help you:
  • Develop a strategy for success
  • Reduce the risk of starting a business
  • Explore new business ideas
  • Attract investors and get funding

Why you should start with a business plan template

With all the options available, is a template really the best way to write a business plan? A simple business plan template is a document designed to help streamline your ability to write a business plan. It handles the structure and organization so that you can focus on filling in the blanks and defining the key aspects of your business. A good business plan template (like this one) includes everything you need to get started—a complete plan outline, table of contents, cover page, legal disclaimer, and easy-to-use instructions. Here are a few key reasons why it’s worth starting your business planning journey with a business plan template
  • Helps organize your thoughts. 
  • Provides guidance, instructions, and examples so that you’re not stuck looking at a blank page. 
  • Gives you an investor-ready and SBA-approved business plan format.
  • Speeds up the planning process. 
  • Oh, and it’s 100% free!
You can also find business plan examples specific to your industry by searching our sample business plan library. If you need more than what a free, simple template can provide, look into online business planning solutions like LivePlan, which provides more help and customization options than any template can. [Download now]

What is included in this business plan template?

The outline of the Bplans business plan template appears below. It is simplified a bit for this page, so we encourage you to download the full template to gain access to instructions for each section, as well as a cover page, table of contents, legal disclaimer, and more. Be sure to check out our free Business Planning Guide for additional insights that can help you. 1. Executive Summary
  • Company Purpose
  • Problem We Solve
  • Our Solution
  • Target Customers
  • Team
  • Financial Summary
  • Funding Needed
2. Products & Services
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Competition
  • Intellectual Property/Patents
  • Milestones/Roadmap
3. Market Analysis
  • Target Market
  • Market Trends
  • Industry Analysis
  • Key Customers
4. Marketing & Sales
  • Sales Channels
  • Marketing Activities
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Positioning
  • SWOT Analysis
5. Organization & Management
  • Company Structure
  • Management Team
6. Financial Projections
  • Projected Profit & Loss
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Projected Cash Flow Statement
  • Use of Funds
  • Exit Strategy
7. Appendix
  • Additional Documentation

Free business plan template PDF download

Click here to download the pdf version of the Bplans Business Plan Template. The PDF will allow you to review the sections described above and includes additional guidance to help you complete each section. 

Free business plan template for Microsoft Word

Click here to download the Microsoft Word format of the Bplans Business Plan Template. If you don’t have Word, we recommend uploading the template to Google Docs and you’ll be able to easily edit the template there. This template format is the recommended way to write a business plan, but every business is unique and sometimes it makes sense to add or remove sections. Remember, it’s your business plan and it should work for your business.

Need help writing a business plan?

If you’re looking for more than a business plan template, we have plenty of additional resources to help you throughout the business planning process.

Business planning guide

Check out our step-by-step guide to writing a business plan. This chapter-based guide includes detailed instructions and takes you through the planning process from start to finish. It’s perfect for those looking for a crash course on business planning and includes natural stopping points with actionable steps to complete on a daily basis. If you’re struggling to start or consistently work on your plan, this is the guide for you.

Learn to write your business plan

Check out our updated article covering what to include in each section of your business plan. This is a great resource to reference when writing your own plan if you have questions about what you should be focusing on. Part of our Business Planning Guide.

Free sample business plans and examples

Sometimes it’s helpful to see completed sample business plans to help you write your own. If you want to see real business plans from other companies, take a look at our library of sample business plans. There are over 500 example plans in our library, so there’s a good chance you can find one similar to your business.

Simple business plan template

If you’re not planning to seek out funding or pitch your business to investors, you may not need a traditional business plan. Instead, you can leverage a one-page lean plan template to draft your business plan and financials in as little as 30-minutes. This simple business plan will still ensure that you include everything necessary to start and manage your business.  

Step-by-step business planning software

There are also software packages that can help take the pain out of business planning. Our recommendation is to check out LivePlan which features step-by-step guidance to propel you through the process. LivePlan will help you include only what you need in your plan and reduce the time you spend on formatting and presenting. You’ll also get help building solid financial models that you can trust, without having to worry about getting everything right in a spreadsheet. 

Expert business plan writers

If you’re still stuck, you can always hire an expert plan writer to build your business plan for you. This can be a great option to get your plan done quickly by an experienced writer. Plan writers can also just review what you’ve already written and provide feedback and input if that’s all you need.