Guide

Write a business plan: step-by-step

Business plan template

A business plan is a written document that outlines your business objectives and how you plan to achieve them. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within your business. Our business plan template is an interactive form designed to simplify the process of creating your business plan.

Business plan preparation and research

The template asks a number of detailed questions about your proposed business, so it’s worthwhile to carry out research before you complete it. Consider:

  • your business goals
  • legal requirements for your business
  • your business market and competitors
  • financial forecasts
  • sales plans
  • potential suppliers
  • staff and premises

Writing a business plan: 5 top tips

1. Outline your business goals
Provide details of how you are going to develop your business, when you are going to do it, who will be involved and how you will manage the finances. Clarity on these issues is essential for securing finance or investment.

2. Research your markets and competitors
Demonstrate that you're fully aware of the marketplace that you're planning to operate in. Highlight significant trends and drivers. You should prove that your business will be able to attract customers despite potential competition.

3. Provide realistic financial forecasts
Show financial projections that support what you have said about your business. Your forecasts should run for three years. The first 12 months' forecasts should have the most detail.

4. Plan your executive summary
The executive summary outlines the key points of your entire business plan. It is usually the first section that people will read. Include highlights from each section of the document. It is a good idea to write the executive summary last - make it engaging and avoid jargon.

5. Present in a professional format
A well-presented plan will reinforce the positive impression you want to create of your business. Use a business plan template to keep you focused and to simplify the process of creating your business plan.

Download our business plan template (DOC, 874K)


For further support to create your business plan see what to include in your business plan.