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business plan title page examples

How to write your business plan cover page

When you think of putting together your business plan , the business plan cover page may not be the first thing that comes to mind. While it’s traditionally one of the last sections you create in a business plan, it’s one of the most important.

Definition: What is a business plan cover page?

The cover page of a business plan is used to give an overview of all the key information of your business. This includes your company name, logo, address, and any other information that may define your business. It's the first page of your plan, so it should look professional, visually pleasing, and informative.

When potential investors or banks read a business plan, their first impression is the cover page—but don’t overthink it. A business plan cover page is meant to be simple and straightforward, with some important contact information and, more importantly, your logo.

Use this breakdown to find out what the purpose of your cover page is, which elements you need to include, and how to structure it to maximize your impact:

What is the purpose of a cover page?

Your cover page exists to communicate what the enclosed document is and to provide the necessary information for a reader to contact you about your business.

The appearance and quality of a business plan cover page will set the tone for your business plan’s content, so make sure it’s visually appealing, free of errors, and concise.“ Simple, clean and powerful are the three goals of a strong business plan cover,” suggest the experts at Growthink . Don’t clutter your cover page with details about how your business will operate—save those important details for the executive summary .

What should you include on a business plan cover page?

To keep it simple, your business plan cover page should include:

Company logo

  • Document title
  • Business name
  • Business address and contact information
  • Business plan completion date
  • Confidentiality statement

How should you format a business plan cover page?

Once you know what information belongs in this section, all that remains now is to organize it. If you need some further guidance, these downloadable templates can streamline the process of drafting a cover page—and the rest of your business plan, too.

A business plan cover page for Meow Bots Inc. The slogan is “the future of pets.” The cover page example also includes information on the President, address, email, and phone number. There is a confidentiality statement at the bottom.

1. Company logo

Add a high-resolution thumbnail of your logo at the top of the cover page. This will help establish a brand identity and allow readers to connect visually to the business right from the start.

Hot tip: people are 89% more likely to remember your logo if you put it in the top left corner.

Give the logo some space and then include the words “Business Plan” in a large, bold font. You can also frame the title as “Three–” or “Five–Year Business Plan,” if you intend to make those kinds of financial projections in the document.

3. Business name

Beneath the title, write your company name in a bold font. This should be the most noticeable and prominent feature on the page, so choose a large typeface.

4. Tagline (optional)

This part is optional, but you can also include a catchy slogan or motto that describes your company and what you do.

5. Address and contact information

Under the company name, include your business’s physical address and website if you have one. Provide the details necessary for interested parties to contact you, such as a phone number and email address.

It’s also helpful to include your name as the business owner and the names of any partners or executive officers so that potential investors know where to direct their inquiries.

6. Date of completion

Below the contact information, write the year (or year and month) in which this business plan was finalized and issued. If you’re including the month, it’s a good idea to update it throughout the year as you send out your business plan so readers don’t assume it’s outdated.

7. Confidentiality Statement

At the bottom of the page, include a sentence to the effect of:

“This document contains confidential and proprietary information created by [business name]. This document is issued exclusively for informational purposes and should not be reproduced without the consent of [business name].”

Adding this confidentiality statement offers a protective measure against the disclosure of your business idea , according to this cover page guide .

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Cover page design

Now it’s time for the finishing touches: the actual design of your cover page. Your business plan’s cover page gives the first impression of your business, so your company logo, fonts, and brand colors should all work together to make people want to read more.

Brand colors

90% of a customer’s impression of your business comes from the brand colors you choose, so it’s important to choose colors that represent your business’s personality and elicit the right emotions from your readers.

Don’t know where to start? Grab a pen and paperand write down three emotions you want your customers to feel when they think of your brand. Now you can brainstorm some colors that represent those emotions. For example, you might choose blue if your product is associated with reliability, or yellow if your product is supposed to make your clients feel happy. It’s safer to only choose 2-3 colors , including black, for your color scheme.

You can also analyze the competition and choose colors that help you stand out. Canva has more detailed instructions on how to create your brand color palette .

When it comes to fonts, it’s best practice to stick to one type of typeface, such as serif or sans serif . It’s also important to choose fonts that are simple, easy to read, and represent your brand.

Serif fonts give off the impression that your brand is trustworthy and dependable, and work great for more traditional businesses, like law practices. “Serif fonts have been widely used in books, newspapers, and magazines, which is why they remind us of more classical, formal and sophisticated themes—think of Old English and Roman scripture,” Robyn Young, founder of branding agency robyn young & co, told Canva .

But if you’re going for a more contemporary and youthful feel, then sans serif is the way to go. “Brands that want a modern aesthetic that scales well at different sizes and is easy to read on screens are going to choose sans serif for their main branding elements,” said Young .

When it comes to choosing a logo, simplicity is key. Try to create something that represents your brand and speaks to your audience without being too busy (in other words: white space is your friend).

It’s also important to remember to be practical: your logo should look good in any medium, size, color, and even time period. Beyond your business plan cover page, you’ll need it for your social media, marketing material, or labels.

Business plan cover page examples

To further illustrate the structure and format of a business plan cover page, we’ve compiled a few cover page template examples. The first example from officetemplatesonline is simple but attractive and effectively emphasizes pertinent information. The next cover page example is from a fictional clothing store . They usea pop of color to instantly tell you about their brand personality.

Keep your business plan cover page simple

As you prepare to write your business plan , remember to keep your cover page simple and concise. With your logo, business name, and contact information, you’ll introduce the reader into your business plan quickly and easily—and set yourself up for success as a result.

Just don’t forget to proofread and keep an eye out for typos!

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business plan title page examples

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How to Write a Business Plan Cover Page Complete Guide with Examples

Fill the form to download business plan cover page examples.

A business plan cover page may not come to mind when you think of writing your business plan. Although it’s traditionally one of the last sections of a business plan, it’s one of the most crucial.

Your business plan only has one chance to make a good impression on your reader. The cover page of a book or business plan can easily make a person make a decision.

In this article, we will explain the importance of business plan cover pages and provide a step-by-step guide to help you create your own cover page for your business plan. See our real world business plan examples to see what should be included in the other sections of your business plan.

What is a business plan cover page?

The cover page of a business plan summarizes all the important aspects of the business and serves as an introduction to the full business plan. Bankers and investors can quickly determine the purpose of a business plan by viewing the cover page.

You should include the name of your company, your logo, addresses, and other information that identifies your business. This is the first page of your plan, so it should look professional, visually pleasing, and informative.

What is the purpose of a cover page?

The purpose of the cover page is to communicate what the document enclosed is and to provide information that enables a reader to contact you about your business.

Make sure your business plan’s cover page is visually appealing, free of errors, and concise to set the tone for its content.

A strong business plan cover page should be simple, clean, and powerful. Don’t clutter your cover page with details about how your business will operate. Save those details for the executive summary .

Whether you are writing a business plan , marketing plan, or proposal, the business plan cover page is an essential part of your plan. Read on to find out which elements your business plan cover page should contain and how to design it for maximum impact.

What to include in the business plan cover page

What to Include in the Business Plan Cover Page?

Although there are no specific rules regarding what should be included on your business plan cover page, we have prepared some essential information that you should not overlook.

Company logo

  • Business name
  • Document title
  • Tagline (optional)
  • Contact information and address
  • Completion date
  • Confidentiality statement

Now let’s look at each of these elements in greater detail so you know what you need to include on your business plan cover page.

1. Company Logo

Use a neat, clean, high-quality logo to make your business plan cover page look professional. The logo should be placed at the top of the page.

The image should be large enough to see details, but not so large that it becomes a distraction. Brand identity begins with your logo. The company logo is the first and most significant section that will capture your readers’ attention immediately.

People are 90% more likely to remember your logo if you place it in the top left corner.

2. Business Name

After the company logo, your company name is the second most important section of your cover page as you want your reader to remember your company name as they read the document.

To make your company name stand out from the rest of the information on the business plan cover page, you should use a readable, bold font that is the largest font on the page.

Please keep in mind that if your company logo includes your company name, you can remove either your company logo or name from the cover page.

You can download 50+ Free Business Plan Templates here that include not only pre-built cover pages but also provide step-by-step guidance in the creation of your entire business plan.

3. Document Title

Plan titles tell the reader immediately what the document is about, whether it is a business plan , marketing plan, expansion plan, recovery plan, or anything else.

It is commonly referred to as a “Business Plan,” but you can also customize it by saying “Five-Year Business Plan” or “Merger Business Plan” if you want to outline more specific objectives.

The title of the plan should be large and prominent on the cover page. Readers should know the purpose of the document immediately.

Increase readability by using a clear, bold font, such as Times New Roman, Garamond, or Arial. It may be difficult to read script lettering and doesn’t appear professional.

Please Note: Make sure your name isn’t more prominent than your business plan title cover page.

4. Tagline (optional)

Business owners sometimes use taglines to describe what they do and how they’re different. It’s optional, but you can also include a catchy slogan or motto describing your business.

A tagline becomes an essential part of your cover page if you want your reader to immediately understand what you do.

Generally, your business plan will be more interesting to investors or readers if the tagline is memorable. A business tagline is a short catchy marketing slogan that signifies your brand or company name, as well as other important aspects of your business.

Create a tagline by describing what you do in a few words. Put your tagline under your company logo on your cover page so readers understand what you do immediately.

5. Contact Information and Address

“Prepared By” contains contact information the reader can use to contact the person. It includes information about the company’s mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, and website.

To make investors aware of where to direct their inquiries, include your name as the business owner as well as the names of any partners or executives.

Try to center this information on the page to maintain consistency in formatting. As long as the information is clearly visible and readable, you may use a smaller font size than you used for the company name and title.

6. Completion Date

When was this plan written? The date is important to readers, so include it (month and year are sufficient).

Under the contact information, write the year (or the year and month) in which the business plan was finalized and published. It’s a good idea to update your business plan throughout the year if you’re including the month, so readers don’t think it’s old.

It is important to note that your company name should appear more prominently than your title and date. Depending on your business plan’s writing style, you may spell out the date, like Jan 20, 2023, or write it numerically, like 20/1/23.

Dates should be formatted consistently throughout the document. To maintain consistency, center the text and use the same font size as your address and contact information.

7. Confidentiality Statement

Adding a confidentiality statement to your cover page protects your idea from being disclosed. It is not required, but you may want to include a confidentiality statement on the cover page, or just text “Confidential” to emphasize that this is a confidential document such as the following:

Example of Confidentiality Statement

It is understood that the information provided in this [Company’s Name] Business Plan is totally confidential, and the reader undertakes not to disclose any aspect of it without the express written consent of the business owner.

How to write a business plan cover page that captures investors' attention?

  • Keep it concise and to the point: Investors are busy people, so they don’t want to read a long and rambling cover page. Keep your cover page brief and to the point, highlighting your key business strengths and unique selling points.
  • Use clear and concise language: Avoid using jargon or technical language that your target audience may not understand. Use clear and concise language to communicate your business vision and goals.
  • Highlight your key business strengths and unique selling points: What makes your business unique and different from the competition? What are your key strengths? Highlight these things on your cover page to grab investors’ attention.
  • Make sure your cover page is visually appealing and professional: Your cover page is the first thing that potential investors will see, so it’s important to make a good impression. Use a professional design and layout, and avoid using too many colors or fonts.
  • Proofread carefully for any errors: Typos and grammatical errors on your cover page will make you look unprofessional. Proofread your cover page carefully before submitting it to any potential investors.

What are some creative business plan cover page design ideas?

  • Use high-quality images or graphics that are relevant to your business: Images and graphics can be a great way to add visual interest to your cover page and make it more engaging for potential investors. Choose high-quality images or graphics that are relevant to your business and that will help to communicate your brand message.
  • Use a unique and eye-catching font scheme: Your cover page should stand out from the crowd, so use a unique and eye-catching font scheme. Avoid using overused or generic fonts.
  • Use your company colors and branding to create a cohesive look: Your cover page should be consistent with your overall branding. Use your company colors and fonts to create a cohesive look and feel.
  • Keep your design simple and elegant: A simple and elegant design is often the most effective. Avoid cluttering your cover page with too much text or too many images and graphics.

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What makes a great cover page for a business plan

Formatting should be consistent.

Messy or unprofessional cover pages can create negative perceptions in your readers’ minds before they even open your business plan.

The cover page of your business plan is the first impression of your company, so your logo, fonts, and brand colors should all work together to capture the reader’s attention.

Follow these best practices to create a cover page that stands out:

Keeping your cover page neat and consistent will allow your reader to perceive your organization and professionalism. Use consistent formatting through

  • Maintaining equal spacing between characters and lines
  • Choosing fonts that are similar or identical
  • Make sure each line of your cover page is centered

When it comes to fonts, it’s best practice to stick to one type of typeface, such as serif or sans serif. It’s also important to choose fonts that are simple, easy to read, and represent your brand.

It is important to ensure your business plan’s cover page is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Make sure you proofread your document several times before publishing the final version, and ask others to review it as well.

The less the better

In your business plan executive summary , you will summarize its contents. The cover page should not do the same. It is also unwise to create a business plan cover that is graphically complicated because the information will be difficult to discern. A strong business plan cover page should be simple, clean, and powerful.

Make use of the color scheme of your company

Color plays a crucial role in establishing your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness. Choosing the right brand color will reveal more about your business than you could ever imagine.

In addition, using the right colors can enhance your brand value by creating a strong visual identity. To make your business plan more appealing, your brand color should be incorporated everywhere, such as titles, subtitles, features, images, etc.

Ensure the colors don’t distract from the important information and consider coordinating them with your company’s brand or logo.

Colors represent 90% of your brand’s personality and elicit the right emotions from your customers, so choose colors that represent your brand’s personality and evoke the right emotions.

When it comes to choosing a logo, simplicity is key. Try to create something that represents your brand and speaks to your audience without being too busy (in other words: white space is your friend).

It’s also important to remember to be practical: your logo should look good in any medium, size, color, and even time period. Beyond your business plan cover page, you’ll need it for your social media, marketing material, or labels.

Download Pack of 6 Business Plan Cover Page Examples

We will show you some real-world business plan cover page examples so you may know how to design your own.

Download Business Plan Cover Page Templates

Here are a few business plan cover examples to illustrate the structure and format. Download and customize it according to your needs.

business plan

Business Plan Cover Page Example 1

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Business Plan Cover Page Example 2

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Business Plan Cover Page Example 3

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Business Plan Cover Page Example 4

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Business Plan Cover Page Example 5

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Business Plan Cover Page Example 6

If you’re not confident in your ability to create a business plan on your own, or if you simply don’t have the time to do so, Wise Business Plans can help.

Our expert business plan writers have years of experience crafting comprehensive plans for businesses of all sizes and industries. We’ll work with you to understand your unique vision and goals, and we’ll create a customized plan that outlines your marketing strategy, target market, financial projections, and more.

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Everything you need to know about business plan cover pages

You have only one chance to make a good first impression with the readers of your business plan.

People do judge books—and business plans—by their covers. A quick glance at the cover can easily be enough to make up one’s mind.

So set yourself up for success with a powerful cover page that stands out and entices the reader to find out more about your business.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Definition: What is a Business Plan Cover Page?

Cover page (also known as title page or cover sheet) is the first page of a business plan that communicates what the enclosed document is about and highlights the key company information like name, logo and contact details, making a good impression with professional and attractive appearance.

Purpose: Why is Business Plan Cover Page Important?

Many businesses spend hours preparing their business plans but then do not pay enough attention to the title page. This is a huge mistake .

5 ways a strong cover page can help you make a positive first impression:

  • Clearly indicate what the presented document is about
  • Provide the necessary information for a reader to contact you
  • Create a powerful first impact that sets the stage for how readers will engage with your document
  • Avoid falling victim to negative preconceived notions as a result or unprofessional or unattractive cover
  • Maximize the chance of the plan being read by making the document stand out from the crowd and immediately drawing your reader’s attention

Keep reading to find out which elements you need to include in the cover page, how to structure it to maximize the impact of your business plan, and to take a look at some successful examples .

Contents: What Should You Include in a Business Plan Cover Page?

Surprisingly, there are no strict rules about what to show on your business plan cover sheet, but there certainly are best practices that you should follow.

Here are 9 elements that are typically included on business plan covers, 3 of which are essential and you should not miss to include them. The remaining 6 are optional for your consideration.

1. Must-haves: 3 mandatory cover page elements

1.1. Business name: The name of the company that is the subject of the plan.

1.2. Document title: The words “ Business Plan ” in a prominent spot so that it is clear what kind of document this is.

1.3. Contact information: Name, title and contact details (e.g., phone, email, social media, website, address) of the primary contact persons presenting the plan (e.g., CEO, Founder, Owner, President) so that any interested parties know exactly to whom to direct their inquiries and can reach them quickly and easily.

2. Nice-to-haves: 6 optional cover page elements:

2.1. Company logo: The logo of the company if available and desired.

2.2. Tagline: Short, memorable summary of the business described in the plan.

2.3. Date: In order to make sure your plan does not look outdated, include only the year of the business plan completion date. If you are including both the month also, it is advisable to create a new cover sheet each time you send out the plan.

2.4. Version control: Numbering each copy of the plan enables you to more easily keep track of who you sent what version of the document to.

2.5. Disclaimer: Disclaimer can help protect you and your company from confidentiality and other legal issues resulting from the distribution of the business plan by indicating that the plan is for information only, not an offering of stock in the company, and not to be shared with third parties without your prior consent.

2.6. Visuals: Graphic elements or images to enhance the professional look and visual appeal of the document.

Structure of business plan cover page with all attributes, essentials and typical

Let’s have a more detailed look at these cover page elements so you know what exactly to include into each of them:

Business Name

The most prominent feature on your business plan cover is the name of your company.

Instantly, the reader should notice the name of your business. In fact, if readers take away nothing else from the cover page, they should remember your company’s name.

As this is the most noticeable feature on the page, use a large font that stands out, but is easy to read, looks professional and corresponds to the typeface that you used for the rest of the document.

Company Logo

Placing a high-quality company logo on the cover page helps to make the business plan look more professional and establish a brand identity by allowing readers to connect visually to the business right from the beginning.

If your logo includes the full name of the company, you do not have to display both the company name and logo on the cover page, it is sufficient to choose one of the two.

Document Title

The readers need to know what the presented document is about – immediately and clearly.

The cover page should clearly state whether it is a Business Plan, Executive Summary, Financial Forecast, Marketing Plan, Recovery Plan, or any other kind of plan.

For example, write the words “ Business Plan ” in a prominent spot on the cover sheet to make it crystal clear what type of document this is. You may include any additional words that are part of the title, such as “Three/Five-Year Business Plan” if needed or relevant.

As a focal point on the cover page, the document title should be in a large font size .

There is no rule though about whether the Document Title or Company Name and Logo should be of the largest font size, as all are of key importance. So it is entirely your decision what feature you prefer to highlight on the cover page of the document.

Contact Information

Contact details should always be on the business plan cover page, letting the reader know who is presenting the document and how to contact them if they need more information.

It is helpful to indicate the names and titles of the company’s primary contact persons for investors and other business plan readers, such as:

  • External distribution: company founder, owner, president, partner, CEO
  • In-house corporate plans: head of division, departmental manager, executive officer

Next, provide the contact details that will allow the interested parties to reach these primary contact persons quickly and easily, including:

  • Name and title of primary contact(s)
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Social media handles
  • Website address
  • Postal address

The contact information is typically displayed in the smallest font on the cover page.

Company tagline, or a motto , is a catchy memorable marketing slogan that captures the essence of a business in a few short and simple words: >> What you do >> How you do it >> Why are you different from the competition

For example, you will undoubtedly recognize the following company mottos:

As such, the tagline is a useful part of the cover page as it helps the business plan readers better understand what you do straight away, and even excite them to read the business plan and study it with more interest.

When was this business plan finalized and issued ? The readers will be interested to know. Hence, it is advisable to state the document completion date on the cover page.

Strictly speaking, you do not need to denote anything more specific that the year in which you completed the business plan. (“Business Plan: 2021”) This will ensure that the plan does not appear outdated for an entire year.

Imagine that you are a potential investor who in December 2021 receives a business plan dated January 2021. It would be natural to assume that the document has been rejected many times by other investors over the last 12 months.

Alternatively, you can include both the current month and year on the cover sheet. (“Business Plan: January 2021”) Each time you update the document and send it out or present it, you will need to check if this date of completion needs updating .

The date is featured on the cover sheet less prominently and in a smaller font size than the document title and company name, and is often displayed below the plan title.

Version Control

As your business develops, you may revise your business plan any number of times and send it to multiple recipients . To keep track of the different versions of the plan that you produce and which version you sent to whom, you may decide to use a version control system.

However, it does not make the best impression when someone receives a “Version 25” of your plan.

Instead, consider devising a simple coding system . For example: “Copy D.5” would indicate it is the fifth copy of a fourth version of the document or “Version 4.5” could mean a fifth copy of a document version completed in April.

Numbering each copy of your business plan before distribution, and keeping a list of which individual has received which copy, would enable you to keep track of how many copies are in circulation, and, if needed, ask to have a copy returned, or trace the responsible party in case a copy is circulated without your permission.

Confidentiality Statement & Disclaimer

Why should your plan include a disclaimer.

Legal issues may arise as a result of circulating your business plan. 

For example, anyone who is in the possession of the document could potentially divulge the confidential information. 

Also, in some countries, offering ownership in your company in return for an investment is considered as selling of stock, which is a regulated activity. The best way to protect yourself is to consult a lawyer.

Nevertheless, including a disclaimer in the business plan helps to protect your company by indicating the plan itself is not an offering of stock for sale but rather a document for information purposes only.

The same disclaimer can also be used to help protect the confidentiality of the information disclosed in your business plan by informing the reader that the plan is confidential and not to be shared with other parties without the owner’s consent, especially when you are not adding a non-disclosure agreement.

What Should the Disclaimer Say?

These are the two most common ways how to show the disclaimer in the business plan:

1. Display a brief disclaimer , just one or two sentences, directly on the front cover , probably at the bottom of the page. Consult a lawyer for the most appropriate wording, but a standard disclaimer might look something to the effect this:

2. Write “ Confidential ” on the cover sheet and include a longer disclaimer and confidentiality statement in the main body of the business plan, perhaps on the first page after the cover sheet.

In addition, you can also include the text “Confidential” into the header or footer of the document.

Design: How Should You Format a Business Plan Cover Page?

The cover page is the first thing the readers will see when they open your business plan. Thus, your business plan cover should be neat , clean , attractive , and professional enough to draw your readers’ attention , make a good first impression and set the tone for your business plan’s content.

Cover page that is messy, dated, unattractive or in any way unprofessional can create negative preconceptions in the recipients’ minds before they even start reading the business plan.

Your design should be clean and professional, which can be accomplished by observing the following best practices:

Visual Identity

Most successful businesses have a strong association with their brand identity , including a company logo, typeface and color scheme. Visual identity helps to establish recognition, familiarity, trust and confidence in customers by evoking the right emotions and sending the right message.

As a result, companies take care to develop a brand identity and keep consistent across all marketing collateral and business materials.

Likewise, your brand identity should be integrated into all parts of your business plan, including the cover page. The best practice is to make the plan consistent with the logo, font type and color scheme as they appear across your other company’s documents.

If you do not have a brand identity created yet, keep the color scheme of the plan cover simple.

The easiest is to have a logo designed, which is inexpensive and easy to do nowadays, and then use your logo colors across the business plan. Alternatively, consider using an online color scheme generator to select colors that go well together.

To stay on the safe side, use maximum of two to three colors, one of which should be black. You can use different shades of the same color (e.g., light blue and dark blue).

First and foremost, the fonts you use in the business plan, including its cover, need to be readable .

The most important information should be displayed in a way that it stands out from the rest of the elements on the business plan cover page, for example, differentiated by font size , weight or color .

Ideally, the typefaces and their color(s) should be consistent with the brand identity used in all of the other company’s marketing materials.

Do not combine more than two typefaces. It is ok to combine a sans-serif (e.g., Times New Roman) with a sans-serif (e.g., Arial) typeface.

Again, less is definitely more here. Refrain from cluttering the business plan cover sheet with photos and graphics.

If you do use a visual element, make sure to leave enough white space around it so the page does not look too busy.

The resolution of any images, including the company logo, should be of high enough quality to not look pixelated.

There is no need for a fancy over-designed cover page, unless you are a large corporation or perhaps a design agency. Equally, beware of any templates with outdated designs that will make your cover look like it was created back in 1999.

Professional designers often combine different alignments (left / right / center) of elements on a page (text, images) to achieve a desired design effect. However, a design novice should play it safe and keep the alignment simple and consistent , especially when it comes to professional documents, such as a business plan.

You should be able to comfortably fit all of the recommended elements on the cover sheet (e.g., company name and logo, document title, contact details, date, disclaimer), and still leave enough white space on the page.

Making a great first impression does not equal to creating a cover that is graphically busy and cluttered with unimportant details. Instead, set yourself up for success by keeping the business plan cover sheet neat , clean , simple and concise .

Proofreading

Carefully proofread the cover page to avoid, at all costs, any mistakes and typos , which would do you a great disservice in the eyes of the reader. Even better, have someone else to look it over.

Finally, make sure that the cover page looks good in every format you will be distributing the business plan in, probably including a PDF electronic file and a printed hard copy.

Some common issues include:

  • Photos look pixelated due to low image resolution
  • Colors do not print well (e.g., dark font color on a dark background)
  • White space left at the edges of a printout because and image does not stretch (i.e., “bleed” in designer terms) enough into the edges of the page

Most importantly, the cover page should look professional and stand out from the crowd so that your business plan has a better chance of being read.

Finally, remember that these aren’t rigid rules. The overall goal for a cover page is to look neat and professional so that it stands out from the crowd and your business plan has a better chance of being read. In the end, that’s the most important outcome.

The cover sheet is the first thing the readers of your business plan will see. Make a good first impression.

Examples: Sample Images

Here are some examples to further illustrate the structure and format of a business plan cover page:

Examples of Business Plan Cover Pages

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How to Design a Cover Page for Your Business Plan

Paula Kehoe

Reviewed by

December 22, 2021

This article is Tax Professional approved

If you're starting a new business or growing an existing one, it’s critical to have a successful business plan to guide your decisions.

I am the text that will be copied.

Why? A good plan helps you understand your business expenses and cash flow, and it can lay out your goals and track milestones along the way. It’s also important if you’re applying for a loan or approaching potential investors who may be interested in your future business.

That means when you’re writing your business plan, you have one chance to make a good first impression and catch your reader’s attention. It takes a lot of research and planning, but after you’ve finished the hard work of compiling the contents of your plan, you’re still not done. Your business plan’s cover page may seem like an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. As they say, never judge a book by its cover, but that’s precisely what happens when it comes to business plan cover pages.

A glimpse at the cover page can be enough for someone to decide if they want to pay attention to your business or ignore it. So, before you distribute your business plan, design a cover that stands out and entices interested parties to find out more about your company.

Helpful resource: How to Write Your First Business Plan

What is a business plan cover page?

Think of the cover page (also called a title page) as a welcome mat that leads to your full business plan. It’s meant to be simple and highlight the legal information of your business like a company logo, company name, address, contact details, and other key information.

The quality and appearance of the cover page may influence the perception of the material that follows in your plan—and the credibility of your business. If you want to spark the interest of prospective investors or lenders, you need to make sure that it’s professional, informative, and easy to read.

What is the purpose of a business plan cover page?

The main purpose of any business plan cover page is to inform and enhance your report. Your cover page should communicate a little about the business plan itself and provide the necessary information for a reader to contact you about the business you’re spotlighting.

Keep the cover page concise and focus only on the introductory basics. There’s no need to get into the weeds here. Instead, save those details about how your business will operate for the executive summary, which underlines the most crucial pieces of your plan, such as your short-term and long-term goals.

What should you include on a business plan cover page?

There are no hard-and-fast rules about what to show on your business plan cover page. But there are a few standard elements you should consider adding. Once you know what information you want to use, you just have to arrange it.

1. Document title

Often, the title of these documents is merely “Business Plan.” But you can also customize it with “Five-Year Business Plan” or “Business Acquisition Plan” if you want to outline more explicit goals of your business plan.

Use a clear, bold font to increase readability, like Times New Roman, Garamond, or Arial. Avoid script lettering as it doesn’t come across as professional and may be challenging to read.

2. Business name

Add your company name below the title of the document. Use the same font of the title, but increase the font size slightly, so it stands out. Your company name is a significant part of the cover page, so use sharp, bold text that’s big enough to read clearly. Also, center your company name a few spaces below the title to continue a clean and consistent appearance.

3. Contact information

Below your company name, include a physical address, phone number, email, website, and other details about your business. You can also add a section titled “prepared by” to list your name and credentials, as well as the names of partners or collaborators, so readers know where to direct their inquiries.

To keep consistent formatting, center this information on the page. You can use a smaller font size than you used for your company name and title, as long as the information is clearly visible and legible.

4. Date of completion

Under your company’s contact information, include the month and year you completed your business plan. Use the same font size as your address and contact information, and center the text for consistency.

5. Company logo

Your logo is the foundation of your brand identity. It can draw interest and pique the curiosity of your audience. If you have a high-resolution thumbnail of your company’s logo, add and center it at the top of the page. The logo should be large enough that readers can easily see details, but not so big that it’s a distraction from the rest of the content.

6. Business tagline

Some businesses use a tagline to show what they do and how they’re different from the competition. Think Nike’s “Just Do It” or Dollar Shave Club’s “Shave Time. Shave Money.”

If you have a tagline, add it to your cover page under your company logo so readers understand straight away what you do or how you do it. A memorable tagline can excite an investor so that they’ll take a special interest while evaluating your business plan.

7. Confidentiality statement

At the bottom of your cover page, add a brief confidentiality statement to protect your business’s intellectual property or sensitive information. This may prevent others from disclosing your business plan without your permission.

For this section, use a slightly smaller font size, but try to make sure the text is still visible. Here’s an example of a typical confidentiality statement:

“This document contains confidential, proprietary information created by (your company’s name). It is issued exclusively for informational purposes and should not be reproduced without the consent of (your company’s name).”

Business plan cover page templates

Looking to create a standout cover page? There are dozens of professionally-designed business plan templates, including cover pages, available online. You can download and customize these in a matter of minutes.

If you need help getting started, try one of these:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Business in a Box
  • MS Office Templates

You might even be able to adapt one of Canva’s proposal templates to suit your needs.

How to make your business plan cover page stand out

A cover page that’s messy or unprofessional in any way can create negative preconceptions in your reader’s minds before they even look at your business plan.

Set yourself up for success with a cover page that stands out by following these best practices:

Use consistent formatting

Inconsistent formatting can turn a stable document into chaos. Try to stay consistent when using styles and line spacing. Make sure your fonts are complementary, and don’t select too many—that could be overwhelming.

Proofread it

Because your cover is the first page of a business plan, it’s important to ensure there are zero spelling typos or mistakes within your content. Carefully proofread your document before distributing the final draft and ask someone else to read your work. Having a second set of eyes can smooth out any rough spots and save you potential embarrassment.

Show your brand’s personality

The design elements (color scheme, font type, images) you use can create a memorable, bold statement for your cover page that’ll make a positive impression on your audience. Still, do keep it professional. Coordinate the colors with your company’s logo or brand, and be sure the elements don’t distract from the important details on the cover page.

How Bench can help

While we can’t design a beautiful business plan cover page for you, we can help you out with the contents of that plan. Bench is America’s largest professional bookkeeping service for small businesses. We can handle your bookkeeping and tax filing for you while you focus on starting and running your business. Even if you’re pre-revenue , you need a solid bookkeeping setup—plus, reliable bookkeeping can give you the numbers you need to prove to investors that you’re a good bet.

Even if you aren’t using your business plan to seek funding, including your financial projections offers major benefits. By looking into the future of your business, you can make plans for growth and set realistic goals to reach along the way. Get started with our guide to financial forecasting .

Make a great first impression

Although your business plan cover page has a big job to do, it’s meant to be simple and straightforward. With just a few business details, like your company name, logo, and contact information, the cover page is your first opportunity to stand out and persuade readers that you’re worth the investment.

Join over 140,000 fellow entrepreneurs who receive expert advice for their small business finances

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business plan title page examples

Growthink logo white

Business Plan Cover Page Tips To Get an Investor’s Attention

Written by Dave Lavinsky

5 Business plan cover page tips

Below are the five keys to creating a formal business plan cover page.

To see what to include in the other sections of your plan, reference our simple business plan template .

Be sure to include the following elements to create a great business plan cover page:

1. Company Name

First and foremost, your Company’s name should be included on the business plan cover page. This should be the most prominent feature of the cover page, and as such, is traditionally in the largest font setting. Immediately, the reader should know the name of your company.

2. Company Logo and Color Scheme

The best business plan covers are those that look like they are of professional quality. This can be accomplished by including a high-quality image of the company logo and the font type and color scheme for the company’s marketing materials. Like a book cover, a business plan cover page is intended to draw the reader’s attention immediately. Plans with an unattractive cover page can fall victim to incorrect preconceived notions.

Below is a sample of the professionally designed covers included in Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template .

Business Plan Cover Page Examples

3. Title and Date

When was this plan written? Readers need to know, so include the date (month and year are enough).

And what is it? The cover page should state if this is a Business Plan, Executive Summary, or Financial Projections. So, at this point, your business plan cover page may read as follows:

John’s Plumbing, Inc. Business Plan March 2021

Note that the title and date should be featured less prominently than your company name.

4. Less is More

Your business plan executive summary will summarize the contents of the plan. There is no need for the cover page to do so, as well. It is also inadvisable to create a business plan cover that is so graphically busy that the information is difficult to discern. Simple, clean, and powerful are the three goals of a strong business plan cover page.

5. CEO/Owner/Key Contact Information

Who should the reader contact if they wish to know more information? The name and contact information for the CEO, President, Owner, or another key contact should not be located at the end of the document. It should be on the first page, letting the reader know who is presenting the document.

6. Confidentiality Statement

While it is not essential, you may want to include a Confidentiality Statement on your cover, such as the following:

This document includes confidential and proprietary information of and regarding [Company Name]. This document is provided for informational purposes only. You may not use this document except for informational purposes, and you may not reproduce this document in whole or in part or divulge any of its contents without the prior written consent of [Company Name]. By accepting this document, you agree to be bound by these restrictions and limitations.

Suggested Resources:

Download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here that not only has ten pre-built and professionally designed cover pages but quickly guides you through creating your entire business plan and financial model.

Your business plan title page is critical since it’s the first thing readers will see, and it will give them an immediate impression as to whether you are professional or not. As such, the page is one of the critical components of a business plan . As part of your initial business plan outline , you should think about how you want others to perceive your business. Not only should this perception be established throughout your plan but be sure to do so on your business plan cover page.

Many people ask about business plan cover letters to accompany their plans.

Most plans are emailed to investors or lenders nowadays. As such, business plan cover letters are often not needed. Instead, in the body of your email, you can include text such as the following: “Attached please find my business plan. I am available to discuss this at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.” Such an email will typically suffice if you seek a bank loan, VC funding, or funding from angel investors .

However, if you’d like a more formal cover letter, reference our sample business plan cover letter here .

To answer any additional questions you might have regarding your plan, see our business plan help page or download our small business plan template pdf to get started today.

The World’s #1 Business Plan Template

Would you like to know the quickest and easiest way to create a winning business plan?

And how to use it to raise funding, improve your strategy, or both?

Well, we’ve developed the ultimate business plan template to help you do this. Simply click below to learn more.

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550+ Business Plan Examples to Launch Your Business

550+ Free Sample Business Plans

Need help writing your business plan? Explore over 550 industry-specific business plan examples for inspiration. Go even further with LivePlan , which harnesses AI-assisted writing features and SBA-approved plan examples to get you funded.

Find your business plan example

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Business plan template: There's an easier way to get your business plan done.

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View all sample business plans

Example business plan format

Before you start exploring our library of business plan examples, it's worth taking the time to understand the traditional business plan format . You'll find that the plans in this library and most investor-approved business plans will include the following sections:

Executive summary

The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages. You should also plan to write this section last after you've written your full business plan.

Your executive summary should include a summary of the problem you are solving, a description of your product or service, an overview of your target market, a brief description of your team, a summary of your financials, and your funding requirements (if you are raising money).

Products & services

The products & services chapter of your business plan is where the real meat of your plan lives. It includes information about the problem that you're solving, your solution, and any traction that proves that it truly meets the need you identified.

This is your chance to explain why you're in business and that people care about what you offer. It needs to go beyond a simple product or service description and get to the heart of why your business works and benefits your customers.

Market analysis

Conducting a market analysis ensures that you fully understand the market that you're entering and who you'll be selling to. This section is where you will showcase all of the information about your potential customers. You'll cover your target market as well as information about the growth of your market and your industry. Focus on outlining why the market you're entering is viable and creating a realistic persona for your ideal customer base.

Competition

Part of defining your opportunity is determining what your competitive advantage may be. To do this effectively you need to get to know your competitors just as well as your target customers. Every business will have competition, if you don't then you're either in a very young industry or there's a good reason no one is pursuing this specific venture.

To succeed, you want to be sure you know who your competitors are, how they operate, necessary financial benchmarks, and how you're business will be positioned. Start by identifying who your competitors are or will be during your market research. Then leverage competitive analysis tools like the competitive matrix and positioning map to solidify where your business stands in relation to the competition.

Marketing & sales

The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments. You'll address how you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success.

The operations section covers the day-to-day workflows for your business to deliver your product or service. What's included here fully depends on the type of business. Typically you can expect to add details on your business location, sourcing and fulfillment, use of technology, and any partnerships or agreements that are in place.

Milestones & metrics

The milestones section is where you lay out strategic milestones to reach your business goals.

A good milestone clearly lays out the parameters of the task at hand and sets expectations for its execution. You'll want to include a description of the task, a proposed due date, who is responsible, and eventually a budget that's attached. You don't need extensive project planning in this section, just key milestones that you want to hit and when you plan to hit them.

You should also discuss key metrics, which are the numbers you will track to determine your success. Some common data points worth tracking include conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, profit, etc.

Company & team

Use this section to describe your current team and who you need to hire. If you intend to pursue funding, you'll need to highlight the relevant experience of your team members. Basically, this is where you prove that this is the right team to successfully start and grow the business. You will also need to provide a quick overview of your legal structure and history if you're already up and running.

Financial projections

Your financial plan should include a sales and revenue forecast, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, and a balance sheet. You may not have established financials of any kind at this stage. Not to worry, rather than getting all of the details ironed out, focus on making projections and strategic forecasts for your business. You can always update your financial statements as you begin operations and start bringing in actual accounting data.

Now, if you intend to pitch to investors or submit a loan application, you'll also need a "use of funds" report in this section. This outlines how you intend to leverage any funding for your business and how much you're looking to acquire. Like the rest of your financials, this can always be updated later on.

The appendix isn't a required element of your business plan. However, it is a useful place to add any charts, tables, definitions, legal notes, or other critical information that supports your plan. These are often lengthier or out-of-place information that simply didn't work naturally into the structure of your plan. You'll notice that in these business plan examples, the appendix mainly includes extended financial statements.

Types of business plans explained

While all business plans cover similar categories, the style and function fully depend on how you intend to use your plan. To get the most out of your plan, it's best to find a format that suits your needs. Here are a few common business plan types worth considering.

Traditional business plan

The tried-and-true traditional business plan is a formal document meant to be used for external purposes. Typically this is the type of plan you'll need when applying for funding or pitching to investors. It can also be used when training or hiring employees, working with vendors, or in any other situation where the full details of your business must be understood by another individual.

Business model canvas

The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea.

The structure ditches a linear format in favor of a cell-based template. It encourages you to build connections between every element of your business. It's faster to write out and update, and much easier for you, your team, and anyone else to visualize your business operations.

One-page business plan

The true middle ground between the business model canvas and a traditional business plan is the one-page business plan . This format is a simplified version of the traditional plan that focuses on the core aspects of your business.

By starting with a one-page plan , you give yourself a minimal document to build from. You'll typically stick with bullet points and single sentences making it much easier to elaborate or expand sections into a longer-form business plan.

Growth planning

Growth planning is more than a specific type of business plan. It's a methodology. It takes the simplicity and styling of the one-page business plan and turns it into a process for you to continuously plan, forecast, review, and refine based on your performance.

It holds all of the benefits of the single-page plan, including the potential to complete it in as little as 27 minutes . However, it's even easier to convert into a more detailed plan thanks to how heavily it's tied to your financials. The overall goal of growth planning isn't to just produce documents that you use once and shelve. Instead, the growth planning process helps you build a healthier company that thrives in times of growth and remain stable through times of crisis.

It's faster, keeps your plan concise, and ensures that your plan is always up-to-date.

Download a free sample business plan template

Ready to start writing your own plan but aren't sure where to start? Download our free business plan template that's been updated for 2024.

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. It includes additional instructions for how to write each section and is formatted to be SBA-lender approved. All you need to do is fill in the blanks.

How to use an example business plan to help you write your own

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How do you know what elements need to be included in your business plan, especially if you've never written one before? Looking at examples can help you visualize what a full, traditional plan looks like, so you know what you're aiming for before you get started. Here's how to get the most out of a sample business plan.

Choose a business plan example from a similar type of company

You don't need to find an example business plan that's an exact fit for your business. Your business location, target market, and even your particular product or service may not match up exactly with the plans in our gallery. But, you don't need an exact match for it to be helpful. Instead, look for a plan that's related to the type of business you're starting.

For example, if you want to start a vegetarian restaurant, a plan for a steakhouse can be a great match. While the specifics of your actual startup will differ, the elements you'd want to include in your restaurant's business plan are likely to be very similar.

Use a business plan example as a guide

Every startup and small business is unique, so you'll want to avoid copying an example business plan word for word. It just won't be as helpful, since each business is unique. You want your plan to be a useful tool for starting a business —and getting funding if you need it.

One of the key benefits of writing a business plan is simply going through the process. When you sit down to write, you'll naturally think through important pieces, like your startup costs, your target market , and any market analysis or research you'll need to do to be successful.

You'll also look at where you stand among your competition (and everyone has competition), and lay out your goals and the milestones you'll need to meet. Looking at an example business plan's financials section can be helpful because you can see what should be included, but take them with a grain of salt. Don't assume that financial projections for a sample company will fit your own small business.

If you're looking for more resources to help you get started, our business planning guide is a good place to start. You can also download our free business plan template , or get started right away with LivePlan .

Think of business planning as a process, instead of a document

Think about business planning as something you do often , rather than a document you create once and never look at again. If you take the time to write a plan that really fits your own company, it will be a better, more useful tool to grow your business. It should also make it easier to share your vision and strategy so everyone on your team is on the same page.

Adjust your plan regularly to use it as a business management tool

Keep in mind that businesses that use their plan as a management tool to help run their business grow 30 percent faster than those businesses that don't. For that to be true for your company, you'll think of a part of your business planning process as tracking your actual results against your financial forecast on a regular basis.

If things are going well, your plan will help you think about how you can re-invest in your business. If you find that you're not meeting goals, you might need to adjust your budgets or your sales forecast. Either way, tracking your progress compared to your plan can help you adjust quickly when you identify challenges and opportunities—it's one of the most powerful things you can do to grow your business.

Prepare to pitch your business

If you're planning to pitch your business to investors or seek out any funding, you'll need a pitch deck to accompany your business plan. A pitch deck is designed to inform people about your business. You want your pitch deck to be short and easy to follow, so it's best to keep your presentation under 20 slides.

Your pitch deck and pitch presentation are likely some of the first things that an investor will see to learn more about your company. So, you need to be informative and pique their interest. Luckily, just like you can leverage an example business plan template to write your plan, we also have a gallery of over 50 pitch decks for you to reference.

With this gallery, you have the option to view specific industry pitches or get inspired by real-world pitch deck examples. Or for a modern pitch solution that helps you create a business plan and pitch deck side-by-side, you may want to check out LivePlan . It will help you build everything needed for outside investment and to better manage your business.

Get LivePlan in your classroom

Are you an educator looking for real-world business plan examples for your students? With LivePlan, you give your students access to industry-best business plans and help them set goals and track metrics with spreadsheet-free financial forecasts. All of this within a single tool that includes additional instructional resources that work seamlessly alongside your current classroom setup.

With LivePlan, it's not just a classroom project. It's your students planning for their futures. Click here to learn more about business planning for students .

Ready to get started?

Now that you know how to use an example business plan to help you write a plan for your business, it's time to find the right one.

Use the search bar below to get started and find the right match for your business idea.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Simple Business Plan

By Joe Weller | October 11, 2021

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A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful company, regardless of size or industry. This step-by-step guide provides information on writing a business plan for organizations at any stage, complete with free templates and expert advice. 

Included on this page, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan and a chart to identify which type of business plan you should write . Plus, find information on how a business plan can help grow a business and expert tips on writing one .

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that communicates a company’s goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, finances, and methods needed to achieve them. Additionally, it may include a mission statement and details about the specific products or services offered.

A business plan can highlight varying time periods, depending on the stage of your company and its goals. That said, a typical business plan will include the following benchmarks:

  • Product goals and deadlines for each month
  • Monthly financials for the first two years
  • Profit and loss statements for the first three to five years
  • Balance sheet projections for the first three to five years

Startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses all create business plans to use as a guide as their new company progresses. Larger organizations may also create (and update) a business plan to keep high-level goals, financials, and timelines in check.

While you certainly need to have a formalized outline of your business’s goals and finances, creating a business plan can also help you determine a company’s viability, its profitability (including when it will first turn a profit), and how much money you will need from investors. In turn, a business plan has functional value as well: Not only does outlining goals help keep you accountable on a timeline, it can also attract investors in and of itself and, therefore, act as an effective strategy for growth.

For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to writing a strategic plan or download free strategic plan templates . This page focuses on for-profit business plans, but you can read our article with nonprofit business plan templates .

Business Plan Steps

The specific information in your business plan will vary, depending on the needs and goals of your venture, but a typical plan includes the following ordered elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Description of business
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Description of organizational management
  • Description of product or services
  • Marketing plan
  • Sales strategy
  • Funding details (or request for funding)
  • Financial projections

If your plan is particularly long or complicated, consider adding a table of contents or an appendix for reference. For an in-depth description of each step listed above, read “ How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step ” below.

Broadly speaking, your audience includes anyone with a vested interest in your organization. They can include potential and existing investors, as well as customers, internal team members, suppliers, and vendors.

Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan?

Your business’s stage and intended audience dictates the level of detail your plan needs. Corporations require a thorough business plan — up to 100 pages. Small businesses or startups should have a concise plan focusing on financials and strategy.

How to Choose the Right Plan for Your Business

In order to identify which type of business plan you need to create, ask: “What do we want the plan to do?” Identify function first, and form will follow.

Use the chart below as a guide for what type of business plan to create:

Is the Order of Your Business Plan Important?

There is no set order for a business plan, with the exception of the executive summary, which should always come first. Beyond that, simply ensure that you organize the plan in a way that makes sense and flows naturally.

The Difference Between Traditional and Lean Business Plans

A traditional business plan follows the standard structure — because these plans encourage detail, they tend to require more work upfront and can run dozens of pages. A Lean business plan is less common and focuses on summarizing critical points for each section. These plans take much less work and typically run one page in length.

In general, you should use a traditional model for a legacy company, a large company, or any business that does not adhere to Lean (or another Agile method ). Use Lean if you expect the company to pivot quickly or if you already employ a Lean strategy with other business operations. Additionally, a Lean business plan can suffice if the document is for internal use only. Stick to a traditional version for investors, as they may be more sensitive to sudden changes or a high degree of built-in flexibility in the plan.

How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step

Writing a strong business plan requires research and attention to detail for each section. Below, you’ll find a 10-step guide to researching and defining each element in the plan.

Step 1: Executive Summary

The executive summary will always be the first section of your business plan. The goal is to answer the following questions:

  • What is the vision and mission of the company?
  • What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?

See our  roundup of executive summary examples and templates for samples. Read our executive summary guide to learn more about writing one.

Step 2: Description of Business

The goal of this section is to define the realm, scope, and intent of your venture. To do so, answer the following questions as clearly and concisely as possible:

  • What business are we in?
  • What does our business do?

Step 3: Market Analysis

In this section, provide evidence that you have surveyed and understand the current marketplace, and that your product or service satisfies a niche in the market. To do so, answer these questions:

  • Who is our customer? 
  • What does that customer value?

Step 4: Competitive Analysis

In many cases, a business plan proposes not a brand-new (or even market-disrupting) venture, but a more competitive version — whether via features, pricing, integrations, etc. — than what is currently available. In this section, answer the following questions to show that your product or service stands to outpace competitors:

  • Who is the competition? 
  • What do they do best? 
  • What is our unique value proposition?

Step 5: Description of Organizational Management

In this section, write an overview of the team members and other key personnel who are integral to success. List roles and responsibilities, and if possible, note the hierarchy or team structure.

Step 6: Description of Products or Services

In this section, clearly define your product or service, as well as all the effort and resources that go into producing it. The strength of your product largely defines the success of your business, so it’s imperative that you take time to test and refine the product before launching into marketing, sales, or funding details.

Questions to answer in this section are as follows:

  • What is the product or service?
  • How do we produce it, and what resources are necessary for production?

Step 7: Marketing Plan

In this section, define the marketing strategy for your product or service. This doesn’t need to be as fleshed out as a full marketing plan , but it should answer basic questions, such as the following:

  • Who is the target market (if different from existing customer base)?
  • What channels will you use to reach your target market?
  • What resources does your marketing strategy require, and do you have access to them?
  • If possible, do you have a rough estimate of timeline and budget?
  • How will you measure success?

Step 8: Sales Plan

Write an overview of the sales strategy, including the priorities of each cycle, steps to achieve these goals, and metrics for success. For the purposes of a business plan, this section does not need to be a comprehensive, in-depth sales plan , but can simply outline the high-level objectives and strategies of your sales efforts. 

Start by answering the following questions:

  • What is the sales strategy?
  • What are the tools and tactics you will use to achieve your goals?
  • What are the potential obstacles, and how will you overcome them?
  • What is the timeline for sales and turning a profit?
  • What are the metrics of success?

Step 9: Funding Details (or Request for Funding)

This section is one of the most critical parts of your business plan, particularly if you are sharing it with investors. You do not need to provide a full financial plan, but you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How much capital do you currently have? How much capital do you need?
  • How will you grow the team (onboarding, team structure, training and development)?
  • What are your physical needs and constraints (space, equipment, etc.)?

Step 10: Financial Projections

Apart from the fundraising analysis, investors like to see thought-out financial projections for the future. As discussed earlier, depending on the scope and stage of your business, this could be anywhere from one to five years. 

While these projections won’t be exact — and will need to be somewhat flexible — you should be able to gauge the following:

  • How and when will the company first generate a profit?
  • How will the company maintain profit thereafter?

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Download Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet

This basic business plan template has space for all the traditional elements: an executive summary, product or service details, target audience, marketing and sales strategies, etc. In the finances sections, input your baseline numbers, and the template will automatically calculate projections for sales forecasting, financial statements, and more.

For templates tailored to more specific needs, visit this business plan template roundup or download a fill-in-the-blank business plan template to make things easy. 

If you are looking for a particular template by file type, visit our pages dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Excel , Microsoft Word , and Adobe PDF business plan templates.

How to Write a Simple Business Plan

A simple business plan is a streamlined, lightweight version of the large, traditional model. As opposed to a one-page business plan , which communicates high-level information for quick overviews (such as a stakeholder presentation), a simple business plan can exceed one page.

Below are the steps for creating a generic simple business plan, which are reflected in the template below .

  • Write the Executive Summary This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what’s in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company. 
  • Add a Company Overview Document the larger company mission and vision. 
  • Provide the Problem and Solution In straightforward terms, define the problem you are attempting to solve with your product or service and how your company will attempt to do it. Think of this section as the gap in the market you are attempting to close.
  • Identify the Target Market Who is your company (and its products or services) attempting to reach? If possible, briefly define your buyer personas .
  • Write About the Competition In this section, demonstrate your knowledge of the market by listing the current competitors and outlining your competitive advantage.
  • Describe Your Product or Service Offerings Get down to brass tacks and define your product or service. What exactly are you selling?
  • Outline Your Marketing Tactics Without getting into too much detail, describe your planned marketing initiatives.
  • Add a Timeline and the Metrics You Will Use to Measure Success Offer a rough timeline, including milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure your progress.
  • Include Your Financial Forecasts Write an overview of your financial plan that demonstrates you have done your research and adequate modeling. You can also list key assumptions that go into this forecasting. 
  • Identify Your Financing Needs This section is where you will make your funding request. Based on everything in the business plan, list your proposed sources of funding, as well as how you will use it.

Simple Business Plan Template

Simple Business Plan Template

Download Simple Business Plan Template

Microsoft Excel |  Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF  | Smartsheet

Use this simple business plan template to outline each aspect of your organization, including information about financing and opportunities to seek out further funding. This template is completely customizable to fit the needs of any business, whether it’s a startup or large company.

Read our article offering free simple business plan templates or free 30-60-90-day business plan templates to find more tailored options. You can also explore our collection of one page business templates . 

How to Write a Business Plan for a Lean Startup

A Lean startup business plan is a more Agile approach to a traditional version. The plan focuses more on activities, processes, and relationships (and maintains flexibility in all aspects), rather than on concrete deliverables and timelines.

While there is some overlap between a traditional and a Lean business plan, you can write a Lean plan by following the steps below:

  • Add Your Value Proposition Take a streamlined approach to describing your product or service. What is the unique value your startup aims to deliver to customers? Make sure the team is aligned on the core offering and that you can state it in clear, simple language.
  • List Your Key Partners List any other businesses you will work with to realize your vision, including external vendors, suppliers, and partners. This section demonstrates that you have thoughtfully considered the resources you can provide internally, identified areas for external assistance, and conducted research to find alternatives.
  • Note the Key Activities Describe the key activities of your business, including sourcing, production, marketing, distribution channels, and customer relationships.
  • Include Your Key Resources List the critical resources — including personnel, equipment, space, and intellectual property — that will enable you to deliver your unique value.
  • Identify Your Customer Relationships and Channels In this section, document how you will reach and build relationships with customers. Provide a high-level map of the customer experience from start to finish, including the spaces in which you will interact with the customer (online, retail, etc.). 
  • Detail Your Marketing Channels Describe the marketing methods and communication platforms you will use to identify and nurture your relationships with customers. These could be email, advertising, social media, etc.
  • Explain the Cost Structure This section is especially necessary in the early stages of a business. Will you prioritize maximizing value or keeping costs low? List the foundational startup costs and how you will move toward profit over time.
  • Share Your Revenue Streams Over time, how will the company make money? Include both the direct product or service purchase, as well as secondary sources of revenue, such as subscriptions, selling advertising space, fundraising, etc.

Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Lean Business Plan Templates for Startups

Download Lean Business Plan Template for Startups

Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF

Startup leaders can use this Lean business plan template to relay the most critical information from a traditional plan. You’ll find all the sections listed above, including spaces for industry and product overviews, cost structure and sources of revenue, and key metrics, and a timeline. The template is completely customizable, so you can edit it to suit the objectives of your Lean startups.

See our wide variety of  startup business plan templates for more options.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan

A business plan for a loan, often called a loan proposal , includes many of the same aspects of a traditional business plan, as well as additional financial documents, such as a credit history, a loan request, and a loan repayment plan.

In addition, you may be asked to include personal and business financial statements, a form of collateral, and equity investment information.

Download free financial templates to support your business plan.

Tips for Writing a Business Plan

Outside of including all the key details in your business plan, you have several options to elevate the document for the highest chance of winning funding and other resources. Follow these tips from experts:.

  • Keep It Simple: Avner Brodsky , the Co-Founder and CEO of Lezgo Limited, an online marketing company, uses the acronym KISS (keep it short and simple) as a variation on this idea. “The business plan is not a college thesis,” he says. “Just focus on providing the essential information.”
  • Do Adequate Research: Michael Dean, the Co-Founder of Pool Research , encourages business leaders to “invest time in research, both internal and external (market, finance, legal etc.). Avoid being overly ambitious or presumptive. Instead, keep everything objective, balanced, and accurate.” Your plan needs to stand on its own, and you must have the data to back up any claims or forecasting you make. As Brodsky explains, “Your business needs to be grounded on the realities of the market in your chosen location. Get the most recent data from authoritative sources so that the figures are vetted by experts and are reliable.”
  • Set Clear Goals: Make sure your plan includes clear, time-based goals. “Short-term goals are key to momentum growth and are especially important to identify for new businesses,” advises Dean.
  • Know (and Address) Your Weaknesses: “This awareness sets you up to overcome your weak points much quicker than waiting for them to arise,” shares Dean. Brodsky recommends performing a full SWOT analysis to identify your weaknesses, too. “Your business will fare better with self-knowledge, which will help you better define the mission of your business, as well as the strategies you will choose to achieve your objectives,” he adds.
  • Seek Peer or Mentor Review: “Ask for feedback on your drafts and for areas to improve,” advises Brodsky. “When your mind is filled with dreams for your business, sometimes it is an outsider who can tell you what you’re missing and will save your business from being a product of whimsy.”

Outside of these more practical tips, the language you use is also important and may make or break your business plan.

Shaun Heng, VP of Operations at Coin Market Cap , gives the following advice on the writing, “Your business plan is your sales pitch to an investor. And as with any sales pitch, you need to strike the right tone and hit a few emotional chords. This is a little tricky in a business plan, because you also need to be formal and matter-of-fact. But you can still impress by weaving in descriptive language and saying things in a more elegant way.

“A great way to do this is by expanding your vocabulary, avoiding word repetition, and using business language. Instead of saying that something ‘will bring in as many customers as possible,’ try saying ‘will garner the largest possible market segment.’ Elevate your writing with precise descriptive words and you'll impress even the busiest investor.”

Additionally, Dean recommends that you “stay consistent and concise by keeping your tone and style steady throughout, and your language clear and precise. Include only what is 100 percent necessary.”

Resources for Writing a Business Plan

While a template provides a great outline of what to include in a business plan, a live document or more robust program can provide additional functionality, visibility, and real-time updates. The U.S. Small Business Association also curates resources for writing a business plan.

Additionally, you can use business plan software to house data, attach documentation, and share information with stakeholders. Popular options include LivePlan, Enloop, BizPlanner, PlanGuru, and iPlanner.

How a Business Plan Helps to Grow Your Business

A business plan — both the exercise of creating one and the document — can grow your business by helping you to refine your product, target audience, sales plan, identify opportunities, secure funding, and build new partnerships. 

Outside of these immediate returns, writing a business plan is a useful exercise in that it forces you to research the market, which prompts you to forge your unique value proposition and identify ways to beat the competition. Doing so will also help you build (and keep you accountable to) attainable financial and product milestones. And down the line, it will serve as a welcome guide as hurdles inevitably arise.

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business plan title page examples

The 7 Best Business Plan Examples (2024)

So you want to start a business . Kudos! You’re doing big things.

One of the first steps to building a strong foundation for your new venture is to write a rock-solid business plan . When done right, your business plan can pave your path to success, all while helping you to smoothly cruise through any obstacles that may come up.

Plus, a good business plan can help you secure critical partnerships and funding that you might need in your early stages.

If you’re unsure how to write one, a great place to start is to learn from the pros. In this article, we’ll look at companies that built incredible business plans.

Take notes on the structure, format, and details. Hopefully you’ll leave with plenty of inspiration to write your own.

business plan title page examples

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business plan title page examples

7-part template for business plan examples

We’ll look at a business plan that is structured using a seven-part template. Here’s a quick review of those parts:

  • Executive summary: A quick overview of your business and the contents of your business plan.
  • Company description: More info about your company, its goals and mission, and why you started it in the first place.
  • Market analysis: Research about the market and industry your business will operate in, including a competitive analysis about the companies you’ll be up against.
  • Products and services: A detailed description of what you’ll be selling to your customers.
  • Marketing plan: A strategic outline of how you plan to market and promote your business before, during, and after your company launches into the market.
  • Logistics and operations plan: An explanation of the systems, processes, and tools that are needed to run your business in the background.
  • Financial plan: A map of your short-term (and even long-term) financial goals and the costs to run the business. If you’re looking for funding, here’s the place to discuss your request and needs.

7 business plan examples (section by section)

In this section, you’ll find hypothetical and real-world examples of each aspect of a business plan to show you how the whole thing comes together. 

  • Executive summary

Your executive summary offers a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. You’ll want to include a brief description of your company, market research, competitor analysis, and financial information.  

In ThoughtCo’s sample business plan for a fictional company called Acme Management Technology, the executive summary is three paragraphs and occupies nearly half the page:

business plan executive summary

  • Company description

You might go more in-depth with your company description and include the following sections:

  • Nature of the business. Mention the general category of business you fall under. Are you a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of your products?
  • Background information. Talk about your past experiences and skills, and how you’ve combined them to fill in the market. 
  • Business structure. This section outlines how you registered your company —as a corporation, sole proprietorship, LLC, or other business type.
  • Industry. Which business sector do you operate in? The answer might be technology, merchandising, or another industry.
  • Team. Whether you’re the sole full-time employee of your business or you have contractors to support your daily workflow, this is your chance to put them under the spotlight.

You can also repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, Instagram page, or other properties that ask for a boilerplate description of your business. Hair extensions brand Luxy Hair has a blurb on its About page that could easily be repurposed as a company description for its business plan. 

company description business plan

  • Market analysis

Market analysis comprises research on product supply and demand, your target market, the competitive landscape, and industry trends. You might do a SWOT analysis to learn where you stand and identify market gaps that you could exploit to establish your footing. Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis we did for a hypothetical ecommerce business: 

marketing swot example

You’ll also want to run a competitive analysis as part of the market analysis component for your business plan. This will show you who you’re up against and give you ideas on how to gain an edge over the competition. 

  • Products and services

This part of your business plan describes your product or service, how it will be priced, and the ways it will compete against similar offerings in the market. Don’t go into too much detail here —a few lines are enough to introduce your item to the reader.

business plan title page examples

  • Marketing plan

Potential investors will want to know how you’ll get the word out about your business. As such, it’s essential to build a marketing plan that highlights the promotion and customer acquisition strategies you’re planning to adopt. 

Most marketing plans focus on the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. However, it’s easier when you break it down by the different marketing channels . Mention how you intend to promote your business using blogs, email, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Here’s an example of a hypothetical marketing plan for a real estate website:

marketing section template for business plan

Logistics and operations

This section of your business plan provides information about your production, facilities, production, equipment, shipping and fulfillment, and inventory.

Financial plan

The financial plan (a.k.a. financial statement) offers a breakdown of your sales, revenue, expenses, profit, and other financial metrics. You’ll want to include all the numbers and concrete data to project your current and projected financial state. For example, the financial statement for ecommerce brand Nature’s Candy includes forecasted revenue, expenses, and net profit in graphs.

financial plan example

It then goes deeper into the financials, citing:

  • Funding needs
  • Project cash-flow statement
  • Project profit-and-loss statement
  • Projected balance sheet

You can use Shopify’s financial plan template to create your own income statement, cash-flow statement, and balance sheet. 

Types of business plan (and what to write for each)

A one-page business plan is a pared down version of a standard business plan that’s easy for potential investors and partners to understand. You’ll want to include all of the sections, but make sure they’re abbreviated and summarized.

  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financials 

A startup business plan is meant to secure outside funding for a new business. Typically, there’s a big focus on the financials, as well as other sections that help determine the viability of your business idea —market analysis, for example. Shopify has a great business plan template for startups that include all the below points.

  • Market research: in depth
  • Financials: in depth

Internal 

Your internal business plan acts as the enforcer of your company’s vision. It reminds your team of the long-term objective and keeps them strategically aligned toward the same goal.

  • Market research

Feasibility 

A feasibility business plan is essentially a feasibility study that helps you evaluate whether your product or idea is worthy of a full business plan. 

Mix and match to make a killer business plan

The good news is: there’s no single right way to write a business plan. If you’re feeling unsure about how to craft yours, pull bits and pieces that you like from other examples, and leave out the parts that don’t apply or make sense for you.

The important thing is to clearly communicate your reason for starting the company, what’s needed to operate it, and how you plan to make it work in the long run.

When you can convince others that you have a killer game plan, you’ve nailed it.

Want to learn more?

  • Question: Are You a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur?
  • Bootstrapping a Business: 10 Tips to Help You Succeed
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: 20 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur
  • 101+ Best Small Business Software Programs 

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Popular Templates

24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

Free Business Plan Template

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I believe that reading sample business plans is essential when writing your own.

sample business plans and examples

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As you explore business plan examples from real companies and brands, it’s easier for you to learn how to write a good one.

But what does a good business plan look like? And how do you write one that’s both viable and convincing. I’ll walk you through the ideal business plan format along with some examples to help you get started.

Table of Contents

Business Plan Format

Business plan types, sample business plan templates, top business plan examples.

Ask any successful sports coach how they win so many games, and they’ll tell you they have a unique plan for every single game. To me, the same logic applies to business.

If you want to build a thriving company that can pull ahead of the competition, you need to prepare for battle before breaking into a market.

Business plans guide you along the rocky journey of growing a company. And if your business plan is compelling enough, it can also convince investors to give you funding.

With so much at stake, I’m sure you’re wondering where to begin.

business plan title page examples

  • Outline your idea.
  • Pitch to investors.
  • Secure funding.
  • Get to work!

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Fill out the form to get your free template.

First, you’ll want to nail down your formatting. Most business plans include the following sections.

1. Executive Summary

I’d say the executive summary is the most important section of the entire business plan. 

Why? Essentially, it's the overview or introduction, written in a way to grab readers' attention and guide them through the rest of the business plan. This is important, because a business plan can be dozens or hundreds of pages long.

There are two main elements I’d recommend including in your executive summary:

Company Description

This is the perfect space to highlight your company’s mission statement and goals, a brief overview of your history and leadership, and your top accomplishments as a business.

Tell potential investors who you are and why what you do matters. Naturally, they’re going to want to know who they’re getting into business with up front, and this is a great opportunity to showcase your impact.

Need some extra help firming up those business goals? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free course to help you set goals that matter — I’d highly recommend it

Products and Services

To piggyback off of the company description, be sure to incorporate an overview of your offerings. This doesn’t have to be extensive — just another chance to introduce your industry and overall purpose as a business.

In addition to the items above, I recommend including some information about your financial projections and competitive advantage here too.:

Keep in mind you'll cover many of these topics in more detail later on in the business plan. So, keep the executive summary clear and brief, and only include the most important takeaways.

Executive Summary Business Plan Examples

This example was created with HubSpot’s business plan template:

business plan sample: Executive Summary Example

This executive summary is so good to me because it tells potential investors a short story while still covering all of the most important details.

Business plans examples: Executive Summary

Image Source

Tips for Writing Your Executive Summary

  • Start with a strong introduction of your company, showcase your mission and impact, and outline the products and services you provide.
  • Clearly define a problem, and explain how your product solves that problem, and show why the market needs your business.
  • Be sure to highlight your value proposition, market opportunity, and growth potential.
  • Keep it concise and support ideas with data.
  • Customize your summary to your audience. For example, emphasize finances and return on investment for venture capitalists.

Check out our tips for writing an effective executive summary for more guidance.

2. Market Opportunity

This is where you'll detail the opportunity in the market.

The main question I’d ask myself here is this: Where is the gap in the current industry, and how will my product fill that gap?

More specifically, here’s what I’d include in this section:

  • The size of the market
  • Current or potential market share
  • Trends in the industry and consumer behavior
  • Where the gap is
  • What caused the gap
  • How you intend to fill it

To get a thorough understanding of the market opportunity, you'll want to conduct a TAM, SAM, and SOM analysis and perform market research on your industry.

You may also benefit from creating a SWOT analysis to get some of the insights for this section.

Market Opportunity Business Plan Example

I like this example because it uses critical data to underline the size of the potential market and what part of that market this service hopes to capture.

Business plans examples: Market Opportunity

Tips for Writing Your Market Opportunity Section

  • Focus on demand and potential for growth.
  • Use market research, surveys, and industry trend data to support your market forecast and projections.
  • Add a review of regulation shifts, tech advances, and consumer behavior changes.
  • Refer to reliable sources.
  • Showcase how your business can make the most of this opportunity.

3. Competitive Landscape

Since we’re already speaking of market share, you'll also need to create a section that shares details on who the top competitors are.

After all, your customers likely have more than one brand to choose from, and you'll want to understand exactly why they might choose one over another.

My favorite part of performing a competitive analysis is that it can help you uncover:

  • Industry trends that other brands may not be utilizing
  • Strengths in your competition that may be obstacles to handle
  • Weaknesses in your competition that may help you develop selling points
  • The unique proposition you bring to the market that may resonate with customers

Competitive Landscape Business Plan Example

I like how the competitive landscape section of this business plan below shows a clear outline of who the top competitors are.

Business plans examples: Competitive Landscape

It also highlights specific industry knowledge and the importance of location, which shows useful experience in this specific industry. 

This can help build trust in your ability to execute your business plan.

Tips for Writing Your Competitive Landscape

  • Complete in-depth research, then emphasize your most important findings.
  • Compare your unique selling proposition (USP) to your direct and indirect competitors.
  • Show a clear and realistic plan for product and brand differentiation.
  • Look for specific advantages and barriers in the competitive landscape. Then, highlight how that information could impact your business.
  • Outline growth opportunities from a competitive perspective.
  • Add customer feedback and insights to support your competitive analysis.

4. Target Audience

Use this section to describe who your customer segments are in detail. What is the demographic and psychographic information of your audience?

If your immediate answer is "everyone," you'll need to dig deeper. Here are some questions I’d ask myself here:

  • What demographics will most likely need/buy your product or service?
  • What are the psychographics of this audience? (Desires, triggering events, etc.)
  • Why are your offerings valuable to them?

I’d also recommend building a buyer persona to get in the mindset of your ideal customers and be clear on why you're targeting them.

Target Audience Business Plan Example

I like the example below because it uses in-depth research to draw conclusions about audience priorities. It also analyzes how to create the right content for this audience.

Business plans examples: Target Audience

Tips for Writing Your Target Audience Section

  • Include details on the size and growth potential of your target audience.
  • Figure out and refine the pain points for your target audience , then show why your product is a useful solution.
  • Describe your targeted customer acquisition strategy in detail.
  • Share anticipated challenges your business may face in acquiring customers and how you plan to address them.
  • Add case studies, testimonials, and other data to support your target audience ideas.
  • Remember to consider niche audiences and segments of your target audience in your business plan.

5. Marketing Strategy

Here, you'll discuss how you'll acquire new customers with your marketing strategy. I’d suggest including information:

  • Your brand positioning vision and how you'll cultivate it
  • The goal targets you aim to achieve
  • The metrics you'll use to measure success
  • The channels and distribution tactics you'll use

I think it’s helpful to have a marketing plan built out in advance to make this part of your business plan easier.

Marketing Strategy Business Plan Example

This business plan example includes the marketing strategy for the town of Gawler.

In my opinion, it really works because it offers a comprehensive picture of how they plan to use digital marketing to promote the community.

Business plans examples: Marketing Strategy

Tips for Writing Your Marketing Strategy

  • Include a section about how you believe your brand vision will appeal to customers.
  • Add the budget and resources you'll need to put your plan in place.
  • Outline strategies for specific marketing segments.
  • Connect strategies to earlier sections like target audience and competitive analysis.
  • Review how your marketing strategy will scale with the growth of your business.
  • Cover a range of channels and tactics to highlight your ability to adapt your plan in the face of change.

6. Key Features and Benefits

At some point in your business plan, you'll need to review the key features and benefits of your products and/or services.

Laying these out can give readers an idea of how you're positioning yourself in the market and the messaging you're likely to use. It can even help them gain better insight into your business model.

Key Features and Benefits Business Plan Example

In my opinion, the example below does a great job outlining products and services for this business, along with why these qualities will attract the audience.

Business plans examples: Key Features and Benefits

Tips for Writing Your Key Features and Benefits

  • Emphasize why and how your product or service offers value to customers.
  • Use metrics and testimonials to support the ideas in this section.
  • Talk about how your products and services have the potential to scale.
  • Think about including a product roadmap.
  • Focus on customer needs, and how the features and benefits you are sharing meet those needs.
  • Offer proof of concept for your ideas, like case studies or pilot program feedback.
  • Proofread this section carefully, and remove any jargon or complex language.

7. Pricing and Revenue

This is where you'll discuss your cost structure and various revenue streams. Your pricing strategy must be solid enough to turn a profit while staying competitive in the industry. 

For this reason, here’s what I’d might outline in this section:

  • The specific pricing breakdowns per product or service
  • Why your pricing is higher or lower than your competition's
  • (If higher) Why customers would be willing to pay more
  • (If lower) How you're able to offer your products or services at a lower cost
  • When you expect to break even, what margins do you expect, etc?

Pricing and Revenue Business Plan Example

I like how this business plan example begins with an overview of the business revenue model, then shows proposed pricing for key products.

Business plans examples: Pricing and Revenue

Tips for Writing Your Pricing and Revenue Section

  • Get specific about your pricing strategy. Specifically, how you connect that strategy to customer needs and product value.
  • If you are asking a premium price, share unique features or innovations that justify that price point.
  • Show how you plan to communicate pricing to customers.
  • Create an overview of every revenue stream for your business and how each stream adds to your business model as a whole.
  • Share plans to develop new revenue streams in the future.
  • Show how and whether pricing will vary by customer segment and how pricing aligns with marketing strategies.
  • Restate your value proposition and explain how it aligns with your revenue model.

8. Financials

To me, this section is particularly informative for investors and leadership teams to figure out funding strategies, investment opportunities, and more.

 According to Forbes , you'll want to include three main things:

  • Profit/Loss Statement - This answers the question of whether your business is currently profitable.
  • Cash Flow Statement - This details exactly how much cash is incoming and outgoing to give insight into how much cash a business has on hand.
  • Balance Sheet - This outlines assets, liabilities, and equity, which gives insight into how much a business is worth.

While some business plans might include more or less information, these are the key details I’d include in this section.

Financials Business Plan Example

This balance sheet is a great example of level of detail you’ll need to include in the financials section of your business plan.

Business plans examples: Financials

Tips for Writing Your Financials Section

  • Growth potential is important in this section too. Using your data, create a forecast of financial performance in the next three to five years.
  • Include any data that supports your projections to assure investors of the credibility of your proposal.
  • Add a break-even analysis to show that your business plan is financially practical. This information can also help you pivot quickly as your business grows.
  • Consider adding a section that reviews potential risks and how sensitive your plan is to changes in the market.
  • Triple-check all financial information in your plan for accuracy.
  • Show how any proposed funding needs align with your plans for growth.

As you create your business plan, keep in mind that each of these sections will be formatted differently. Some may be in paragraph format, while others could be charts or graphs.

The formats above apply to most types of business plans. That said, the format and structure of your plan will vary by your goals for that plan. 

So, I’ve added a quick review of different business plan types. For a more detailed overview, check out this post .

1. Startups

Startup business plans are for proposing new business ideas.

If you’re planning to start a small business, preparing a business plan is crucial. The plan should include all the major factors of your business.

You can check out this guide for more detailed business plan inspiration .

2. Feasibility Studies

Feasibility business plans focus on that business's product or service. Feasibility plans are sometimes added to startup business plans. They can also be a new business plan for an already thriving organization.

3. Internal Use

You can use internal business plans to share goals, strategies, or performance updates with stakeholders. In my opinion, internal business plans are useful for alignment and building support for ambitious goals.

4. Strategic Initiatives

Another business plan that's often for sharing internally is a strategic business plan. This plan covers long-term business objectives that might not have been included in the startup business plan.

5. Business Acquisition or Repositioning

When a business is moving forward with an acquisition or repositioning, it may need extra structure and support. These types of business plans expand on a company's acquisition or repositioning strategy.

Growth sometimes just happens as a business continues operations. But more often, a business needs to create a structure with specific targets to meet set goals for expansion. This business plan type can help a business focus on short-term growth goals and align resources with those goals.

Now that you know what's included and how to format a business plan, let's review some of my favorite templates.

1. HubSpot's One-Page Business Plan

Download a free, editable one-page business plan template..

The business plan linked above was created here at HubSpot and is perfect for businesses of any size — no matter how many strategies we still have to develop.

Fields such as Company Description, Required Funding, and Implementation Timeline give this one-page business plan a framework for how to build your brand and what tasks to keep track of as you grow.

Then, as the business matures, you can expand on your original business plan with a new iteration of the above document.

Why I Like It

This one-page business plan is a fantastic choice for the new business owner who doesn’t have the time or resources to draft a full-blown business plan. It includes all the essential sections in an accessible, bullet-point-friendly format. That way, you can get the broad strokes down before honing in on the details.

2. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

Sample business plan: hubspot free editable pdf

We also created a business plan template for entrepreneurs.

The template is designed as a guide and checklist for starting your own business. You’ll learn what to include in each section of your business plan and how to do it.

There’s also a list for you to check off when you finish each section of your business plan.

Strong game plans help coaches win games and help businesses rocket to the top of their industries. So if you dedicate the time and effort required to write a workable and convincing business plan, you’ll boost your chances of success and even dominance in your market.

This business plan kit is essential for the budding entrepreneur who needs a more extensive document to share with investors and other stakeholders.

It not only includes sections for your executive summary, product line, market analysis, marketing plan, and sales plan, but it also offers hands-on guidance for filling out those sections.

3. LiveFlow’s Financial Planning Template with built-in automation

Sample Business Plan: LiveFLow

This free template from LiveFlow aims to make it easy for businesses to create a financial plan and track their progress on a monthly basis.

The P&L Budget versus Actual format allows users to track their revenue, cost of sales, operating expenses, operating profit margin, net profit, and more.

The summary dashboard aggregates all of the data put into the financial plan sheet and will automatically update when changes are made.

Instead of wasting hours manually importing your data to your spreadsheet, LiveFlow can also help you to automatically connect your accounting and banking data directly to your spreadsheet, so your numbers are always up-to-date.

With the dashboard, you can view your runway, cash balance, burn rate, gross margins, and other metrics. Having a simple way to track everything in one place will make it easier to complete the financials section of your business plan.

This is a fantastic template to track performance and alignment internally and to create a dependable process for documenting financial information across the business. It’s highly versatile and beginner-friendly.

It’s especially useful if you don’t have an accountant on the team. (I always recommend you do, but for new businesses, having one might not be possible.)

4. ThoughtCo’s Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: ThoughtCo.

One of the more financially oriented sample business plans in this list, BPlan’s free business plan template dedicates many of its pages to your business’s financial plan and financial statements.

After filling this business plan out, your company will truly understand its financial health and the steps you need to take to maintain or improve it.

I absolutely love this business plan template because of its ease-of-use and hands-on instructions (in addition to its finance-centric components). If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of writing an entire business plan, consider using this template to help you with the process.

6. Harvard Business Review’s "How to Write a Winning Business Plan"

Most sample business plans teach you what to include in your business plan, but this Harvard Business Review article will take your business plan to the next level — it teaches you the why and how behind writing a business plan.

With the guidance of Stanley Rich and Richard Gumpert, co-authors of " Business Plans That Win: Lessons From the MIT Enterprise Forum ", you'll learn how to write a convincing business plan that emphasizes the market demand for your product or service.

You’ll also learn the financial benefits investors can reap from putting money into your venture rather than trying to sell them on how great your product or service is.

This business plan guide focuses less on the individual parts of a business plan, and more on the overarching goal of writing one. For that reason, it’s one of my favorites to supplement any template you choose to use. Harvard Business Review’s guide is instrumental for both new and seasoned business owners.

7. HubSpot’s Complete Guide to Starting a Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know writing a business plan is one of the most challenging first steps to starting a business.

Fortunately, with HubSpot's comprehensive guide to starting a business, you'll learn how to map out all the details by understanding what to include in your business plan and why it’s important to include them. The guide also fleshes out an entire sample business plan for you.

If you need further guidance on starting a business, HubSpot's guide can teach you how to make your business legal, choose and register your business name, and fund your business. It will also give small business tax information and includes marketing, sales, and service tips.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of starting a business, in addition to writing your business plan, with a high level of exactitude and detail. So if you’re in the midst of starting your business, this is an excellent guide for you.

It also offers other resources you might need, such as market analysis templates.

8. Panda Doc’s Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Panda Doc

PandaDoc’s free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

Once you fill it out, you’ll fully understand your business’ nitty-gritty details and how all of its moving parts should work together to contribute to its success.

This template has two things I love: comprehensiveness and in-depth instructions. Plus, it’s synced with PandaDoc’s e-signature software so that you and other stakeholders can sign it with ease. For that reason, I especially love it for those starting a business with a partner or with a board of directors.

9. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

sample business plan: Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free business plan templates that can be used to inspire your own plan.

Before you get started, you can decide what type of business plan you need — a traditional or lean start-up plan.

Then, you can review the format for both of those plans and view examples of what they might look like.

We love both of the SBA’s templates because of their versatility. You can choose between two options and use the existing content in the templates to flesh out your own plan. Plus, if needed, you can get a free business counselor to help you along the way.

I’ve compiled some completed business plan samples to help you get an idea of how to customize a plan for your business.

I chose different types of business plan ideas to expand your imagination. Some are extensive, while others are fairly simple.

Let’s take a look.

1. LiveFlow

business plan example: liveflow

One of the major business expenses is marketing. How you handle your marketing reflects your company’s revenue.

I included this business plan to show you how you can ensure your marketing team is aligned with your overall business plan to get results. The plan also shows you how to track even the smallest metrics of your campaigns, like ROI and payback periods instead of just focusing on big metrics like gross and revenue.

Fintech startup, LiveFlow, allows users to sync real-time data from its accounting services, payment platforms, and banks into custom reports. This eliminates the task of pulling reports together manually, saving teams time and helping automate workflows.

"Using this framework over a traditional marketing plan will help you set a profitable marketing strategy taking things like CAC, LTV, Payback period, and P&L into consideration," explains LiveFlow co-founder, Lasse Kalkar .

When it came to including marketing strategy in its business plan, LiveFlow created a separate marketing profit and loss statement (P&L) to track how well the company was doing with its marketing initiatives.

This is a great approach, allowing businesses to focus on where their marketing dollars are making the most impact. Having this information handy will enable you to build out your business plan’s marketing section with confidence. LiveFlow has shared the template here . You can test it for yourself.

2. Lula Body

Business plan example: Lula body

Sometimes all you need is a solid mission statement and core values to guide you on how to go about everything. You do this by creating a business plan revolving around how to fulfill your statement best.

For example, Patagonia is an eco-friendly company, so their plan discusses how to make the best environmentally friendly products without causing harm.

A good mission statement  should not only resonate with consumers but should also serve as a core value compass for employees as well.

Patagonia has one of the most compelling mission statements I’ve seen:

"Together, let’s prioritise purpose over profit and protect this wondrous planet, our only home."

It reels you in from the start, and the environmentally friendly theme continues throughout the rest of the statement.

This mission goes on to explain that they are out to "Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to protect nature."

Their mission statement is compelling and detailed, with each section outlining how they will accomplish their goal.

4. Vesta Home Automation

business plan example: Vesta executive summary

This executive summary for a smart home device startup is part of a business plan created by students at Mount Royal University .

While it lacks some of the sleek visuals of the templates above, its executive summary does a great job of demonstrating how invested they are in the business.

Right away, they mention they’ve invested $200,000 into the company already, which shows investors they have skin in the game and aren’t just looking for someone else to foot the bill.

This is the kind of business plan you need when applying for business funds. It clearly illustrates the expected future of the company and how the business has been coming along over the years.

5. NALB Creative Center

business plan examples: nalb creative center

This fictional business plan for an art supply store includes everything one might need in a business plan: an executive summary, a company summary, a list of services, a market analysis summary, and more.

One of its most notable sections is its market analysis summary, which includes an overview of the population growth in the business’ target geographical area, as well as a breakdown of the types of potential customers they expect to welcome at the store. 

This sort of granular insight is essential for understanding and communicating your business’s growth potential. Plus, it lays a strong foundation for creating relevant and useful buyer personas .

It’s essential to keep this information up-to-date as your market and target buyer changes. For that reason, you should carry out market research as often as possible to ensure that you’re targeting the correct audience and sharing accurate information with your investors.

Due to its comprehensiveness, it’s an excellent example to follow if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store and need to get external funding to start your business .

6. Curriculum Companion Suites (CSS)

business plan examples: curriculum companion suites

If you’re looking for a SaaS business plan example, look no further than this business plan for a fictional educational software company called Curriculum Companion Suites. 

Like the business plan for the NALB Creative Center, it includes plenty of information for prospective investors and other key stakeholders in the business.

One of the most notable features of this business plan is the executive summary, which includes an overview of the product, market, and mission.

The first two are essential for software companies because the product offering is so often at the forefront of the company’s strategy. Without that information being immediately available to investors and executives, then you risk writing an unfocused business plan.

It’s essential to front-load your company’s mission if it explains your "Why?" and this example does just that. In other words, why do you do what you do, and why should stakeholders care? This is an important section to include if you feel that your mission will drive interest in the business and its offerings.

7. Culina Sample Business Plan

sample business plan: Culina

Culina's sample business plan is an excellent example of how to lay out your business plan so that it flows naturally, engages readers, and provides the critical information investors and stakeholders need. 

You can use this template as a guide while you're gathering important information for your own business plan. You'll have a better understanding of the data and research you need to do since Culina’s plan outlines these details so flawlessly for inspiration.

8. Plum Sample Business Plan

Sample business plan: Plum

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What to include on the Title Page of a Business Plan

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The Title Page of Your Business Plan

The title page of your business plan is the first page a banker or investor sees. As a result, it should be structured neatly and appeal to your intended audience. The title page generally includes the following items;

  • Name of your business or proposed name of your business.
  • Logo of the business (if any).
  • The month and year in which the business plan was issued.
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the entrepreneur or Chief Executive Officer (I.E. the person responsible for the business).
  • Name of the Business plan developer - ( if you are the entrepreneur and prepared the business plan yourself, exclude this part from the title page).
  • It is also a good idea to include on your title page a confidential and proprietary statement.
  • Disclaimer of securities (if required).

EXAMPLES OF THE TITLE PAGE:

J&B Incorporated Scholarship Information Services The Internet Company The XYZ Company

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  1. How to Write a Business Plan Cover Page + Template

    From there, you can apply a title that frames the type of business plan you're creating: " One-page ," " 5-year ," "Merger," " Growth plan ," etc. Expanding the title is optional and should only be done if you believe it will benefit the reader. 5. Add the completion date. Including the completion date shows how fresh and up ...

  2. How to write your business plan cover page

    Give the logo some space and then include the words "Business Plan" in a large, bold font. You can also frame the title as "Three-" or "Five-Year Business Plan," if you intend to make those kinds of financial projections in the document. 3. Business name. Beneath the title, write your company name in a bold font.

  3. How to Write a Business Plan Cover Page + Examples

    1. Company Logo. Use a neat, clean, high-quality logo to make your business plan cover page look professional. The logo should be placed at the top of the page. The image should be large enough to see details, but not so large that it becomes a distraction. Brand identity begins with your logo.

  4. Business Plan Cover Page: Complete Guide [+ Examples]

    1.1. Business name: The name of the company that is the subject of the plan. 1.2. Document title: The words "Business Plan" in a prominent spot so that it is clear what kind of document this is. 1.3. Contact information: Name, title and contact details (e.g., phone, email, social media, website, address) of the primary contact persons presenting the plan (e.g., CEO, Founder, Owner ...

  5. Free custom business plan cover page templates to print

    Document by Ubara. Brown Professional Business Plan Cover Page. Document by shadow.diamond. Yellow & Gray Simple Business Plan Cover Page. Document by beebumb. black and red professional marketing strategies business plan cover page. Document by yellow bananas. Yellow White Modern Business Plan Cover Document A4.

  6. How To Write a Business Plan Cover Page That Grabs Attention

    Writing a formal business plan cover page is an important step toward expanding a business and securing important capital. Consider following these steps to help you write an effective business plan cover page: 1. Begin with your company logo. Consider beginning your cover page with a high-resolution photo of your company's logo.

  7. How To Format the Cover Page of a Business Plan (With Template and Example)

    5. Add and format title information. Now you can begin to change the template to include the company name, motto, title and year. You can use large text sizes for the company name and title so that they stand apart from the rest of the information on the page. The motto and year can be in smaller fonts.

  8. How to Design a Cover Page for a Business Plan + Example

    5. Plan Title and Plan Year. The plan title will give a clear idea about what the presented document is about, whether it is a business plan, marketing plan, business expansion plan, recovery plan, or anything else. The plan title is the notable feature of the cover page and should be in large font size. Immediately, the reader should know the ...

  9. Write your business plan

    Executive summary. Briefly tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company's leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.

  10. How to Create a Business Plan Cover Page

    Be consistent with alignment. Unless you have an excellent reason for mixing up your alignment, don't. For example, if you choose to left-justify some things, then left-justify all elements on your business plan's cover page. Don't use more than two fonts. I like a sans-serif font (think Arial) for the largest text and a serif font (think ...

  11. Business Plan Example and Template

    A business plan should be structured in a way that it contains all the important information that investors are looking for. Here are the main sections of a business plan: 1. Title Page. The title page captures the legal information of the business, which includes the registered business name, physical address, phone number, email address, date ...

  12. How to Design a Cover Page for Your Business Plan

    2. Business name. Add your company name below the title of the document. Use the same font of the title, but increase the font size slightly, so it stands out. Your company name is a significant part of the cover page, so use sharp, bold text that's big enough to read clearly. Also, center your company name a few spaces below the title to ...

  13. Business Plan Cover Page Tips To Capture Investors' Attention

    1. Company Name. First and foremost, your Company's name should be included on the business plan cover page. This should be the most prominent feature of the cover page, and as such, is traditionally in the largest font setting. Immediately, the reader should know the name of your company. 2.

  14. 550+ Sample Business Plan Examples to Inspire Your Own

    The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea. The structure ditches a linear format in favor of a cell-based template.

  15. How to Write a Simple Business Plan

    Write the Executive Summary. This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what's in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company. Add a Company Overview. Document the larger company mission and vision.

  16. The 7 Best Business Plan Examples to Inspire Your Own (2024)

    7-part template for business plan examples. We'll look at a business plan that is structured using a seven-part template. Here's a quick review of those parts: Executive summary: A quick overview of your business and the contents of your business plan. Company description: More info about your company, its goals and mission, and why you ...

  17. 7 Business Plan Examples to Inspire Your Own (2024)

    Executive summary. Your executive summary is a page that gives a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. It's easiest to save this section for last. In this free business plan template, the executive summary is four paragraphs and takes a little over half a page:. Company description. You might repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, social media ...

  18. Business Plan Cover Page Designs

    A cover page can create a strong first impact! No Risk - Cancel at Any Time - 15 Day Money Back Guarantee. Get Started. Download our business plan cover page designs for free and make your business plan stand out from the competition. Signup now and use our business plan cover page templates to create your cover page.

  19. How To Write A Business Plan (2024 Guide)

    Describe Your Services or Products. The business plan should have a section that explains the services or products that you're offering. This is the part where you can also describe how they fit ...

  20. 24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

    8. Panda Doc's Free Business Plan Template. PandaDoc's free business plan template is one of the more detailed and fleshed-out sample business plans on this list. It describes what you should include in each section, so you don't have to come up with everything from scratch.

  21. What to include on the Title Page of a Business Plan

    The title page generally includes the following items; Name of your business or proposed name of your business. Logo of the business (if any). The month and year in which the business plan was issued. Name, address, and telephone number of the entrepreneur or Chief Executive Officer (I.E. the person responsible for the business).

  22. Proposal Title Pages: Title, Subtitle, & Design

    Imagines the reader sifting through a tall heap of proposals (or an inbox filled using proposal emails). Your top should trap their single and want them to turn the page. View Business Plan Sample(2).docx from BUSINESS 331 for Amity University. [Business Plan Title] [Business Plan Subtitle] [Street Address] [City, ST ZIP Code] p. [Telephone ...

  23. PDF [Business Plan Title]

    4. Find the largest negative balance—this is the amount needed for start-up capital in order for the business to survive until the break-even point when all expenses will be covered by income. 5. Continue by inserting the amount of needed start-up capital into the cash flow table as the starting cash for Month 1.