Formal Business Plan Layout Sample

The following provides a sample layout for a formal business plan. This is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However, you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances. There are also many other templates and samples available

Executive Summary Explain the fundamentals of the business: What will your product be? Who will your customers be? What are the key targets and objectives? What are your funding needs?
Write the executive summary last – it should be no more than 2 pages
Company overview
  • Company Summary
  • Company Ownership / Structure
  • Company History or Startup Plan
  • Company Location and Facilities
  • Objectives
  • Vision
  • Mission or Mantra
  • Keys to success
Product/Service Overview
  • Products and Services Description
  • Sourcing
  • Features and Benefits
  • Future Products and Services
Marketing Plan Market Research:

  • Market Analysis Summary
  • Market Segmentation
  • Target Market Segmentation Strategy – market needs, market trends, market growth
  • Industry Analysis – industry participants, distribution patterns, competitive and buying patterns, main competitors
  • Competitive Comparison

Marketing Strategy:

  • Value Proposition
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Marketing Strategy – position, price, promotion, place/distribution, marketing programs
  • Sales Strategy – sales forecast, sales programs
  • Strategic  Alliances
  • Milestones
  • Promotional budget
Operational Plan
  • Location
  • Legal Environment
  • Suppliers
  • Production and Inventory
  • Management Summary
  • Organizational Structure
  • Management Team
  • Personnel Plan
  • Advisors and Mentors
Financial Plan
  • Start-up Expenses
  • Sales Forecast
  • Break-Even Analysis (if required)
  • Projected Income Statement
  • Project Cash Flow
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Long-term Plan

(note: detailed statements are often included in the appendices with a summary outlined in the main plan)

  • Detailed Financial Plans
  • Bios/resumes
  • Supporting Market Research if applicable
  • References and Testimonials