Complete Business Plan Outline

While this outline may at first seem overwhelming, remember you really should tackle only one part of the business plan at a time. You don’t have to write it all—it is far better to create just a few key parts of the business plan (especially if you’re not raising lots of money) that are very well thought out than to have a poorly thought out but complete plan. Furthermore, this is an outline for a fairly comprehensive business plan, more than you typical want to create or more than potential investors may expect for a very small business.


Business concept
Current situation
Key success factors
Financial situation/needs


Vision statement

Market Analysis

The overall market
Changes in the market
Market segments
Target market and customers
Customer characteristics
Customer needs
Customer buying decisions

Competitive Analysis

Industry overview
Nature of competition
Changes in the industry
Primary competitors
Competitive products/services
Threats and risks


Key competitive capabilities
Key competitive weaknesses
Implementing strategy


Product/service description
Positioning of products/services
Competitive evaluation of products/services
Future products/services

Marketing and Sales

Marketing strategy
Sales tactics
Trade shows


Key personnel
Organizational structure
Human resources plan
Product/service delivery
Customer service/support


Assumptions and comments
Starting balance sheet
Profit and loss projection
Cash flow projection
Balance sheet projection
Ratios and analysis

For More on Business Plans

For more on how to create business plans see my course, How to Create a Business Plan. This course includes step-by-step video instructions, samples and fill-in-the-blank templates for both a one page business plan and a full length business plan. It also includes instructions, samples and templates for all financial statements and projections.

How to Create a Business Plan is one of over 130 courses included with BusinessTown. Other popular courses include Start-a-Business 101, How to Find a Business Idea and The Complete Guide to Digital Marketing. You can try BusinessTown for free.

About Bob Adams

Bob Adams is a Harvard MBA serial entrepreneur. He has started over a dozen businesses including one that he launched with $1500 and sold for $40 million. He has written 17 books and created 52 online courses for entrepreneurs. Bob also founded BusinessTown, the go-to learning platform for starting and running a business.