Everything that you need to know to start your own business. From business ideas to researching the competition.

Practical and real-world advice on how to run your business — from managing employees to keeping the books.

Our best expert advice on how to grow your business — from attracting new customers to keeping existing customers happy and having the capital to do it.

Entrepreneurs and industry leaders share their best advice on how to take your company to the next level.

  • Business Ideas
  • Human Resources
  • Business Financing
  • Growth Studio
  • Ask the Board

Looking for your local chamber?

Interested in partnering with us?

Start » strategy, how to write a business plan for inventions.

Attract investors and formalize processes by developing a roadmap for commercializing your innovation.

 Four people sit around a long wooden table. Three of them are on the side facing the viewer. The person on the far left, a man in a red long-sleeved shirt, holds an electronic tablet that the other two lean forward to look at. On the other side of the table, partially out of frame, sits a blonde woman. In the middle of the table are several large papers and a small model of a wind turbine.

An inventor’s business plan is a framework for bringing a concept to market and achieving profitability. It’s similar to a regular business plan but adds details about intellectual property protection and prototypes. Ideally, a business plan for inventions builds upon a feasibility study. It should highlight your findings from a comprehensive competitive analysis and be tailored to its intended audience, such as investors.

An invention business plan is crucial for getting funding and securing strategic alliances. But you can also use it internally to guide operations, from marketing to hiring. Here’s how to craft an effective report.

Determine your audience and purpose

Although most business plans for a new invention follow a basic outline, you can tailor your approach to appeal to specific readers. Suppose you want to pitch your idea to investors or accelerator programs. In this case, it’s essential to mention funding requirements. But you should also emphasize the skills and experience your team brings to the table. According to Heer Law , “Often, investors and other stakeholders care as much or more about who the people are behind an invention than the potential of the invention on its own.”

However, if you’re looking for co-founders and employees, modify your document to clarify the skills required and long-term benefits for early joiners. Once you understand what drives your intended audience, you can write a business plan that excites them while answering their questions.

[ Read more: How These Innovation-Driven Startups Reached an Elusive Milestone: Profitability ]

Outline your invention business plan sections

The Small Business Association (SBA) said, “There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What’s important is that your plan meets your needs.” You can use a basic template , take a free course , or start from scratch. Begin your process by outlining commonly used sections, then modify your document to include invention-specific content.

Often, investors and other stakeholders care as much or more about who the people are behind an invention than the potential of the invention on its own.

Christopher Heer, Annette Latoszewska, and Daryna Kutsyna, Heer Law

Consider adding the following components:

  • Executive summary: Keep it concise but touch on each aspect of your plan. Remember to pique interest and compel your audience to read more.
  • Company overview: Discuss your industry and niche, including what makes your invention and business stand out. Explain how you will commercialize your design (selling to consumers, wholesale, or retail).
  • Organizational structure: This is where you describe your legal business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation). Provide details about inventors, executive team, and current or prospective employees.
  • Market and competitive analysis: Share insights from your feasibility study, including an analysis of your industry, competitors, and market. Add statistics about market size and growth. Plus, offer a customer profile and explain what differentiates your invention from others.
  • Invention: Tell readers about your design (features and functions) and how it benefits customers. Mention your product research, prototypes, and intellectual property registrations .
  • Marketing and sales: Explain how you will apply competitive and market insights to earn a return. Topics may include sales, pricing, promotional strategies, positioning statements, and marketing campaigns.
  • Financial information: Show how your invention will be profitable and use spreadsheets, charts, and graphs. Include projected revenue , profit and loss, cash flow, and a balance sheet. Also, detail any funding needs, how you’ll get the money, and what you’ll do with it.
  • Appendix: Add all supporting evidence for your invention business plan. For instance, Chron.com said, “Investors respond well to business plans that include endorsements of the product from potential customers.

Add sections for your new invention

In addition to these regular sections, you can expand your business plan to include research and development, intellectual property protection , and owned or future IP assets. According to Heer Law, the research and development component helps readers understand “future products that can be commercially exploited.” Likewise, details about your intellectual property protection ensure investors that you’ve taken action to defend your innovation from unwanted duplication.

Provide information about any assets going through the application process and how various trademarks, patents , and copyrights will impact profitability. Also, discuss if you plan on developing new inventions or have prototypes available.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here .

business plan for innovative product

Subscribe to our newsletter, Midnight Oil

Expert business advice, news, and trends, delivered weekly

By signing up you agree to the CO— Privacy Policy. You can opt out anytime.

For more business strategies

How startups contribute to innovation in emerging industries, how entrepreneurs can find a business mentor, 5 business metrics you should analyze every year.

By continuing on our website, you agree to our use of cookies for statistical and personalisation purposes. Know More

Welcome to CO—

Designed for business owners, CO— is a site that connects like minds and delivers actionable insights for next-level growth.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 1615 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20062

Social links

Looking for local chamber, stay in touch.

Business Plan Template for Innovation

  • Great for beginners
  • Ready-to-use, fully customizable Subcategory
  • Get started in seconds

slide 1

Do you have an innovative business idea that you're ready to bring to life? Look no further than ClickUp's Business Plan Template for Innovation! This template is specifically designed to help entrepreneurs and start-up companies outline their brilliant ideas, strategies, and goals, while also highlighting market opportunities, potential risks, and financial projections. With this template, you'll have everything you need to secure funding from investors and guide your path to success. So, why wait? Start planning your next big innovation with ClickUp today!

Business Plan Template for Innovation Benefits

When using the Business Plan Template for Innovation, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Streamline the process of creating a comprehensive business plan for your innovative ideas
  • Clearly define your unique selling proposition and competitive advantage to attract investors
  • Identify potential obstacles and risks, allowing you to develop effective strategies for mitigating them
  • Create realistic financial projections and forecasts to demonstrate the profitability of your innovation
  • Guide your decision-making process and provide a roadmap for achieving your business goals
  • Increase your chances of securing funding from investors by presenting a well-structured and compelling business plan

Main Elements of Innovation Business Plan Template

ClickUp's Business Plan Template for Innovation provides entrepreneurs and start-up companies with the essential tools to outline and execute their innovative business ideas. Here are the main elements of this template:

  • Custom Statuses: Track the progress of your business plan with statuses such as Complete, In Progress, Needs Revision, and To Do, ensuring that each task is properly categorized and accounted for.
  • Custom Fields: Utilize 3 custom fields including Reference, Approved, and Section to add specific details and attributes to your business plan tasks, making it easier to track and manage the necessary information.
  • Custom Views: Access 5 different views to effectively manage your business plan, including Topics, Status, Timeline, Business Plan, and Getting Started Guide. These views allow you to organize and visualize your business plan in different ways, ensuring clarity and facilitating collaboration.
  • Collaboration Tools: Collaborate with your team seamlessly using ClickUp's features such as real-time commenting, file attachments, and task assignments, ensuring effective communication and progress tracking.
  • Integrations: Integrate ClickUp with other essential tools such as project management software, financial platforms, and communication tools to streamline your business plan process and enhance productivity.

How To Use Business Plan Template for Innovation

If you're ready to take your innovative ideas to the next level and create a business plan, follow these 5 steps using the Business Plan Template for Innovation in ClickUp:

1. Define your innovative idea

Start by clearly defining your innovative idea and how it solves a problem or meets a need in the market. Consider what makes your idea unique and how it provides value to customers. Be specific and focused in your description to ensure a clear understanding of your concept.

Use a Doc in ClickUp to brainstorm and outline your innovative idea, highlighting its key features and benefits.

2. Research your target market

Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience and their needs. Identify the size of your target market, their demographics, behavior patterns, and purchasing habits. This information will help you tailor your product or service to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Utilize the Table view in ClickUp to organize and analyze your market research data, making it easy to identify trends and insights.

3. Develop your business model

Outline your business model, including your revenue streams, cost structure, and value proposition. Determine how you will generate revenue from your innovative idea and the resources required to bring it to market. Consider any partnerships or collaborations that may be necessary to support your business model.

Create custom fields in ClickUp to track and analyze different aspects of your business model, such as revenue projections and cost estimates.

4. Create a marketing strategy

Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to promote your innovative idea and attract customers. Identify the most effective channels to reach your target market and outline your messaging and positioning. Consider the unique selling points of your innovation and how to communicate them effectively.

Use tasks in ClickUp to create a timeline for your marketing activities and assign responsibilities to team members.

5. Set milestones and track progress

Establish key milestones and targets to track your progress and measure the success of your innovation. Break down your goals into smaller, achievable milestones that will keep you motivated and on track. Regularly review your progress and adjust your strategies as needed to ensure you're moving towards your ultimate vision.

Utilize Milestones in ClickUp to set and track your business plan milestones, ensuring that you stay focused and stay on track.

By following these steps and utilizing the Business Plan Template for Innovation in ClickUp, you'll be well-equipped to turn your innovative idea into a successful business venture. Good luck!

Get Started with ClickUp’s Business Plan Template for Innovation

Entrepreneurs and start-up companies can use the Business Plan Template for Innovation in ClickUp to effectively outline their innovative business ideas and strategies, while also tracking progress and collaborating with team members.

First, hit “Add Template” to sign up for ClickUp and add the template to your Workspace. Make sure you designate which Space or location in your Workspace you’d like this template applied.

Next, invite relevant members or guests to your Workspace to start collaborating.

Now you can take advantage of the full potential of this template to create a comprehensive business plan:

  • Use the Topics View to organize and outline different sections of your business plan, such as executive summary, market analysis, and financial projections
  • The Status View will help you track the progress of each section, with statuses like Complete, In Progress, Needs Revision, and To Do
  • Utilize the Timeline View to set deadlines and milestones for each section, ensuring timely completion of your business plan
  • The Business Plan View provides a holistic overview of your entire plan, allowing you to easily navigate between sections and make necessary edits
  • Create a Getting Started Guide View to provide instructions and guidelines for team members involved in the business plan creation process
  • Customize the template by adding custom fields like Reference, Approved, and Section to provide additional context and track important information
  • Collaborate with team members by assigning tasks, leaving comments, and attaching relevant files to ensure everyone is on the same page

With the ClickUp Business Plan Template for Innovation, you can streamline the process of creating a comprehensive and compelling business plan, setting your innovative ideas on the path to success.

  • Business Plan Template for Colleges
  • Business Plan Template for Press Agents
  • Business Plan Template for Underwriters
  • Business Plan Template for Importers
  • Business Plan Template for Political Scientists

Template details

Free forever with 100mb storage.

Free training & 24-hours support

Serious about security & privacy

Highest levels of uptime the last 12 months

  • Product Roadmap
  • Affiliate & Referrals
  • On-Demand Demo
  • Integrations
  • Consultants
  • Gantt Chart
  • Native Time Tracking
  • Automations
  • Kanban Board
  • vs Airtable
  • vs Basecamp
  • vs MS Project
  • vs Smartsheet
  • Software Team Hub
  • PM Software Guide

Google Play Store

  • Sources of Business Finance
  • Small Business Loans
  • Small Business Grants
  • Crowdfunding Sites
  • How to Get a Business Loan
  • Small Business Insurance Providers
  • Best Factoring Companies
  • Types of Bank Accounts
  • Best Banks for Small Business
  • Best Business Bank Accounts
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Bank Accounts for Small Businesses
  • Free Business Checking Accounts
  • Best Business Credit Cards
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Business Credit Cards for Bad Credit
  • Build Business Credit Fast
  • Business Loan Eligibility Criteria
  • Small-Business Bookkeeping Basics
  • How to Set Financial Goals
  • Business Loan Calculators
  • How to Calculate ROI
  • Calculate Net Income
  • Calculate Working Capital
  • Calculate Operating Income
  • Calculate Net Present Value (NPV)
  • Calculate Payroll Tax

How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps (+ Template and Examples)

' src=

Every successful business has one thing in common, a good and well-executed business plan. A business plan is more than a document, it is a complete guide that outlines the goals your business wants to achieve, including its financial goals . It helps you analyze results, make strategic decisions, show your business operations and growth.

If you want to start a business or already have one and need to pitch it to investors for funding, writing a good business plan improves your chances of attracting financiers. As a startup, if you want to secure loans from financial institutions, part of the requirements involve submitting your business plan.

Writing a business plan does not have to be a complicated or time-consuming process. In this article, you will learn the step-by-step process for writing a successful business plan.

You will also learn what you need a business plan for, tips and strategies for writing a convincing business plan, business plan examples and templates that will save you tons of time, and the alternatives to the traditional business plan.

Let’s get started.

What Do You Need A Business Plan For?

Businesses create business plans for different purposes such as to secure funds, monitor business growth, measure your marketing strategies, and measure your business success.

1. Secure Funds

One of the primary reasons for writing a business plan is to secure funds, either from financial institutions/agencies or investors.

For you to effectively acquire funds, your business plan must contain the key elements of your business plan . For example, your business plan should include your growth plans, goals you want to achieve, and milestones you have recorded.

A business plan can also attract new business partners that are willing to contribute financially and intellectually. If you are writing a business plan to a bank, your project must show your traction , that is, the proof that you can pay back any loan borrowed.

Also, if you are writing to an investor, your plan must contain evidence that you can effectively utilize the funds you want them to invest in your business. Here, you are using your business plan to persuade a group or an individual that your business is a source of a good investment.

2. Monitor Business Growth

A business plan can help you track cash flows in your business. It steers your business to greater heights. A business plan capable of tracking business growth should contain:

  • The business goals
  • Methods to achieve the goals
  • Time-frame for attaining those goals

A good business plan should guide you through every step in achieving your goals. It can also track the allocation of assets to every aspect of the business. You can tell when you are spending more than you should on a project.

You can compare a business plan to a written GPS. It helps you manage your business and hints at the right time to expand your business.

3. Measure Business Success

A business plan can help you measure your business success rate. Some small-scale businesses are thriving better than more prominent companies because of their track record of success.

Right from the onset of your business operation, set goals and work towards them. Write a plan to guide you through your procedures. Use your plan to measure how much you have achieved and how much is left to attain.

You can also weigh your success by monitoring the position of your brand relative to competitors. On the other hand, a business plan can also show you why you have not achieved a goal. It can tell if you have elapsed the time frame you set to attain a goal.

4. Document Your Marketing Strategies

You can use a business plan to document your marketing plans. Every business should have an effective marketing plan.

Competition mandates every business owner to go the extraordinary mile to remain relevant in the market. Your business plan should contain your marketing strategies that work. You can measure the success rate of your marketing plans.

In your business plan, your marketing strategy must answer the questions:

  • How do you want to reach your target audience?
  • How do you plan to retain your customers?
  • What is/are your pricing plans?
  • What is your budget for marketing?

Business Plan Infographic

How to Write a Business Plan Step-by-Step

1. create your executive summary.

The executive summary is a snapshot of your business or a high-level overview of your business purposes and plans . Although the executive summary is the first section in your business plan, most people write it last. The length of the executive summary is not more than two pages.

Executive Summary of the business plan

Generally, there are nine sections in a business plan, the executive summary should condense essential ideas from the other eight sections.

A good executive summary should do the following:

  • A Snapshot of Growth Potential. Briefly inform the reader about your company and why it will be successful)
  • Contain your Mission Statement which explains what the main objective or focus of your business is.
  • Product Description and Differentiation. Brief description of your products or services and why it is different from other solutions in the market.
  • The Team. Basic information about your company’s leadership team and employees
  • Business Concept. A solid description of what your business does.
  • Target Market. The customers you plan to sell to.
  • Marketing Strategy. Your plans on reaching and selling to your customers
  • Current Financial State. Brief information about what revenue your business currently generates.
  • Projected Financial State. Brief information about what you foresee your business revenue to be in the future.

The executive summary is the make-or-break section of your business plan. If your summary cannot in less than two pages cannot clearly describe how your business will solve a particular problem of your target audience and make a profit, your business plan is set on a faulty foundation.

Avoid using the executive summary to hype your business, instead, focus on helping the reader understand the what and how of your plan.

View the executive summary as an opportunity to introduce your vision for your company. You know your executive summary is powerful when it can answer these key questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What sector or industry are you in?
  • What are your products and services?
  • What is the future of your industry?
  • Is your company scaleable?
  • Who are the owners and leaders of your company? What are their backgrounds and experience levels?
  • What is the motivation for starting your company?
  • What are the next steps?

Writing the executive summary last although it is the most important section of your business plan is an excellent idea. The reason why is because it is a high-level overview of your business plan. It is the section that determines whether potential investors and lenders will read further or not.

The executive summary can be a stand-alone document that covers everything in your business plan. It is not uncommon for investors to request only the executive summary when evaluating your business. If the information in the executive summary impresses them, they will ask for the complete business plan.

If you are writing your business plan for your planning purposes, you do not need to write the executive summary.

2. Add Your Company Overview

The company overview or description is the next section in your business plan after the executive summary. It describes what your business does.

Adding your company overview can be tricky especially when your business is still in the planning stages. Existing businesses can easily summarize their current operations but may encounter difficulties trying to explain what they plan to become.

Your company overview should contain the following:

  • What products and services you will provide
  • Geographical markets and locations your company have a presence
  • What you need to run your business
  • Who your target audience or customers are
  • Who will service your customers
  • Your company’s purpose, mission, and vision
  • Information about your company’s founders
  • Who the founders are
  • Notable achievements of your company so far

When creating a company overview, you have to focus on three basics: identifying your industry, identifying your customer, and explaining the problem you solve.

If you are stuck when creating your company overview, try to answer some of these questions that pertain to you.

  • Who are you targeting? (The answer is not everyone)
  • What pain point does your product or service solve for your customers that they will be willing to spend money on resolving?
  • How does your product or service overcome that pain point?
  • Where is the location of your business?
  • What products, equipment, and services do you need to run your business?
  • How is your company’s product or service different from your competition in the eyes of your customers?
  • How many employees do you need and what skills do you require them to have?

After answering some or all of these questions, you will get more than enough information you need to write your company overview or description section. When writing this section, describe what your company does for your customers.

It describes what your business does

The company description or overview section contains three elements: mission statement, history, and objectives.

  • Mission Statement

The mission statement refers to the reason why your business or company is existing. It goes beyond what you do or sell, it is about the ‘why’. A good mission statement should be emotional and inspirational.

Your mission statement should follow the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid). For example, Shopify’s mission statement is “Make commerce better for everyone.”

When describing your company’s history, make it simple and avoid the temptation of tying it to a defensive narrative. Write it in the manner you would a profile. Your company’s history should include the following information:

  • Founding Date
  • Major Milestones
  • Location(s)
  • Flagship Products or Services
  • Number of Employees
  • Executive Leadership Roles

When you fill in this information, you use it to write one or two paragraphs about your company’s history.

Business Objectives

Your business objective must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.) Failure to clearly identify your business objectives does not inspire confidence and makes it hard for your team members to work towards a common purpose.

3. Perform Market and Competitive Analyses to Proof a Big Enough Business Opportunity

The third step in writing a business plan is the market and competitive analysis section. Every business, no matter the size, needs to perform comprehensive market and competitive analyses before it enters into a market.

Performing market and competitive analyses are critical for the success of your business. It helps you avoid entering the right market with the wrong product, or vice versa. Anyone reading your business plans, especially financiers and financial institutions will want to see proof that there is a big enough business opportunity you are targeting.

This section is where you describe the market and industry you want to operate in and show the big opportunities in the market that your business can leverage to make a profit. If you noticed any unique trends when doing your research, show them in this section.

Market analysis alone is not enough, you have to add competitive analysis to strengthen this section. There are already businesses in the industry or market, how do you plan to take a share of the market from them?

You have to clearly illustrate the competitive landscape in your business plan. Are there areas your competitors are doing well? Are there areas where they are not doing so well? Show it.

Make it clear in this section why you are moving into the industry and what weaknesses are present there that you plan to explain. How are your competitors going to react to your market entry? How do you plan to get customers? Do you plan on taking your competitors' competitors, tap into other sources for customers, or both?

Illustrate the competitive landscape as well. What are your competitors doing well and not so well?

Answering these questions and thoughts will aid your market and competitive analysis of the opportunities in your space. Depending on how sophisticated your industry is, or the expectations of your financiers, you may need to carry out a more comprehensive market and competitive analysis to prove that big business opportunity.

Instead of looking at the market and competitive analyses as one entity, separating them will make the research even more comprehensive.

Market Analysis

Market analysis, boarding speaking, refers to research a business carried out on its industry, market, and competitors. It helps businesses gain a good understanding of their target market and the outlook of their industry. Before starting a company, it is vital to carry out market research to find out if the market is viable.

Market Analysis for Online Business

The market analysis section is a key part of the business plan. It is the section where you identify who your best clients or customers are. You cannot omit this section, without it your business plan is incomplete.

A good market analysis will tell your readers how you fit into the existing market and what makes you stand out. This section requires in-depth research, it will probably be the most time-consuming part of the business plan to write.

  • Market Research

To create a compelling market analysis that will win over investors and financial institutions, you have to carry out thorough market research . Your market research should be targeted at your primary target market for your products or services. Here is what you want to find out about your target market.

  • Your target market’s needs or pain points
  • The existing solutions for their pain points
  • Geographic Location
  • Demographics

The purpose of carrying out a marketing analysis is to get all the information you need to show that you have a solid and thorough understanding of your target audience.

Only after you have fully understood the people you plan to sell your products or services to, can you evaluate correctly if your target market will be interested in your products or services.

You can easily convince interested parties to invest in your business if you can show them you thoroughly understand the market and show them that there is a market for your products or services.

How to Quantify Your Target Market

One of the goals of your marketing research is to understand who your ideal customers are and their purchasing power. To quantify your target market, you have to determine the following:

  • Your Potential Customers: They are the people you plan to target. For example, if you sell accounting software for small businesses , then anyone who runs an enterprise or large business is unlikely to be your customers. Also, individuals who do not have a business will most likely not be interested in your product.
  • Total Households: If you are selling household products such as heating and air conditioning systems, determining the number of total households is more important than finding out the total population in the area you want to sell to. The logic is simple, people buy the product but it is the household that uses it.
  • Median Income: You need to know the median income of your target market. If you target a market that cannot afford to buy your products and services, your business will not last long.
  • Income by Demographics: If your potential customers belong to a certain age group or gender, determining income levels by demographics is necessary. For example, if you sell men's clothes, your target audience is men.

What Does a Good Market Analysis Entail?

Your business does not exist on its own, it can only flourish within an industry and alongside competitors. Market analysis takes into consideration your industry, target market, and competitors. Understanding these three entities will drastically improve your company’s chances of success.

Market Analysis Steps

You can view your market analysis as an examination of the market you want to break into and an education on the emerging trends and themes in that market. Good market analyses include the following:

  • Industry Description. You find out about the history of your industry, the current and future market size, and who the largest players/companies are in your industry.
  • Overview of Target Market. You research your target market and its characteristics. Who are you targeting? Note, it cannot be everyone, it has to be a specific group. You also have to find out all information possible about your customers that can help you understand how and why they make buying decisions.
  • Size of Target Market: You need to know the size of your target market, how frequently they buy, and the expected quantity they buy so you do not risk overproducing and having lots of bad inventory. Researching the size of your target market will help you determine if it is big enough for sustained business or not.
  • Growth Potential: Before picking a target market, you want to be sure there are lots of potential for future growth. You want to avoid going for an industry that is declining slowly or rapidly with almost zero growth potential.
  • Market Share Potential: Does your business stand a good chance of taking a good share of the market?
  • Market Pricing and Promotional Strategies: Your market analysis should give you an idea of the price point you can expect to charge for your products and services. Researching your target market will also give you ideas of pricing strategies you can implement to break into the market or to enjoy maximum profits.
  • Potential Barriers to Entry: One of the biggest benefits of conducting market analysis is that it shows you every potential barrier to entry your business will likely encounter. It is a good idea to discuss potential barriers to entry such as changing technology. It informs readers of your business plan that you understand the market.
  • Research on Competitors: You need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and how you can exploit them for the benefit of your business. Find patterns and trends among your competitors that make them successful, discover what works and what doesn’t, and see what you can do better.

The market analysis section is not just for talking about your target market, industry, and competitors. You also have to explain how your company can fill the hole you have identified in the market.

Here are some questions you can answer that can help you position your product or service in a positive light to your readers.

  • Is your product or service of superior quality?
  • What additional features do you offer that your competitors do not offer?
  • Are you targeting a ‘new’ market?

Basically, your market analysis should include an analysis of what already exists in the market and an explanation of how your company fits into the market.

Competitive Analysis

In the competitive analysis section, y ou have to understand who your direct and indirect competitions are, and how successful they are in the marketplace. It is the section where you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, the advantage(s) they possess in the market and show the unique features or qualities that make you different from your competitors.

Four Steps to Create a Competitive Marketing Analysis

Many businesses do market analysis and competitive analysis together. However, to fully understand what the competitive analysis entails, it is essential to separate it from the market analysis.

Competitive analysis for your business can also include analysis on how to overcome barriers to entry in your target market.

The primary goal of conducting a competitive analysis is to distinguish your business from your competitors. A strong competitive analysis is essential if you want to convince potential funding sources to invest in your business. You have to show potential investors and lenders that your business has what it takes to compete in the marketplace successfully.

Competitive analysis will s how you what the strengths of your competition are and what they are doing to maintain that advantage.

When doing your competitive research, you first have to identify your competitor and then get all the information you can about them. The idea of spending time to identify your competitor and learn everything about them may seem daunting but it is well worth it.

Find answers to the following questions after you have identified who your competitors are.

  • What are your successful competitors doing?
  • Why is what they are doing working?
  • Can your business do it better?
  • What are the weaknesses of your successful competitors?
  • What are they not doing well?
  • Can your business turn its weaknesses into strengths?
  • How good is your competitors’ customer service?
  • Where do your competitors invest in advertising?
  • What sales and pricing strategies are they using?
  • What marketing strategies are they using?
  • What kind of press coverage do they get?
  • What are their customers saying about your competitors (both the positive and negative)?

If your competitors have a website, it is a good idea to visit their websites for more competitors’ research. Check their “About Us” page for more information.

How to Perform Competitive Analysis

If you are presenting your business plan to investors, you need to clearly distinguish yourself from your competitors. Investors can easily tell when you have not properly researched your competitors.

Take time to think about what unique qualities or features set you apart from your competitors. If you do not have any direct competition offering your product to the market, it does not mean you leave out the competitor analysis section blank. Instead research on other companies that are providing a similar product, or whose product is solving the problem your product solves.

The next step is to create a table listing the top competitors you want to include in your business plan. Ensure you list your business as the last and on the right. What you just created is known as the competitor analysis table.

Direct vs Indirect Competition

You cannot know if your product or service will be a fit for your target market if you have not understood your business and the competitive landscape.

There is no market you want to target where you will not encounter competition, even if your product is innovative. Including competitive analysis in your business plan is essential.

If you are entering an established market, you need to explain how you plan to differentiate your products from the available options in the market. Also, include a list of few companies that you view as your direct competitors The competition you face in an established market is your direct competition.

In situations where you are entering a market with no direct competition, it does not mean there is no competition there. Consider your indirect competition that offers substitutes for the products or services you offer.

For example, if you sell an innovative SaaS product, let us say a project management software , a company offering time management software is your indirect competition.

There is an easy way to find out who your indirect competitors are in the absence of no direct competitors. You simply have to research how your potential customers are solving the problems that your product or service seeks to solve. That is your direct competition.

Factors that Differentiate Your Business from the Competition

There are three main factors that any business can use to differentiate itself from its competition. They are cost leadership, product differentiation, and market segmentation.

1. Cost Leadership

A strategy you can impose to maximize your profits and gain an edge over your competitors. It involves offering lower prices than what the majority of your competitors are offering.

A common practice among businesses looking to enter into a market where there are dominant players is to use free trials or pricing to attract as many customers as possible to their offer.

2. Product Differentiation

Your product or service should have a unique selling proposition (USP) that your competitors do not have or do not stress in their marketing.

Part of the marketing strategy should involve making your products unique and different from your competitors. It does not have to be different from your competitors, it can be the addition to a feature or benefit that your competitors do not currently have.

3. Market Segmentation

As a new business seeking to break into an industry, you will gain more success from focusing on a specific niche or target market, and not the whole industry.

If your competitors are focused on a general need or target market, you can differentiate yourself from them by having a small and hyper-targeted audience. For example, if your competitors are selling men’s clothes in their online stores , you can sell hoodies for men.

4. Define Your Business and Management Structure

The next step in your business plan is your business and management structure. It is the section where you describe the legal structure of your business and the team running it.

Your business is only as good as the management team that runs it, while the management team can only strive when there is a proper business and management structure in place.

If your company is a sole proprietor or a limited liability company (LLC), a general or limited partnership, or a C or an S corporation, state it clearly in this section.

Use an organizational chart to show the management structure in your business. Clearly show who is in charge of what area in your company. It is where you show how each key manager or team leader’s unique experience can contribute immensely to the success of your company. You can also opt to add the resumes and CVs of the key players in your company.

The business and management structure section should show who the owner is, and other owners of the businesses (if the business has other owners). For businesses or companies with multiple owners, include the percent ownership of the various owners and clearly show the extent of each others’ involvement in the company.

Investors want to know who is behind the company and the team running it to determine if it has the right management to achieve its set goals.

Management Team

The management team section is where you show that you have the right team in place to successfully execute the business operations and ideas. Take time to create the management structure for your business. Think about all the important roles and responsibilities that you need managers for to grow your business.

Include brief bios of each key team member and ensure you highlight only the relevant information that is needed. If your team members have background industry experience or have held top positions for other companies and achieved success while filling that role, highlight it in this section.

Create Management Team For Business Plan

A common mistake that many startups make is assigning C-level titles such as (CMO and CEO) to everyone on their team. It is unrealistic for a small business to have those titles. While it may look good on paper for the ego of your team members, it can prevent investors from investing in your business.

Instead of building an unrealistic management structure that does not fit your business reality, it is best to allow business titles to grow as the business grows. Starting everyone at the top leaves no room for future change or growth, which is bad for productivity.

Your management team does not have to be complete before you start writing your business plan. You can have a complete business plan even when there are managerial positions that are empty and need filling.

If you have management gaps in your team, simply show the gaps and indicate you are searching for the right candidates for the role(s). Investors do not expect you to have a full management team when you are just starting your business.

Key Questions to Answer When Structuring Your Management Team

  • Who are the key leaders?
  • What experiences, skills, and educational backgrounds do you expect your key leaders to have?
  • Do your key leaders have industry experience?
  • What positions will they fill and what duties will they perform in those positions?
  • What level of authority do the key leaders have and what are their responsibilities?
  • What is the salary for the various management positions that will attract the ideal candidates?

Additional Tips for Writing the Management Structure Section

1. Avoid Adding ‘Ghost’ Names to Your Management Team

There is always that temptation to include a ‘ghost’ name to your management team to attract and influence investors to invest in your business. Although the presence of these celebrity management team members may attract the attention of investors, it can cause your business to lose any credibility if you get found out.

Seasoned investors will investigate further the members of your management team before committing fully to your business If they find out that the celebrity name used does not play any actual role in your business, they will not invest and may write you off as dishonest.

2. Focus on Credentials But Pay Extra Attention to the Roles

Investors want to know the experience that your key team members have to determine if they can successfully reach the company’s growth and financial goals.

While it is an excellent boost for your key management team to have the right credentials, you also want to pay extra attention to the roles they will play in your company.

Organizational Chart

Organizational chart Infographic

Adding an organizational chart in this section of your business plan is not necessary, you can do it in your business plan’s appendix.

If you are exploring funding options, it is not uncommon to get asked for your organizational chart. The function of an organizational chart goes beyond raising money, you can also use it as a useful planning tool for your business.

An organizational chart can help you identify how best to structure your management team for maximum productivity and point you towards key roles you need to fill in the future.

You can use the organizational chart to show your company’s internal management structure such as the roles and responsibilities of your management team, and relationships that exist between them.

5. Describe Your Product and Service Offering

In your business plan, you have to describe what you sell or the service you plan to offer. It is the next step after defining your business and management structure. The products and services section is where you sell the benefits of your business.

Here you have to explain how your product or service will benefit your customers and describe your product lifecycle. It is also the section where you write down your plans for intellectual property like patent filings and copyrighting.

The research and development that you are undertaking for your product or service need to be explained in detail in this section. However, do not get too technical, sell the general idea and its benefits.

If you have any diagrams or intricate designs of your product or service, do not include them in the products and services section. Instead, leave them for the addendum page. Also, if you are leaving out diagrams or designs for the addendum, ensure you add this phrase “For more detail, visit the addendum Page #.”

Your product and service section in your business plan should include the following:

  • A detailed explanation that clearly shows how your product or service works.
  • The pricing model for your product or service.
  • Your business’ sales and distribution strategy.
  • The ideal customers that want your product or service.
  • The benefits of your products and services.
  • Reason(s) why your product or service is a better alternative to what your competitors are currently offering in the market.
  • Plans for filling the orders you receive
  • If you have current or pending patents, copyrights, and trademarks for your product or service, you can also discuss them in this section.

What to Focus On When Describing the Benefits, Lifecycle, and Production Process of Your Products or Services

In the products and services section, you have to distill the benefits, lifecycle, and production process of your products and services.

When describing the benefits of your products or services, here are some key factors to focus on.

  • Unique features
  • Translating the unique features into benefits
  • The emotional, psychological, and practical payoffs to attract customers
  • Intellectual property rights or any patents

When describing the product life cycle of your products or services, here are some key factors to focus on.

  • Upsells, cross-sells, and down-sells
  • Time between purchases
  • Plans for research and development.

When describing the production process for your products or services, you need to think about the following:

  • The creation of new or existing products and services.
  • The sources for the raw materials or components you need for production.
  • Assembling the products
  • Maintaining quality control
  • Supply-chain logistics (receiving the raw materials and delivering the finished products)
  • The day-to-day management of the production processes, bookkeeping, and inventory.

Tips for Writing the Products or Services Section of Your Business Plan

1. Avoid Technical Descriptions and Industry Buzzwords

The products and services section of your business plan should clearly describe the products and services that your company provides. However, it is not a section to include technical jargons that anyone outside your industry will not understand.

A good practice is to remove highly detailed or technical descriptions in favor of simple terms. Industry buzzwords are not necessary, if there are simpler terms you can use, then use them. If you plan to use your business plan to source funds, making the product or service section so technical will do you no favors.

2. Describe How Your Products or Services Differ from Your Competitors

When potential investors look at your business plan, they want to know how the products and services you are offering differ from that of your competition. Differentiating your products or services from your competition in a way that makes your solution more attractive is critical.

If you are going the innovative path and there is no market currently for your product or service, you need to describe in this section why the market needs your product or service.

For example, overnight delivery was a niche business that only a few companies were participating in. Federal Express (FedEx) had to show in its business plan that there was a large opportunity for that service and they justified why the market needed that service.

3. Long or Short Products or Services Section

Should your products or services section be short? Does the long products or services section attract more investors?

There are no straightforward answers to these questions. Whether your products or services section should be long or relatively short depends on the nature of your business.

If your business is product-focused, then automatically you need to use more space to describe the details of your products. However, if the product your business sells is a commodity item that relies on competitive pricing or other pricing strategies, you do not have to use up so much space to provide significant details about the product.

Likewise, if you are selling a commodity that is available in numerous outlets, then you do not have to spend time on writing a long products or services section.

The key to the success of your business is most likely the effectiveness of your marketing strategies compared to your competitors. Use more space to address that section.

If you are creating a new product or service that the market does not know about, your products or services section can be lengthy. The reason why is because you need to explain everything about the product or service such as the nature of the product, its use case, and values.

A short products or services section for an innovative product or service will not give the readers enough information to properly evaluate your business.

4. Describe Your Relationships with Vendors or Suppliers

Your business will rely on vendors or suppliers to supply raw materials or the components needed to make your products. In your products and services section, describe your relationships with your vendors and suppliers fully.

Avoid the mistake of relying on only one supplier or vendor. If that supplier or vendor fails to supply or goes out of business, you can easily face supply problems and struggle to meet your demands. Plan to set up multiple vendor or supplier relationships for better business stability.

5. Your Primary Goal Is to Convince Your Readers

The primary goal of your business plan is to convince your readers that your business is viable and to create a guide for your business to follow. It applies to the products and services section.

When drafting this section, think like the reader. See your reader as someone who has no idea about your products and services. You are using the products and services section to provide the needed information to help your reader understand your products and services. As a result, you have to be clear and to the point.

While you want to educate your readers about your products or services, you also do not want to bore them with lots of technical details. Show your products and services and not your fancy choice of words.

Your products and services section should provide the answer to the “what” question for your business. You and your management team may run the business, but it is your products and services that are the lifeblood of the business.

Key Questions to Answer When Writing your Products and Services Section

Answering these questions can help you write your products and services section quickly and in a way that will appeal to your readers.

  • Are your products existing on the market or are they still in the development stage?
  • What is your timeline for adding new products and services to the market?
  • What are the positives that make your products and services different from your competitors?
  • Do your products and services have any competitive advantage that your competitors’ products and services do not currently have?
  • Do your products or services have any competitive disadvantages that you need to overcome to compete with your competitors? If your answer is yes, state how you plan to overcome them,
  • How much does it cost to produce your products or services? How much do you plan to sell it for?
  • What is the price for your products and services compared to your competitors? Is pricing an issue?
  • What are your operating costs and will it be low enough for you to compete with your competitors and still take home a reasonable profit margin?
  • What is your plan for acquiring your products? Are you involved in the production of your products or services?
  • Are you the manufacturer and produce all the components you need to create your products? Do you assemble your products by using components supplied by other manufacturers? Do you purchase your products directly from suppliers or wholesalers?
  • Do you have a steady supply of products that you need to start your business? (If your business is yet to kick-off)
  • How do you plan to distribute your products or services to the market?

You can also hint at the marketing or promotion plans you have for your products or services such as how you plan to build awareness or retain customers. The next section is where you can go fully into details about your business’s marketing and sales plan.

6. Show and Explain Your Marketing and Sales Plan

Providing great products and services is wonderful, but it means nothing if you do not have a marketing and sales plan to inform your customers about them. Your marketing and sales plan is critical to the success of your business.

The sales and marketing section is where you show and offer a detailed explanation of your marketing and sales plan and how you plan to execute it. It covers your pricing plan, proposed advertising and promotion activities, activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success, and the benefits of your products and services.

There are several ways you can approach your marketing and sales strategy. Ideally, your marketing and sales strategy has to fit the unique needs of your business.

In this section, you describe how the plans your business has for attracting and retaining customers, and the exact process for making a sale happen. It is essential to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales plans because you are still going to reference this section when you are making financial projections for your business.

Outline Your Business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The sales and marketing section is where you outline your business’s unique selling proposition (USP). When you are developing your unique selling proposition, think about the strongest reasons why people should buy from you over your competition. That reason(s) is most likely a good fit to serve as your unique selling proposition (USP).

Target Market and Target Audience

Plans on how to get your products or services to your target market and how to get your target audience to buy them go into this section. You also highlight the strengths of your business here, particularly what sets them apart from your competition.

Target Market Vs Target Audience

Before you start writing your marketing and sales plan, you need to have properly defined your target audience and fleshed out your buyer persona. If you do not first understand the individual you are marketing to, your marketing and sales plan will lack any substance and easily fall.

Creating a Smart Marketing and Sales Plan

Marketing your products and services is an investment that requires you to spend money. Like any other investment, you have to generate a good return on investment (ROI) to justify using that marketing and sales plan. Good marketing and sales plans bring in high sales and profits to your company.

Avoid spending money on unproductive marketing channels. Do your research and find out the best marketing and sales plan that works best for your company.

Your marketing and sales plan can be broken into different parts: your positioning statement, pricing, promotion, packaging, advertising, public relations, content marketing, social media, and strategic alliances.

Your Positioning Statement

Your positioning statement is the first part of your marketing and sales plan. It refers to the way you present your company to your customers.

Are you the premium solution, the low-price solution, or are you the intermediary between the two extremes in the market? What do you offer that your competitors do not that can give you leverage in the market?

Before you start writing your positioning statement, you need to spend some time evaluating the current market conditions. Here are some questions that can help you to evaluate the market

  • What are the unique features or benefits that you offer that your competitors lack?
  • What are your customers’ primary needs and wants?
  • Why should a customer choose you over your competition? How do you plan to differentiate yourself from the competition?
  • How does your company’s solution compare with other solutions in the market?

After answering these questions, then you can start writing your positioning statement. Your positioning statement does not have to be in-depth or too long.

All you need to explain with your positioning statement are two focus areas. The first is the position of your company within the competitive landscape. The other focus area is the core value proposition that sets your company apart from other alternatives that your ideal customer might consider.

Here is a simple template you can use to develop a positioning statement.

For [description of target market] who [need of target market], [product or service] [how it meets the need]. Unlike [top competition], it [most essential distinguishing feature].

For example, let’s create the positioning statement for fictional accounting software and QuickBooks alternative , TBooks.

“For small business owners who need accounting services, TBooks is an accounting software that helps small businesses handle their small business bookkeeping basics quickly and easily. Unlike Wave, TBooks gives small businesses access to live sessions with top accountants.”

You can edit this positioning statement sample and fill it with your business details.

After writing your positioning statement, the next step is the pricing of your offerings. The overall positioning strategy you set in your positioning statement will often determine how you price your products or services.

Pricing is a powerful tool that sends a strong message to your customers. Failure to get your pricing strategy right can make or mar your business. If you are targeting a low-income audience, setting a premium price can result in low sales.

You can use pricing to communicate your positioning to your customers. For example, if you are offering a product at a premium price, you are sending a message to your customers that the product belongs to the premium category.

Basic Rules to Follow When Pricing Your Offering

Setting a price for your offering involves more than just putting a price tag on it. Deciding on the right pricing for your offering requires following some basic rules. They include covering your costs, primary and secondary profit center pricing, and matching the market rate.

  • Covering Your Costs: The price you set for your products or service should be more than it costs you to produce and deliver them. Every business has the same goal, to make a profit. Depending on the strategy you want to use, there are exceptions to this rule. However, the vast majority of businesses follow this rule.
  • Primary and Secondary Profit Center Pricing: When a company sets its price above the cost of production, it is making that product its primary profit center. A company can also decide not to make its initial price its primary profit center by selling below or at even with its production cost. It rather depends on the support product or even maintenance that is associated with the initial purchase to make its profit. The initial price thus became its secondary profit center.
  • Matching the Market Rate: A good rule to follow when pricing your products or services is to match your pricing with consumer demand and expectations. If you price your products or services beyond the price your customer perceives as the ideal price range, you may end up with no customers. Pricing your products too low below what your customer perceives as the ideal price range may lead to them undervaluing your offering.

Pricing Strategy

Your pricing strategy influences the price of your offering. There are several pricing strategies available for you to choose from when examining the right pricing strategy for your business. They include cost-plus pricing, market-based pricing, value pricing, and more.

Pricing strategy influences the price of offering

  • Cost-plus Pricing: This strategy is one of the simplest and oldest pricing strategies. Here you consider the cost of producing a unit of your product and then add a profit to it to arrive at your market price. It is an effective pricing strategy for manufacturers because it helps them cover their initial costs. Another name for the cost-plus pricing strategy is the markup pricing strategy.
  • Market-based Pricing: This pricing strategy analyses the market including competitors’ pricing and then sets a price based on what the market is expecting. With this pricing strategy, you can either set your price at the low-end or high-end of the market.
  • Value Pricing: This pricing strategy involves setting a price based on the value you are providing to your customer. When adopting a value-based pricing strategy, you have to set a price that your customers are willing to pay. Service-based businesses such as small business insurance providers , luxury goods sellers, and the fashion industry use this pricing strategy.

After carefully sorting out your positioning statement and pricing, the next item to look at is your promotional strategy. Your promotional strategy explains how you plan on communicating with your customers and prospects.

As a business, you must measure all your costs, including the cost of your promotions. You also want to measure how much sales your promotions bring for your business to determine its usefulness. Promotional strategies or programs that do not lead to profit need to be removed.

There are different types of promotional strategies you can adopt for your business, they include advertising, public relations, and content marketing.


Your business plan should include your advertising plan which can be found in the marketing and sales plan section. You need to include an overview of your advertising plans such as the areas you plan to spend money on to advertise your business and offers.

Ensure that you make it clear in this section if your business will be advertising online or using the more traditional offline media, or the combination of both online and offline media. You can also include the advertising medium you want to use to raise awareness about your business and offers.

Some common online advertising mediums you can use include social media ads, landing pages, sales pages, SEO, Pay-Per-Click, emails, Google Ads, and others. Some common traditional and offline advertising mediums include word of mouth, radios, direct mail, televisions, flyers, billboards, posters, and others.

A key component of your advertising strategy is how you plan to measure the effectiveness and success of your advertising campaign. There is no point in sticking with an advertising plan or medium that does not produce results for your business in the long run.

Public Relations

A great way to reach your customers is to get the media to cover your business or product. Publicity, especially good ones, should be a part of your marketing and sales plan. In this section, show your plans for getting prominent reviews of your product from reputable publications and sources.

Your business needs that exposure to grow. If public relations is a crucial part of your promotional strategy, provide details about your public relations plan here.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular promotional strategy used by businesses to inform and attract their customers. It is about teaching and educating your prospects on various topics of interest in your niche, it does not just involve informing them about the benefits and features of the products and services you have,

The Benefits of Content Marketing

Businesses publish content usually for free where they provide useful information, tips, and advice so that their target market can be made aware of the importance of their products and services. Content marketing strategies seek to nurture prospects into buyers over time by simply providing value.

Your company can create a blog where it will be publishing content for its target market. You will need to use the best website builder such as Wix and Squarespace and the best web hosting services such as Bluehost, Hostinger, and other Bluehost alternatives to create a functional blog or website.

If content marketing is a crucial part of your promotional strategy (as it should be), detail your plans under promotions.

Including high-quality images of the packaging of your product in your business plan is a lovely idea. You can add the images of the packaging of that product in the marketing and sales plan section. If you are not selling a product, then you do not need to include any worry about the physical packaging of your product.

When organizing the packaging section of your business plan, you can answer the following questions to make maximum use of this section.

  • Is your choice of packaging consistent with your positioning strategy?
  • What key value proposition does your packaging communicate? (It should reflect the key value proposition of your business)
  • How does your packaging compare to that of your competitors?

Social Media

Your 21st-century business needs to have a good social media presence. Not having one is leaving out opportunities for growth and reaching out to your prospect.

You do not have to join the thousands of social media platforms out there. What you need to do is join the ones that your customers are active on and be active there.

Most popular social media platforms

Businesses use social media to provide information about their products such as promotions, discounts, the benefits of their products, and content on their blogs.

Social media is also a platform for engaging with your customers and getting feedback about your products or services. Make no mistake, more and more of your prospects are using social media channels to find more information about companies.

You need to consider the social media channels you want to prioritize your business (prioritize the ones your customers are active in) and your branding plans in this section.

Choosing the right social media platform

Strategic Alliances

If your company plans to work closely with other companies as part of your sales and marketing plan, include it in this section. Prove details about those partnerships in your business plan if you have already established them.

Strategic alliances can be beneficial for all parties involved including your company. Working closely with another company in the form of a partnership can provide access to a different target market segment for your company.

The company you are partnering with may also gain access to your target market or simply offer a new product or service (that of your company) to its customers.

Mutually beneficial partnerships can cover the weaknesses of one company with the strength of another. You should consider strategic alliances with companies that sell complimentary products to yours. For example, if you provide printers, you can partner with a company that produces ink since the customers that buy printers from you will also need inks for printing.

Steps Involved in Creating a Marketing and Sales Plan

1. Focus on Your Target Market

Identify who your customers are, the market you want to target. Then determine the best ways to get your products or services to your potential customers.

2. Evaluate Your Competition

One of the goals of having a marketing plan is to distinguish yourself from your competition. You cannot stand out from them without first knowing them in and out.

You can know your competitors by gathering information about their products, pricing, service, and advertising campaigns.

These questions can help you know your competition.

  • What makes your competition successful?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • What are customers saying about your competition?

3. Consider Your Brand

Customers' perception of your brand has a strong impact on your sales. Your marketing and sales plan should seek to bolster the image of your brand. Before you start marketing your business, think about the message you want to pass across about your business and your products and services.

4. Focus on Benefits

The majority of your customers do not view your product in terms of features, what they want to know is the benefits and solutions your product offers. Think about the problems your product solves and the benefits it delivers, and use it to create the right sales and marketing message.

Your marketing plan should focus on what you want your customer to get instead of what you provide. Identify those benefits in your marketing and sales plan.

5. Focus on Differentiation

Your marketing and sales plan should look for a unique angle they can take that differentiates your business from the competition, even if the products offered are similar. Some good areas of differentiation you can use are your benefits, pricing, and features.

Key Questions to Answer When Writing Your Marketing and Sales Plan

  • What is your company’s budget for sales and marketing campaigns?
  • What key metrics will you use to determine if your marketing plans are successful?
  • What are your alternatives if your initial marketing efforts do not succeed?
  • Who are the sales representatives you need to promote your products or services?
  • What are the marketing and sales channels you plan to use? How do you plan to get your products in front of your ideal customers?
  • Where will you sell your products?

You may want to include samples of marketing materials you plan to use such as print ads, website descriptions, and social media ads. While it is not compulsory to include these samples, it can help you better communicate your marketing and sales plan and objectives.

The purpose of the marketing and sales section is to answer this question “How will you reach your customers?” If you cannot convincingly provide an answer to this question, you need to rework your marketing and sales section.

7. Clearly Show Your Funding Request

If you are writing your business plan to ask for funding from investors or financial institutions, the funding request section is where you will outline your funding requirements. The funding request section should answer the question ‘How much money will your business need in the near future (3 to 5 years)?’

A good funding request section will clearly outline and explain the amount of funding your business needs over the next five years. You need to know the amount of money your business needs to make an accurate funding request.

Also, when writing your funding request, provide details of how the funds will be used over the period. Specify if you want to use the funds to buy raw materials or machinery, pay salaries, pay for advertisements, and cover specific bills such as rent and electricity.

In addition to explaining what you want to use the funds requested for, you need to clearly state the projected return on investment (ROI) . Investors and creditors want to know if your business can generate profit for them if they put funds into it.

Ensure you do not inflate the figures and stay as realistic as possible. Investors and financial institutions you are seeking funds from will do their research before investing money in your business.

If you are not sure of an exact number to request from, you can use some range of numbers as rough estimates. Add a best-case scenario and a work-case scenario to your funding request. Also, include a description of your strategic future financial plans such as selling your business or paying off debts.

Funding Request: Debt or Equity?

When making your funding request, specify the type of funding you want. Do you want debt or equity? Draw out the terms that will be applicable for the funding, and the length of time the funding request will cover.

Case for Equity

If your new business has not yet started generating profits, you are most likely preparing to sell equity in your business to raise capital at the early stage. Equity here refers to ownership. In this case, you are selling a portion of your company to raise capital.

Although this method of raising capital for your business does not put your business in debt, keep in mind that an equity owner may expect to play a key role in company decisions even if he does not hold a major stake in the company.

Most equity sales for startups are usually private transactions . If you are making a funding request by offering equity in exchange for funding, let the investor know that they will be paid a dividend (a share of the company’s profit). Also, let the investor know the process for selling their equity in your business.

Case for Debt

You may decide not to offer equity in exchange for funds, instead, you make a funding request with the promise to pay back the money borrowed at the agreed time frame.

When making a funding request with an agreement to pay back, note that you will have to repay your creditors both the principal amount borrowed and the interest on it. Financial institutions offer this type of funding for businesses.

Large companies combine both equity and debt in their capital structure. When drafting your business plan, decide if you want to offer both or one over the other.

Before you sell equity in exchange for funding in your business, consider if you are willing to accept not being in total control of your business. Also, before you seek loans in your funding request section, ensure that the terms of repayment are favorable.

You should set a clear timeline in your funding request so that potential investors and creditors can know what you are expecting. Some investors and creditors may agree to your funding request and then delay payment for longer than 30 days, meanwhile, your business needs an immediate cash injection to operate efficiently.

Additional Tips for Writing the Funding Request Section of your Business Plan

The funding request section is not necessary for every business, it is only needed by businesses who plan to use their business plan to secure funding.

If you are adding the funding request section to your business plan, provide an itemized summary of how you plan to use the funds requested. Hiring a lawyer, accountant, or other professionals may be necessary for the proper development of this section.

You should also gather and use financial statements that add credibility and support to your funding requests. Ensure that the financial statements you use should include your projected financial data such as projected cash flows, forecast statements, and expenditure budgets.

If you are an existing business, include all historical financial statements such as cash flow statements, balance sheets and income statements .

Provide monthly and quarterly financial statements for a year. If your business has records that date back beyond the one-year mark, add the yearly statements of those years. These documents are for the appendix section of your business plan.

8. Detail Your Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projections

If you used the funding request section in your business plan, supplement it with a financial plan, metrics, and projections. This section paints a picture of the past performance of your business and then goes ahead to make an informed projection about its future.

The goal of this section is to convince readers that your business is going to be a financial success. It outlines your business plan to generate enough profit to repay the loan (with interest if applicable) and to generate a decent return on investment for investors.

If you have an existing business already in operation, use this section to demonstrate stability through finance. This section should include your cash flow statements, balance sheets, and income statements covering the last three to five years. If your business has some acceptable collateral that you can use to acquire loans, list it in the financial plan, metrics, and projection section.

Apart from current financial statements, this section should also contain a prospective financial outlook that spans the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, and capital expenditure budget.

If your business is new and is not yet generating profit, use clear and realistic projections to show the potentials of your business.

When drafting this section, research industry norms and the performance of comparable businesses. Your financial projections should cover at least five years. State the logic behind your financial projections. Remember you can always make adjustments to this section as the variables change.

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section create a baseline which your business can either exceed or fail to reach. If your business fails to reach your projections in this section, you need to understand why it failed.

Investors and loan managers spend a lot of time going through the financial plan, metrics, and projection section compared to other parts of the business plan. Ensure you spend time creating credible financial analyses for your business in this section.

Many entrepreneurs find this section daunting to write. You do not need a business degree to create a solid financial forecast for your business. Business finances, especially for startups, are not as complicated as they seem. There are several online tools and templates that make writing this section so much easier.

Use Graphs and Charts

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business. Charts and images make it easier to communicate your finances.

Accuracy in this section is key, ensure you carefully analyze your past financial statements properly before making financial projects.

Address the Risk Factors and Show Realistic Financial Projections

Keep your financial plan, metrics, and projection realistic. It is okay to be optimistic in your financial projection, however, you have to justify it.

You should also address the various risk factors associated with your business in this section. Investors want to know the potential risks involved, show them. You should also show your plans for mitigating those risks.

What You Should In The Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projection Section of Your Business Plan

The financial plan, metrics, and projection section of your business plan should have monthly sales and revenue forecasts for the first year. It should also include annual projections that cover 3 to 5 years.

A three-year projection is a basic requirement to have in your business plan. However, some investors may request a five-year forecast.

Your business plan should include the following financial statements: sales forecast, personnel plan, income statement, income statement, cash flow statement, balance sheet, and an exit strategy.

1. Sales Forecast

Sales forecast refers to your projections about the number of sales your business is going to record over the next few years. It is typically broken into several rows, with each row assigned to a core product or service that your business is offering.

One common mistake people make in their business plan is to break down the sales forecast section into long details. A sales forecast should forecast the high-level details.

For example, if you are forecasting sales for a payroll software provider, you could break down your forecast into target market segments or subscription categories.

Benefits of Sales Forecasting

Your sales forecast section should also have a corresponding row for each sales row to cover the direct cost or Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). The objective of these rows is to show the expenses that your business incurs in making and delivering your product or service.

Note that your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) should only cover those direct costs incurred when making your products. Other indirect expenses such as insurance, salaries, payroll tax, and rent should not be included.

For example, the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) for a restaurant is the cost of ingredients while for a consulting company it will be the cost of paper and other presentation materials.

Factors that affect sales forecasting

2. Personnel Plan

The personnel plan section is where you provide details about the payment plan for your employees. For a small business, you can easily list every position in your company and how much you plan to pay in the personnel plan.

However, for larger businesses, you have to break the personnel plan into functional groups such as sales and marketing.

The personnel plan will also include the cost of an employee beyond salary, commonly referred to as the employee burden. These costs include insurance, payroll taxes , and other essential costs incurred monthly as a result of having employees on your payroll.

True HR Cost Infographic

3. Income Statement

The income statement section shows if your business is making a profit or taking a loss. Another name for the income statement is the profit and loss (P&L). It takes data from your sales forecast and personnel plan and adds other ongoing expenses you incur while running your business.

The income statement section

Every business plan should have an income statement. It subtracts your business expenses from its earnings to show if your business is generating profit or incurring losses.

The income statement has the following items: sales, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), gross margin, operating expenses, total operating expenses, operating income , total expenses, and net profit.

  • Sales refer to the revenue your business generates from selling its products or services. Other names for sales are income or revenue.
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) refers to the total cost of selling your products. Other names for COGS are direct costs or cost of sales. Manufacturing businesses use the Costs of Goods Manufactured (COGM) .
  • Gross Margin is the figure you get when you subtract your COGS from your sales. In your income statement, you can express it as a percentage of total sales (Gross margin / Sales = Gross Margin Percent).
  • Operating Expenses refer to all the expenses you incur from running your business. It exempts the COGS because it stands alone as a core part of your income statement. You also have to exclude taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Your operating expenses include salaries, marketing expenses, research and development (R&D) expenses, and other expenses.
  • Total Operating Expenses refers to the sum of all your operating expenses including those exemptions named above under operating expenses.
  • Operating Income refers to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. It is simply known as the acronym EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). Calculating your operating income is simple, all you need to do is to subtract your COGS and total operating expenses from your sales.
  • Total Expenses refer to the sum of your operating expenses and your business’ interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
  • Net profit shows whether your business has made a profit or taken a loss during a given timeframe.

4. Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement tracks the money you have in the bank at any given point. It is often confused with the income statement or the profit and loss statement. They are both different types of financial statements. The income statement calculates your profits and losses while the cash flow statement shows you how much you have in the bank.

Cash Flow Statement Example

5. Balance Sheet

The balance sheet is a financial statement that provides an overview of the financial health of your business. It contains information about the assets and liabilities of your company, and owner’s or shareholders’ equity.

You can get the net worth of your company by subtracting your company’s liabilities from its assets.

Balance sheet Formula

6. Exit Strategy

The exit strategy refers to a probable plan for selling your business either to the public in an IPO or to another company. It is the last thing you include in the financial plan, metrics, and projection section.

You can choose to omit the exit strategy from your business plan if you plan to maintain full ownership of your business and do not plan on seeking angel investment or virtual capitalist (VC) funding.

Investors may want to know what your exit plan is. They invest in your business to get a good return on investment.

Your exit strategy does not have to include long and boring details. Ensure you identify some interested parties who may be interested in buying the company if it becomes a success.

Exit Strategy Section of Business Plan Infographic

Key Questions to Answer with Your Financial Plan, Metrics, and Projection

Your financial plan, metrics, and projection section helps investors, creditors, or your internal managers to understand what your expenses are, the amount of cash you need, and what it takes to make your company profitable. It also shows what you will be doing with any funding.

You do not need to show actual financial data if you do not have one. Adding forecasts and projections to your financial statements is added proof that your strategy is feasible and shows investors you have planned properly.

Here are some key questions to answer to help you develop this section.

  • What is your sales forecast for the next year?
  • When will your company achieve a positive cash flow?
  • What are the core expenses you need to operate?
  • How much money do you need upfront to operate or grow your company?
  • How will you use the loans or investments?

9. Add an Appendix to Your Business Plan

Adding an appendix to your business plan is optional. It is a useful place to put any charts, tables, legal notes, definitions, permits, résumés, and other critical information that do not fit into other sections of your business plan.

The appendix section is where you would want to include details of a patent or patent-pending if you have one. You can always add illustrations or images of your products here. It is the last section of your business plan.

When writing your business plan, there are details you cut short or remove to prevent the entire section from becoming too lengthy. There are also details you want to include in the business plan but are not a good fit for any of the previous sections. You can add that additional information to the appendix section.

Businesses also use the appendix section to include supporting documents or other materials specially requested by investors or lenders.

You can include just about any information that supports the assumptions and statements you made in the business plan under the appendix. It is the one place in the business plan where unrelated data and information can coexist amicably.

If your appendix section is lengthy, try organizing it by adding a table of contents at the beginning of the appendix section. It is also advisable to group similar information to make it easier for the reader to access them.

A well-organized appendix section makes it easier to share your information clearly and concisely. Add footnotes throughout the rest of the business plan or make references in the plan to the documents in the appendix.

The appendix section is usually only necessary if you are seeking funding from investors or lenders, or hoping to attract partners.

People reading business plans do not want to spend time going through a heap of backup information, numbers, and charts. Keep these documents or information in the Appendix section in case the reader wants to dig deeper.

Common Items to Include in the Appendix Section of Your Business Plan

The appendix section includes documents that supplement or support the information or claims given in other sections of the business plans. Common items you can include in the appendix section include:

  • Additional data about the process of manufacturing or creation
  • Additional description of products or services such as product schematics
  • Additional financial documents or projections
  • Articles of incorporation and status
  • Backup for market research or competitive analysis
  • Bank statements
  • Business registries
  • Client testimonials (if your business is already running)
  • Copies of insurances
  • Credit histories (personal or/and business)
  • Deeds and permits
  • Equipment leases
  • Examples of marketing and advertising collateral
  • Industry associations and memberships
  • Images of product
  • Intellectual property
  • Key customer contracts
  • Legal documents and other contracts
  • Letters of reference
  • Links to references
  • Market research data
  • Organizational charts
  • Photographs of potential facilities
  • Professional licenses pertaining to your legal structure or type of business
  • Purchase orders
  • Resumes of the founder(s) and key managers
  • State and federal identification numbers or codes
  • Trademarks or patents’ registrations

Avoid using the appendix section as a place to dump any document or information you feel like adding. Only add documents or information that you support or increase the credibility of your business plan.

Tips and Strategies for Writing a Convincing Business Plan

To achieve a perfect business plan, you need to consider some key tips and strategies. These tips will raise the efficiency of your business plan above average.

1. Know Your Audience

When writing a business plan, you need to know your audience . Business owners write business plans for different reasons. Your business plan has to be specific. For example, you can write business plans to potential investors, banks, and even fellow board members of the company.

The audience you are writing to determines the structure of the business plan. As a business owner, you have to know your audience. Not everyone will be your audience. Knowing your audience will help you to narrow the scope of your business plan.

Consider what your audience wants to see in your projects, the likely questions they might ask, and what interests them.

  • A business plan used to address a company's board members will center on its employment schemes, internal affairs, projects, stakeholders, etc.
  • A business plan for financial institutions will talk about the size of your market and the chances for you to pay back any loans you demand.
  • A business plan for investors will show proof that you can return the investment capital within a specific time. In addition, it discusses your financial projections, tractions, and market size.

2. Get Inspiration from People

Writing a business plan from scratch as an entrepreneur can be daunting. That is why you need the right inspiration to push you to write one. You can gain inspiration from the successful business plans of other businesses. Look at their business plans, the style they use, the structure of the project, etc.

To make your business plan easier to create, search companies related to your business to get an exact copy of what you need to create an effective business plan. You can also make references while citing examples in your business plans.

When drafting your business plan, get as much help from others as you possibly can. By getting inspiration from people, you can create something better than what they have.

3. Avoid Being Over Optimistic

Many business owners make use of strong adjectives to qualify their content. One of the big mistakes entrepreneurs make when preparing a business plan is promising too much.

The use of superlatives and over-optimistic claims can prepare the audience for more than you can offer. In the end, you disappoint the confidence they have in you.

In most cases, the best option is to be realistic with your claims and statistics. Most of the investors can sense a bit of incompetency from the overuse of superlatives. As a new entrepreneur, do not be tempted to over-promise to get the interests of investors.

The concept of entrepreneurship centers on risks, nothing is certain when you make future analyses. What separates the best is the ability to do careful research and work towards achieving that, not promising more than you can achieve.

To make an excellent first impression as an entrepreneur, replace superlatives with compelling data-driven content. In this way, you are more specific than someone promising a huge ROI from an investment.

4. Keep it Simple and Short

When writing business plans, ensure you keep them simple throughout. Irrespective of the purpose of the business plan, your goal is to convince the audience.

One way to achieve this goal is to make them understand your proposal. Therefore, it would be best if you avoid the use of complex grammar to express yourself. It would be a huge turn-off if the people you want to convince are not familiar with your use of words.

Another thing to note is the length of your business plan. It would be best if you made it as brief as possible.

You hardly see investors or agencies that read through an extremely long document. In that case, if your first few pages can’t convince them, then you have lost it. The more pages you write, the higher the chances of you derailing from the essential contents.

To ensure your business plan has a high conversion rate, you need to dispose of every unnecessary information. For example, if you have a strategy that you are not sure of, it would be best to leave it out of the plan.

5. Make an Outline and Follow Through

A perfect business plan must have touched every part needed to convince the audience. Business owners get easily tempted to concentrate more on their products than on other sections. Doing this can be detrimental to the efficiency of the business plan.

For example, imagine you talking about a product but omitting or providing very little information about the target audience. You will leave your clients confused.

To ensure that your business plan communicates your full business model to readers, you have to input all the necessary information in it. One of the best ways to achieve this is to design a structure and stick to it.

This structure is what guides you throughout the writing. To make your work easier, you can assign an estimated word count or page limit to every section to avoid making it too bulky for easy reading. As a guide, the necessary things your business plan must contain are:

  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Product or service description
  • Target audience
  • Market size
  • Competition analysis
  • Financial projections

Some specific businesses can include some other essential sections, but these are the key sections that must be in every business plan.

6. Ask a Professional to Proofread

When writing a business plan, you must tie all loose ends to get a perfect result. When you are done with writing, call a professional to go through the document for you. You are bound to make mistakes, and the way to correct them is to get external help.

You should get a professional in your field who can relate to every section of your business plan. It would be easier for the professional to notice the inner flaws in the document than an editor with no knowledge of your business.

In addition to getting a professional to proofread, get an editor to proofread and edit your document. The editor will help you identify grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and inappropriate writing styles.

Writing a business plan can be daunting, but you can surmount that obstacle and get the best out of it with these tips.

Business Plan Examples and Templates That’ll Save You Tons of Time

1. hubspot's one-page business plan.

HubSpot's One Page Business Plan

The one-page business plan template by HubSpot is the perfect guide for businesses of any size, irrespective of their business strategy. Although the template is condensed into a page, your final business plan should not be a page long! The template is designed to ask helpful questions that can help you develop your business plan.

Hubspot’s one-page business plan template is divided into nine fields:

  • Business opportunity
  • Company description
  • Industry analysis
  • Target market
  • Implementation timeline
  • Marketing plan
  • Financial summary
  • Funding required

2. Bplan’s Free Business Plan Template

Bplan’s Free Business Plan Template

Bplans' free business plan template is investor-approved. It is a rich template used by prestigious educational institutions such as Babson College and Princeton University to teach entrepreneurs how to create a business plan.

The template has six sections: the executive summary, opportunity, execution, company, financial plan, and appendix. There is a step-by-step guide for writing every little detail in the business plan. Follow the instructions each step of the way and you will create a business plan that impresses investors or lenders easily.

3. HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

HubSpot's Downloadable Business Plan Template

HubSpot’s downloadable business plan template is a more comprehensive option compared to the one-page business template by HubSpot. This free and downloadable business plan template is designed for entrepreneurs.

The template is a comprehensive guide and checklist for business owners just starting their businesses. It tells you everything you need to fill in each section of the business plan and how to do it.

There are nine sections in this business plan template: an executive summary, company and business description, product and services line, market analysis, marketing plan, sales plan, legal notes, financial considerations, and appendix.

4. Business Plan by My Own Business Institute

The Business Profile

My Own Business Institute (MOBI) which is a part of Santa Clara University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers a free business plan template. You can either copy the free business template from the link provided above or download it as a Word document.

The comprehensive template consists of a whopping 15 sections.

  • The Business Profile
  • The Vision and the People
  • Home-Based Business and Freelance Business Opportunities
  • Organization
  • Licenses and Permits
  • Business Insurance
  • Communication Tools
  • Acquisitions
  • Location and Leasing
  • Accounting and Cash Flow
  • Opening and Marketing
  • Managing Employees
  • Expanding and Handling Problems

There are lots of helpful tips on how to fill each section in the free business plan template by MOBI.

5. Score's Business Plan Template for Startups

Score's Business Plan Template for Startups

Score is an American nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs build successful companies. This business plan template for startups by Score is available for free download. The business plan template asks a whooping 150 generic questions that help entrepreneurs from different fields to set up the perfect business plan.

The business plan template for startups contains clear instructions and worksheets, all you have to do is answer the questions and fill the worksheets.

There are nine sections in the business plan template: executive summary, company description, products and services, marketing plan, operational plan, management and organization, startup expenses and capitalization, financial plan, and appendices.

The ‘refining the plan’ resource contains instructions that help you modify your business plan to suit your specific needs, industry, and target audience. After you have completed Score’s business plan template, you can work with a SCORE mentor for expert advice in business planning.

6. Minimalist Architecture Business Plan Template by Venngage

Minimalist Architecture Business Plan Template by Venngage

The minimalist architecture business plan template is a simple template by Venngage that you can customize to suit your business needs .

There are five sections in the template: an executive summary, statement of problem, approach and methodology, qualifications, and schedule and benchmark. The business plan template has instructions that guide users on what to fill in each section.

7. Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

Small Business Administration Free Business Plan Template

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers two free business plan templates, filled with practical real-life examples that you can model to create your business plan. Both free business plan templates are written by fictional business owners: Rebecca who owns a consulting firm, and Andrew who owns a toy company.

There are five sections in the two SBA’s free business plan templates.

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Service Line
  • Marketing and Sales

8. The $100 Startup's One-Page Business Plan

The $100 Startup's One Page Business Plan

The one-page business plan by the $100 startup is a simple business plan template for entrepreneurs who do not want to create a long and complicated plan . You can include more details in the appendices for funders who want more information beyond what you can put in the one-page business plan.

There are five sections in the one-page business plan such as overview, ka-ching, hustling, success, and obstacles or challenges or open questions. You can answer all the questions using one or two sentences.

9. PandaDoc’s Free Business Plan Template

PandaDoc’s Free Business Plan Template

The free business plan template by PandaDoc is a comprehensive 15-page document that describes the information you should include in every section.

There are 11 sections in PandaDoc’s free business plan template.

  • Executive summary
  • Business description
  • Products and services
  • Operations plan
  • Management organization
  • Financial plan
  • Conclusion / Call to action
  • Confidentiality statement

You have to sign up for its 14-day free trial to access the template. You will find different business plan templates on PandaDoc once you sign up (including templates for general businesses and specific businesses such as bakeries, startups, restaurants, salons, hotels, and coffee shops)

PandaDoc allows you to customize its business plan templates to fit the needs of your business. After editing the template, you can send it to interested parties and track opens and views through PandaDoc.

10. Invoiceberry Templates for Word, Open Office, Excel, or PPT

Invoiceberry Templates Business Concept

InvoiceBerry is a U.K based online invoicing and tracking platform that offers free business plan templates in .docx, .odt, .xlsx, and .pptx formats for freelancers and small businesses.

Before you can download the free business plan template, it will ask you to give it your email address. After you complete the little task, it will send the download link to your inbox for you to download. It also provides a business plan checklist in .xlsx file format that ensures you add the right information to the business plan.

Alternatives to the Traditional Business Plan

A business plan is very important in mapping out how one expects their business to grow over a set number of years, particularly when they need external investment in their business. However, many investors do not have the time to watch you present your business plan. It is a long and boring read.

Luckily, there are three alternatives to the traditional business plan (the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, and Startup Pitch Deck). These alternatives are less laborious and easier and quicker to present to investors.

Business Model Canvas (BMC)

The business model canvas is a business tool used to present all the important components of setting up a business, such as customers, route to market, value proposition, and finance in a single sheet. It provides a very focused blueprint that defines your business initially which you can later expand on if needed.

Business Model Canvas (BMC) Infographic

The sheet is divided mainly into company, industry, and consumer models that are interconnected in how they find problems and proffer solutions.

Segments of the Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas was developed by founder Alexander Osterwalder to answer important business questions. It contains nine segments.

Segments of the Business Model Canvas

  • Key Partners: Who will be occupying important executive positions in your business? What do they bring to the table? Will there be a third party involved with the company?
  • Key Activities: What important activities will production entail? What activities will be carried out to ensure the smooth running of the company?
  • The Product’s Value Propositions: What does your product do? How will it be different from other products?
  • Customer Segments: What demography of consumers are you targeting? What are the habits of these consumers? Who are the MVPs of your target consumers?
  • Customer Relationships: How will the team support and work with its customer base? How do you intend to build and maintain trust with the customer?
  • Key Resources: What type of personnel and tools will be needed? What size of the budget will they need access to?
  • Channels: How do you plan to create awareness of your products? How do you intend to transport your product to the customer?
  • Cost Structure: What is the estimated cost of production? How much will distribution cost?
  • Revenue Streams: For what value are customers willing to pay? How do they prefer to pay for the product? Are there any external revenues attached apart from the main source? How do the revenue streams contribute to the overall revenue?

Lean Canvas

The lean canvas is a problem-oriented alternative to the standard business model canvas. It was proposed by Ash Maurya, creator of Lean Stack as a development of the business model generation. It uses a more problem-focused approach and it majorly targets entrepreneurs and startup businesses.

The lean canvas is a problem oriented alternative to the standard business model canvas

Lean Canvas uses the same 9 blocks concept as the business model canvas, however, they have been modified slightly to suit the needs and purpose of a small startup. The key partners, key activities, customer relationships, and key resources are replaced by new segments which are:

  • Problem: Simple and straightforward number of problems you have identified, ideally three.
  • Solution: The solutions to each problem.
  • Unfair Advantage: Something you possess that can't be easily bought or replicated.
  • Key Metrics: Important numbers that will tell how your business is doing.

Startup Pitch Deck

While the business model canvas compresses into a factual sheet, startup pitch decks expand flamboyantly.

Pitch decks, through slides, convey your business plan, often through graphs and images used to emphasize estimations and observations in your presentation. Entrepreneurs often use pitch decks to fully convince their target audience of their plans before discussing funding arrangements.

Startup Pitch Deck Presentation

Considering the likelihood of it being used in a small time frame, a good startup pitch deck should ideally contain 20 slides or less to have enough time to answer questions from the audience.

Unlike the standard and lean business model canvases, a pitch deck doesn't have a set template on how to present your business plan but there are still important components to it. These components often mirror those of the business model canvas except that they are in slide form and contain more details.

Airbnb Pitch Deck

Using Airbnb (one of the most successful start-ups in recent history) for reference, the important components of a good slide are listed below.

  • Cover/Introduction Slide: Here, you should include your company's name and mission statement. Your mission statement should be a very catchy tagline. Also, include personal information and contact details to provide an easy link for potential investors.
  • Problem Slide: This slide requires you to create a connection with the audience or the investor that you are pitching. For example in their pitch, Airbnb summarized the most important problems it would solve in three brief points – pricing of hotels, disconnection from city culture, and connection problems for local bookings.
  • Solution Slide: This slide includes your core value proposition. List simple and direct solutions to the problems you have mentioned
  • Customer Analysis: Here you will provide information on the customers you will be offering your service to. The identity of your customers plays an important part in fundraising as well as the long-run viability of the business.
  • Market Validation: Use competitive analysis to show numbers that prove the presence of a market for your product, industry behavior in the present and the long run, as well as the percentage of the market you aim to attract. It shows that you understand your competitors and customers and convinces investors of the opportunities presented in the market.
  • Business Model: Your business model is the hook of your presentation. It may vary in complexity but it should generally include a pricing system informed by your market analysis. The goal of the slide is to confirm your business model is easy to implement.
  • Marketing Strategy: This slide should summarize a few customer acquisition methods that you plan to use to grow the business.
  • Competitive Advantage: What this slide will do is provide information on what will set you apart and make you a more attractive option to customers. It could be the possession of technology that is not widely known in the market.
  • Team Slide: Here you will give a brief description of your team. Include your key management personnel here and their specific roles in the company. Include their educational background, job history, and skillsets. Also, talk about their accomplishments in their careers so far to build investors' confidence in members of your team.
  • Traction Slide: This validates the company’s business model by showing growth through early sales and support. The slide aims to reduce any lingering fears in potential investors by showing realistic periodic milestones and profit margins. It can include current sales, growth, valuable customers, pre-orders, or data from surveys outlining current consumer interest.
  • Funding Slide: This slide is popularly referred to as ‘the ask'. Here you will include important details like how much is needed to get your business off the ground and how the funding will be spent to help the company reach its goals.
  • Appendix Slides: Your pitch deck appendix should always be included alongside a standard pitch presentation. It consists of additional slides you could not show in the pitch deck but you need to complement your presentation.

It is important to support your calculations with pictorial renditions. Infographics, such as pie charts or bar graphs, will be more effective in presenting the information than just listing numbers. For example, a six-month graph that shows rising profit margins will easily look more impressive than merely writing it.

Lastly, since a pitch deck is primarily used to secure meetings and you may be sharing your pitch with several investors, it is advisable to keep a separate public version that doesn't include financials. Only disclose the one with projections once you have secured a link with an investor.

Advantages of the Business Model Canvas, Lean Canvas, and Startup Pitch Deck over the Traditional Business Plan

  • Time-Saving: Writing a detailed traditional business plan could take weeks or months. On the other hand, all three alternatives can be done in a few days or even one night of brainstorming if you have a comprehensive understanding of your business.
  • Easier to Understand: Since the information presented is almost entirely factual, it puts focus on what is most important in running the business. They cut away the excess pages of fillers in a traditional business plan and allow investors to see what is driving the business and what is getting in the way.
  • Easy to Update: Businesses typically present their business plans to many potential investors before they secure funding. What this means is that you may regularly have to amend your presentation to update statistics or adjust to audience-specific needs. For a traditional business plan, this could mean rewriting a whole section of your plan. For the three alternatives, updating is much easier because they are not voluminous.
  • Guide for a More In-depth Business Plan: All three alternatives have the added benefit of being able to double as a sketch of your business plan if the need to create one arises in the future.

Business Plan FAQ

Business plans are important for any entrepreneur who is looking for a framework to run their company over some time or seeking external support. Although they are essential for new businesses, every company should ideally have a business plan to track their growth from time to time.  They can be used by startups seeking investments or loans to convey their business ideas or an employee to convince his boss of the feasibility of starting a new project. They can also be used by companies seeking to recruit high-profile employee targets into key positions or trying to secure partnerships with other firms.

Business plans often vary depending on your target audience, the scope, and the goals for the plan. Startup plans are the most common among the different types of business plans.  A start-up plan is used by a new business to present all the necessary information to help get the business up and running. They are usually used by entrepreneurs who are seeking funding from investors or bank loans. The established company alternative to a start-up plan is a feasibility plan. A feasibility plan is often used by an established company looking for new business opportunities. They are used to show the upsides of creating a new product for a consumer base. Because the audience is usually company people, it requires less company analysis. The third type of business plan is the lean business plan. A lean business plan is a brief, straight-to-the-point breakdown of your ideas and analysis for your business. It does not contain details of your proposal and can be written on one page. Finally, you have the what-if plan. As it implies, a what-if plan is a preparation for the worst-case scenario. You must always be prepared for the possibility of your original plan being rejected. A good what-if plan will serve as a good plan B to the original.

A good business plan has 10 key components. They include an executive plan, product analysis, desired customer base, company analysis, industry analysis, marketing strategy, sales strategy, financial projection, funding, and appendix. Executive Plan Your business should begin with your executive plan. An executive plan will provide early insight into what you are planning to achieve with your business. It should include your mission statement and highlight some of the important points which you will explain later. Product Analysis The next component of your business plan is your product analysis. A key part of this section is explaining the type of item or service you are going to offer as well as the market problems your product will solve. Desired Consumer Base Your product analysis should be supplemented with a detailed breakdown of your desired consumer base. Investors are always interested in knowing the economic power of your market as well as potential MVP customers. Company Analysis The next component of your business plan is your company analysis. Here, you explain how you want to run your business. It will include your operational strategy, an insight into the workforce needed to keep the company running, and important executive positions. It will also provide a calculation of expected operational costs.  Industry Analysis A good business plan should also contain well laid out industry analysis. It is important to convince potential investors you know the companies you will be competing with, as well as your plans to gain an edge on the competition. Marketing Strategy Your business plan should also include your marketing strategy. This is how you intend to spread awareness of your product. It should include a detailed explanation of the company brand as well as your advertising methods. Sales Strategy Your sales strategy comes after the market strategy. Here you give an overview of your company's pricing strategy and how you aim to maximize profits. You can also explain how your prices will adapt to market behaviors. Financial Projection The financial projection is the next component of your business plan. It explains your company's expected running cost and revenue earned during the tenure of the business plan. Financial projection gives a clear idea of how your company will develop in the future. Funding The next component of your business plan is funding. You have to detail how much external investment you need to get your business idea off the ground here. Appendix The last component of your plan is the appendix. This is where you put licenses, graphs, or key information that does not fit in any of the other components.

The business model canvas is a business management tool used to quickly define your business idea and model. It is often used when investors need you to pitch your business idea during a brief window.

A pitch deck is similar to a business model canvas except that it makes use of slides in its presentation. A pitch is not primarily used to secure funding, rather its main purpose is to entice potential investors by selling a very optimistic outlook on the business.

Business plan competitions help you evaluate the strength of your business plan. By participating in business plan competitions, you are improving your experience. The experience provides you with a degree of validation while practicing important skills. The main motivation for entering into the competitions is often to secure funding by finishing in podium positions. There is also the chance that you may catch the eye of a casual observer outside of the competition. These competitions also provide good networking opportunities. You could meet mentors who will take a keen interest in guiding you in your business journey. You also have the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs whose ideas can complement yours.

Exlore Further

  • 12 Key Elements of a Business Plan (Top Components Explained)
  • 13 Sources of Business Finance For Companies & Sole Traders
  • 5 Common Types of Business Structures (+ Pros & Cons)
  • How to Buy a Business in 8 Steps (+ Due Diligence Checklist)

Was This Article Helpful?

Martin luenendonk.

' src=

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.

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

Clifford Chi

Published: February 06, 2024

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

sample business plans and examples

hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(53, 'e9d2eacb-6b01-423a-bf7a-19d42ba77eaa', {"useNewLoader":"true","region":"na1"});

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 for innovative product

Free Business Plan Template

The essential document for starting a business -- custom built for your needs.

  • 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

Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles.

How to Write a Powerful Executive Summary [+4 Top Examples]

How to Write a Powerful Executive Summary [+4 Top Examples]

What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

What is a Business Plan? Definition, Tips, and Templates

Maximizing Your Social Media Strategy: The Top Aggregator Tools to Use

Maximizing Your Social Media Strategy: The Top Aggregator Tools to Use

The Content Aggregator Guide for 2023

The Content Aggregator Guide for 2023

7 Gantt Chart Examples You'll Want to Copy [+ 5 Steps to Make One]

7 Gantt Chart Examples You'll Want to Copy [+ 5 Steps to Make One]

The 8 Best Free Flowchart Templates [+ Examples]

The 8 Best Free Flowchart Templates [+ Examples]

16 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

16 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

The 25 Best Google Chrome Extensions for SEO

The 25 Best Google Chrome Extensions for SEO

Professional Invoice Design: 28 Samples & Templates to Inspire You

Professional Invoice Design: 28 Samples & Templates to Inspire You

Customers’ Top HubSpot Integrations to Streamline Your Business in 2022

Customers’ Top HubSpot Integrations to Streamline Your Business in 2022

2 Essential Templates For Starting Your Business

Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform

Tim Berry

Planning, Startups, Stories

Tim berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime., how does innovation fit into a business plan.

This is the third of four answers to questions I got in email last week from an MBA student asking my opinion as part of his research. The question is the title: how does innovation fit into a business plan? 

Innovation changes a business plan pretty much as a reflection of how it changes a business. It adds risk, uncertainty, and interest too.

Funny thing about risk: we usually think of it as a negative, but in this case it isn’t. Risk has two sides to it: up and down.

  • The upside risk in innovation is of course the benefits to a business when innovation leads to a more desirable offering: better product, suitable for a larger market, differentiated from competition, easier to build, and so forth. We get that immediately. It’s faster, cheaper, better; higher resolution, longer lasting, lighter, and so forth.
  • The downside risk is there too. Live by innovation, die by innovation. The business that depends on innovation usually positions itself on innovation and loses big time when somebody else comes up with the next new bigger, faster, and better.

Uncertainty comes along with innovation because, by definition, what’s innovative is new; and new means it might not work, might have a fatal flaw, might not be accepted by the market, might never be finished. New also means it could take off very fast — more uncertainty — or not at all. It’s uncertainty about when the product (or service) is available, will it work, will enough people like it, are there competitors out there in the bushes where you can’t see them yet.

And interest comes with innovation too. Market makers are interested. Opinion leaders are interested. Competitors are interested. And investors are interested. To the investor, innovation means defensibility and market advantage.

So how does all of this fit into a business plan? It’s all over the plan. It’s in the forecasts, the schedules, the marketing plans, the financial strategy. It’s part of the business’ DNA.

It starts with strategy, the heart of a business plan. Innovation is part of your company’s identity, we would hope one of its strengths, and certainly a key element in business offering. It directly affects the market, both in the higher degree of guessing required (educated guessing, we hope) and in how it affects target market and message. And it affects strategy focus, too, because it turns a company towards it like plants growing towards the sun.

From there it flows easily into the flesh and bones of the plan, all of the concrete, specific, and measurable details about who does what, when, and how much it costs, and how much it brings in as revenue.

Conclusion: it’s an oblique question, in a way. Something like asking how courage fits in a novel, or color in a painting. How does direction fit into navigation?

[…] Sara Manela First mover advantage is great, except when it’s not. If your product is truly innovative, your biggest challenge is likely to be explaining what, exactly, your product is, what its […]

[…] *How Does Innovation Fit into a Business Plan? by Tim Berry […]

' src=

Thanks Joseph. And that, of course, is what my book The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan (see the sidebar here, on this site) is about too. Tim.

' src=

If you know that innovation is part and parcel of your business, then select a planning methodology that is built innovation rather than one that merely accommodates it.

The Agile development approach is built for environments where the outcomes are not all clearly defined and innovation is required. In these environments it is clear that the ship will change course many times. If you know you are going to need to change directions often, especially in the early phases of the business, don't get on a Cruise ship, get on a Skidoo.

I never hear people telling entrepreneurs about the benefits of Agile development, so I am taking it on as my personal mission. See my website about it. http://www.Making-A-DREAM.com

Peace Joseph Flahiff, PMP [email protected]

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Garrett's Bike Shop

The quickest way to turn a business idea into a business plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.

No thanks, I prefer writing 40-page documents.

LivePlan pitch example

Discover the world’s #1 plan building software

business plan for innovative product

5 Effective Steps to Creating a Powerful Innovation Strategy

Updated on: 1 March 2023

Innovation is an organization’s path to survival. In a world of rapid change and increasing competition, innovation has become essential to maintaining business growth, competitiveness, and productivity.  

Innovation is one of the key activities in a company’s operations. Innovation is a long and complex process that takes an abstract idea and converts it into a successful product or service. A proper strategy in place to execute it ensures that you do it well. 

In this post, we are exploring 5 effective steps for developing a powerful innovation strategy.

What is an Innovation Strategy

“Innovation transforms insight and technology into novel products, processes and services that create new value for stakeholders, drive economic growth and improve standards of living.”

In the simplest of terms, innovation is the process of bringing new, unique, and creative ideas into reality. An organization following an innovation strategy uses innovation to execute its business strategy. In other words, an innovation strategy guides the process of resource allocation, enabling the organization to achieve its long-term goals through the use of innovation.  

“An innovation strategy guides decisions on how resources are to be used to meet a firm’s objectives for innovation and thereby deliver value and build competitive advantage.” – Mark Dodgson, David Gann, Ammon Salter (The Management of Technological Innovation: Strategy and Practice)

A company’s innovation strategy should specify how the different types of innovation fit into the business strategy and the resources that should be allocated to implement these innovations.

An innovation strategy paves the way to 

  • Improve the ability to retain customers 
  • Reduce competitive intensity
  • Improve product or service performance  
  • Increase the chances of becoming a market leader 
  • Preserve bargaining power in an ecosystem and blunt imitators

Types of innovation

  • Gradual/ incremental innovation (continuous innovation) is based on abilities that can be easily learned and developed in an organization and has a low-risk low return. 
  • Radical innovation (discontinuous innovation) on the other hand may change the structure of an industry dramatically and has a high-risk high return. 

Innovation Matrix

The innovation matrix as introduced by VIIMA helps categorize innovation based on two dimensions; the technology it uses and the market it operates in. It, thus, visualizes the most common types of innovation.

Innovation Matrix for Innovation Strategy

Based on these categories, three major types of innovation an innovation strategy can be based on can be identified, 

  • Product innovation; occurs in the development of new products, modifications in established products, or in the usage of new materials or components in the manufacture of established products
  • Process innovation; refers to the development of and implementation of significantly improved organizational processes through the integration of new technologies
  • Business model innovation; refers to the improvements done to an existing business model or the creation of a new one to better meet the needs of customers

The Innovation Value Chain 

The innovation value chain provides a framework to identify which innovation approach makes the most sense for a company to adopt. It enables managers to find the company’s weaknesses and become more aware of an apt approach to implement for success. 

The framework includes three phases 

  • Idea generation ; creating and sourcing new ideas from internal and external environments to achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  • Conversion ; selecting and screening the best idea and implementing them. While this involves transforming knowledge into innovations in the form of new products, processes, or organizational forms, special focus should be placed on the company budget and strict funding criteria to avoid shutting down the development of the idea. 
  • Diffusion ; spreading the idea across the organization. Find the relevant communities in the organization to support and spread the new product or service, process, and practices across geographic location, consumer groups, and channels. 

Innovation Value Chain

How to Develop an Innovation Strategy 

Determine the innovation strategy objective .

Developing an innovation strategy should start with understanding the reason behind developing one in the first place or the objectives you want to achieve by implementing it. 

To identify your innovation strategy objectives, examine the overall business objectives that help the company achieve sustainable competitive advantage. This will clear the path for your innovation strategy as it should eventually support the overarching goals of the organization.

Get the executive team onboard 

Engage the leadership team in dialogue and ensure that they are aware of the innovation objectives established and what it means for them as well as the future of the organization. During the discussions also identify, 

  • External changes that could be occurring at present and in the future as a result of innovation 
  • The implication of such changes on the company 
  • Scope of innovation; identifying opportunities for innovation, whether to improve existing products or services or introduce brand new products to new markets
  • Business outcomes; financial results, social impact, new economic models, market leadership,  etc. 
  • The gaps that must be closed to deliver the chosen innovation scope, especially in terms of processes, skills, and resources needed and company culture
  • Barriers to and enablers of the innovation strategy.  Barriers can come in the form of embedded beliefs on how the business should operate and enablers can show up as core capabilities or resources.  

Their involvement is necessary to create a shared vision of success with innovation at the core.

Gather customer insight 

Understanding customer needs will inform the direction of the development of the innovation idea. It will also enable you to formulate a strategy that works and create value-creating innovations that will ultimately generate a good return on investment.

In order to create value for potential customers with your innovation strategy, you need a thorough understanding of your market and the customer segment you are catering to. 

B2C Buyer Persona

(Utilize a customer persona to gather insight on customers’ demographic characteristics, needs, challenges, and ambitions and apply that knowledge to generate a solution.)

Allocate resources 

When allocating resources for new areas for growth and renewal, reserving resources for the core business growth should also be taken into consideration. By conducting a comprehensive audit on the current innovation landscape of the organization you can determine and understand how much time, effort, and money are allocated to different innovation initiatives. 

The Harvard Business Review has introduced the Innovation Ambition Matrix to determine how to allocate resources based on the type of innovation initiative.

The matrix describes 3 types of innovation and how resources should be split among them,  

  • Core initiatives – refer to efforts to make incremental changes to existing products and incremental inroads into new markets. For example, through new packaging or added service convenience. Such efforts can draw on resources the company already has. 
  • Transformational initiatives – refer to creating new offers to serve new markets and customer needs. This may require assets the company is unfamiliar with. 
  • Adjacent innovations – involves leveraging something the company does well into a new space. This type of innovation allows a company to draw on existing capabilities but necessitates putting those capabilities to new uses.

Research conducted by HBR shows that companies that allocated about 70% of resources to core initiatives, 20% to adjacent ones, and 10% to transformational ones outperformed their peers.

However, the right balance will vary from company to company and according to factors such as industry, competitive position, and the company’s stage of development.

To learn more about striking and maintaining the right balance between the allocation of resources and the innovation initiative, refer to this article here.

Develop an innovation system 

Not all organizations are likely to possess the capabilities to execute successfully at all three levels of innovation ambitions identified above.

However, HBR emphasizes that the companies that have got it right, have usually focused on five key areas of management that help them excel at the three levels of innovation ambition, and hence enable them to maintain a sustainable innovation system with the organization. 

  • Talent : includes the skills needed to execute core, adjacent, and transformational innovation initiatives. 
  • Integration : refers to organizing and managing the skills in the right way, with the right mandate, and under the conditions that will help them succeed.
  • Funding: refers to determining how to fund the innovation initiatives. Core and adjacent innovations can be funded by the relevant business unit’s P&L through annual budget cycles. Transformational innovations, on the other hand, require a sustained investment that comes from an entity (i.e. executive suite and the CEO).  
  • Pipeline management : mechanisms to track and monitor ongoing initiatives and ensure that they are progressing according to plan.
  • Metrics : what measurements should inform management. While traditional financial metrics are appropriate for measuring core and adjacent initiatives, a combination of noneconomic and internal metrics should be used to evaluate transformational efforts.

Developing an Innovation Strategy 

The innovation strategy of a competitor or an industry leader may not work for you. While you can learn from their best practices, an explicit innovation strategy to match your own competitive needs will be effective in the long run. 

Follow the innovation strategy steps explained above to formulate a robust strategy and better coordinate your innovation process. 

Got anything to add to our guide? Let us know in the comments below.

Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.

business plan for innovative product

More Related Articles


Leave a comment Cancel reply

Please enter an answer in digits: 12 − 7 =

Download our all-new eBook for tips on 50 powerful Business Diagrams for Strategic Planning.

SAB logo

6 Ways You Can Start Building A Better Brand Today!

Strategic advisor board.

  • Dec 21st 2023
  • 4 months ago

The Business of Innovation: Ideas for Driving Growth and Change

Post Images

Innovation is crucial for businesses to remain competitive and achieve sustainable growth in today's rapidly evolving marketplace. However, many organizations struggle to foster a culture of innovation and drive meaningful change. In this blog post, we will explore strategies for driving growth and change through innovation. We will delve into the importance of fostering a culture of innovation, developing customer-centric innovation, leveraging technology, innovating for sustainability, and overcoming barriers to innovation. By the end of this post, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the business of innovation and actionable ideas for driving growth and change in your organization.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Fostering a culture of innovation is essential for businesses looking to drive growth and change. When employees feel empowered to take risks, think creatively, and challenge the status quo, they are more likely to develop new ideas that drive meaningful innovation. Here are some strategies for creating a culture of innovation in your organization:

  • Encourage Risk-Taking and Creativity: One of the keys to fostering a culture of innovation is to create an environment that encourages risk-taking and creativity. When employees feel comfortable taking calculated risks, they are more likely to develop new ideas and push the boundaries of what is possible. Encourage your team to experiment and explore new ideas, even if they may not succeed at first.
  • Provide Resources for Experimentation: Innovation often requires resources, whether that means time, money, or equipment. Make sure your employees have the resources they need to experiment and test out new ideas. This could include allocating a budget for innovation projects, providing access to specialized equipment or software, or simply giving employees the time they need to focus on innovative ideas.
  • Promote Cross-Functional Collaboration: Collaboration is key to driving innovation. By bringing together people with different backgrounds, skill sets, and perspectives, you can generate new ideas and approaches that may not have been possible otherwise. Encourage cross-functional collaboration by creating opportunities for employees from different departments to work together on innovation projects or by hosting brainstorming sessions with diverse groups of employees.
  • Recognize and Reward Innovation: It's important to recognize and reward employees who demonstrate innovation and creativity. This could mean highlighting their contributions in company-wide communications or offering bonuses or promotions for innovative ideas that drive significant results. By acknowledging and celebrating innovation, you can create a culture that values and prioritizes it.

Creating a culture of innovation takes time and effort, but the benefits can be significant. By empowering your employees to take risks, experiment, and collaborate, you can drive meaningful innovation and position your organization for long-term success.

Customer-Centric Innovation

Customer-centric innovation is all about focusing on the needs and desires of your customers to drive meaningful innovation. By understanding your customers' pain points and preferences, you can develop new products, services, and experiences that meet their unique needs. Here are some strategies for developing customer-centric innovation in your organization:

  • Conduct Customer Research: The first step in developing customer-centric innovation is to understand your customers. Conduct market research, surveys, and focus groups to gain insights into their needs, preferences, and pain points. Use this information to identify opportunities for innovation that address your customers' most pressing needs.
  • Implement User Feedback Mechanisms: Once you've launched new products or services, make sure you're soliciting feedback from your customers. This could include online surveys, user testing, or customer reviews. Use this feedback to iterate on your offerings and continually improve the customer experience.
  • Build Customer-Centric Teams: To truly prioritize customer-centric innovation, consider building dedicated teams or roles focused on customer research and product development. These teams should be empowered to experiment and iterate on new ideas that meet the needs of your customers.
  • Use Design Thinking: Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that emphasizes empathy, ideation, prototyping, and testing. By using design thinking methodologies, you can better understand your customers and develop innovative solutions that meet their unique needs.
  • Embrace Agile Development: Agile development is a software development methodology that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and iterative development. By embracing agile development methodologies, you can quickly iterate on new ideas and respond to changing customer needs.

By prioritizing customer-centric innovation, you can develop products and services that truly meet the needs of your customers. By conducting research, implementing feedback mechanisms, building dedicated teams, using design thinking, and embracing agile development, you can create a culture of innovation that puts the customer first.

Technology and Innovation

Technology plays a crucial role in driving innovation in today's digital age. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to blockchain and the internet of things, there are countless technologies that can help organizations innovate and drive growth. Here are some strategies for leveraging technology to drive innovation in your organization:

  • Identify Technologies that Align with Your Goals: Before investing in any new technology, it's important to identify the technologies that align with your organization's goals and objectives. Consider the problems you're trying to solve and the opportunities you're trying to capitalize on, then look for technologies that can help you achieve those goals.
  • Develop a Roadmap for Implementation: Once you've identified the technologies you want to leverage, develop a roadmap for implementation. This should include a timeline for rollout, as well as plans for training and support.
  • Collaborate with Technology Partners: Collaborating with technology partners can help you leverage new technologies more effectively. Look for partners with expertise in the technologies you're interested in, as well as a track record of successful implementations.
  • Invest in Talent and Training: To truly leverage new technologies, you need employees with the right skills and expertise. Invest in talent and training programs to ensure your employees have the knowledge and skills they need to work with new technologies.
  • Continuously Evaluate and Iterate: Technology is constantly evolving, and it's important to continuously evaluate and iterate on your use of new technologies. Regularly assess the impact of new technologies on your business and make adjustments as needed.

By leveraging technology, you can drive innovation in your organization and position your business for long-term success. By identifying the right technologies, developing a roadmap for implementation, collaborating with technology partners, investing in talent and training, and continuously evaluating and iterating, you can stay ahead of the curve and drive meaningful innovation.

Innovating for Sustainability

In today's world, sustainability is a critical concern for businesses across all industries. Innovating for sustainability means finding new ways to reduce environmental impact, minimize waste, and promote social responsibility. Here are some strategies for driving sustainability-focused innovation in your organization:

  • Set Clear Sustainability Goals: Before you can innovate for sustainability, you need to have clear goals in mind. Set targets for reducing waste, lowering carbon emissions, or improving social responsibility, and make them a key focus of your innovation efforts.
  • Incorporate Sustainable Materials and Processes: One of the most straightforward ways to innovate for sustainability is to incorporate sustainable materials and processes into your products and operations. Look for ways to reduce waste and use renewable or recycled materials wherever possible.
  • Implement Circular Economy Practices: The circular economy is an economic system focused on reducing waste and maximizing the use of resources. By implementing circular economy practices, such as product design for repairability and reuse, you can minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency.
  • Collaborate with Suppliers and Partners: Sustainability is a collaborative effort, and it's important to work with suppliers and partners who share your commitment to sustainability. Look for partners who prioritize sustainability in their operations and supply chains.
  • Empower Employees to Drive Sustainability: Finally, it's important to empower employees to drive sustainability-focused innovation. Provide opportunities for training and education, and incentivize sustainable practices and behaviors.

By innovating for sustainability, you can not only reduce your environmental impact, but also drive cost savings and improve your brand reputation. By setting clear goals, incorporating sustainable materials and processes, implementing circular economy practices, collaborating with partners, and empowering employees, you can make sustainability a key focus of your innovation efforts and drive meaningful change.

Overcoming Barriers to Innovation

Innovation is a critical component of business success, but it can be challenging to overcome the barriers that prevent innovation from taking root. Here are some common barriers to innovation and strategies for overcoming them:

  • Fear of Failure: One of the biggest barriers to innovation is the fear of failure. When employees are afraid to take risks or try new things, it can be difficult to generate new ideas. To overcome this barrier, create a culture of experimentation and encourage employees to take calculated risks.
  • Lack of Resources: Another common barrier to innovation is a lack of resources, including funding, time, and expertise. To overcome this barrier, consider partnering with external organizations or leveraging open innovation to access new resources and expertise.
  • Resistance to Change: Change can be difficult, and employees may resist innovation if it disrupts their existing workflows or processes. To overcome this barrier, involve employees in the innovation process and provide clear communication and training on the benefits of innovation.
  • Siloed Thinking: Siloed thinking is when employees only focus on their own areas of expertise and fail to see the big picture. To overcome this barrier, encourage cross-functional collaboration and communication to generate new ideas and perspectives.
  • Lack of Executive Buy-In: Finally, innovation can be difficult to implement without executive buy-in and support. To overcome this barrier, involve executives in the innovation process and provide clear communication on the potential benefits of innovation for the organization.

By identifying and addressing these common barriers to innovation, you can foster a culture of innovation and drive meaningful change in your organization. By encouraging risk-taking, partnering with external organizations, involving employees in the innovation process, promoting cross-functional collaboration, and securing executive buy-in, you can overcome these barriers and drive innovation that helps your organization succeed in the long term.

Innovation is a driving force for business growth and change. By prioritizing innovation, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Whether it's fostering a culture of innovation, developing customer-centric solutions, leveraging technology, or innovating for sustainability, there are countless ways to drive innovation in your organization. By embracing change and taking calculated risks, you can position your business for long-term success.

More Stories

Post Images

Leveraging AI for Predictive Analytics in Business Growth Strategy

Post Images

The Smartest Way to Invest in Startups & Small Businesses

Post Images

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Business Success

Post Images

Tripling Your Web Traffic: Advanced SEO for Tech Startups

  • Terms of Use
  • Advertise with Us

All Rights Reserved © 2024

  • Scroll to top


  •   / Sign Up
  • schedule your conversation

Innovation Strategy: Developing Innovative Strategies in Business

Published: 27 February, 2024

Social Share:

Stefan F.Dieffenbacher

Get the Full Package for FREE & OpenSource

  • Get instant access to this model including a full presentation, related tools and instructions!
  • You will equally get instant access to all 50+ UNITE Innovation & Transformation Models!
  • Completely FREE and OpenSource!

Table of Contents

Innovation has become an imperative for organizations worldwide, yet the multitude of methods and frameworks available often lead to confusion rather than clarity. While various approaches focus on specific aspects such as user experience or design thinking , they often fail to provide a cohesive strategy for innovation from start to finish. An innovation strategy is key to capturing and  sustaining innovation , it serves as a detailed roadmap, comprising a series of strategic steps that propel an organization toward its future objectives. Beyond being a mere guide for business success, this roadmap is essential for ensuring a company remains competitive in its industry by continually devising new and innovative approaches to address challenges.

At Digital Leadership, our core belief is that by harnessing emerging technologies and innovative business models , we can revolutionize customer experiences. Crafting an innovation strategy is crucial for a company’s success. It entails fostering collaboration within the organization to stimulate new ideas and establishing a well-thought-out framework for future growth. It’s crucial to understand that no two innovation strategy plans are identical. 

What is Innovation Strategy?

An innovation strategy is a planned and organized way of using new technologies and creative ideas to bring about significant changes in a company. It involves creating a detailed plan that closely matches the company’s main goals, encouraging a culture of constant improvement. Think of an innovation strategy as a commitment to a shared goal of innovation, including a structured set of activities designed to drive the future growth of the organization. 

Each innovation strategy is unique. This innovation strategy plan is more than just a guide for business success; it functions as a compass, steering the organization through new and creative approaches to address challenges. Developing a company innovation strategy includes clearly defining an innovation mission, aligning activities with long-term business goals , and promoting a culture that welcomes change and creativity. Following such a strategy ensures that organizations stay ahead in their industries, always adjusting and evolving to meet emerging needs.

Business Innovation Strategy: What is Innovation Strategy In Business

In the business environment, remaining competitive necessitates ongoing evolution to address evolving customer demands. Establishing an innovation strategy becomes imperative for organizations aiming to excel in this dynamic setting. One prevalent initial step in crafting such a strategy involves gaining a comprehensive grasp of the organization’s innovation initiatives and overarching business goals . This encompasses identifying the market landscape, comprehending customer requirements, and discerning the most effective strategies to optimize customer satisfaction while utilizing resources efficiently.

Once you have a grasp of your organization’s innovation landscape, the next step is to define a common innovation mission. This mission should align with your overall business strategy and focus your innovation efforts on creating value for your customers. An effective innovation strategy must also include setting specific innovation goals and metrics to measure success. By establishing clear objectives, businesses can better track their progress and adapt their innovation programs as needed.

So, Why are Innovation Strategies Important in Business

  • Generating and capitalizing on returns from innovations serves as a primary source of competitive advantage.
  • Complex and resource-intensive activities like R&D, product design, and collaboration can impact a firm’s competitive standing. Without strategic guidance, these efforts may yield fragmented and short-term outcomes.
  • With globalization, firms face a multitude of opportunities and threats across various markets. A strategic approach to innovation helps navigate this landscape effectively.
  • Organizational structures and innovation processes must align with the overall corporate strategy. For instance, R&D efforts may differ depending on whether the firm aims to lead or follow in innovation.
  • Articulating long-term strategic objectives for innovation is crucial for engaging with public-sector policies, fostering collaborations, and attracting patient investors.
  • A firm that prioritizes innovation strategically is more likely to attract talented individuals seeking opportunities for creative engagement.

The “UNITE Innovation Approach” Model acts as a guide for entrepreneurs to build a strong innovation strategy framework. This model smoothly combines market insights, aligns with business goals, and offers a structured way of generating and implementing ideas. By employing the UNITE model, entrepreneurs gain a strategic advantage, ensuring that their innovation efforts are intentional steps toward lasting success, not haphazard. 

Innovation Process - Process Approach

Your download is now available!

You can now access the complete Innovation Approach Package, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

The UNITE Innovation Approach | Overview

Steps of developing innovation strategy framework.

Innovation is crucial not only for large corporations but also for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It serves as a vital competitive advantage and is often considered a core capability of firms. For SMEs, innovation is particularly important due to resource constraints, making it an effective means to enhance productivity and performance. However, research findings on Heineken Beverage Industry reveal that the organization’s innovative strategies, particularly in process, market, and product innovation, are weak and fail to significantly contribute to its performance and productivity levels. To strengthen their innovation efforts, SMEs can follow several steps in developing an effective innovation strategy.

Step 1: Innovation Strategy Setup

In the crucial first step of Setup within the innovation strategy , organizations lay the groundwork for success. This involves defining the business intentions and direction, outlining high-level Search Fields, and identifying detailed Opportunity Spaces. By articulating the Business Intention, organizations clarify the problem they aim to solve or the legacy they aspire to leave behind, ensuring alignment with organizational goals.

Business Purpose - Business Intentions

You can now access the complete Business Intentions Package, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

The UNITE Business Intentions

Utilizing tools like the Search Field Matrix aids in analyzing dimensions like trends and market segments, guiding prioritization of areas for innovation within the overarching innovation strategy. Opportunity Spaces then pinpoint specific intervention sites, outlining Jobs to be Done and target customers in alignment with the innovation strategy’s objectives. Building the core team, led by an experienced entrepreneur, is essential for executing the innovation initiative effectively. Operating in a protected environment, clear goals are set for each stage, with regular updates provided to stakeholders, ensuring smooth organizational setup and progression through subsequent stages.

THE UNITE definition of Search Fields & Opportunity Spaces

You can now access the complete UNITE DEFINITION OF SEARCH FIELDS & OPPORTUNITY MATRIX, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

THE UNITE Definition Of Search Fields & Opportunity Spaces

Step 2: problem/solution fit.

Luck VS. Jobs to be Done

In step 2 of developing an innovation strategy, the focus is on achieving Problem/Solution Fit , and aligning customer needs with viable solutions. This involves three key streams of work: Stream A delves into understanding Jobs to be Done, Stream B crafts a Value Proposition, and Stream C defines the Business Model. Bringing the team up to speed is essential, involving active briefings with stakeholders and thorough research to refine objectives. Properly framing the broader objective, clarifying the JTBD, and conducting initial market research are vital steps before proceeding further, ensuring a solid foundation for subsequent actions.

The UNITE Innovation Approach Stage (2)

You can now access the complete UNITE PROBLEM / SOLUTION FIT, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

The UNITE Business Model Innovation Patterns

The Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) framework is a powerful tool for understanding customer needs and driving innovation. By focusing on tasks rather than demographics, businesses gain deep insights into their target market. Through qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys , companies validate insights and identify growth opportunities. This approach helps in creating solutions that precisely match customer needs, reducing the risk of failure and increasing market success. Continuous iteration based on customer feedback ensures a competitive edge in today’s customer-centric landscape. Embracing JTBD is essential for fostering innovation and delivering value to customers.

Jobs to be Done Customer's Job Statement

You can now access the complete JTBD Customer’s Job Statement Package, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

The UNITE Jobs-To-Be-Done Statement & Map

It offers a systematic approach to understanding customer needs and shaping innovative solutions. By focusing on the tasks or objectives customers are trying to accomplish, rather than just their demographic or psychographic profiles, businesses can uncover deep insights into unmet customer needs and opportunities for improvement.

To effectively outline the tasks and activities customers undertake to fulfill their job using the UNITE Jobs-to-be-Done Universal Job Map, convene your team and set up a whiteboard or wall with eight columns representing the eight steps in the Job Map. From defining and planning to concluding, each step provides insight into the customer’s journey. For example, when purchasing a bottle of wine, steps may include defining preferences, locating a store, preparing by comparing options, confirming the choice, executing the purchase, monitoring the taste, modifying preferences based on satisfaction, and concluding the purchase experience. Understanding these steps is vital for developing solutions that precisely meet the customer’s needs.

Jobs to Be Done Job Map

You can now access the complete Jobs to be Done Universal Map Package, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

At this stage, having gone through the Jobs-to-be-Done process and developed initial Customer Promises, we find ourselves within a relatively narrow solution space ripe for exploration using methodologies like Design Thinking. The next step involves translating these initial promises into robust solutions by treating each promise as a mini-opportunity Space. Ideation is the key here. We encourage exploring a plethora of ideas, ranging from ambitious “moonshots” to targeted solutions addressing specific but unsolved problems. It’s about being smart in approach, knowing when to think big and when to focus narrowly, all while keeping the original customer needs at the forefront.

To navigate this process effectively, we recommend leveraging frameworks such as the Value Proposition Canvas . This tool provides a structured approach to deep dive into the value proposition, ensuring alignment with customer needs and market demands. Crafting a robust value proposition isn’t just about generating ideas; it’s about understanding the core essence of what your offering brings to the table. By embracing ideation, divergence, and strategic frameworks, businesses can unlock innovation potential and create value propositions that resonate deeply with their target audience.

Value Proposition Canvas

You can now access the complete Business Model Canvas Package, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

The UNITE Business Model Canvas

(3) solution/market fit (mvp).

In step 2, we’ve pinpointed our customers’ needs, tested potential solutions, and outlined a solid business model. However, jumping straight into execution is risky. While we may have a good grasp of what our customers want, our concept hasn’t been fully validated yet. Step 3 of developing an innovation strategy, where customers actually buy and use our product, is crucial for true validation. Rushing into scaling before perfecting our concept can lead to wasted resources and the need for costly adjustments later on. It’s essential to ensure our business concept is finely tuned before expanding.

Innovation strategy hinges on the meticulous execution of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) , a streamlined version of your offering that validates key business assumptions while conserving resources. The MVP approach, epitomized by Zappos’ early success, emphasizes real-world validation over elaborate prototypes, focusing on tangible customer experiences. Yet, challenges like imitation and reputational risk loom large, necessitating strategic differentiation and brand management. Moreover, maintaining quality is paramount, ensuring that the MVP not only functions but delights users, fostering genuine feedback. Executing an MVP entails two phases: development and launch, followed by rigorous testing and iteration. This iterative process drives continuous improvement , steering your innovation strategy towards tangible value creation .

UNITE Solution/Market Fit MVP Scorecard

You can now access the complete Unite Solution/Market Fit (MVP) Scorecard, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

The UNITE Problem-Solution Fit & Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Scorecards

In the initial phase of MVP development and launch, four key work streams drive the process: Marketing focuses on brand development and campaign planning, while the Business stream refines models and tests pricing strategies. Product & UX teams develop and test the MVP, while Technology sets up technical infrastructure. Phase B shifts focus to live testing and tweaking, with Marketing launching test campaigns and Business refining operating models.

Step 4: Build & Scale Your Innovation Strategy

After countless tests and a number of pivots and iterations, you have quantitatively proven with real customers that you have achieved a Solution/Market Fit. In other words, your product works and customers have actually bought it! In Stage 4 of developing an innovation strategy, you will be shifting gears and moving from incubation (concerned with finding a working Business Model) to acceleration (building and scaling the identified Business Model). With your business concept now proven and well-defined, the next challenge is getting it to scale. That is the core purpose of this stage: to build and scale the business concept that you have been working on thus far and now get it out into the market to scale as quickly as possible. But moving from your business concept (the strategy) to an actual business (the execution) is inherently difficult. Many organizations fail to bridge the Strategy-Execution Gap , meaning they fail to implement the strategy, or business concept, they originally designed. According to the available statistics, up to 70% of organizations struggle with moving from strategy to execution.

One key ingredient we propose to overcome the Strategy-Execution challenge is to establish how you are going to execute using a well-defined and communicated Operating Model. The Operating Model Canvas emerges as a potent solution, offering a blueprint for execution. Establishing a well-defined and communicated Operating Model is pivotal in overcoming the Strategy-Execution challenge.

Operating Model Canvas

You can now access the complete GROWTH-HACKING PROCESS, including a full presentation, related models and instructions for use.

The Growth-Hacking Process

To ensure the effectiveness of the innovation strategy , it is imperative to embed innovation within the organization’s processes and overall strategic framework. This necessitates the allocation of resources, including time, finances, and skilled personnel, to innovation initiatives, while fostering a culture that champions and rewards innovative thinking.

By adhering to these guidelines for formulating an innovation strategy , businesses can position themselves for sustained success and growth amidst a rapidly evolving market landscape. Through a steadfast commitment to customer value creation and adaptability to uncertainty, organizations can pave the path to industry leadership through innovation.

Types of Innovation Strategies

Elaboration on innovation strategy typologies has been provided by various scholars (Freeman and Soete 1997; Goodman and Lawless 1994). These typologies encompass proactive strategies, characterized by technological and market leadership with a strong research focus, often associated with firms embracing first-mover advantages and taking significant risks. Active strategies involve defending existing technologies and markets while remaining agile to respond swiftly to emerging opportunities. Reactive strategies, on the other hand, are adopted by firms with a slower response to innovation, often prioritizing cost-cutting measures over technological advancements. Finally, passive strategies entail engaging in innovation only in response to customer demands, typically involving low-risk initiatives.

Examples of passive strategies can be observed among supplier firms in industries like automotive manufacturing, where lower-tier suppliers often rely on fulfilling specifications rather than driving innovation themselves.

1) Proactive Innovation Strategy

Being ahead in innovation defines successful companies that stand out in the ever-changing business world. These forward-looking organizations don’t just react to changes; they actively search for new opportunities and predict future trends. This proactive approach allows them to take control of the market by introducing fresh and distinctive products or services that capture consumer attention.

Within proactive innovation strategies, several paths contribute to an organization’s overall success:

  • Product Innovation: At the core of being proactive in innovation is making new and groundbreaking products. Companies that do well put money into research and development, always trying to do things that haven’t been done before to meet new needs and go beyond what customers expect. Whether it’s using the latest technology or coming up with creative designs, creating innovative products is a big reason why these companies lead the market.
  • Process Innovation : To ensure internal efficiency and stay ahead of the competition, organizations with a proactive innovation strategy focus on optimizing their internal operations. Process innovation becomes crucial, streamlining workflows, improving productivity, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Business Model Innovation : Recognizing that how value is provided and money is made is as crucial as the products themselves, organizations embracing proactive innovation strategies engage in business model innovation. This involves reimagining the fundamental structure of the business, exploring new revenue streams, and adapting to changing market dynamics.
  • Open Innovation : Proactive innovators often collaborate with external partners, startups, or research institutions through open innovation practices. By tapping into a broader pool of ideas, expertise, and resources, these organizations enrich their innovation ecosystem and stay at the forefront of industry advancements.
  • Sustainability Innovation: Forward-thinking companies, under a proactive innovation strategy, increasingly incorporate sustainability into their product development and business practices. This aligns with societal and environmental expectations, positioning them as responsible and future-ready entities.

Essentially, a proactive innovation strategy goes beyond mere adaptation; it positions organizations as catalysts of change, architects of the future, and leaders in industries where innovation is the key currency.

For instance, proactive innovators like DuPont and Apple exemplify a commitment to technological leadership through continuous innovation. Microsoft, employing an active strategy, strategically leverages existing technologies while adapting swiftly to market shifts. In contrast, firms like Dell may adopt a more reactive approach to technology adoption but remain proactive in their production and distribution models.

2) Active Innovation Strategy

Active innovation represents a dynamic approach for organizations to swiftly respond to market changes and evolving customer preferences. Embracing flexibility and agility, companies adopting this strategy proactively lead rather than merely follow in the ever-changing business landscape. Key aspects of the active innovation framework include:

  • Proactivity : Organizations take the lead in meeting the needs of the continually evolving market.
  • Incremental Innovation : Constant, small improvements to existing products or processes keep offerings up-to-date and aligned with customer preferences.
  • Service Innovation: Beyond product creation, organizations focus on enhancing the overall customer experience by listening to customer feedback and adapting services accordingly.
  • Adaptability : Rapid response to new demands, including staying abreast of technological changes.
  • Technology Innovation: A pivotal component, organizations prioritize staying updated on technological advancements to provide modern solutions in the digital era.

Active innovation places a premium on a proactive mindset, swift actions, and a deep understanding of the market. This strategy positions organizations not only to navigate changes effectively but also to capitalize on new opportunities, establishing them as leaders in their respective industries.

3) Reactive Innovation Strategy

In the Reactive Innovation Strategy , businesses respond to market changes as needed. While not always the first to introduce groundbreaking products, these companies prioritize adaptability in the competitive environment. Cautious in their responses, organizations employing this strategy carefully evaluate market shifts before making changes. Though the pace of innovation may be slower compared to proactive approaches, this strategy holds advantages, especially in industries where stability and a deep understanding of market dynamics are paramount.

Strengths of Reactive Innovation:

  • Adaptive Innovation: Enables precise adjustments in response to changes, maximizing resource utilization.
  • Cost Innovation: Focuses on finding cost-effective solutions and operational efficiencies.

For organizations embracing Reactive Innovation , balancing responsiveness with forward-looking anticipation is key. While not always the first movers, strategic and well-timed responses to market shifts make them resilient players in the ever-changing business landscape. This approach proves particularly relevant in industries experiencing gradual changes, where staying attuned to market demands remains the primary focus.

4) Passive Innovation Strategy

In passive innovation , organizations show limited involvement in the innovation process , often missing opportunities and potential advancements. This cautious approach relies on established practices, avoiding proactive exploration. However, this passivity, while providing stability, can be a double-edged sword, risking stagnation in a quickly changing landscape.

  • Imitative Innovation: Organizations that embrace passive innovation may tend to copy successful ideas from competitors or industry leaders, finding security in proven models but sacrificing the agility and originality of more proactive strategies.
  • Stability vs. Stagnation: While passive innovation gives a sense of stability, organizations must be aware of potential downsides, including the risk of falling behind in industries where rapid advancements are the norm.
  • Open Innovation Bursts : To counteract potential stagnation, passive innovation strategies may benefit from occasional bursts of open innovation. Drawing on external ideas and collaborations brings in fresh perspectives and helps maintain relevance in dynamic industries.

Developing an effective innovation strategy requires a comprehensive approach, incorporating key elements and following a systematic framework. By understanding the market, aligning strategies with business goals , and fostering a culture of innovation , organizations can stay ahead in the ever-evolving business landscape. The examples of successful innovation strategies from industry leaders further highlight the importance of innovation in achieving sustained business growth and competitiveness.

This nuanced understanding of innovation strategy underscores the dynamic interplay between technological advancements, market dynamics, and organizational capabilities, shaping firms’ strategic orientations towards innovation.

Innovation strategies vary widely, each tailored to specific organizational contexts and objectives. Also, there are five styles of Innovation Strategies

  • Leadership ignites entrepreneurial energy within teams.
  • Culture of rapid innovation and creation of new business models.
  • Suitable for industries facing rapid changes.
  • Management involves sharing the vision, establishing internal markets for ideas, and encouraging intrapreneurship.
  • Managers innovate within existing business structures.
  • Transformation of business structures over time.
  • Ideal for companies seeking significant yet sustainable change.
  • Management practices include experimentation, empowering teams, and customer-centricity.
  • Exploration of new directions beyond existing strategic assets.
  • Pursuit of radical change in response to limited growth opportunities.
  • Management involves identifying crucial assets, encouraging cross-pollination of ideas, and seizing opportunities beyond core areas.
  • Conducting low-cost experiments to overcome obstacles hindering major innovations.
  • Cautious yet progressive approach to innovation.
  • Suitable when significant opportunities are sensed, but details remain unclear.
  • Management practices include goal-focused research, patience, and continuous exploration.
  • Outsourcing creativity and investing in startups.
  • Acquisition of promising startups.
  • Feasible with available resources to leverage discoveries from smaller players.
  • Management involves maintaining internal R&D capacity, scouting for acquisition prospects, and efficient integration processes.

Innovation Strategy of the Four main Types of Innovation

Four primary types of innovation —radical, architectural, disruptive, and incremental—provide a comprehensive innovation strategy framework for organizations to navigate the complexities of innovation and achieve their strategic objectives. Each type offers unique opportunities and challenges, catering to different levels of risk tolerance and resource availability. Understanding these distinct approaches to innovation is essential for organizations seeking to adapt, evolve, and thrive in an ever-changing marketplace. Let’s explore each type of innovation strategy in detail to gain insights into their applications and implications for organizational success.

Types of Innovation - Innovation Types

  • Radical Innovation : Radical innovation involves the development of entirely new technologies, products, or services that often disrupt existing markets or create entirely new ones. It represents a significant departure from current offerings and requires a high level of investment and risk.
  • Architectural Innovation : Architectural innovation focuses on reconfiguring or redesigning existing systems, processes, or components within an organization to create new value. It involves changing the underlying structure or design of a product or service while keeping its core functionality intact.
  • Disruptive Innovation : Disruptive innovation refers to the introduction of a product, service, or business model that fundamentally changes the way an industry operates, typically by targeting underserved or overlooked segments of the market. It often starts at the low end of the market and gradually improves to challenge established competitors.
  • Incremental Innovation : Incremental innovation involves making small, gradual improvements to existing products, processes, or services over time. It focuses on optimizing and refining existing offerings rather than introducing radical changes, making it a lower-risk approach to innovation.

Innovation Strategy Examples

(1) apple innovation strategy.

Apple’s innovation strategy revolves around creating groundbreaking products that seamlessly integrate hardware, software, and services. Their focus on user experience and design sets them apart in the technology industry. This dedication matches the core of t he marketing innovation strategy – putting user happiness first by creating new and exciting solutions.

(2) Amazon Innovation Strategy

Amazon’s innovation strategy centres around customer-centric approaches, such as one-click purchasing, Prime membership benefits, and advanced supply chain management. Their focus on enhancing customer experience sets the standard for e-commerce.

(3) Tesla Innovation Strategy

Tesla’s innovation strategy includes advancements in electric vehicles, renewable energy solutions, and autonomous driving technology. Constantly pushing boundaries, Tesla exemplifies the essence of value innovation strategy, delivering cutting-edge solutions that reshape the automotive industry.

(4) Netflix Innovation Strategy

Netflix’s innovation strategy lies in content creation, personalized recommendations, and streaming technology. They continually invest in original content and technological advancements to stay ahead in the entertainment industry.

(5) Microsoft Innovation Strategy

Microsoft’s innovation strategy encompasses a diverse range of products and services, from operating systems to cloud computing. Their commitment to empowering individuals and organizations through technology fuels continuous innovation.

(6) Google Innovation Strategy

Google’s innovation strategy revolves around search algorithms, online advertising, and a wide array of digital services. Their commitment to organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible drives innovation in various sectors.

(7) Nike Innovation Strategy

Nike’s innovation strategy focuses on product design, materials, and technological advancements in sportswear. They continuously introduce new technologies, such as Nike Adapt, to enhance athletic performance and customer experience.

Types of Innovation Strategies Examples

Innovation strategies can vary significantly depending on the industry, organizational goals, and market dynamics. Here are several types of innovation strategies along with examples:

  • Example: Apple’s continuous development of the iPhone, introducing new features and designs with each iteration.
  • Example: Toyota’s implementation of lean manufacturing principles, led to streamlined production processes and reduced waste.
  • Example: Netflix transitioning from a DVD rental service to a subscription-based streaming platform, revolutionizing the entertainment industry.
  • Example: Airbnb’s platform, enables individuals to rent out their properties to travellers, disrupting the traditional hospitality industry.
  • Example: Procter & Gamble’s Connect + Develop program, which sources innovation ideas from outside the company to fuel new product development.
  • Example: Tesla’s electric vehicles disrupt the automotive industry by challenging traditional gasoline-powered vehicles with innovative technology.
  • Example: Coca-Cola introduces new flavours or packaging variations of its beverages to maintain consumer interest and market relevance.
  • Example: SpaceX’s development of reusable rocket technology, aims to revolutionize space travel and exploration.

Elements of a Great Innovation Strategy

Crafting an innovation strategy plan entails navigating a dynamic landscape, demanding a flexible and multifaceted approach.

  • Nurturing an Innovation culture : Establishing an environment that fosters creativity and embraces change is crucial for fostering innovation.
  • Embracing Digital Transformation strategy : Incorporating technology to enhance processes and business models is a key aspect of digital transformation.
  • Top-Level Endorsement: Securing commitment and support from senior leaders is essential for successful innovation initiatives.
  • Strategic Resource Allocation : Wisely allocating resources to support novel and imaginative ideas is paramount.
  • Customer-Centric Focus : Prioritizing and comprehending customer needs throughout the innovation process is indispensable.
  • Agile Adaptation : Remaining receptive to agile methodologies facilitates swift adjustments to evolving circumstances.
  • Performance Measurement: Implementing metrics to assess the success and impact of innovation efforts is vital.
  • Investment in Research and Development: Devoting funds to research and development endeavors represents a valuable investment.
  • Learning from Risks and Setbacks: Cultivating a culture that embraces risk-taking and views failures as learning opportunities is critical.
  • Innovative Business Models : Continuously reimagining and innovating fundamental aspects of the business model adds a layer of dynamism to the innovation strategy.

In essence, innovation is the cornerstone of organizational longevity and competitive advantage. By embracing diverse innovation strategies such as technological advancements, architectural refinements, disruptive shifts, and incremental enhancements, businesses can unlock fresh opportunities and deliver unique value propositions. Whether through revolutionary changes or gradual refinements to existing offerings, innovation is pivotal for adapting to market fluctuations and seizing value.

Central to these pursuits is the evolution or reinvention of the business model. By aligning with customer preferences, organizations can develop innovative solutions that resonate with consumers, thereby bolstering market presence and fostering growth. Ultimately, a well-crafted innovation strategy empowers organizations to stand out from the competition, achieve objectives, and ensure sustained success in today’s fiercely competitive business arena.

Frequently Asked Questions

(1) what role do senior leaders play in achieving innovation strategy.

Senior executives wield significant influence in propelling innovation strategy forward. Their unwavering commitment, backing, and visionary guidance establish the organizational ethos. They allocate resources judiciously and foster an atmosphere conducive to experimentation and bold risk-taking.

(2) How is product innovation strategy delineated in business?

Product innovation strategy in business encompasses the formulation and introduction of novel or refined products to satisfy consumer demands and attain a competitive edge. It revolves around the conception of pioneering features, designs, or functionalities that distinguish the product within the market milieu.

(3) What delineates the trifecta of Innovation Strategies?

The trinity of innovation strategies comprises proactive, active, and reactive approaches. Proactive strategies entail a proactive quest for novel opportunities, active strategies pivot swiftly in response to market dynamics, while reactive strategies are triggered only by exigencies.

Related Posts

Business level strategy: examples & types for business strategy success.

In strategic management, businesses use a variety of approaches to craft a1

50 Innovation Examples: Exciting Innovative Ideas in Business

In the Business environment, strategic innovation has taken centre stage as a1

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Examples and Definition

The MVP or Minimum Viable Product approach is an idea that was1

What is Design Thinking? Definition, Explanation & Process

With Design Thinking, new and innovative ideas can be generated together and1

Recent Posts

Examples and Types of Effective Functional Level Strategy for Business Support

Examples and Types of Effective Functional Level Strategy for Business Support

A key objective of any business strategy is to improve operational efficiencies...

The Three Levels of Strategy: Corporate Strategy, Business Strategy, and Functional Strategy

The Three Levels of Strategy: Corporate Strategy, Business Strategy, and Functional Strategy

Understanding the intricate levels of strategy is crucial for any organization aiming...


How To Overcome The 90% Failure Rate in Innovation

Learn the winning formula from over 80+ successful innovation projects


business plan for innovative product

Learn how to overcome the 90% failure rate in innovation from a master innovator & bestselling author!

Your e-mail address: * Your first name: *

business plan for innovative product

One Last Step..

Help us better understand the UNITE community

Free guide to improve your innovation success rate*

Our 35-page comprehensive innovation guide covers the key areas why innovation fails. While it cannot cover all the solutions (that would take books to fill), it provides you with a convenient starting point for your analysis and provides further resources and links to the corresponding UNITE models, ultimately allowing you to work towards a doubling and tripling your chances of success.

business plan for innovative product

Discover the largest library of innovation & transformation tools on the entire Internet!


Forgot password?

New to Digital Leadership? Create your account

business plan for innovative product

Get access to the UNITE Models now!

Discover the largest library of innovation & transformation tools on the internet!

First name *

Last name *

Professional E-mail *

Choose Your Password *

Confirm Your Password *

I want to be kept up-to-date and accept the privacy statement *

By signing up, you agree to receive news and accept the privacy statement (mandatory)

Already have an account? Log in

Verify your e-mail address now by entering the 6-digit code we’ve just sent to your inbox

Don't receive Code? Resend code

Country * Please Select Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin (Dahomey) Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Brunswick and Lüneburg Bhutan Bulgaria Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Central American Federation Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Free State Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czechia Democratic Republic of the Congo Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Fiji Finland France Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Grand Duchy of Tuscany Greece Grenada Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nassau Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North Macedonia Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papal States Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Piedmont-Sardinia Poland Portugal Qatar Republic of Congo Republic of Korea (South Korea) Republic of the Congo Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Schaumburg-Lippe Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Sweden Switzerland State of Palestine Syria Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United States United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Württemberg Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Industry * Please Select Automotive, mobilty & transport Financial Services Chemical & agriculture Construction & Real Estate Consulting Education Energy Banking, insurance & FS FMCG Food Gov / Public Industry Health & lifestyle Logistics, Aero & Shipping Media & Entertainment Natural resources & mining Pharma & Biotech Retail & trade Tech & E-Commerce Telco Tourism design Information technology & services Management consulting Retail Pharmaceuticals International trade & development Professional training & coaching luxury goods & jewelry Automotive Insurance Mechanical or industrial engineering Company Size * XS - 1-10 S - 10-100 M - 100-1000 L - 1000-5000 XL - > 5000

Seniority * Please Select Junior Consultant Senior Consultant Manager Senior Manager Director VP SVP Partner CXO Board Member

Areas of interest * Innovation Digital Transformation Culture & Organization IT Strategy & Bus. Alignment Customer Experience

Editable UNITE models (PowerPoint) included

Most of our models and canvases are designed to be applied! 

To help you personalize them to your exact business requirements, you can download fully editable versions of the UNITE models available (PowerPoint format)!

They are straightforward to work with, and you can directly incorporate them into your presentations as you need…thus saving countless hours of replication!

PS: did you know that you are also getting hi-res print-ready versions for your workshops?

Monthly live webinars

Each month we host our exclusive, invitation-only webinar series where one of our industry-leading experts updates our members on the latest news, progress and concepts around business strategy, innovation and digital transformation, as well as other related topics. 

You will receive the book in PDF and EPUB formats, ideal for your computer, Kindle, Tablet or other eReading device.

Bi-weekly live group Q&A sessions

These sessions are your opportunity to bring any questions or challenges you’re facing and receive expert guidance on the spot. 

Come and be a part of engaging discussions where your unique concerns are heard and addressed.

1x personal coaching session / month

If you are occasionally looking for a sparring partner or you need limited support, then this option will be ideal for you. Coaching sessions are 1-2 hours where we can discuss any challenge or opportunity you are currently facing.

If you need a few more hours outside of this provision, then these could be billed transparently.

Unlimited video call support! – it’s like always making the right decision!

We believe support shouldn’t be limited. Because we typically find that the occasional hour just doesn’t cut it – particularly if you and your team are in the midst of a large and complex project.

Your time with Stefan is therefore unlimited (fair usage applies) – in his function as coach and sparring partner. That does mean that you will still have to do the work – we cannot take that off you, unless you hire us as consultants. But you will get valuable strategic insight and direction to make sure you are always focusing your efforts where they will lead to the best results.

One personal coaching session / month 
+ unlimited support via e-mail & WhatsApp

We believe support shouldn’t be limited. If you generally know what you are doing but want a sparring partner to frequently raise questions to, this is the perfect choice!

In addition to your monthly 1-1 live coaching sessions with Stefan, you will also get unlimited support from him via email and WhatsApp messaging (fair usage applies). This not only allows you to get valuable strategic direction in your calls, but also gives you instant access to expert help as you work through your plans each month.

The fact that support is text-based means that we can speed up our responses to you while keeping the overall cost of support down.

Welcome gift of our book 
 “How to Create Innovation” 
 (digital + physical editions)*

As a welcome gift, you will receive the both the digital and physical version of our book “How to Create Innovation”, which covers numerous relevant resources and provides additional deep dives into our UNITE models and concepts.

The print version will be shipped out to you on sign-up. The digital version will be emailed to you, and comes in PDF and EPUB formats, ideal for your computer, Kindle, Tablet or other eReading device.

1x major workshop or 2x smaller workshops / month

1x major or 2x smaller workshops based on the UNITE models.

  • Topics covered: almost any challenge under the header of #strategy, #innovation or #transformation, leveraging the UNITE models.
  • Hands-On Learning: solve your challenges while learning the practical application of the UNITE models and walk away with concrete plans and tools to take your next steps.
  • Industry thought leadership: facilitated by Stefan, the founder of Digital Leadership and the main author of the UNITE models, ensuring top-tier guidance and knowledge sharing.
  • Collaborative approach: engage in interactive sessions that foster collaboration, idea exchange, and real-time problem-solving among peers and industry leaders.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regular workshops ensure ongoing development in your organization staying ahead of industry trends and customer needs.

Access all of our UNITE models, 
 (incl. editable & print versions)

All of our Professional plans offer full access to the following:

  • 6x UNITE model package downloads are included per month, if you need something in addition to these however, please let us know!
  • Hi-res, print-ready versions you can use in your workshops
  • Fully editable PowerPoint versions where applicable – personalize to your needs.
  • Exclusive access to our vault of never-before-published strategic materials. We have much more to share – a lot of our concepts have never been published!

Exclusive access to our private UNITE community (upcoming)

We are currently in the process of launching our brand new community., we are designing our community to specifically help you:.

  • Get answers to questions (“How do I …”)
  • Share leading practices & knowledge
  • Jointly develop new models
  • Network amongst a highly qualified group of peers

Please, select the reason

Cancelling your plan will deactivate your plan after the current billing period ends. You will not be charged further, but also won’t be able to access [exclusive features/services].

  • Cost-related issues
  • Unsatisfied with the service
  • Features I need are missing
  • Switching to a different service
  • Other (Please specify)

Book Your Initial Blueprint Session Now

Simply fill out the below form and book in a time for our initial session that works for you. This initial session is free, no strings attached, and is where we can discuss your Blueprint needs more in-depth before moving forward.

business plan for innovative product

Stefan F. Dieffenbacher

Founder of digital leadership.

business plan for innovative product

Adam D. Wisniewski

Partner for it strategy & business alignment.

business plan for innovative product

Get in touch with Digital Leadership

Speak to our team today to find the best solution for your business to grow and scale.

We are here to support you across the entire lifecycle in all topics related to #digital, #innovation, #transformation and #marketing!

business plan for innovative product

Stefan F. Dieffenbacher Founder of Digital Leadership

Contact Us!

Contact form, contact details, book a call.

Title, first name & last name * Email address * Phone number Please let us know how we can best support you! *

By clicking “Send”, I agree to Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Let’s have a conversation!

“Please be invited to reach out! We are happy to help and look forward to a first meeting!”

+41 (0) 44 562 42 24

[email protected]

Schedule Your Call With Our Team

Find a time on our calender that best suits you !

business plan for innovative product

Founder and CEO of Digital Leadership


A Quick Survey!

What is the main challenge you're currently facing in your business?

You Want To Drive Change?

Let’s find the best solution for your business to grow and scale sustainably!

Let’s kick start it!

We will uncover your current business situation and goals and provide you with a bespoke solution that helps you drastically grow your business working with us.


Stefan F. Dieffenbacher, M.B.A.

company logo 1

Feedback about our consulting that we are proud of

Read the reviews and make sure that this is not a waste of time, but a super effective tool.

digital logo

You want to drive change?

Schedule your free business assessment call with our founder.

On this call, we will uncover your current business situation and goals and talk about how to drive change and solve your need.

Choose the meeting type that applies to your needs and schedule a time to meet with someone from our team. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Thanks, We’ve Received Your Updated Details

business plan for innovative product

Schedule Your Free Business Assessment

business plan for innovative product

Schedule Your Free Business Assessment Call With Adam D. Wisniewski

Welcome to our scheduling page.

business plan for innovative product

Let’s Design your Customer Experience Blueprint !

In a uniquely designed 60 or 90 minute session* , we will …

  • > identify where to start with near-certainty
  • > define what approach it takes to create success in your organization

Based on the Blueprinting session, you will receive a tailored blueprint that aligns with your objectives, vision and goals, ensuring that your initiative is a success from start to finish.

business plan for innovative product

In this session, you will be working together with Patrick Zimmermann, Associate Partner for Customer Experience

business plan for innovative product

Let’s Design your Culture & Org-Change Blueprint !

business plan for innovative product

In this session, you will be working together with Dr. Andreas Rein, Partner at Digital Leadership for Culture & Org Change

Let’s Design your Innovation Blueprint !

business plan for innovative product

In this session, you will be working together with Sascha Martini, Partner at Digital Leadership for Innovation and Digital Transformation

Let’s Design your Transformation Blueprint !

business plan for innovative product

In this session, you will be working together with Stefan F. Dieffenbacher, Founder of Digital Leadership Stefan is a global thought leader in the innovation space

Let’s Design your IT Strategy & Business Alignment Blueprint !

business plan for innovative product

In this session, you will be working together with Adam D. Wisniewski, Partner for IT Strategy & Business Alignment

business plan for innovative product

Patrick Zimmermann

business plan for innovative product

Sascha Martini

business plan for innovative product

Dr. Andreas Rein

Write a personalized review! Log in

Create Review

business plan for innovative product


  • The Magazine
  • Newsletters
  • Managing Yourself
  • Managing Teams
  • Work-life Balance
  • The Big Idea
  • Data & Visuals
  • Reading Lists
  • Case Selections
  • HBR Learning
  • Topic Feeds
  • Account Settings
  • Email Preferences

You Need an Innovation Strategy

  • Gary P. Pisano

business plan for innovative product

Why is it so hard to build and maintain the capacity to innovate? The reason is not simply a failure to execute but a failure to articulate an innovation strategy that aligns innovation efforts with the overall business strategy.

Without such a strategy, companies will have a hard time weighing the trade-offs of various practices—such as crowdsourcing and customer co-creation—and so may end up with a grab bag of approaches. They will have trouble designing a coherent innovation system that fits their competitive needs over time and may be tempted to ape someone else’s system. And they will find it difficult to align different parts of the organization with shared priorities.

As Corning, a leader in glass and materials science, has found, an innovation strategy must address how innovation will create value for potential customers, how the company will capture a share of that value, and what types of innovation to pursue. Critics tend to discount “routine” innovation that leverages a company’s existing technical capabilities and business model and extol “disruptive” innovation, but that is a simplistic view. A company’s unique competitive circumstances should dictate the innovation portfolio it pursues.

Because innovation cuts across functions, only senior leaders can set an innovation strategy. In doing so, they must recognize that the strategy, like the process of innovation itself, requires continual experimentation and adaptation.

HBR Reprint R1506B

It’s the only way to make sound trade-off decisions and choose the right practices.

Idea in Brief

The problem.

Innovation remains a frustrating pursuit. Failure rates are high, and even successful companies can’t sustain their performance. The root cause is that companies fall into the trap of adopting whatever best practices are in vogue or aping the exemplar innovator of the moment.

The Solution

Managers should articulate an innovation strategy that stipulates how their firm’s innovation efforts will support the overall business strategy. This will help them make trade-off decisions so that they can choose the most appropriate practices and set overarching innovation priorities that align all functions.

Creating an innovation strategy involves determining how innovation will create value for potential customers, how the company will capture that value, and which types of innovation to pursue. Just as product designs must evolve to stay competitive, so must innovation strategies as the environment changes.

Despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit in many companies. Innovation initiatives frequently fail, and successful innovators have a hard time sustaining their performance—as Polaroid, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, and countless others have found. Why is it so hard to build and maintain the capacity to innovate? The reasons go much deeper than the commonly cited cause: a failure to execute. The problem with innovation improvement efforts is rooted in the lack of an innovation strategy.

  • Gary P. Pisano is the Harry E. Figgie Jr. Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the author of Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation (PublicAffairs, 2019).

business plan for innovative product

Partner Center

Ideas and insights from Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning

Learning and development professionals walking and talking

Five Steps to Implementing Innovation

business plan for innovative product

We’re all familiar with stories about breakthrough products, services, and processes—the disruptors that grab the headlines and garner eye-popping valuations. And then there are the entrepreneurs who end up on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek and write best-selling books about the keys to their success. The message seems to be that, through good timing or genius, innovation is the purview of a select few.

But at its core, innovation is simply a way to solve problems and create value in new ways. Overhauling an inefficient process, using customer feedback to breathe new life into a stale product—innovations don’t have to be splashy or game-changing to lead to sustained organizational success. These small but mighty initiatives seldom come from top management or an “idea lab,” but rather from individual contributors and frontline leaders who are closest to the customer and best positioned to understand their needs.

When employees from throughout the ranks learn to see themselves as innovators and take steps to make their ideas a reality, the results can be powerful. In addition to furthering a company’s purpose and bolstering its bottom line, employee-driven innovation engages people in ways that carrying out top-down directives never will.

Tips to get you started

Given the growing interest in innovation, it’s no surprise that organizations are looking for clear guidelines on how to implement it. Every innovation is unique. Even so, certain strategies and skills are useful across a range of projects and at all levels of an organization:

  • Spot opportunities for innovation. As innovation expert Greg Satell puts it, “No matter what form innovation takes—short, agile sprints or long-term, grand-challenge investments—innovation is fundamentally about solving problems.” As you think about your organization, what problems need solving? Where do opportunities lie? Once you land on some promising ideas, continue to explore them from different angles. By doing so, you may discover even more exciting possibilities.
  • Prioritize opportunities. You don’t have infinite time and resources, so prioritize potential innovations depending on where you think you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Narrow in on the two or three ideas you think are most worth digging into, testing, and refining. Then express them as hypotheses you can test through targeted experiments.
  • Test your potential innovations. Keep your experiments modest in scope, especially when you’re starting out. You may want to begin with “paper prototypes,” or simple drawings of the new product or process that your end users can interact with to see what works and what doesn’t. They are quick and inexpensive, and they help you figure out where you need to tweak your concept. With each round of testing, move to progressively more complex experiments involving more users.
  • Build support for your innovations. Don’t be shy. Make sure the time is right and tell your story to all your stakeholders, including those whose resource backing you need and those who’ll directly benefit from your innovation. You’ll want to tailor your approach based on what’s important to each person and what you need from them.
  • Learn from your innovation efforts. You’ve probably heard the mantra “fail fast, learn fast.” After each innovation, list what you would do again and what you wouldn’t. And don’t overthink failure; the key is learn from it and apply those lessons to your next innovation.

We’ve seen these steps work at all levels in an organization. In fact, we even followed them when redesigning our Harvard ManageMentor® innovation-related topics. What process do you follow when implementing innovation in your organization?

Janice Molloy is senior manager, online learning at Harvard Business Publishing. Email her at [email protected] .

Speech bubbles

Let’s talk

Change isn’t easy, but we can help. Together we’ll create informed and inspired leaders ready to shape the future of your business.

© 2024 Harvard Business School Publishing. All rights reserved. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School.

  • Privacy Policy
  • Copyright Information
  • Terms of Use
  • About Harvard Business Publishing
  • Higher Education
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Harvard Business School


We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies and revised Privacy Policy .

Cookie and Privacy Settings

We may request cookies to be set on your device. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website.

Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.

These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.

Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, refusing them will have impact how our site functions. You always can block or delete cookies by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site.

We fully respect if you want to refuse cookies but to avoid asking you again and again kindly allow us to store a cookie for that. You are free to opt out any time or opt in for other cookies to get a better experience. If you refuse cookies we will remove all set cookies in our domain.

We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.

We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.

Google Webfont Settings:

Google Map Settings:

Google reCaptcha Settings:

Vimeo and Youtube video embeds:

You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page.


Your favourite senior outside college

Home » Employer Resources » Startup Center » The Ultimate Guide to Creating Investor-Friendly Business Plans [Format Guide]

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Investor-Friendly Business Plans [Format Guide]

Business Plan Format

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur wondering what a business plan should look like and how to create one? A well-structured business plan is an essential part of any successful venture. But it may seem challenging to give shape to your business idea and not miss out on any important details.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the key elements of a business plan and provide you with a useful business plan format with sample statements to help you on your way.

Table of Contents

Business Plan: An Overview

A business plan is a detailed document that outlines the objectives, strategies, and tactics of a business. It is typically used to secure investments, financing, and other forms of support from stakeholders. The document should include information such as descriptions of the company, its products and services, its customers, its marketing and financial plans, and its operational plans. Having a business plan is crucial for any business. It can ensure that everything is taken into account and that the business is well-prepared to succeed.

Find and Apply Banner

Business Plan Format with Sample Templates

Writing a business proposal can be tricky. Whether it is a small or large business, there are a few key elements you should consider when discussing a business strategy to enhance your business plan. This section provides sample templates that can help you streamline your unique business proposal.

1. Give an Executive Summary

An executive summary in a business plan is a brief overview that outlines the major points of the plan. It should be concise and engaging so that it captures the attention of potential investors or lenders. The summary should be in paragraphs with comprehensible headings and points. To write an executive summary, you should briefly answer the following questions (not necessarily all):

  • What is the mission of your business or your company/organization?
  • How did the idea of business come up?
  • Who has the highest leadership?
  • Which industry does the business belong to?
  • What is going to be the employee base?
  • What are the business’s products and services?
  • What are the competitive advantages of the business in the already existing market/industry?
  • What marketing strategy will be used?
  • How many different operational teams are going to form?
  • What is going to be the location?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • How will you fund the business?
  • How much money is required to set up the business?
  • What are its future financial targets?

Here is an example of an executive summary of an organic food product start-up.

“[Company Name] is a start-up business venture that specializes in the production and distribution of organic health food products. It was founded by two entrepreneurs who have 10 years of combined experience in the health food industry. The company is located in a major metropolitan area.

Our goal is to become the top provider of organic health food products in our market. We plan to do this by providing high-quality products and services and excellent customer service. We have identified some key competitive advantages that will help us succeed, including our experienced management team, our strong network of suppliers, and our commitment to innovation.”

2. Talk About the Business’s Key Products and Services

In this section, talk about the key products and services that your business plans to offer, along with their value proposition. Here, the term value proposition means why a person will care to buy your product or service. It also uncovers unexplored and potentially marketable opportunities.

Here’s a business proposal example that includes details of key products and services for an organic healthy food product start-up:

“Our business offers organic foods that are healthier and more sustainable. Our value proposition is that our customers can enjoy healthy, farm-fresh foods while feeling good about contributing to the environment. We strive to offer a wide range of products, from organic produce to organic sauces, fruit bars, and snacks.

As dietary habits have evolved, there are a significant number of people who prefer or require gluten-free products due to their health issues. We strive to produce gluten-tolerance-tested, authentic, and trustworthy gluten-free products with delivery and online ordering to make purchasing easier for our customers.”

3. Insight on Competitive Market Analysis

Business planners need to possess comprehensive knowledge of their target industry and market. Having great business analysis skills can help a business planner get a clear understanding of how to compete effectively and gain a foothold in the market. This section should cover the following information:

  • Market Size: Describe the size of the industry, the expected growth rate, and the potential earnings it offers.
  • Target Audience: Who are the perfect customers for your business? Include details like their age, where they live, and their preferences.
  • Competitors: Write about your key competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and how you plan to counter them.
  • USP (Unique Selling Point): Cite what distinguishes your product or service from the competition. What’s your marketing plan to set yourself apart from the competition?
  • Price and Profit: Share what pricing scheme your business will follow and the estimated profit margin.
  • Rules and Regulations: Specify any special rules or laws you must follow in your industry.

An example to describe the market analysis in the business proposal template for an organic healthy food product’s start-up will be like this:

“The health food industry in India is rapidly expanding, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% and an expected CAGR of 16% by 2026, equivalent to $30 billion. This growth is attributed to the increasing number of health-conscious individuals, who are expected to grow from 100 million to 176 million by 2026. Healthy snacking categories like cookies, fruit snacks, snack bars, and trail mixes are expected to experience significant growth.

Our products and services stand out due to our commitment to quality and reasonable prices. Our experienced management team, strong supplier network, and innovation are key competitive advantages. We aim to market our products to health-conscious consumers seeking organic alternatives to conventional foods, aiming to become the leading organic food supplier.”

4. Target Audience Selection

A business’s success is incomplete without fostering and developing its customer base. “You must know your customers and the customers must know you” – this should be the motto for your business.

After in-depth research on target customers, you can form the right marketing and sales strategies. The best way to identify customers is to understand their problems and needs. Simply put, your business’s products and services must solve their problems and fulfill their wants. Here’s an example to share about the target audience selection for an organic, healthy food product start-up:

“Our target audience is adults aged 18-40 who are health-conscious and interested in organic options. We will focus our marketing and sales efforts on this demographic, as they are likely to be more open to trying new products and more likely to embrace organic alternatives. Our goal is to become the leading organic food supplier for this demographic.”

5. Structure of the Company’s Management and Team

This section of the business plan template will discuss the teams and departments that will make the business run. Briefly outline the roles and responsibilities of a position and create a job posting to hire the right employee.

Here is one way to briefly mention your company’s management team structure:

We will have a CEO, COO, CFO, and other executive positions to manage the company’s operations. Several teams will be involved in running the business, including a customer service team, administration, human resources, sales and marketing team, finance team, operations team, and product development team. Each team would have its own set of roles and responsibilities.”

6. Marketing and Promotional Strategies

This is one of the most crucial parts of your business plan. The right marketing and promotional plans help spread the word about your product or service, increase overall brand awareness, capture market share, and thereby, increase the customer base, sales, and profits. Here is a brief overview of marketing and promotional strategies in your business proposal:

“Our marketing strategy is centered around a multi-faceted approach to engaging with our customers. We will create interesting and relevant content for social media platforms, optimize our website for search engines, collaborate with influencers, run targeted online ads, and send out email campaigns.

Our promotional efforts will include limited-time discounts, loyalty programs, and exclusive events to connect with our customers on a personal level. We plan to expand our outreach through partnerships with complementary businesses and attending industry events. To measure the effectiveness of our strategies, we will leverage analytics tools and gather customer feedback to make necessary adjustments. Our ultimate aim is to build trust and credibility in our brand.”

7. Details of Developing Sales Funnel

The growth strategy of a business depends heavily on its sales funnel strategy. This is because successful sales will lead to revenue growth and business expansion. An example to mention about the sales funnel in the business plan model is:

“Our sales funnel is designed to help our business generate more leads and close more sales. We will start by optimizing our online presence to increase visibility and attract potential customers. From there, we will create content and campaigns to nurture leads and build valuable customer relationships. We will then use analytics and other data-driven tactics to identify qualified prospects and target them with effective messaging and emails. Finally, we plan to use automated tools to manage the sales process from start to finish.”

8. Lay Out Your Financial Plan and Budget

This point of your business proposal will include details of the budget, balance sheet, revenue generation, cost reduction strategies, and other expenses. It should talk about the costs required to cover all business operations, management, and estimated future revenue projections. Here is a template of a business budget.

Business Budget Template

9. Add Appendix to Provide Additional Details

The appendix to a business proposal template includes extra documents that give more information about the proposal. You can put in any part that needs evidence, facts, or reports. Normally, the appendix can have these documents:

  • Market research with charts and data from other sources.
  • Licenses, contracts, certificates, or patent papers.
  • Maps and plans for expanding the business facility.
  • Contact details for team members, board members, and current investors.
  • Reports and statements from quality-check experts.
  • Financial documents like the balance sheet and the company’s account statements.

Every business needs a one-of-a-kind business plan format. It should contain all the necessary information and documents to give the reader, investors, and stakeholders a comprehensive overview of the proposed business. By taking the time to structure and create a detailed business plan, entrepreneurs, business planners, and analysts can create a clear and concise guide to help them achieve their goals. Executing a successful business plan, therefore, requires skilled professionals. If you are interested in the field of business management and helping businesses make valuable decisions, then look for work from home accounts jobs to contribute.

Have you ever drafted a business plan? Tell us in the comments below!

  • ← Previous
  • Next →

business plan for innovative product

Sandipta Banerjee has completed her Master's in English Literature and Language. She has been working in the field of editing and writing for the past five years. She started her writing journey at a very young age with her poems which have now evolved into a poetry blog. She was working as Editorial Head in a US-based publishing house before joining Internshala.

Related Post

business plan for innovative product

What is Innovation in Business Model?: Types, Strategies, & More

Inspiring change in an organization remains one of the most daunting tasks today, yet it’s paramount if success is desired in the ever-changing business landscape. To get through this barrier,

business plan for innovative product

Top 25 Home Business Ideas: Make Your Primary Office Your Home

The concept of home business dates back to ancient times, like pottery-making during the Indus civilization, hand-made textiles, tea, spices, precious metals, and stones that traveled through the silk route

business plan for innovative product

How to Make a Business Plan: Crafting a Winning Business Plan

A study revealed that entrepreneurs who create formal business plans have a 16% higher chance of achieving viability compared to those who do not plan but are otherwise similar in

business plan for innovative product

How to Become an Entrepreneur: A Step-by-Step Guide

Entrepreneurship is an interesting journey for free-thinkers who love creativity and innovation. Although the journey of entrepreneurship might seem challenging at first, it’s more than rewarding in the long run.

business plan for innovative product

  • Business Essentials
  • Leadership & Management
  • Credential of Leadership, Impact, and Management in Business (CLIMB)
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Digital Transformation
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Business in Society
  • For Organizations
  • Support Portal
  • Media Coverage
  • Founding Donors
  • Leadership Team

business plan for innovative product

  • Harvard Business School →
  • HBS Online →
  • Business Insights →

Business Insights

Harvard Business School Online's Business Insights Blog provides the career insights you need to achieve your goals and gain confidence in your business skills.

  • Career Development
  • Communication
  • Decision-Making
  • Earning Your MBA
  • Negotiation
  • News & Events
  • Productivity
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Student Profiles
  • Work-Life Balance
  • AI Essentials for Business
  • Alternative Investments
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Strategy
  • Business and Climate Change
  • Design Thinking and Innovation
  • Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Disruptive Strategy
  • Economics for Managers
  • Entrepreneurship Essentials
  • Financial Accounting
  • Global Business
  • Launching Tech Ventures
  • Leadership Principles
  • Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability
  • Leading Change and Organizational Renewal
  • Leading with Finance
  • Management Essentials
  • Negotiation Mastery
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Power and Influence for Positive Impact
  • Strategy Execution
  • Sustainable Business Strategy
  • Sustainable Investing
  • Winning with Digital Platforms

Innovation in Business: What It Is & Why It’s Important

Business professionals pursuing innovation in the workplace

  • 08 Mar 2022

Today’s competitive landscape heavily relies on innovation. Business leaders must constantly look for new ways to innovate because you can't solve many problems with old solutions.

Innovation is critical across all industries; however, it's important to avoid using it as a buzzword and instead take time to thoroughly understand the innovation process.

Here's an overview of innovation in business, why it's important, and how you can encourage it in the workplace.

What Is Innovation?

Innovation and creativity are often used synonymously. While similar, they're not the same. Using creativity in business is important because it fosters unique ideas . This novelty is a key component of innovation.

For an idea to be innovative, it must also be useful. Creative ideas don't always lead to innovations because they don't necessarily produce viable solutions to problems.

Simply put: Innovation is a product, service, business model, or strategy that's both novel and useful. Innovations don't have to be major breakthroughs in technology or new business models; they can be as simple as upgrades to a company's customer service or features added to an existing product.

Access your free e-book today.

Types of Innovation

Innovation in business can be grouped into two categories : sustaining and disruptive.

  • Sustaining innovation: Sustaining innovation enhances an organization's processes and technologies to improve its product line for an existing customer base. It's typically pursued by incumbent businesses that want to stay atop their market.
  • Disruptive innovation: Disruptive innovation occurs when smaller companies challenge larger businesses. It can be classified into groups depending on the markets those businesses compete in. Low-end disruption refers to companies entering and claiming a segment at the bottom of an existing market, while new-market disruption denotes companies creating an additional market segment to serve a customer base the existing market doesn't reach.

The most successful companies incorporate both types of innovation into their business strategies. While maintaining an existing position in the market is important, pursuing growth is essential to being competitive. It also helps protect a business against other companies affecting its standing.

Learn about the differences between sustaining and disruptive innovation in the video below, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more explainer content!

The Importance of Innovation

Unforeseen challenges are inevitable in business. Innovation can help you stay ahead of the curve and grow your company in the process. Here are three reasons innovation is crucial for your business:

  • It allows adaptability: The recent COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business on a monumental scale. Routine operations were rendered obsolete over the course of a few months. Many businesses still sustain negative results from this world shift because they’ve stuck to the status quo. Innovation is often necessary for companies to adapt and overcome the challenges of change.
  • It fosters growth: Stagnation can be extremely detrimental to your business. Achieving organizational and economic growth through innovation is key to staying afloat in today’s highly competitive world.
  • It separates businesses from their competition: Most industries are populated with multiple competitors offering similar products or services. Innovation can distinguish your business from others.

Design Thinking and Innovation | Uncover creative solutions to your business problems | Learn More

Innovation & Design Thinking

Several tools encourage innovation in the workplace. For example, when a problem’s cause is difficult to pinpoint, you can turn to approaches like creative problem-solving . One of the best approaches to innovation is adopting a design thinking mentality.

Design thinking is a solutions-based, human-centric mindset. It's a practical way to strategize and design using insights from observations and research.

Four Phases of Innovation

Innovation's requirements for novelty and usefulness call for navigating between concrete and abstract thinking. Introducing structure to innovation can guide this process.

In the online course Design Thinking and Innovation , Harvard Business School Dean Srikant Datar teaches design thinking principles using a four-phase innovation framework : clarify, ideate, develop, and implement.

Four phases of design thinking: clarify, ideate, develop, and implement

  • Clarify: The first stage of the process is clarifying a problem. This involves conducting research to empathize with your target audience. The goal is to identify their key pain points and frame the problem in a way that allows you to solve it.
  • Ideate: The ideation stage involves generating ideas to solve the problem identified during research. Ideation challenges assumptions and overcomes biases to produce innovative ideas.
  • Develop: The development stage involves exploring solutions generated during ideation. It emphasizes rapid prototyping to answer questions about a solution's practicality and effectiveness.
  • Implement: The final stage of the process is implementation. This stage involves communicating your developed idea to stakeholders to encourage its adoption.

Human-Centered Design

Innovation requires considering user needs. Design thinking promotes empathy by fostering human-centered design , which addresses explicit pain points and latent needs identified during innovation’s clarification stage.

There are three characteristics of human-centered design:

  • Desirability: For a product or service to succeed, people must want it. Prosperous innovations are attractive to consumers and meet their needs.
  • Feasibility: Innovative ideas won't go anywhere unless you have the resources to pursue them. You must consider whether ideas are possible given technological, economic, or regulatory barriers.
  • Viability: Even if a design is desirable and feasible, it also needs to be sustainable. You must consistently produce or deliver designs over extended periods for them to be viable.

Consider these characteristics when problem-solving, as each is necessary for successful innovation.

The Operational and Innovative Worlds

Creativity and idea generation are vital to innovation, but you may encounter situations in which pursuing an idea isn't feasible. Such scenarios represent a conflict between the innovative and operational worlds.

The Operational World

The operational world reflects an organization's routine processes and procedures. Metrics and results are prioritized, and creativity isn't encouraged to the extent required for innovation. Endeavors that disrupt routine—such as risk-taking—are typically discouraged.

The Innovative World

The innovative world encourages creativity and experimentation. This side of business allows for open-endedly exploring ideas but tends to neglect the functional side.

Both worlds are necessary for innovation, as creativity must be grounded in reality. You should strive to balance them to produce human-centered solutions. Design thinking strikes this balance by guiding you between the concrete and abstract.

Which HBS Online Entrepreneurship and Innovation Course is Right for You? | Download Your Free Flowchart

Learning the Ropes of Innovation

Innovation is easier said than done. It often requires you to collaborate with others, overcome resistance from stakeholders, and invest valuable time and resources into generating solutions. It can also be highly discouraging because many ideas generated during ideation may not go anywhere. But the end result can make the difference between your organization's success or failure.

The good news is that innovation can be learned. If you're interested in more effectively innovating, consider taking an online innovation course. Receiving practical guidance can increase your skills and teach you how to approach problem-solving with a human-centered mentality.

Eager to learn more about innovation? Explore Design Thinking and Innovation ,one of our online entrepreneurship and innovation courses. If you're not sure which course is the right fit, download our free course flowchart to determine which best aligns with your goals.

business plan for innovative product

About the Author


  • ₹ 0.00 0

Learn From An 8 Figure Founder ▶︎ 10X Offer ends soon!  ▶︎  Organic Traffic Multiplication Course ▶︎ Don’t Miss Out!

Unique & Innovative Business Ideas in India & Around the World

50+ Unique & Innovative Business Ideas in India & Around the World

For centuries our race has survived with its survival instincts. But a lot of us are now paying the price in terms of health and environment for thoughtless businesses implementations. Today we need some unique and innovative business ideas that help us live sustainably without disrupting nature & life around us.

Today, we need many more such great business ideas more then ever.

Out of all those millions and millions of planets floating around there in space, this is our planet, this is our little one, so we just got to be aware of it and take care of it. Paul McCartney (English musician)

Yes, our earth is the only known planet that has the life. We have been using its resources for generations. However, today we need to be aware of how we are using its resources.

When the earth is sick and polluted, human health is impossible…. To heal ourselves we must heal our planet, and to heal our planet we must heal ourselves. Bobby McLeod (Aboriginal Activist & Poet)


When you choose to implement your online business idea, you will need a powerful hosting service to start. Bluehost is a world class hosting service at economical rates. Get a 50% discount with my bluehost link . You can also try out the service as they come with a 30 day refund if you are dissatisfied. Also I must mention that they are recommended as the preferred hosting service by wordpress the number one & most popular CMS in the world.

business plan for innovative product

10+ Unique Business Ideas Around the World

Entrepreneurs today are coming up with some unique business ideas around the world. The great business ideas not only helps them do profitable business but also save our environment.

For them, a good company is one that helps us protect the environment or preserve the resources.

For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods—all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science—and act before it’s too late. Barack Obama (44th U.S. President)

So if you are starting a business, consider its environmental impact. A great business idea is one that considers its environmental impact.

For a business owner, making money sustain-ably can get you some unique advantages in the long run. Environmental protection is going to be a necessity in the near future.

Here are some unique business ideas from all over the world

Unique Online Business Ideas:

1. application of residual heat from servers for better living.

Computing power is increasing, so does its energy consumption. What we do not notice is that a lot of energy is wasted in the form of heat. This heat could be used in other applications.

Nerdalize is one such company. They are building a different and better cloud computing infrastructure.

Instead of putting thousands of servers into a datacenter, Nerdalize is distributing them to homes.

Unique Business Ideas Around the World

Homeowners can lease the two-in-one heater/server from Nerdalize, who cover the electricity costs of the device.

The homeowners in the west (Particularly with colder climate) make good use of the residual heat coming from servers to heat up their homes and shower water in summers.

This helps the company in multiple ways:

  • Help them save money, which they would have to spend on buying expensive office space.
  • Enabling them to scale up their computation capability around the world rapidly.
  • No need of cooling infrastructure to cool down the server rooms.

Nerdalize one of the most Unique Online Business Ideas Around the World

Take Away: Can you Identify an emerging business opportunity where you can help the environment. It will be a great story to share and win new customers for your business.

Related Articles: How to generate New Business Ideas Learn how to evaluate your Idea Great tips on how to develop business ideas Learn how to protect your business idea How to select a name for your business idea Finally – Promoting your Business Idea (how to)

Unique Food Business Ideas

2 discovering green eating solutions online.

Greenease is a hyperlocal app that enables you to identify restaurants that source its ingredients sustainably.

Greenease one of the most Unique Food Business Ideas around the world-min

This app supports restaurants that offer the product as below:

  • Free-range/pasture
  • Gluten-free
  • Locally Sourced
  • Sustainable
  • Veg-Friendly

The need of this App arises as a lot of people who need natural or allergen-free foods are not able to locate restaurants offering meals as per their requirement. At the same times, restaurants with such offerings are not able to get customers willing to pay for it.

Greenease one of the most Unique Food Business Ideas around the world

Take Away: People around the globe are waking up to healthy eating habits. Can you identify any unique trend and convert that to an exceptional food business idea. If yes, you create a niche for yourself.

3 Alternative Flour for Diabetes Management

Diabetes is a rising problem worldover and more so in India. This is where a company came up with idea of jackfruit flour.

Jackfruit helps improve your health in general, beat diabetes and aids in weight loss. This business Jackfruit365 is an attempt in bringing to every household a natural, green and clean packet of health.

Alternative Flour for Diabetes Management

Unique Business Ideas in Urban Transportation

4 bikes on rent on an hourly basis to ease traffic.

Cities are growing and with that is growing the issue of traffic and pollution. Urban transportation infrastructure is not able to keep pace with this growth in development. This is where a startup called Metro Bikes comes in picture.

A user can take a two wheeler on rent starting an hourly basis from Point A to point A. In future the company is going to provide two wheelers to go from point A to Point B. This is an idea that has potential to ease the traffic in cities and motivate people to leave their vehicles ta home. Needless to say this will help reduce pollution.

Bikes on rent for an hourly basis

Unique Service Business Ideas

5 ubitricity: mobile electric vehicle charging stations.

With increasing interest in electric vehicles, one question everyone has in their mind is the ability to charge their cars while driving. Another problem associated with it is billing for the electricity while charging vehicles away from homes.

While everyone is struggling with the two questions, Ubitricity has a mobile electric charging and billing system in place.

Ubitricity has a patented, intelligent charging and billing solution in place. Ubitricity has freed the electricity meter from its stationary cellar and made it mobile. Today, you can find the mobile, calibrated electricity meter in the SmartCable instead of the fixed charging pole.

The advantages of this new approach are visible in every ubitricity solution. The charging points themselves are made cheaper and tricky invoicing situations can be solved for the first time to satisfy all parties involved.

What’s next?

In the future, this technology will make an essential contribution to transforming electric vehicles into distributed electricity storage for the smart grid. Below are the features of this unique service business idea:

  • mobile charging system: Charge and bill easier, cheaper, quicker
  • The SmartCable: Charge, wherever and whenever you want. Always an appropriate solution. The SimpleSocket:
  • Charge and bill comfortably with mobile electricity meter and mobile electricity contract.
  • The ConnectivityManager: Transparent billing, many possibilities – and a good overview. Exact billing and security.

Mobile Electric Charging one of the Unique Service Business Ideas

Unique Business Ideas in Sustainable Energy

6 lucidenergy: converting gravitational energy into electricity.

Do you know that an untapped source of clean energy is flowing 24/7 beneath cities and towns around the world? What is that power? It is an excess pressure in gravity-fed municipal water pipelines.

LucidEnergy is the company with unique Business ideas that could harness some of that excess pressure to generate environmentally-friendly hydropower without disrupting water delivery.

Here is how LucidPipe Power System works :

  • Water Origin & Pressure: Water from snow and rainfall fills remote reservoirs, feeding pipelines that move water to the point-of-use. As the water flows downhill, gravity creates pressure in the pipeline that is typically relieved by pressure-reducing valves.
  • LucidPipe Power System: The LPS can be placed in-line in the pipes of a water transmission network, and can generate electricity from excess pressure in the pipeline, reducing the work done by pressure-reducing valves.
  • Distribution: The point-of-use for the water is the customers of the water utility. The LucidPipe Power System is “invisible,” that is; it does not affect water delivery.

7 Enessere: Smart Wind Turbines for Family Homes

Enessere is a clean Energy Company that offers solutions for complete energy independence. The ENESSERE Hercules wind turbines are intelligent energy generators as it learns local wind patterns and predicts optimum working periods.

Smart Wind Turbines a Unique Business Idea in Energy

8 Biodiesel: Environment Friendly Fuel Alternative

Biodiesel is an environmental friendly fossil fuel alternative. This is produced from recycled cooking oil, ( # ) soybean oil, and animal fats.

Eco Green Fuels is the first company in India with an end to end solution for Biodiesel.

Biodiesel maintains the standard of engine static and reduces carbon emission by more than half. Unlike other parts in the world where Biodiesel is produced from edible seeds, in India it is produced from non-edible oil seeds such as Pongamia, and Jatropha.

Unique Business Ideas in Fuel

Unique Business Ideas in Environmental protection

9 agastya buoyant: unique river or lake solid waste removal system.

Rivers in India are flooded with solid waste and pollutants. As civilisation in India started to establish around cities, this is one of the biggested tragedies of development.

Government of India is running several projects to clean up the rivers and water bodies to ensure safety of its citizens.

Namami Gange Programme , is one such initiative of the Government to clean River Ganga. It is an Integrated river conservation mission, with budget outlay of US$ 3 Billion to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.

A comapny that is helping government in this initiative is Agastya Buoyant . This company has created ariver surface andsolid waste removal system called “ Trash Boom “. Trash boom collects floating trash ranging from plastic material to different types of organic and inorganic particles that pollutes the water.

Unique Business Idea in Environmental protection

10 Brics Bio: Unique Business Idea in Sustainable Agriculture & Household Cleaning

Brics Bio is an amazing business. This company has built sustainable and safer technologies using bio-based innovations for agriculture and household care.

The comapny provides functional and safe food production products through solid principles of natural farming like organic/biological farming, community farming, urban farming, etc.

Apart from the above what really excited me was their household care products such as Hydropod Gel for plants, handwash and fabric, floor & utensil cleaner.

Unique Business Idea in Sustainable Agriculture

11 Biodegradable Packaging Solutions

Plastic bags are ubiquitous today. At the same time the challenge it creates for our environment has become one of the biggest issue for mankind.

This is where an Indian startup EnviGreen Biotech comes in picture. This startup has created a bag that looks like plastic, but it not that.

The bag created by them is made with natural starch and vegetable derivatives. Needless to say it is completely biodegradable.This bag begin to dissipate in warm water.

These bags are 100% organic, recyclable – and even edible for animals.

There is a huge demand for bioplastic packaging at 8,84,000 tons by 2020. ( 1 )

Biodegradable Packaging Solutions

Unique Business Ideas in Water

12 water from atmospheric air: anywhere, anytime.

Potable water availability is consistently going down across the world. It is estimated that only 60% of water will be fit for human consumption by 2030.

What it simply means is that, India and rest of the world is staring at a global water crisis.

This is where Akvo and Electrowater Technologies comes in picture.( # )

These two companies have developed a technology to condense humidity from air, just like the rain. Their technology replicates the natural process of condensation by simulating the dew point, which allows it to make clean drinking water continuously.

Unique Business Ideas in Water - Converting water from Air

13 Profitable Fish Farms in unproductive, waterlogged land

Agratam is converting unproductive, waterlogged land into profitable fish farms in Bihar.( # ) Bihar has 70,000 hectares of embanked water bodies (ponds, tanks, etc.) and 300,000 hectares of water logged area.( # )

Agratam India is working very closely with fishermen & fisherwomen to improve their livelihood and to create the infrastructure needed to bring about a Blue Revolution in Bihar by:

  • facilitating financial assistance for the entire value chain (for individual fish farming, to create new ponds, to renovate old ponds, to set up hatcheries and to set up fish feed mills)
  • facilitating insurance cover for fish (crop insurance) and fishermen/fisherwomen (life insurance, health insurance, etc.)
  • providing training in modern techniques of fish farming


World Needs much more such Unique Business Ideas

These unique business ideas have the potential to change the world. These business ideas not only offers financial independence to the entrepreneurs but also to its users and society at large. If you can think of any such unique business ideas or draw inspiration from, you can create a niche for yourself.

15+ Innovative Business Ideas

Several businesses surround us, and people are finding ways to remove inefficiency in the system with startups such as Ola and OYO. Smart usage of technology drives most of these ideas.

Therefore, many of us believe that there are no real innovative business ideas out there. However, when it comes to innovative business ideas, we are talking about business ideas that meet:

  • New requirements
  • Un-articulated needs
  • Existing unaddressed market needs.

These business ideas come to life with efficient products, processes, services, technologies, or business models. Therefore, these innovative business ideas make users, markets, governments and society much more efficient.

Here are some Innovative Business Ideas for you to consider:

Innovative online business ideas, 1 helping job seekers choose the right place to work.

Employees today live in a world where they play many roles. They have much higher expectations from their life. Therefore they want to find employers where they can fit in well and meet objectives of their life.

Job seekers look for information on work-life balance, workplace culture, employee satisfaction, and the financial health of a company.

However, until recently there was no one-stop shop for filtering job searches through this lens.

This is what you get on CareerLabs. CareerLabs uses machine learning and aggregates data from a wide variety of sources, including Freedom of Information Act requests, independent surveys, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

CareerLabs offers a basic version of the site for free, but if you want to learn which companies sponsor the most work visas or a business’s political alignment, you’ll have to pay.

Innovative Online Business Ideas that helps you choose your employer

Take Away: If you can identify an opportunity to enable people to find information about anything that is difficult to attain, you can create a good business.

Innovative Business Idea in personal Care

2 autoblow 2: personal pleasure machine for men.

AutoBlow 2 is a powerful realistic electronic pleasure machine for men. This is a sex toy for men that has set a new standard in realistic solo experiences.

This innovative business ideas was was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo, and makes millions of dollars a year through the sales of blowjob machines.

Your key Take away: The key factor in the success of any business is your willingness to do whatever it takes to grow the business, and not caring what other people think of it. If you can dare yourself you will be truly successful with any even crazier business idea.


Innovative Travel & Tourism Business Ideas

3 getting to know amsterdam from the locals with yello backie.

I am not sure if I can call it a big or small business ideas, but this is undoubtedly an Innovative business idea.

Yellow Backie allows a tourist to know about Amsterdam from the locals. It is an initiative to spark some love between Amsterdam locals and its visitors with a famous Dutch custom: riding on the luggage rack of a friend’s bike.

Yellow Backie is a unique possibility for visitors to experience Amsterdam through the eyes of an Amsterdammer, and for Amsterdammers to meet new people from around the globe. It’s a bit like Couchsurfing, on a bike, without the smelly socks in your living room.

Getting a Backie-ride is very easy; you don’t even need an app for it. When you visit Amsterdam, just look for people riding bikes with a bright yellow luggage rack. Spot one? Shout “Backie!” as loud as possible, hop on, and see where your new guide takes you.

Unlike most things in life, becoming a Backie-driver is free! So, id you live in Amsterdam and own a bike? You can send a message with a short motivation, and the company will give you a yellow luggage rack for free.

Take Away: Can you think of a business idea where you can seek support from locals. If yes, you can use it to build a profitable and sustainable business idea.

4 NeverEnuf: Kids Fun place with Trains

My son is in love with trains and he owns everything from Thomas & friends to Lego trains. All put together he has more then 200 engines and may be 1000 tarin cars.

I am sure sevral other kids love trains. However having trains at home is one thing but seeing them in natural settings is another. As seeing trains in natural settings inspire kids to explore more about it. This is where NeverEnuf come in picture. NeverEnuf is a Garden Railroad running “scale model-trains” in a magical, miniature world.

Your Takeaway: Experience is a business ideas that is never going to lose its appeal. If you have any such ideas go ahead and execute it, you will find many takers.


New Innovative Business Ideas in India in Agriculture

5 artificial intelligence in agriculture.

Small farmers around the world follow traditional farming practices due to lack of access to scientific understanding of crop lifecycle, pests, quality metrics and the latest micro-fertilisers.

Intello Labs , image-based solutions can provide insights on the crops’ health during the growing season and its final harvested quality by the click of a photograph.

The advanced image recognition technology can recognise objects, faces, flora fauna and tag them in any image. This technique uses high-performance deep learning algorithms.

6 Web based warehousing system for Crop that help farmers triple their yield

A group of young people passionate about agriculture and food sustainability created Kitovu .

Kitovu created a web based input warehousing system that can collect, analyze and aggregate soil and geolocation data to match the right soil types and fertilizers for every crop. (#)

Kitovu also provides a marketplace for farm produce so as to increase crop yields by reducing post-harvest losses. Ten years from now, it wouldn’t matter if you are a farmer, a processor, or input manufacturer; if you require high quality inputs and produce that is traceable in Sub-Saharan Africa, you would just have to Kitovu it!

Innovative Business Ideas in Healthcare

7 infant incubator cum warmer for upcountry places without any electricity.

Each year, more than 1 million babies die on their birthday. 98% of these deaths occur in the developing world. The leading cause of these deaths is preventable and treatable complications related to prematurity and low birth weight, including hypothermia.

This is where San Francisco-based nonprofit Embrace Global has an innovative business idea. Embrace introduced a US$25 baby warmer in 2010. It is a sleeping bag that serves as a backcountry incubator and doesn’t need electricity.

The bag contains a heating element. This heating element can be removed and heated in the boiling water again.

Innovative Business Ideas in Healthcare - Infant Incubator cum Warmer

Take Away: Healthcare sector offers many opportunities for innovative business ideas. So what is stopping you, if you are passionate about healthcare, you certainly have many such opportunities.

8 Healthcare at Home

It is believed that a patinet get the best care at home and recovers faster. However, getting treatment is not always possible as with the advancement of technology there are advanced equipments that can not be brought to home. This is where Portea comes in. Portea provides affordable care at home with its medical services.


9 Hand Wash for Kids

Children play all day with all sorts of things. While they play with bare hands, they hate washing them leading to several infections. Diarrheoa is one leading cause of child mortality in several countries including India. ( 2 , 3 )

This is where a playful business ideas, SoaPen comes in picture. SoaPen is devised to act as a better alternative to a bar/liquid soap or hand sanitiser for children. Compact in size and efficient by design, this roll-on handwash acts as a teaching tool that encourages cleanliness in daily life.

SoaPen’s markable soap is a subtle yet instructive way of cultivating the habit if hand washing among children

Available in green, orange and blue, SoaPen is made with food-grade colors and, unlike hand sanitisers, is not harsh on the skin. Clubbed with an intuitive gradient that helps keep track of the use, a 10 ml bottle gives up to 60 washes in Rs 40.

Hand Wash for Kids Innovative Business Ideas in Healthcare

10 Biodegradable Sanitary Pads for Women

Sanitary pads are a basic necessity for women. However, most of them complain of irritation while using regular sanitary pads that are made from Most pads are plastic (90% content) and chlorine-bleached wood pulp. This is where an innovative business ideas has been becoming popular among women. ( 4 )

Saathi pads are biodegradable and made from banana fibre. It does not contain gels, chemicals or synthetic fibres to prevent itching and rashes. These pads are bio-degradable and degrade within 6 months- 1200x faster than plastic pads!

Biodegradable Sanitary Pads for Women - Innovative Business Ideas in Healthcare

Innovative Business Ideas in Cleaning

11 low-water washing machine.

Water is a scarce resource. Availability of clean water is a big issue in many parts of the world.

Washing laundry is a significant use of water in the average home; accounting for 15% to 40% of the overall water consumption inside the typical household of four persons.

Needless to say, this could be an area where significant saving in water consumption could occur.

Therefore Xeros came up with a washing machine that uses 90 percent less water. This UK based startups groundbreaking washer relies on nylon polymer beads to remove stains from slightly damp clothes, instead of using agitation and large quantities of H2O.

At the core of the Xeros washing machine are the revolutionary little polymer laundry beads that make everything about this system possible.

These tiny, spheroidal plastic chips can absorb stains, stray dye, and soil, carrying them away from fabrics, resulting in a superior cleaning process that uses less water and chemicals than traditional commercial washing machines ever could.

With these laundry beads, the Xeros machine washes fabrics at lower temperatures, conserving energy. By combining lower wash temperatures with the beads’ ability to absorb stray colours, you can minimise the risk of colour being re-deposited in your wash.

This means that you spend less time sorting colours. For laundries that process large volumes each day, this makes the washing process more streamlined, reducing labour and improving productivity.

Innovative Business Ideas in Cleaning - Low water Washing Machine

Innovative Food Business Ideas

12 ayurveda and yoga inspired food products.

Sattvik food is supposed to be light, nutritious, easy to digest and always freshly prepared.

The foods chosen for this diet bring clarity and balance both internally in the body as well as externally in the universe. A wholesome meal that doesn’t leave you feeling drowsy for hours later.

This what Sattviko promises its consumers.


13 Fresh Fruits & Vegetables for Businesses from farm

Middleman controls the vegetable and fruits value chain in India. These middlemen also walk away with huge margins at the expense of farmers. As per estimates, a farmer gets only one-fourth of what the consumer pays.

Ninjacart is trying to solve this problem by bridging the gaps so that the farmer gets a good value for his produce and the stores get high quality goods at competitive prices. This Innovative startup has been helping hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and kirana stores source fresh fruits & vegetables, staples and FMCG goods directly from farmers and brands.


14 Y-Cook: Precooked Food without any refrigeration or preservatives

Well, I must say I do not know how they do it. But it is an exciting food business idea. Y-Cook , a food Technology Company has introduced minimally processed vegetables, lentils and fruits. Their products retain its natural freshness, colour, texture, flavour and nutrients for 12 months without any preservatives or additives or even refrigeration.

15 Leverage Love of Coffee

If you are a connoisseur of coffee and also love cold coffee, then Sleepy owl is your ultimate destination. Their freshly roasted specialty coffee is slowly brewed with cold water over 22 hours. This extracts all the goodness of coffee and leaves leaves behind the bitterness of traditional hot brewed coffee.

Unique Cold Coffee Business Idea Online

16 Grow your vegetables in your Living Room

If you are like me, you must be worried about the news of excessive usage of pesticide in farm produce. If you have ever thought of living in a farm to give your kids the best fresh vegetables, then Altifarm is for you.

Ergonomically-designed, Altifarm comes across as a one-stop solution for all constraints related to urban farming. Consisting of 3 or 4 tiers (depending on your preference), Altifarm provides 1sqm of space to farm while utilising only as much of footprint as a chair does. ( 5 )

The shelves are height-adjustable, giving you the freedom to choose a variety of saplings. The farm is designed with a wall hugging rear and is fitted with wheels to provide mobility.

Grow your vegetable in your Living Room

Innovative Business Ideas in Education

17 online education.

You must have come across several platforms selling online courses such as Lynda , Unacademy and several others. However, there is one that really stands out. This platform is Khan Academy .

Khan Academy is an innovative business idea as it offers FREE practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard.

Their platform empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.

Khan Academy offers education in math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. This platform has partnered with several prominent institutions from United States such as NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.


Innovative Business Ideas Supporting Small Businesses

18 peer to peer lending marketplace.

India is shifting towards digital payments and that has helped FAIRCENT a lot to grow its fortunes in recent years. The company that started its operation in 2014 is an innovative marketplace for peer to peer lending.

It provides a transparent, technology-driven platform for borrowers and lenders where they interact with each other and decide upon mutually agreeable rate for their transactions. The platform helps customers get cheaper loans after verifying their creditworthiness. It also benefits lenders to earn best possible returns on their investment.

Take Away: If financial space is something that gets you going and you have got enough skills to test the waters, this is your best bet to earn money online.


19 One stop Restaurant Management Tool: Toast

With increase in working / travelling population restaurants are becoming omnipresent all over the world. All these restaurants need several technology interventions to operate efficiently. While large restaurants have resources to build their own system or integrate with large point-of-sale providers, small restaurants often lack there.

This is where Toast  comes in picture. Toast offers a point of sale system designed for restaurants. It is built on a cloud-based platform.

Toast Restaurant Management Software -Innovative Business Ideas Supporting Small Businesses

Innovative Business Ideas that are revolutionizing cities

19. getmyparking: end of parking woes.

Parking for automobiles is one the single biggest challenge cities are facing today. It is estimated that 30% of road congestion and pollution is caused by vehicles looking for parking. ( # )

This is where GetMyParking emerges and looking at ways to resolve the urban parking problem.

Your TakeAway: Can you identify a business idea that resolves the problems of rapid urbanisation. If yes, it could be something that may really work.

Innovative Business Ideas for cities GetMyParking

20 LinCodes: A Digital Address that is better than GPS

Our cities are spreading rapidly and with the spread emerging areas no one has heard about. That is why GPS is considered to be a blessings by most of us. It takes us straight to the destination we want to go, most of the times.

However, at times GPS take you straight to a place, which is the end of the road.

Now move beyond Pin codes and even coordinates as you have LinCodes. LinCodes are available from a mobile app with Google Maps as the foundation. LinCodes stands for “Location Index Number” and it is a unique 12-digit digital address.

These digital addresses have been generated by the startup by dividing the entire geographical expanse of the country into a grid of 10×10 ft squares and these segmented areas have then been given a unique numerical code as an address. ( # )

Summary: Innovative Business Ideas

While everyone understands that very few startups become a big business. But remember everything starts small. I am quite sure that some of the above mentioned unique and innovative business ideas will grow into billion-dollar companies. So stay tuned for more such ideas in the next update of this blog post.

' src=

I want to start profitable buisness in NCR , as per condition changes, due to corono virus companies from all over the world transfer their business from China to India Suggest me

' src=

Nice article and useful information shared thanks.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

 I have read and agree to the website terms and conditions.* I promise to not spam.

  • What is snippet in seo? February 20, 2024
  • Top 10 Blogging Tips for Beginners October 6, 2023
  • How to become a professional blogger October 2, 2023
  • Best Digital Marketing Agencies in Mumbai for Business Growth November 6, 2022
  • 10 Strategies to Voice Search Optimisation with Voice Search SEO techniques July 31, 2022
  • Leveraging Content Marketing & Art of Making Content Work for Your Business July 31, 2022
  • Redirects: The Role of 301 and 302 Redirection for SEO July 31, 2022
  • The Lazy Blogging Formula- How to Write Blog Posts Faster & Better July 25, 2022
  • What is email marketing and how to Ensure ROI for your Business July 25, 2022
  • best Market research companies in India you can trust to make right decisions July 25, 2022
  • How to Start an Online Business from Home June 9, 2022
  • Most Viewed YouTube Videos of All-Time May 8, 2022
  • Tips To Create Effective Video Ads To Promote Ecommerce Business April 15, 2022
  • What is Project Gutenberg in WordPress October 18, 2021
  • 7 Morning Habits That Can Ruin Your Day (& Best Morning Habits) September 3, 2021
  • What Not To Do on Social Media September 1, 2021
  • Types of Keywords in SEO & Google Ads July 30, 2021
  • How to promote YouTube channel for free July 30, 2021
  • Public Speaking: The One Skill Warren Buffet Recommends you to Possess June 13, 2021
  • How to Start Social Media Marketing for Small Business June 5, 2021
  • Blogging (22)
  • Build Your Business (35)
  • Business Ideas (11)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (10)
  • Influencer Marketing (5)
  • Social Media Marketing (11)
  • eCommerce (4)
  • Side Hustles (1)
  • Marketing & Branding (47)

Let’s Chat Over A Brew

(Coffee or Something Stronger) !

Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your appointment.


  1. How to Write a Business Plan for Inventions

    Executive summary: Keep it concise but touch on each aspect of your plan. Remember to pique interest and compel your audience to read more. Company overview: Discuss your industry and niche, including what makes your invention and business stand out. Explain how you will commercialize your design (selling to consumers, wholesale, or retail).

  2. 9 Examples of Innovative Products

    3. The Lightbulb. Although there's some debate on who invented the lightbulb, no one denies its significance. It's a great example of an innovative product that solved both explicit and latent pain points. Before lightbulbs, products like lanterns and oil lamps produced light but made houses more susceptible to fires.

  3. How To Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps (2024)

    While your plan will be unique to your business and goals, keep these tips in mind as you write. 1. Know your audience. When you know who will be reading your plan—even if you're just writing it for yourself to clarify your ideas—you can tailor the language and level of detail to them.

  4. Business Plan Template for Innovation

    ClickUp's Business Plan Template for Innovation provides entrepreneurs and start-up companies with the essential tools to outline and execute their innovative business ideas. Here are the main elements of this template: Custom Statuses: Track the progress of your business plan with statuses such as Complete, In Progress, Needs Revision, and To ...

  5. Create a business plan for innovation start-up

    A novel idea is the starting point of every innovative business. An innovation business plan will help you to: validate the feasibility of that idea. evaluate the market potential. verify that there is a real demand for your product. It can also help provide your innovation start-up with credibility and focus, which is vital if you want to ...

  6. How to Write a Business Plan in 9 Steps (+ Template and Examples)

    1. Create Your Executive Summary. The executive summary is a snapshot of your business or a high-level overview of your business purposes and plans. Although the executive summary is the first section in your business plan, most people write it last. The length of the executive summary is not more than two pages.

  7. Product Innovation: What Business Leaders Need to Know

    5 Innovation Tips for Business Leaders. 1. Identify Your Customers' Jobs to Be Done. In the online course Disruptive Strategy, Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen explains the jobs to be done theory. According to Christensen's theory, customers don't just buy a product to meet their needs; they hire it to do a job.

  8. 24 of My Favorite Sample Business Plans & Examples For Your Inspiration

    This is a fantastic template for an existing business that's strategically shifting directions. If your company has been around for a while, and you're looking to improve your bottom line or revitalize your strategy, this is an excellent template to use and follow. 5. BPlan's Free Business Plan Template.

  9. Product Business Plans 101

    A product business plan is a document that provides justification for a new product or product release, including the product's potential and the quantifiable risks. The business plan is then used to communicate with leadership and investors so they may be able to decide which ventures to fund and which to delay or terminate.

  10. How Does Innovation Fit into a Business Plan?

    It starts with strategy, the heart of a business plan. Innovation is part of your company's identity, we would hope one of its strengths, and certainly a key element in business offering. It directly affects the market, both in the higher degree of guessing required (educated guessing, we hope) and in how it affects target market and message.

  11. How to Come Up with an Innovative Business Idea

    1. Delivery Process. Your business idea doesn't have to be entirely new—it just has to fill a need. If you can identify a more convenient way of delivering an existing service, it could be an opportunity for your business. Uber is used as an example in Entrepreneurship Essentials.

  12. The Complete Guide to Developing an Innovation Strategy

    In a world of rapid change and increasing competition, innovation has become essential to maintaining business growth, competitiveness, and productivity. Innovation is one of the key activities in a company's operations. Innovation is a long and complex process that takes an abstract idea and converts it into a successful product or service.

  13. 7 Crucial Elements of a New Product Business Plan

    2.1 Step One - Research, Research, Research. 2.2 Step Two - Determine Your Plan's Purpose. 2.3 Step Three - Create a Product Profile. 2.4 Step Four - Document Every Aspect of Your Product. 2.5 Step Five - Set Up a Strategic Marketing Plan. 2.6 Step Six - Make Your Product Plan Adaptable for Different Audiences.

  14. 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 ...

  15. The Business of Innovation: Ideas for Driving Growth and Change

    Conclusion. Innovation is a driving force for business growth and change. By prioritizing innovation, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace. Whether it's fostering a culture of innovation, developing customer-centric solutions, leveraging technology, or innovating for sustainability ...

  16. Innovation Strategy: Developing Innovative Strategies in Business

    This innovation strategy plan is more than just a guide for business success; it functions as a compass, ... Product innovation strategy in business encompasses the formulation and introduction of novel or refined products to satisfy consumer demands and attain a competitive edge. It revolves around the conception of pioneering features ...

  17. You Need an Innovation Strategy

    You Need an Innovation Strategy. It's the only way to make sound trade-off decisions and choose the right practices. by. Gary P. Pisano. From the Magazine (June 2015) Gustavo Brigante. Summary ...

  18. Top 4 Business Plan Examples

    Many homeowners are simply unaware of the large amount of energy consumed by many small household kitchen appliances: Dishwasher: 133 watts Television: 1,200 to 2,400 watts Coffee Maker: 900 to 1,200 watts Washing Machine: 350 to 500 watts Toaster: 55 to 250 watts Window Fan: 800 to 1,400 watts.

  19. Five Steps to Implementing Innovation

    Five Steps to Implementing Innovation. We're all familiar with stories about breakthrough products, services, and processes—the disruptors that grab the headlines and garner eye-popping valuations. And then there are the entrepreneurs who end up on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek and write best-selling books about the keys to their success.

  20. 7 Steps For Creating An Innovative New Product

    1. Build your project team. For an innovative project, you need to select employees who will challenge the status quo, look at everything with a creative eye and constantly try something new. A ...

  21. From Idea To Innovation: A Step-By-Step Journey

    It's vital to ensure that your innovation stands out as truly unique, and I recommend taking these six steps to verify its originality. 1. Cultivate Your Idea. Nurturing a great idea is a ...

  22. What is Innovation Strategy? Stages, Types & Examples

    An innovation strategy is a detailed roadmap with a series of strips that helps your organization reach its future goals. This roadmap isn't just a guide for business success — it's a guide that helps you keep up in your industry by thinking of new and innovative ways to tackle problems. These innovations can be creating new products to ...

  23. Develop a new product

    The plan will let you identify the process and timeline to design, create and build your product. This page details the steps to take to develop a new product. On this page. 1. Research your idea. 2. Make or build and test your prototype. 3. Write a marketing strategy and plan.

  24. How to Write Business Innovation Plans (Step-by-Step Guide)

    If you want to write a detailed business plan, follow this step-by-step guide: 1. Write an executive summary. An executive summary, also known as a company description, provides an overview of the organisation, including its objectives, partners and future expansion strategies. Start with the company's mission statement, then describe the ...

  25. 9 Business Plan with Examples and Format (2023)

    An example to describe the market analysis in the business proposal template for an organic healthy food product's start-up will be like this: "The health food industry in India is rapidly expanding, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% and an expected CAGR of 16% by 2026, equivalent to $30 billion.

  26. 35 Best Pitch Decks From Real-Life Startups [With Templates]

    Even so, it covers key details by highlighting the problem, presenting the exact solution, listing the competition, and outlining the sales and distribution plan. Key Takeaway: If your product is unique and better than the competition, it will sell itself. In the case of pitch decks, great products are likely to attract investors even if you ...

  27. Innovation in Business: What It Is & Why It's Important

    Innovation can help you stay ahead of the curve and grow your company in the process. Here are three reasons innovation is crucial for your business: It allows adaptability: The recent COVID-19 pandemic disrupted business on a monumental scale. Routine operations were rendered obsolete over the course of a few months.

  28. 16 Unique Business Ideas for You To Try This Year

    2. Develop a business plan. There are many steps to growing your business, from coming up with an idea to hiring collaborators to evaluating startup costs. A good business plan can help you clarify potential roadblocks and secure any resources you might need. Good entrepreneurs can adapt to change, but it's still important to have a plan ...

  29. 30+ Unique & Innovative Business Ideas in India & Around the World

    2 Discovering Green Eating Solutions Online. Greenease is a hyperlocal app that enables you to identify restaurants that source its ingredients sustainably. Greenease is a Unique Food Business Ideas around the world-min. This app supports restaurants that offer the product as below: Free-range/pasture. Gluten-free.