How to write a business plan

Updated February 21, 2017

Step 1

Organize the information for your business plan. Include information on your company, product or service, customers, market, competition and potential risk.

Step 2

Write an executive summary. This is the first section of the plan--a 2-page description of all the elements covered in more detail later.

Step 3

Describe your company. Spell out the purpose of your business. Talk about the skills you and your management team have.

Step 4

Explain your product or service. Detail how you will make or provide it. Analyze the costs associated with this process. List your supply sources.

Step 5

Talk about the market you're entering. Discuss general trends in the industry. Include details about the market segment you are pursuing, the niche you are targeting and your target customer; provide demographics on your potential customers and explain their buying habits. Analyze your competition.

Step 6

Describe your marketing plan. Explain how you will generate sales through advertising, promotion and public relations. Estimate all costs conservatively.

Step 7

Detail your yearly revenue projections and your expenses.


  • Be sure to gather all of the information for your business plan before you start writing it. Organize your research in outline form, then start writing.
  • Limit the plan to less than 50 pages. Investors and lenders get business plans every day. Most plans get a cursory look before they are either discarded or kept for further review.


  • A business plan is a never-ending process. As your company grows, update your business plan projections.

Things You'll Need

  • Bonded paper
  • Business plan software
  • Computer
  • Laser printer
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