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Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kid Entrepreneurs

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

  • March 21, 2024

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is exciting for kids, offering them a unique opportunity to learn valuable life skills such as problem-solving, financial literacy, and creativity. Creating a business plan is a foundational step in this journey, helping young entrepreneurs transform their ideas into actionable plans. This guide is designed to make the process engaging and accessible for kids and their parents, laying the groundwork for successful kidpreneur ventures.

Why Creating a Business Plan Matters for Kidpreneurs

A business plan is more than just a document; it’s a roadmap that guides Kidpreneurs through the stages of developing and growing their business. It encourages them to think critically, set realistic goals, and plan for the future. Crafting a business plan helps Kidpreneurs understand the basics of entrepreneurship and financial management, fostering a mindset geared towards growth and innovation.

Step 1: Discover Your Passion and Identify a Business Idea

The first step is for Kidpreneurs to explore their interests and talents, leading them to a business idea that excites them. Encourage them to think about problems they’d like to solve or hobbies they enjoy that could be turned into a business. This ideation process is crucial for finding a venture they’re passionate about and committed to developing.

Step 2: Research Your Market

Once a business idea is in place, the next step is understanding the market. Kidpreneurs should research who their potential customers are, what needs or wants their business could fulfill, and who their competitors might be. This step is about validating the idea and ensuring there’s a demand for what they plan to offer.

Step 3: Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Goals and objectives give direction and purpose to the business plan. Help your kid set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. These could range from learning new skills to achieving a certain number of sales within a specified time frame.

Step 4: Plan Your Product or Service

This stage involves detailing the product or service the business will offer. Kidpreneurs should think about what makes their offering unique and how it benefits their target customers. Encouraging creativity at this stage can lead to innovative ideas that set their business apart.

Step 5: Outline Your Marketing and Sales Strategy

Marketing and sales are how businesses attract and retain customers. Kids can brainstorm fun and engaging ways to promote their business, such as through social media, flyers, or word of mouth. They should also think about how they will sell their product or service, whether it’s online, at a local market, or through another channel.

Step 6: Create a Financial Plan

A basic financial plan is essential, even for small-scale kidpreneur ventures. This includes estimating startup costs, setting prices for products or services, and planning for future expenses. It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn about budgeting, profit, and financial management.

Step 7: Draft an Action Plan

The action plan breaks down the steps needed to launch and grow the business. It should include a timeline of activities, responsibilities, and milestones. This helps kids stay organized and focused on their goals.

Step 8: Review and Adjust

A business plan is a living document that should evolve as the business grows. Encourage kidpreneurs to review their plan regularly, celebrate achievements, and adjust their strategies as needed.

Creating a business plan is an exciting step for kidpreneurs, full of learning and growth opportunities. By following these steps, kids can turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality, building a solid foundation for their business ventures.

To further explore entrepreneurship and financial literacy, Kidpreneurs can dive into the Kidpreneurs Academy. It’s a gamified online program designed to teach kids aged 6-12 the basics of entrepreneurship through engaging courses, games, and activities. Join today!

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business plan template for young entrepreneurs

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Business plan template.

December 19, 2019 - Katherine Jamieson <[email protected]>

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Fill in the blank business plan template to help young entrepreneurs explore:

  • where and when  to set up their business
  • who their potential customers are
  • what is their competition
  • how to market their product or service
  • how much they should charge for their product or service
  • how to create a business budget 

Business Plan Template 


Tags: 4-h careers & entrepreneurship , 4-h youth entrepreneurship , business , careers & entrepreneurship

Katherine Jamieson

Katherine Jamieson [email protected]

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Home » Teens

Business Plan Templates for Teens

If you want to launch a business, you have to have a plan! Here are some templates to help you get started.


The key to any successful business is to have a plan before getting started. Mapping out the business details is instrumental in determining if this idea is worth pursuing, which can save a lot of time and resources that could be used towards a different business that would be better suited for you and your business needs and wants. 

What To Include In a Business Plan

The point of a business plan is to outline your business strategy and plan your business out on paper. As your business grows and you are looking at expansion options, lenders will want a well-defined business plan to help them determine if lending to your business is the best option. When looking at business plan template packages for teens, you are looking for business plan templates that will help you transition your business ideas to full-fledged businesses that will help adults see the vision. 

The 7 parts of a business plan include:

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Description
  • Products and Services
  • Market Analysis
  • Strategy and Implementation of Strategy
  • Organizational Structure and Management Team
  • Financial Plan and Future Projections

Best Business Plan Templates for Teenagers

Bizkids’ guide to writing a business plan.

This resource helps define the business idea and determine what to charge for the products and services that you want to offer. Learn how to evaluate your competition and what they are doing with their brand to bring value to their customers to figure out ways to make your brand unique so you can stand out in the marketplace. Determine what resources you need to build your business and how much those resources will cost you. Are there ways to bootstrap the company to make startup costs cheaper? Learn about breakeven costs and how many units you have to sell before you start making a profit with your business idea.

Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox: The Small-Business Guide for Teens

This toolbox provides 8 easy to follow, actionable steps to help teens evaluate whether or not their business idea is feasible for them to start and how to go about getting started. If you don’t currently have an idea for what business to start, this provides ideas and how to get started with them! Real teens share real business experiences and advice from their own journey, which can help you avoid making common business mistakes that will decrease your learning curve and get motivation and encouragement from teens that have faced similar challenges while building their businesses. Learn about marketing techniques that work, how to provide top-notch customer service, money management of profits, and goal setting for future growth. 

Home Sweet Road’s My Business Plan

This one-page business plan is free and easily downloadable. It can be printed out and hung on the wall for easy reference. The questions asked in this document are thought-provoking and help teens determine who the target audience is for their products and services. Defining the target audience will help establish a solid marketing plan that conveys the value of the product offering while making sure that the customer’s needs are being met. Customers want to buy from businesses that understand their needs and provide an ideal solution.

Proverbial Homemaker’s Family Business Plan Guide

Families can work together to build a business that kids and teens can run themselves and are passionate about running using this comprehensive business template and associated resources. Consider first why you want to start a business and why you are choosing THIS specific business. Understanding the reason for selecting that business idea builds confidence and helps maintain the passion for the company as time goes on. Create a monetary budget based on projected profits and figure out what price is best to charge for your products and services to secure sales from your target market. Set goals and manage your time, then figure out what laws are applicable for your business venture.

Learn how to conduct market research to see if there is a need for the services you want to provide before starting by conducting surveys or soft test launches. Find out where to source materials to make products and how much that will cost.  

Boss Club Kid Entrepreneur Kit

This kit is literally a business in a box, so kids and teens can get started right away as soon as they have it in their hands! Choose your kit and create the following businesses:

  • Homemade dog treats
  • Specialty cake pops
  • Luxury bath bombs
  • Delicious fudge
  • Handmade soaps

If you are homeschooling, this kit counts as a homeschooling resource that you can receive credit for completing, which is a fantastic additional perk of using this tool. The intended audience is kids and teens ages 11-18, and provides over 100 videos with step-by-step instructions on how to set up and grow a business from the ground up. So far, over 100 schools across the United States are using this option for their students to learn how to set up a business that they are passionate about running. Getting teens started young on their entrepreneurial journey has been found to build self-esteem and teach decision-making early on that helps young adults make solid decisions in their lives as they mature. The benefit of this specific program is that it was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and not created by scholars that don’t have practical business knowledge. There is a quiz on their website that takes 30 seconds and helps you decide what business is best for your needs. 

Small Business Administration

This is a great government resource for teens who want to learn about business for free and about what resources are available from the government, such as loans and business coaching from experienced business owners in your community. There is no absolute right or wrong way to write a business plan in business, and you can choose how your business will run or how much money you need to start it. This resource allows you to walk through your business idea and plan with an experienced business owner that can talk through the pros and cons of what you feel is the next step for your business, from expansion to new investors to additional product offerings. This resource offers two different business plan templates that walk you through example business plans.

Solid Gold Biz Plan

This free business plan template from Money Prodigy discusses the author’s mistakes during her first 7 years in business and provides insights into how she would have conducted her business affairs differently if she had to start over again knowing what she knows now. The primary goal of this template is to find a problem that your business will solve. Many new entrepreneurs focus on the product or service but not on the problem it will solve in the marketplace. The goal should be to identify the problem and then develop the solution that will be offered as a product or service by your company. After determining the primary problem, she focuses on how to best deliver the solution and how much it will cost to maintain the delivery of the product or service. 

Shark Tank Lessons in Business and Entrepreneurship from Scholastic

A free lesson plan with a teacher’s guide that can be used in a group setting or as a family! Topics covered include entrepreneurship basics, writing an effective business plan, crafting persuasive pitches for investment presentations, and how to find a great business mentor. The target age group is grades 6 to 12.

Shark Tank Marketing Plan

A worksheet template that focuses on the target demographic for your business and the motivation that that demographic would have to buy a product or service that you are offering so you can establish the best way to market to them. Games are encouraged with this marketing package because this helps draw out ideas in fun ways that promote creativity and growth. Business is about finding creative solutions to problems and pivoting the company into new arenas when it becomes necessary for growth. Keeping an active marketing plan up to date as the business grows is key to expanding when necessary or finding innovative ways to keep customers engaged with your brand. 

Shark Tank Analysis Worksheet

Use this worksheet when evaluating businesses to learn what investors are looking for when assessing whether or not to invest in a business. Understanding what investors are looking for in a management team, mission, vision, product/service, research and development, and strategic implementation will help you create that within your own business to make your foundation strong.

A strong business plan that is well defined will take even the novice entrepreneur to the expert level of business in no time with the proper preparation. Using a business plan template in areas of planning, marketing, product development, and strategy will assist in building a business that can be bootstrapped and stood up quickly to test the business out in ways that require little startup capital.

Related Reading

  • Entrepreneurship for teens
  • How to earn money for teens

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

Improving the world one entrepreneur at a time

Free business plan generator.

Answer a few questions to take one of the first steps in creating your business

Our free tool for young entrepreneurs will ask you a few questions about your business and then Rising Innovator will take that information and generate a downloadable PDF document.

A business plan is an essential document that outlines how you turn your dreams into reality — it’s a a step-by-step guide to growing your business.

You’ll be prompted to provide basic information about your company, your goals, details about your products and services, market research and strategy, and cash flow projections. Then it will compile your answers to the questions into a document you can download and use to guide you as you build your business.

And if you need help, we provide tips and and examples to help you fill out the fields in each step. After you complete your plan, we also offer business plan analysis and consultation for a small fee. The business plan you create though is free to download and you can come back and revise it as often as you wish.

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20 Business Resources for Young Entrepreneurs

Last Updated: February 19, 2024, 12:27 pm by TRUiC Team

It’s no secret that young entrepreneurs are the future of small business, but as a teen entrepreneur , it may be tough to know where to find help getting started. Whether you have a million-dollar idea or simply the drive to be your own boss — you’re never too young to start working toward opening the business of your dreams.

To get you on the right path, we have gathered the best resources for teen entrepreneurs on everything that you need to know to start a business of your own, from networking to educational resources.

Are you ready to become a young entrepreneur? Take our quick Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out! We also recommend checking out our list of business ideas for teens .

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Top Resources for Teen Entrepreneurs

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At TRUiC, we believe you are never too young to start working toward your goal of starting your own business. With 77% of teens wanting to be their own bos s, resources for teen entrepreneurs aren’t just important — they are necessary! This guide will help you navigate the top resources for teen entrepreneurs to learn the vital skills and information needed to start a business.

1. How to Start a Business - A TRUiC Small Business Guide

All the steps you need to know can be found in our guide on How to Start a Business . From writing a business plan and acquiring funding to marketing your business, every aspect is broken down into easy, actionable steps for new business owners of all ages. Additionally, a visit to the state-specific guide that matches your location will give you more insight into the requirements set forth by your state and get you closer to forming a business legally.

2. How to Form an LLC

Generally, we recommend starting an LLC over any other business structure. Not only are LLCs the easiest to form, but they are also simple to maintain and offer benefits such as personal liability protection and tax perks that other business structures do not. In our guide on How to Form an LLC , we take you step-by-step through the process of forming an LLC in every state.

Keep in mind that you must be at least 18 to form an LLC in most states. Check with your local Secretary of State or equivalent state office to find out your state’s specific requirements for business formation.

3. SBA Business Guide

The Small Business Association (SBA) provides resources for entrepreneurs to start and maintain their businesses. The SBA business guide is an extensive resource with tools to help you navigate every stage of business ownership from start to finish. From writing a business plan to calculating costs and finding adequate funding — the SBA business guide is a one-stop destination for all your business planning needs.

4. TRUiC Business Name Generator

Choosing the right business name is one of the most important and — at times — challenging aspects of planning a business. Your business’s name should be a representation of your brand, clear enough to communicate what your business is while also being catchy and creative. Fortunately, if you’re not sure what your business name should be, our free business name generator produces appropriate names for you to choose from that align with your business type.

5. TRUiC Logo Maker

Once you’ve got your business name squared away, you’ll need a logo to effectively brand your business and increase recognition. The good news is that you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create a great logo for free. Our easy-to-use logo maker allows you to generate a logo for your business that you can use for everything from business cards to marketing materials and more.

6. TRUiC Business Plan Generator

No matter the size or type of business you’re starting, a business plan is an essential component of a successful business. A business plan is essentially a roadmap for the first 3-5 years of your business that outlines milestones and how you plan to reach them. If you plan to seek outside funding, this document is absolutely essential.

Creating a business plan that will help you secure funding and get your business off the ground is easy with our free business plan generator that takes the guesswork out of planning your business and makes it easier than ever.

Financial Resources

7. kid everest.

Created by kids, for kids — Kid Everest is a crowdfunding platform for young entrepreneurs that makes sourcing the startup capital you need safe and easy. Signing up for Kid Everest is free, and they boast one of the lowest rates for crowdfunding at only 4% of donations. Simply sign up, link your bank account, promote your page on social media or via email, and collect donations to start your business.

8. Indiegogo Entrepreneur Services

Another helpful crowdfunding resource, Indiegogo is a platform that makes generating startup capital online super simple. Not only can you crowdfund your new business, but Indiegogo also allows users to extend their campaigns to continue to raise money even after their business is established. Use this platform to generate funding, talk to experts in your field, and expand your brand.

9. Fundable

Fundable is a crowdfunding platform that offers users two methods to crowdfund their businesses: equity or donations. This means you can choose to provide investors with the opportunity to earn a return on investment through equity or obtain funding on a donation basis with no repayment required. Rather than take a percentage of your earnings, Fundable charges $179 per month to use its platform; however, signing up is free, and payment is not required right away.

Networking & Mentoring

Organizers looking to launch events and grow their brand can benefit from using the Hack+ platform to schedule and manage events at no cost to you. This free platform offers event insurance, liability waiver management, equipment and software, and free domain hosting.

BUILD was created to help underserved high school students start businesses of their own while simultaneously offering services to help them become successful, independent adults. The focus of this organization is on six key points called “Spark Skills,” which include communication, collaboration, problem-solving, innovation, grit, and self-management. These skills are developed through programs offered by BUILD, such as its Entrepreneur 101 course or the BUILD four-year program.

12. LaunchX

Laurie Stach, the founder of LaunchX , started the company to provide young entrepreneurs with the tools they need to create successful startups. LaunchX offers a summer program in person and virtually as well as online courses that provide teens with the education and support they need to start their own businesses. If you can’t make one of the events online or in person, the company also offers a LaunchX Workbook that, like its programs, gives insight into generating business ideas, launching a startup, and more.

13. Youth Business International

Youth Business International works with underserved, aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 to start, grow, and maintain small businesses. Participants can learn how to launch their business, develop products, and reach a global network of experienced entrepreneurs and experts to further their goals.

Starting a business at any age is difficult; getting guidance from experienced mentors can help you successfully start and maintain your business. SCORE offers entrepreneurs of all ages an easy route to finding a business mentor in their area. In addition to this, you can sign up for workshops and browse SCORE’s extensive database of business resources.

15. SBA Mentor-Protégé Program

The SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program pairs aspiring entrepreneurs with mentors who help them win government contracts and run successful businesses through relationships with established companies. Additionally, participants in this program will gain education on marketing, manufacturing, and accounting as well as financial assistance, strategic planning, and more. To participate in the program, your small business must meet the small business standards and meet additional requirements.

Educational Resources

16. young entrepreneur institute.

The Young Entrepreneur Institute provides programs and services to educate children and teens about entrepreneurship. Whether you are looking for a day-long crash course or a semester of entrepreneurial education, aspiring business owners in kindergarten through eighth grade can learn the foundations of business ownership and entrepreneurship to propel their goals forward.

17. E-seedling

E-Seedling hosts a yearly Youth Entrepreneur Camp that teaches young entrepreneurs all the business basics such as writing a business plan, marketing strategies, presenting business ideas, and more. Better yet, E-Seedling prioritizes making business education attainable and fun for all ages.


A resource for teen entrepreneurs and educators alike, provides educational programs and curriculum geared towards students of all ages. By signing up for one of’s programs, you gain access to 21st Century business education on the basics of entrepreneurship, such as business planning using a design thinking method to help students get comfortable thinking outside the box.

19. BizKids

Based on the popular TV show, BizKids is an online resource that provides tools for young entrepreneurs to meet their goals. Educational materials on financial planning, business planning, and marketing are available on the website, as well as interactive games to try your hand at managing a business while having fun.

Whether you are signing up for one of the many courses offered by this platform or simply visiting one of its educational pages, there is a wealth of business knowledge at your fingertips.

20. Generation E

The Generation E institute has resources for young entrepreneurs at an elementary, middle, or high school level. The aim of these programs is to provide children and teens with the educational resources they need to explore various career paths and dream big. At the high school level, these programs even have the potential to be used for college credit, credit recovery, and more.

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Business plans might seem like an old-school stiff-collared practice, but they deserve a place in the startup realm, too. It’s probably not going to be the frame-worthy document you hang in the office—yet, it may one day be deserving of the privilege.

Whether you’re looking to win the heart of an angel investor or convince a bank to lend you money, you’ll need a business plan. And not just any ol’ notes and scribble on the back of a pizza box or napkin—you’ll need a professional, standardized report.

Bah. Sounds like homework, right?

Yes. Yes, it does.

However, just like bookkeeping, loan applications, and 404 redirects, business plans are an essential step in cementing your business foundation.

Don’t worry. We’ll show you how to write a business plan without boring you to tears. We’ve jam-packed this article with all the business plan examples, templates, and tips you need to take your non-existent proposal from concept to completion.

Table of Contents

What Is a Business Plan?

Tips to Make Your Small Business Plan Ironclad

How to Write a Business Plan in 6 Steps

Startup Business Plan Template

Business Plan Examples

Work on Making Your Business Plan

How to Write a Business Plan FAQs

What is a business plan why do you desperately need one.

A business plan is a roadmap that outlines:

  • Who your business is, what it does, and who it serves
  • Where your business is now
  • Where you want it to go
  • How you’re going to make it happen
  • What might stop you from taking your business from Point A to Point B
  • How you’ll overcome the predicted obstacles

While it’s not required when starting a business, having a business plan is helpful for a few reasons:

  • Secure a Bank Loan: Before approving you for a business loan, banks will want to see that your business is legitimate and can repay the loan. They want to know how you’re going to use the loan and how you’ll make monthly payments on your debt. Lenders want to see a sound business strategy that doesn’t end in loan default.
  • Win Over Investors: Like lenders, investors want to know they’re going to make a return on their investment. They need to see your business plan to have the confidence to hand you money.
  • Stay Focused: It’s easy to get lost chasing the next big thing. Your business plan keeps you on track and focused on the big picture. Your business plan can prevent you from wasting time and resources on something that isn’t aligned with your business goals.

Beyond the reasoning, let’s look at what the data says:

  • Simply writing a business plan can boost your average annual growth by 30%
  • Entrepreneurs who create a formal business plan are 16% more likely to succeed than those who don’t
  • A study looking at 65 fast-growth companies found that 71% had small business plans
  • The process and output of creating a business plan have shown to improve business performance

Convinced yet? If those numbers and reasons don’t have you scrambling for pen and paper, who knows what will.

Don’t Skip: Business Startup Costs Checklist

Before we get into the nitty-gritty steps of how to write a business plan, let’s look at some high-level tips to get you started in the right direction:

Be Professional and Legit

You might be tempted to get cutesy or revolutionary with your business plan—resist the urge. While you should let your brand and creativity shine with everything you produce, business plans fall more into the realm of professional documents.

Think of your business plan the same way as your terms and conditions, employee contracts, or financial statements. You want your plan to be as uniform as possible so investors, lenders, partners, and prospective employees can find the information they need to make important decisions.

If you want to create a fun summary business plan for internal consumption, then, by all means, go right ahead. However, for the purpose of writing this external-facing document, keep it legit.

Know Your Audience

Your official business plan document is for lenders, investors, partners, and big-time prospective employees. Keep these names and faces in your mind as you draft your plan.

Think about what they might be interested in seeing, what questions they’ll ask, and what might convince (or scare) them. Cut the jargon and tailor your language so these individuals can understand.

Remember, these are busy people. They’re likely looking at hundreds of applicants and startup investments every month. Keep your business plan succinct and to the point. Include the most pertinent information and omit the sections that won’t impact their decision-making.

Invest Time Researching

You might not have answers to all the sections you should include in your business plan. Don’t skip over these!

Your audience will want:

  • Detailed information about your customers
  • Numbers and solid math to back up your financial claims and estimates
  • Deep insights about your competitors and potential threats
  • Data to support market opportunities and strategy

Your answers can’t be hypothetical or opinionated. You need research to back up your claims. If you don’t have that data yet, then invest time and money in collecting it. That information isn’t just critical for your business plan—it’s essential for owning, operating, and growing your company.

Stay Realistic

Your business may be ambitious, but reign in the enthusiasm just a teeny-tiny bit. The last thing you want to do is have an angel investor call BS and say “I’m out” before even giving you a chance.

The folks looking at your business and evaluating your plan have been around the block—they know a thing or two about fact and fiction. Your plan should be a blueprint for success. It should be the step-by-step roadmap for how you’re going from Point A to Point B.

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How to Write a Business Plan—6 Essential Elements

Not every business plan looks the same, but most share a few common elements. Here’s what they typically include:

  • Executive Summary
  • Business Overview
  • Products and Services
  • Market Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Financial Strategy

Below, we’ll break down each of these sections in more detail.

1. Executive Summary

While your executive summary is the first page of your business plan, it’s the section you’ll write last. That’s because it summarizes your entire business plan into a succinct one-pager.

Begin with an executive summary that introduces the reader to your business and gives them an overview of what’s inside the business plan.

Your executive summary highlights key points of your plan. Consider this your elevator pitch. You want to put all your juiciest strengths and opportunities strategically in this section.

2. Business Overview

In this section, you can dive deeper into the elements of your business, including answering:

  • What’s your business structure? Sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.
  • Where is it located?
  • Who owns the business? Does it have employees?
  • What problem does it solve, and how?
  • What’s your mission statement? Your mission statement briefly describes why you are in business. To write a proper mission statement, brainstorm your business’s core values and who you serve.

Don’t overlook your mission statement. This powerful sentence or paragraph could be the inspiration that drives an investor to take an interest in your business. Here are a few examples of powerful mission statements that just might give you the goosebumps:

  • Patagonia: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
  • Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
  • InvisionApp : Question Assumptions. Think Deeply. Iterate as a Lifestyle. Details, Details. Design is Everywhere. Integrity.
  • TED : Spread ideas.
  • Warby Parker : To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.

3. Products and Services

As the owner, you know your business and the industry inside and out. However, whoever’s reading your document might not. You’re going to need to break down your products and services in minute detail.

For example, if you own a SaaS business, you’re going to need to explain how this business model works and what you’re selling.

You’ll need to include:

  • What services you sell: Describe the services you provide and how these will help your target audience.
  • What products you sell: Describe your products (and types if applicable) and how they will solve a need for your target and provide value.
  • How much you charge: If you’re selling services, will you charge hourly, per project, retainer, or a mixture of all of these? If you’re selling products, what are the price ranges?

4. Market Analysis

Your market analysis essentially explains how your products and services address customer concerns and pain points. This section will include research and data on the state and direction of your industry and target market.

This research should reveal lucrative opportunities and how your business is uniquely positioned to seize the advantage. You’ll also want to touch on your marketing strategy and how it will (or does) work for your audience.

Include a detailed analysis of your target customers. This describes the people you serve and sell your product to. Be careful not to go too broad here—you don’t want to fall into the common entrepreneurial trap of trying to sell to everyone and thereby not differentiating yourself enough to survive the competition.

The market analysis section will include your unique value proposition. Your unique value proposition (UVP) is the thing that makes you stand out from your competitors. This is your key to success.

If you don’t have a UVP, you don’t have a way to take on competitors who are already in this space. Here’s an example of an ecommerce internet business plan outlining their competitive edge:

FireStarters’ competitive advantage is offering product lines that make a statement but won’t leave you broke. The major brands are expensive and not distinctive enough to satisfy the changing taste of our target customers. FireStarters offers products that are just ahead of the curve and so affordable that our customers will return to the website often to check out what’s new.

5. Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis examines the strengths and weaknesses of competing businesses in your market or industry. This will include direct and indirect competitors. It can also include threats and opportunities, like economic concerns or legal restraints.

The best way to sum up this section is with a classic SWOT analysis. This will explain your company’s position in relation to your competitors.

6. Financial Strategy

Your financial strategy will sum up your revenue, expenses, profit (or loss), and financial plan for the future. It’ll explain how you make money, where your cash flow goes, and how you’ll become profitable or stay profitable.

This is one of the most important sections for lenders and investors. Have you ever watched Shark Tank? They always ask about the company’s financial situation. How has it performed in the past? What’s the ongoing outlook moving forward? How does the business plan to make it happen?

Answer all of these questions in your financial strategy so that your audience doesn’t have to ask. Go ahead and include forecasts and graphs in your plan, too:

  • Balance sheet: This includes your assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • Profit & Loss (P&L) statement: This details your income and expenses over a given period.
  • Cash flow statement: Similar to the P&L, this one will show all cash flowing into and out of the business each month.

It takes cash to change the world—lenders and investors get it. If you’re short on funding, explain how much money you’ll need and how you’ll use the capital. Where are you looking for financing? Are you looking to take out a business loan, or would you rather trade equity for capital instead?

Read More: 16 Financial Concepts Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Startup Business Plan Template (Copy/Paste Outline)

Ready to write your own business plan? Copy/paste the startup business plan template below and fill in the blanks.

Executive Summary Remember, do this last. Summarize who you are and your business plan in one page.

Business Overview Describe your business. What’s it do? Who owns it? How’s it structured? What’s the mission statement?

Products and Services Detail the products and services you offer. How do they work? What do you charge?

Market Analysis Write about the state of the market and opportunities. Use date. Describe your customers. Include your UVP.

Competitive Analysis Outline the competitors in your market and industry. Include threats and opportunities. Add a SWOT analysis of your business.

Financial Strategy Sum up your revenue, expenses, profit (or loss), and financial plan for the future. If you’re applying for a loan, include how you’ll use the funding to progress the business.

What’s the Best Business Plan to Succeed as a Consultant?

5 Frame-Worthy Business Plan Examples

Want to explore other templates and examples? We got you covered. Check out these 5 business plan examples you can use as inspiration when writing your plan:

  • SBA Wooden Grain Toy Company
  • SBA We Can Do It Consulting
  • OrcaSmart Business Plan Sample
  • Plum Business Plan Template
  • PandaDoc Free Business Plan Templates

Get to Work on Making Your Business Plan

If you find you’re getting stuck on perfecting your document, opt for a simple one-page business plan —and then get to work. You can always polish up your official plan later as you learn more about your business and the industry.

Remember, business plans are not a requirement for starting a business—they’re only truly essential if a bank or investor is asking for it.

Ask others to review your business plan. Get feedback from other startups and successful business owners. They’ll likely be able to see holes in your planning or undetected opportunities—just make sure these individuals aren’t your competitors (or potential competitors).

Your business plan isn’t a one-and-done report—it’s a living, breathing document. You’ll make changes to it as you grow and evolve. When the market or your customers change, your plan will need to change to adapt.

That means when you’re finished with this exercise, it’s not time to print your plan out and stuff it in a file cabinet somewhere. No, it should sit on your desk as a day-to-day reference. Use it (and update it) as you make decisions about your product, customers, and financial plan.

Review your business plan frequently, update it routinely, and follow the path you’ve developed to the future you’re building.

Keep Learning: New Product Development Process in 8 Easy Steps

What financial information should be included in a business plan?

Be as detailed as you can without assuming too much. For example, include your expected revenue, expenses, profit, and growth for the future.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a business plan?

The most common mistake is turning your business plan into a textbook. A business plan is an internal guide and an external pitching tool. Cut the fat and only include the most relevant information to start and run your business.

Who should review my business plan before I submit it?

Co-founders, investors, or a board of advisors. Otherwise, reach out to a trusted mentor, your local chamber of commerce, or someone you know that runs a business.

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About Jesse Sumrak

Jesse Sumrak is a writing zealot focused on creating killer content. He’s spent almost a decade writing about startup, marketing, and entrepreneurship topics, having built and sold his own post-apocalyptic fitness bootstrapped business. A writer by day and a peak bagger by night (and early early morning), you can usually find Jesse preparing for the apocalypse on a precipitous peak somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

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Start » strategy, the 9 business resources for young entrepreneurs.

Mentorship and guidance are invaluable for all entrepreneurs, but especially younger ones. Here are nine resources for entrepreneurs starting their journey in their earlier years.

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Data shows that many teens are interested in running a business: 41% have considered starting a business as their career, and 69% of teens have a business idea but aren’t sure how to start. Here are nine resources that can make the process easier for young entrepreneurs.

Biz Kids is an online resource based on a television show that taught kids about business and money. The site provides videos and lesson plans teaching young entrepreneurs how to develop a business idea, market their product, and earn a profit.

When you sign up for Biz Kids’ newsletter, you’ll receive a free business planning guide. In addition, kids that need to learn more about managing money can sign up for a financial literacy course that will teach them the basics of budgeting, investing, and making money.

Kid Everest

Kid Everest is a crowdfunding platform for young entrepreneurs. The site started as a school project and has become a safe place for teens to find investment opportunities. Teens can launch a crowdfunding campaign or browse through blog posts and guides on finding their passion, creating SMART (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related) goals, and pitching their business idea.

[Read more: 7 Things Young Entrepreneurs Should Do to Improve Their Chances of Success ]

BUILD is an entrepreneurship program for underserved high school students in New York City, Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, D.C. Entrepreneurship 1.0 is a year-long program that helps students develop the skills needed to start a business. Students learn how to develop their business idea, pitch investors, and run a business.

Beta Camp is a virtual enrichment program for kids ages 13 to 18. During the three-month program, students will attend a virtual workshop on Saturdays. They’ll get hands-on experience working on a team and building a real business. During the program, they’ll receive one-on-one mentorship opportunities and interact with like-minded peers.

If the three-month program is out of reach financially, you can also sign up for a live Masterclass . Students can learn how to build an app, find their purpose, or build a business while they’re still in high school.

Kid Everest is a crowdfunding platform for young entrepreneurs. The site started as a school project and has become a safe place for teens to find investment opportunities.

E-Seedling provides a week-long youth entrepreneurship camp that students can attend virtually or in person. This camp teaches the basics of starting a business, like writing a business plan, developing marketing strategies, and presenting a business idea. Anyone who’s interested can download a free excerpt from the Student Workbook to get a sense of what they’ll learn.

[Read more: Personality Traits Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common ]

LaunchX gives young entrepreneurs the tools they need to launch a successful business. An in-person or virtual summer program allows students to learn from industry experts. Students will learn the entrepreneurial process, meet with mentors and instructors, and implement their ideas.

If you can’t attend the summer camp, you can buy the LaunchX workbook instead. This workbook also gives young entrepreneurs practical lessons on starting a business.

Young Entrepreneur Institute

The Young Entrepreneur Institute provides programs and tools to educate children and teens about entrepreneurship. Kids can attend day-long events to learn how to develop products, pitch their ideas, and interact with customers. Resources are also available for educators looking to incorporate these ideas into the classroom.

TeenLife provides enrichment opportunities for students in seventh through 12th grade. The organization's primary goal is to help teens succeed and have meaningful experiences outside the classroom.

They do this by providing events, summer programs, volunteer opportunities, and more. Though the organization isn’t focused solely on entrepreneurship, guides and programs are available for young entrepreneurs.

Acton Children’s Business Fairs

Acton Children’s Business Fairs are held in 412 cities across 17 different countries. During these one-day fairs, kids can launch their businesses and develop interpersonal and problem-solving skills. You can either search for a nearby fair or sign up to host your own .

[Read more: 10 Networking Groups for Entrepreneurs ]

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8 Business Plan Templates You Can Get for Free

Author: Kody Wirth

8 min. read

Updated April 10, 2024

A business plan template can be an excellent tool to simplify the creation of your business plan. 

The pre-set structure helps you organize ideas, covers all critical business information, and saves you time and effort on formatting.

The only issue? There are SO many free business plan templates out there. 

So, which ones are actually worth using? 

To help remove the guesswork, I’ve rounded up some of the best business plan templates you can access right now. 

These are listed in no particular order, and each has its benefits and drawbacks.

What to look for in a business plan template

Not all business plan templates are created equal. As you weigh your options and decide which template(s) you’ll use, be sure to review them with the following criteria in mind:

  • Easy to edit: A template should save you time. That won’t be the case if you have to fuss around figuring out how to edit the document, or even worse, it doesn’t allow you to edit at all.
  • Contains the right sections: A good template should cover all essential sections of a business plan , including the executive summary, product/service description, market/competitive analysis, marketing and sales plan, operations, milestones, and financial projections. 
  • Provides guidance: You should be able to trust that the information in a template is accurate. That means the organization or person who created the template is highly credible, known for producing useful resources, and ideally has some entrepreneurial experience.
  • Software compatibility: Lastly, you want any template to be compatible with the software platforms you use. More than likely, this means it’s available in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or PDF format at a minimum. 

1. Bplans — A plan with expert guidance

Preview of Bplans' free business plan template download asset.

Since you’re already on Bplans, I have to first mention the templates that we have available. 

Our traditional and one-page templates were created by entrepreneurs and business owners with over 80 years of collective planning experience. We revisit and update them annually to ensure they are approachable, thorough, and aligned with our team’s evolving best practices.  

The templates, available in Word, PDF, or Google Doc formats, include in-depth guidance on what to include in each section, expert tips, and links to additional resources. 

Plus, we have over 550 real-world sample business plans you can use for guidance when filling out your template.

Download: Traditional lender-ready business plan template or a simple one-page plan template .

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2. SBA — Introduction to business plans

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers two different business plan templates along with a short planning guide. 

While not incredibly in-depth, it’s enough to help you understand how traditional and lean plans are structured and what information needs to be covered. The templates themselves are more like examples, providing you with a finished product to reference as you write your plan.

The key benefit of using these templates is that they were created by the SBA. While they may provide less guidance, you can be assured that the information and structure meet their expectations.

Explore: The SBA’s planning guide and free templates

3. SCORE — Planning workbook

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

SCORE’s template is more like a workbook. It includes exercises after each section to help you get your ideas down and turn them into a structured plan.

The market research worksheets are especially useful. They provide a clear framework for identifying your target market and analyzing competitors from multiple angles. Plus, they give you an easy way to document all the information you’re collecting.

You will likely have to remove the exercises in this template to make it investor-ready. But it can be worth it if you’re struggling to get past a blank page and want a more interactive planning method.

Download: SCORE’s business plan template

4. PandaDoc — A template with fillable forms

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

PandaDoc’s library offers a variety of industry-specific business plan templates that feature a modern design flair and concise instructions. 

These templates are designed for sharing. They include fillable fields and sections for non-disclosure agreements, which may be necessary when sending a plan to investors.  

But the real benefit is their compatibility with PandaDoc’s platform. Yes, they are free, but if you’re a PandaDoc subscriber, you’ll have far more customization options. 

Out of all their templates, the standard business plan template is the most in-depth. The rest, while still useful, go a bit lighter on guidance in favor of tailoring the plan to a specific industry.

Explore: PandaDoc’s business plan template library  

5. Canva — Pitch with your plan

A sample of the 696 free business plan templates available from Canva. The templates represented here are for a restaurant and two options designed around a minimalist beige aesthetic.

Canva is a great option for building a visually stunning business plan that can be used as a pitch tool. It offers a diverse array of templates built by their in-house team and the larger creative community, meaning the number of options constantly grows.

You will need to verify that the information in the template you choose matches the standard structure of a traditional business plan. 

You should do this with any template, but it’s especially important with any tool that accepts community submissions. While they are likely reviewed and approved, there may still be errors.

Remember, you can only edit these templates within Canva. Luckily, you only need a free subscription, and you may just miss out on some of the visual assets being used. 

To get the most value, it may be best to create a more traditional planning document and transfer that information into Canva. 

Explore: Canva’s business plan gallery

6. ClickUp — The collaborative template

Preview of ClickUp's business plan template within the project management platform. It includes a number of fillable cells to help guide the creation process.

Out of all the project management tools that offer free business plan templates, ClickUp’s is the most approachable.

Rather than throwing you into all the features and expecting you to figure it out—ClickUp provides a thorough startup guide with resource links, images, and videos explaining how to write a plan using the tool. 

There’s also a completed sample plan (structured like an expanded one-page plan) for you to reference and see how the more traditional document can connect to the product management features. You can set goals, target dates, leave comments, and even assign tasks to someone else on your team. 

These features are limited to the ClickUp platform and will not be useful for everyone. They will likely get in the way of writing a plan you can easily share with lenders or investors. 

But this is a great option if you’re looking for a template that makes internal collaboration more fluid and keeps all your information in one place.

Sign Up: Get a free trial of ClickUp and explore their template library

7. Smartsheet — A wide variety of templates

A preview of the Smartsheet business plan template. It provides a preview of the cover page, directory, and small views of the remaining template pages.

I’m including Smartsheet’s library of templates on this list because of the sheer number of options they provide. 

They have a simple business plan template, a one-page plan, a fill-in-the-blank template, a plan outline, a plan grading rubric, and even an Excel-built project plan. All are perfectly usable and vary in visual style, depth of instructions, and the available format.

Honestly, the only drawback (which is also the core benefit) is that the amount of templates can be overwhelming. If you’re already uncertain which plan option is right for you, the lengthy list they provide may not provide much clarity.

At the same time, it can be a great resource if you want a one-stop shop to view multiple plan types.

Explore: Smartsheet’s business plan template library  

8. ReferralRock affiliate marketing business plan

Preview of the ReferralRock affiliate marketing business plan template. It just represents the cover page of the full template.

I’m adding ReferralRock’s template to this list due to its specificity. 

It’s not your standard business plan template. The plan is tailored with specific sections and guidance around launching an affiliate marketing business. 

Most of the template is dedicated to defining how to choose affiliates, set commissions, create legal agreements, and track performance.

So, if you plan on starting an affiliate marketing business or program, this template will provide more specific guidance. Just know that you will likely need to reference additional resources when writing the non-industry sections of your plan.

Download: ReferralRock affiliate marketing business plan template

Does it matter what business plan template you use?

The short answer is no. As long as the structure is correct, it saves you time, and it helps you write your business plan , then any template will work. 

What it ultimately comes down to, is what sort of value you hope to get from the template. 

  • Do you need more guidance? 
  • A simple way to structure your plan? 
  • An option that works with a specific tool?
  • A way to make your plan more visually interesting?

Hopefully, this list has helped you hone in on an option that meets one (or several) of these needs. Still, it may be worth downloading a few of these templates to determine the right fit. 

And really, what matters most is that you spend time writing a business plan . It will help you avoid early mistakes, determine if you have a viable business, and fully consider what it will take to get up and running. 

If you need additional guidance, check out our library of planning resources . We cover everything from plan formats , to how to write a business plan, and even how to use it as a management tool . 

If you don’t want to waste time researching other templates, you can download our one-page or traditional business plan template and jump right into the planning process.

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Content Author: Kody Wirth

Kody Wirth is a content writer and SEO specialist for Palo Alto Software—the creator's of Bplans and LivePlan. He has 3+ years experience covering small business topics and runs a part-time content writing service in his spare time.

Start your business plan with the #1 plan writing software. Create your plan with Liveplan today.

Table of Contents

  • Qualities of a good template
  • ReferralRock
  • Does the template matter?

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How To Write A Great Business Plan

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

by Ross Kimbarovsky, founder of  crowdSPRING

Many entrepreneurs and business owners make mistakes when they rush to  start a business  before considering important details.

A great  business plan  can help you anticipate important issues and possible challenges before you start your business.

In fact, studies show that entrepreneurs who take the time to write a business plan are 2.5 times more likely to follow through and get their business off the ground.

Here are 10 tips to help you write a great business plan:

1. Learn from other entrepreneurs and business owners.

Start by reading as many business plans as you can get your hands on.

  • Search the tables of contents and consider which parts are relevant to your business.
  • Flip to the index and see how well organized and granular it is.
  • Check out any exhibits or charts and consider how your business plan could benefit from similar exhibits or charts.

Remember, you’re not reinventing the wheel here. For example, you can get a  free business plan template  for a  traditional business plan  and a  one-page business plan .

There have been many who did this before you and you can benefit from their experience and expertise.

2. Be prepared and do your homework.

Don’t mess around – research everything.


If you expect to be the market leader in 2 years, you need to demonstrate why this is possible and how you’ll meet this goal.

If you say your product will be viral, you have to support this statement with facts.

If you say your management team is experienced and qualified to help the business succeed, you have to support that claim with resumes that demonstrate the experience.

It’s easy to lose credibility – and investors – if you’re making claims you can’t fully support.

Need specific insights on how to write a great business plan?

Read this definitive guide on how to write a business plan. You’ll learn about each section of the business plan, from the executive summary to the appendix, and you’ll be able to download free business plan templates for a simple one-page business plan and a traditional plan, and other important templates, including a SWOT analysis template, sales forecast template, profit and loss template, cash flow template, and a balance sheet template.

3. Know your market and your competition.

Some business owners avoid talking about potential competitors.

This is a mistake.

Unless you’re creating a new industry, you will have competitors. And you’ll need to figure out how to beat them or at least to compete with them.

To understand your competitors and the industry, you’ll need to do  market research .

Invest some time and effort and do it correctly. A business can’t succeed if the owners don’t understand their industry, target customers, or the competition.

4. The table of contents is your friend.

The TOC is your outline for the plan.

Take your time with it; make sure you are including all of the relevant topics.

At a minimum, your plan should include sections on the company you are forming, your marketing plan, financial information, and your go-to-market and growth strategy.

Look to other business plans for inspiration.

5. Don’t give away your secrets when sharing your business plan.

If you plan to share your business plan with potential investors, bankers, or others, require confidentiality.

And make sure you cover yourself with a strong disclaimer. The last thing you want is for a potential investor or partner to claim that your business plan misrepresented your business.

6. Write a strong executive summary.

People are busy. Few read 50-page business plans. Even fewer read 100-page business plans.

Most will read only the executive summary and flip through other sections of your business plan.

This creates both a challenge and an opportunity.

If your executive summary is strong, you increase the prospects to have a further conversation with a potential investor or partner to make your pitch in person.

Bottom of Form

7. Know your audience.

Who will be reading your plan?

Is it written for investors? For potential partners or board members? For a bank to get a small business loan?

Anticipate the kinds of questions those people will want to be answered and answer those questions. For example, if your audience includes bankers, think like a banker and write what they would need to see to fund your business.

A great business plan will show that you have thought through your business idea clearly and have developed a plan to develop the idea into a sustainable and profitable business.

8. Make the business plan readable.

A great business plan should be compelling, interesting, informative, and exciting.

Make sure that you include detail, but not so much that people are overwhelmed.

Use appendices for the details and anything else (like resumes) that would bog down the body of the plan.

Do a careful edit for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and voice.

Get a second (and third) set of eyes to give you constructive feedback.

Do not be stingy with charts, graphics, illustrations, and tables. They are great ways to present detailed information in a digestible form.

9. Use Pro-formas wisely.

People interested in your business plan will want to see projections of your performance, your costs, and your anticipated growth.

But, they are sophisticated enough to recognize when those numbers have been arrived at based on real data compared to when you simply make up the numbers.

So, be conservative in all financial estimates and projections. If you think you’ll get a 25% share of your market in 2 years, hint at those numbers but assume you’ll get only a 5% share for purposes of your financial projections.

One good approach is to show the best, worst, and most likely scenarios for sales and growth.

10. Keep it simple.

Keep your language simple and use readable fonts and a clean layout.

And, let your personality show. If you believe in what you’re writing, your passion will show in the final product.

And at the end of the day, remember that most people don’t invest in a business plan.

Most people invest in a person.

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

Ross Kimbarovsky is founder and CEO at  crowdspring , where more than 220,000 experienced freelancers help agencies, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits with high-quality custom logo design, web design, graphic design, product design, and company naming services. Ross mentors entrepreneurs through TechStars and Founder Institute, was honored as one of Techweek100′s top technology leaders and business visionaries. Ross has founded numerous other startups, including Startup Foundry, Quickly Legal, and Respect.

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business plan template for young entrepreneurs

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Simple Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs

Follow This Business Plan Outline to Write Your Own

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

Pros and Cons of Using a Business Plan Template

Do i need a simple or detailed business plan, how to use this business plan template, table of contents, section 1: executive summary, section 2: business/industry overview.

  • Section 3: Market Analysis and Competition

Section 4: Sales and Marketing Plan

Section 5: ownership and management plan, section 6: operating plan, section 7: financial plan.

  • Section 8: Appendices and Exhibits

Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

Think you have a great idea for a business? The best way to find out whether your idea is feasible is to create a business plan .

A solid, well-researched business plan provides a practical overview of your vision. It can be used to ground your ideas into workable actions and to help pitch your idea to financial institutions or potential investors when looking for funding.

The standard business plan consists of a single document divided into several sections for distinct elements, such as a description of the organization, market research, competitive analysis, sales strategies, capital and labor requirements, and financial data. Your plan may include more or fewer sections to best represent your business.

The template presented here will get you well on your way toward your simple business plan.

Ready-made layouts

Free downloads

Generic, not customized

No financial guidance

Additional skills needed

  • Ready-made layouts : Templates offer general guidance about what information is needed and how to organize it, so you’re not stuck looking at a blank page when getting started. Especially detailed templates may offer instructions or helpful text prompts along the way.
  • Variations : If you know what type of business plan you need—traditional, lean, industry-specific—chances are you can find a specialized template.
  • Free downloads : There are many free business plan templates available online, which can be useful for comparing formats and features, or refining your own.
  • Generic, not customized : Templates typically contain just the basics, and there will still be a lot of work involved to tailor the template to your business. For instance, you'll have to reformat, refine copy, and populate tables.
  • No financial guidance : You’ll need enough industry knowledge to apply financial models to your specific business, and the math skills to generate formulas and calculate figures.
  • Additional skills needed : Some degree of tech savvy is required to integrate charts and graphs, merge data from spreadsheets, and keep it all up-to-date.

A corporate business plan for a large organization can be hundreds of pages long. However, for a small business, it's best to keep the plan short and concise, especially if you're submitting it to bankers or investors . Around 35 to 50 pages should be sufficient, and more allowed for extras, such as photos of products, equipment, logos, or business premises or site plans.  Your audience will likely prefer solid research and analysis over long, wordy descriptions.

An entrepreneur who creates a business plan is nearly twice as likely to secure financing and grow their business compared with those who do not have a plan.

The business plan template below is divided into sections as described in the table of contents. Each section can be copied into a document of your own; you may need to add or delete sections or make adjustments to fit your specific needs.

Once complete, be sure to format it attractively and get it professionally printed and bound. You want your business plan to convey the best possible impression. Make it engaging, something people will to want to pick up and peruse.

Enter your business information, including the legal name and address. If you already have a business logo, you can add it at the top or bottom of the title page.

  • Business Plan for "Business Name"
  • Business address
  • Website URL

If you're addressing it to a company or individual, include:

  • Presented to "Name"
  • At "Company"
  • Executive Summary................................................Page #
  • Business/Industry Overview.................................Page #
  • Market Analysis and Competition.........................Page #
  • Sales and Marketing Plan.......................................Page #
  • Ownership and Management Plan.......................Page #
  • Operating Plan..........................................................Page #
  • Financial Plan............................................................Page #
  • Appendices and Exhibits........................................Page #

The  executive summary introduces the plan, but it is written last. It provides a concise and optimistic overview of your business and should capture the reader's attention and create a desire to learn more. The executive summary should be no more than two pages long, with highlights or brief summaries of other sections of the plan.

  • Describe your  mission —what is the need for your new business? Sell your vision.
  • Introduce your company briefly, sticking to vital details such as size, location, management, and ownership.
  • Describe your main product(s) and/or service(s).
  • Identify the customer base you plan to target and how your business will serve those customers.
  • Summarize the competition and how you will get market share. What is your competitive advantage?
  • Outline your financial projections for the first few years of operation.
  • State your startup financing requirements.

This section provides an overview of the industry and explains in detail what makes your business stand out.

  • Describe the overall nature of the industry, including sales and other statistics. Note trends and demographics, as well as economic, cultural, and governmental influences.
  • Explain your business and how it fits into the industry.
  • Mention the existing competition, which you'll expand upon in the following section.
  • Identify what area(s) of the market you will target and what unique, improved, or lower-cost products and/or services you will offer.

Many business plans cover their products/services in a standalone section to add more detail or emphasize unique aspects.

Section 3: Market Analysis and Competition

This section focuses on the competitive factor of your business and justifies it with financial models and statistics. You need to demonstrate that you have thoroughly analyzed the target market, assessed the competition, and concluded that there is enough demand for your products/services to make your business viable.

  • Define the target market(s) for your products/services in your geographic locale.
  • Explain the need for your products/services.
  • Estimate the overall size of the market and the units of your products/services that the target market might buy. Include forecasts of potential repeat-purchase volume and how the market might be affected by economic or demographic changes.
  • Estimate the volume and value of your sales in comparison with any existing competitors. Highlight any key strengths over the competition in easily digestible charts and tables.
  • Describe any helpful barriers to entry that may protect your business from competition, such as access to capital, technology, regulations, employee skill sets, or location.  

You may opt to split the target market description and competitive analysis into two separate sections, if either (or both) portray your business especially favorably.

Here's where you dive into profits, giving detailed strategic view of how you intend to entice customers to buy your products and/or services, including advertising or promotion, pricing, sales, distribution, and post-sales support.

Product or Service Offerings

If your products and/or services don't take up a standalone section earlier in the plan, here is where you can answer the question: What is your unique selling proposition? Describe your products and/or services, how they benefit the customer and what sets them apart from competitor offerings.

Pricing Strategy

How will you price your products/services? Pricing must be low enough to attract customers, yet high enough to cover costs and generate a profit. You can base pricing decisions on a number of financial models, such as markup from cost or value to the buyer, or in comparison with similar products and/or services in the marketplace.  

Sales and Distribution

For products, describe how you plan to distribute to the customer. Will you be selling wholesale or retail? What type of packaging will be required? How will products be shipped? If you offer a service, how will it be delivered to the customer? What methods will be used for payment?

Advertising and Promotion

List the various forms of media you will use to get your message to customers (e.g., website, email, social media, or newspapers). Will you use sales promotional methods such as free samples and product demonstrations? What about product launches and trade shows? Don't forget more everyday marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, or brochures. Include an approximate budget.

This section describes the legal structure, ownership, and (if applicable) management and staffing requirements of your business.

  • Ownership structure : Describe the legal structure of your company (e.g., corporation, partnership, LLC, or  sole proprietorship ). List ownership percentages, if applicable. If the business is a sole proprietorship, this is the only section required.
  • Management team : Describe managers and their roles, key employee positions, and how each will be compensated. Include brief résumés.
  • External resources and services : List any external professional resources required, such as accountants, lawyers, or consultants.
  • Human resources : List the type and number of employees or contractors you will need, and estimate the salary and benefit costs of each.
  • Advisory board : Include an advisory board as a supplemental management resource, if applicable.

The operating plan outlines the physical requirements of your business, such as office, warehouse, or retail space; equipment; supplies; or labor. This section will vary greatly by industry; a large manufacturer, for instance, should provide full details about supply chain or specialty equipment, while a therapist's office can get by with a much shorter list.

If your business is a small operation (like a one-person, home-based consulting firm), you might choose to eliminate the operating plan section altogether and include the operating essentials in the business overview.

  • Development : Explain what you have done to date to identify possible locations, sources of equipment, supply chains, and other relevant relationships. Describe your production workflow.
  • Production : For manufacturing, explain how long it takes to produce a unit and when you'll be ready to start production. Include factors that may affect the time frame of production and how you'll deal with potential problems, such as rush orders.
  • Facilities : Describe the physical location of the business. Include geographical or building requirements; square footage estimates (with room for expansion if expected); mortgage or leasing costs; and estimates of maintenance, utilities, and related  overhead costs . Include zoning approvals and other permissions that are necessary in order to operate.
  • Staffing : Outline expected staffing needs and the main duties of staff members, especially the key employees. Describe how the employees will be sourced and the employment relationship (i.e., contract, full-time, part-time) as well as any training needs and how these will be provided.
  • Equipment : Include a list of any specialized equipment needed, along with cost, whether it will be leased or purchased, and sources.
  • Supplies : If your business is, for example, manufacturing, retail, or food services, include a description of the materials needed, reliable sources, major suppliers, and how you will manage inventory.

The financial plan is the most important section for lenders or investors. The goal is to demonstrate that your business will grow and be profitable. To do this, you will need to create realistic predictions or forecasts.

To avoid inflated expectations, a prudent financial plan underestimates revenues and overestimates expenses.

  • Income statements : The income statement displays projected revenues, expenses, and profit. Do this on a monthly basis for at least the first year for a startup business.
  • Cash-flow projections : The cash-flow projection shows your monthly anticipated cash revenues and disbursements for expenses. To be considered a good credit risk, it is important to demonstrate that you can manage your cash flow.
  • Balance sheet : The  balance sheet  is a snapshot summary of the assets, liabilities, and equity of your business at a particular point in time. For a startup, this would be on the day the business opens.
  • Breakeven analysis : Including a breakeven analysis will demonstrate to lenders or investors what level of sales you need to achieve to make a profit.

Section 8: Appendices and Exhibits

The appendices and exhibits section contains any detailed information needed to support other sections of the plan.  

Possible Appendix or Exhibit items include:

  • Credit histories for the business owners
  • Detailed market research and analysis of competitors
  • Résumés of the owners and key employees
  • Diagrams and/or research about your products and/or services
  • Site, building, or office plans
  • Copies of mortgage documents or equipment leases (or quotes)
  • Marketing brochures and other materials
  • References from business colleagues
  • Links to your business website
  • Any other material that may impress potential lenders or investors

SCORE. " Business Plan Template for a Startup Business ." Accessed April 28, 2021.

U.S. Small Business Administration. " Write your business plan ." Accessed April 28, 2021.

U.S. Small Business Administration. " SBA Recommended Business Plans and Length ." Accessed April 28, 2021.

Bplans. " Why Plan Your Business? Look at This Data ." Accessed April 28, 2021.

Marketing MO. " Pricing Strategy ." Accessed April 28, 2021. " Write a Business Plan, a Step-by-Step Guide ." Accessed April 29, 2021.

Startup Nation. " The Five Costs You're Most Likely to Underestimate in Your Business Plan ." Accessed April 28, 2021.

Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs

  • Great for beginners
  • Ready-to-use, fully customizable Subcategory
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Are you an aspiring entrepreneur ready to turn your brilliant idea into a thriving business? Look no further than ClickUp's Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs!

Crafting a compelling business plan is crucial for securing funding and guiding your startup operations. With ClickUp's user-friendly template, you can outline your business goals, strategies, financial projections, and market analysis in a structured and professional format.

Here's how our template will help you ace your business plan:

  • Streamline the process of creating a comprehensive business plan
  • Organize your thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner
  • Present your business concept and strategies with confidence
  • Showcase your financial projections and market analysis effectively

Don't let the daunting task of writing a business plan hold you back. Get started with ClickUp's Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs and bring your vision to life today!

Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs Benefits

Looking to create a business plan that will impress potential investors and guide your startup to success? Our Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs is just what you need. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Saves time and effort by providing a structured format to organize your business goals, strategies, and financial projections
  • Helps you create a professional and comprehensive document that impresses potential investors and lenders
  • Guides your decision-making process by including market analysis and competitive research
  • Provides a roadmap for your startup's growth and success, ensuring you stay on track and meet your objectives.

Main Elements of Entrepreneurs Business Plan Template

ClickUp's Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs provides a structured and efficient way to create your comprehensive business plan. Here are the key elements of this template:

  • Custom Statuses: Track the progress of your business plan with statuses like Complete, In Progress, Needs Revision, and To Do, ensuring that you stay on top of each section of your plan.
  • Custom Fields: Utilize custom fields such as Reference, Approved, and Section to add important details to your business plan, making it easy to reference and collaborate with stakeholders.
  • Custom Views: Access different perspectives of your business plan with five different views, including Topics, Status, Timeline, Business Plan, and Getting Started Guide. Each view provides a unique visualization of your plan, helping you stay organized and focused on your goals.
  • Collaboration Tools: Collaborate seamlessly with your team by using ClickUp's collaboration features such as comments, mentions, and notifications, ensuring that everyone is on the same page throughout the planning process.
  • Integration Capabilities: Integrate your business plan with other tools and platforms using ClickUp's wide range of integrations, allowing you to streamline your workflow and easily incorporate data from various sources into your plan.

How To Use Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs

If you're an entrepreneur looking to create a solid business plan, follow these 4 steps using the Business Plan Template in ClickUp:

1. Define your business concept

Start by clearly defining your business concept. What problem does your product or service solve? Who is your target audience? What makes your business unique? Answering these questions will help you lay the foundation for your business plan.

Use the Docs feature in ClickUp to outline your business concept and brainstorm ideas.

2. Conduct market research

Next, it's important to conduct thorough market research to understand your industry, competition, and target market. Analyze market trends, customer preferences, and competitors' strengths and weaknesses. This information will help you identify opportunities and challenges that will shape your business strategy.

Utilize the Table view in ClickUp to organize and analyze your market research data.

3. Develop your business strategy

Based on your market research, develop a comprehensive business strategy. Outline your mission, vision, and values, as well as your unique selling proposition. Define your marketing and sales strategies, pricing model, and distribution channels. Additionally, create a financial plan including revenue projections, budgeting, and funding requirements.

Use custom fields in ClickUp to track and organize your business strategy components.

4. Set goals and milestones

Finally, set specific goals and milestones to track your progress and measure success. Break down your long-term goals into smaller, achievable milestones. These milestones will serve as checkpoints to ensure you're on track and help you stay motivated.

Create Milestones in ClickUp to set and track your business goals and milestones.

By following these steps and using the Business Plan Template in ClickUp, you'll have a well-structured and comprehensive business plan that will guide you towards entrepreneurial success.

Get Started with ClickUp’s Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs can use the Business Plan Template in ClickUp to create a comprehensive and organized business plan that will help them secure funding and guide their startup operations.

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 solid business plan:

  • Use the Topics View to outline and organize the different sections of your business plan
  • The Status View will help you track the progress of each section, with statuses like Complete, In Progress, Needs Revision, and To Do
  • The Timeline View will allow you to set deadlines and milestones for each section of your business plan
  • The Business Plan View will provide a comprehensive overview of your entire business plan, allowing you to see the big picture
  • The Getting Started Guide View will provide a step-by-step guide on how to use the template and create your business plan
  • Utilize the custom fields Reference, Approved, and Section to add additional information and track important details
  • Update statuses and custom fields as you work on each section to keep team members informed of progress
  • Monitor and analyze your business plan to ensure it is comprehensive and aligned with your goals.
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11.4 The Business Plan

Learning objectives.

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the different purposes of a business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a brief business plan
  • Describe and develop the components of a full business plan

Unlike the brief or lean formats introduced so far, the business plan is a formal document used for the long-range planning of a company’s operation. It typically includes background information, financial information, and a summary of the business. Investors nearly always request a formal business plan because it is an integral part of their evaluation of whether to invest in a company. Although nothing in business is permanent, a business plan typically has components that are more “set in stone” than a business model canvas , which is more commonly used as a first step in the planning process and throughout the early stages of a nascent business. A business plan is likely to describe the business and industry, market strategies, sales potential, and competitive analysis, as well as the company’s long-term goals and objectives. An in-depth formal business plan would follow at later stages after various iterations to business model canvases. The business plan usually projects financial data over a three-year period and is typically required by banks or other investors to secure funding. The business plan is a roadmap for the company to follow over multiple years.

Some entrepreneurs prefer to use the canvas process instead of the business plan, whereas others use a shorter version of the business plan, submitting it to investors after several iterations. There are also entrepreneurs who use the business plan earlier in the entrepreneurial process, either preceding or concurrently with a canvas. For instance, Chris Guillebeau has a one-page business plan template in his book The $100 Startup . 48 His version is basically an extension of a napkin sketch without the detail of a full business plan. As you progress, you can also consider a brief business plan (about two pages)—if you want to support a rapid business launch—and/or a standard business plan.

As with many aspects of entrepreneurship, there are no clear hard and fast rules to achieving entrepreneurial success. You may encounter different people who want different things (canvas, summary, full business plan), and you also have flexibility in following whatever tool works best for you. Like the canvas, the various versions of the business plan are tools that will aid you in your entrepreneurial endeavor.

Business Plan Overview

Most business plans have several distinct sections ( Figure 11.16 ). The business plan can range from a few pages to twenty-five pages or more, depending on the purpose and the intended audience. For our discussion, we’ll describe a brief business plan and a standard business plan. If you are able to successfully design a business model canvas, then you will have the structure for developing a clear business plan that you can submit for financial consideration.

Both types of business plans aim at providing a picture and roadmap to follow from conception to creation. If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept.

The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, dealing with the proverbial devil in the details. Developing a full business plan will assist those of you who need a more detailed and structured roadmap, or those of you with little to no background in business. The business planning process includes the business model, a feasibility analysis, and a full business plan, which we will discuss later in this section. Next, we explore how a business plan can meet several different needs.

Purposes of a Business Plan

A business plan can serve many different purposes—some internal, others external. As we discussed previously, you can use a business plan as an internal early planning device, an extension of a napkin sketch, and as a follow-up to one of the canvas tools. A business plan can be an organizational roadmap , that is, an internal planning tool and working plan that you can apply to your business in order to reach your desired goals over the course of several years. The business plan should be written by the owners of the venture, since it forces a firsthand examination of the business operations and allows them to focus on areas that need improvement.

Refer to the business venture throughout the document. Generally speaking, a business plan should not be written in the first person.

A major external purpose for the business plan is as an investment tool that outlines financial projections, becoming a document designed to attract investors. In many instances, a business plan can complement a formal investor’s pitch. In this context, the business plan is a presentation plan, intended for an outside audience that may or may not be familiar with your industry, your business, and your competitors.

You can also use your business plan as a contingency plan by outlining some “what-if” scenarios and exploring how you might respond if these scenarios unfold. Pretty Young Professional launched in November 2010 as an online resource to guide an emerging generation of female leaders. The site focused on recent female college graduates and current students searching for professional roles and those in their first professional roles. It was founded by four friends who were coworkers at the global consultancy firm McKinsey. But after positions and equity were decided among them, fundamental differences of opinion about the direction of the business emerged between two factions, according to the cofounder and former CEO Kathryn Minshew . “I think, naively, we assumed that if we kicked the can down the road on some of those things, we’d be able to sort them out,” Minshew said. Minshew went on to found a different professional site, The Muse , and took much of the editorial team of Pretty Young Professional with her. 49 Whereas greater planning potentially could have prevented the early demise of Pretty Young Professional, a change in planning led to overnight success for Joshua Esnard and The Cut Buddy team. Esnard invented and patented the plastic hair template that he was selling online out of his Fort Lauderdale garage while working a full-time job at Broward College and running a side business. Esnard had hundreds of boxes of Cut Buddies sitting in his home when he changed his marketing plan to enlist companies specializing in making videos go viral. It worked so well that a promotional video for the product garnered 8 million views in hours. The Cut Buddy sold over 4,000 products in a few hours when Esnard only had hundreds remaining. Demand greatly exceeded his supply, so Esnard had to scramble to increase manufacturing and offered customers two-for-one deals to make up for delays. This led to selling 55,000 units, generating $700,000 in sales in 2017. 50 After appearing on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Daymond John that gave the “shark” a 20-percent equity stake in return for $300,000, The Cut Buddy has added new distribution channels to include retail sales along with online commerce. Changing one aspect of a business plan—the marketing plan—yielded success for The Cut Buddy.

Link to Learning

Watch this video of Cut Buddy’s founder, Joshua Esnard, telling his company’s story to learn more.

If you opt for the brief business plan, you will focus primarily on articulating a big-picture overview of your business concept. This version is used to interest potential investors, employees, and other stakeholders, and will include a financial summary “box,” but it must have a disclaimer, and the founder/entrepreneur may need to have the people who receive it sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) . The full business plan is aimed at executing the vision concept, providing supporting details, and would be required by financial institutions and others as they formally become stakeholders in the venture. Both are aimed at providing a picture and roadmap to go from conception to creation.

Types of Business Plans

The brief business plan is similar to an extended executive summary from the full business plan. This concise document provides a broad overview of your entrepreneurial concept, your team members, how and why you will execute on your plans, and why you are the ones to do so. You can think of a brief business plan as a scene setter or—since we began this chapter with a film reference—as a trailer to the full movie. The brief business plan is the commercial equivalent to a trailer for Field of Dreams , whereas the full plan is the full-length movie equivalent.

Brief Business Plan or Executive Summary

As the name implies, the brief business plan or executive summary summarizes key elements of the entire business plan, such as the business concept, financial features, and current business position. The executive summary version of the business plan is your opportunity to broadly articulate the overall concept and vision of the company for yourself, for prospective investors, and for current and future employees.

A typical executive summary is generally no longer than a page, but because the brief business plan is essentially an extended executive summary, the executive summary section is vital. This is the “ask” to an investor. You should begin by clearly stating what you are asking for in the summary.

In the business concept phase, you’ll describe the business, its product, and its markets. Describe the customer segment it serves and why your company will hold a competitive advantage. This section may align roughly with the customer segments and value-proposition segments of a canvas.

Next, highlight the important financial features, including sales, profits, cash flows, and return on investment. Like the financial portion of a feasibility analysis, the financial analysis component of a business plan may typically include items like a twelve-month profit and loss projection, a three- or four-year profit and loss projection, a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a breakeven calculation. You can explore a feasibility study and financial projections in more depth in the formal business plan. Here, you want to focus on the big picture of your numbers and what they mean.

The current business position section can furnish relevant information about you and your team members and the company at large. This is your opportunity to tell the story of how you formed the company, to describe its legal status (form of operation), and to list the principal players. In one part of the extended executive summary, you can cover your reasons for starting the business: Here is an opportunity to clearly define the needs you think you can meet and perhaps get into the pains and gains of customers. You also can provide a summary of the overall strategic direction in which you intend to take the company. Describe the company’s mission, vision, goals and objectives, overall business model, and value proposition.

Rice University’s Student Business Plan Competition, one of the largest and overall best-regarded graduate school business-plan competitions (see Telling Your Entrepreneurial Story and Pitching the Idea ), requires an executive summary of up to five pages to apply. 51 , 52 Its suggested sections are shown in Table 11.2 .

Are You Ready?

Create a brief business plan.

Fill out a canvas of your choosing for a well-known startup: Uber, Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Airbnb, Bird/Lime, Warby Parker, or any of the companies featured throughout this chapter or one of your choice. Then create a brief business plan for that business. See if you can find a version of the company’s actual executive summary, business plan, or canvas. Compare and contrast your vision with what the company has articulated.

  • These companies are well established but is there a component of what you charted that you would advise the company to change to ensure future viability?
  • Map out a contingency plan for a “what-if” scenario if one key aspect of the company or the environment it operates in were drastically is altered?

Full Business Plan

Even full business plans can vary in length, scale, and scope. Rice University sets a ten-page cap on business plans submitted for the full competition. The IndUS Entrepreneurs , one of the largest global networks of entrepreneurs, also holds business plan competitions for students through its Tie Young Entrepreneurs program. In contrast, business plans submitted for that competition can usually be up to twenty-five pages. These are just two examples. Some components may differ slightly; common elements are typically found in a formal business plan outline. The next section will provide sample components of a full business plan for a fictional business.

Executive Summary

The executive summary should provide an overview of your business with key points and issues. Because the summary is intended to summarize the entire document, it is most helpful to write this section last, even though it comes first in sequence. The writing in this section should be especially concise. Readers should be able to understand your needs and capabilities at first glance. The section should tell the reader what you want and your “ask” should be explicitly stated in the summary.

Describe your business, its product or service, and the intended customers. Explain what will be sold, who it will be sold to, and what competitive advantages the business has. Table 11.3 shows a sample executive summary for the fictional company La Vida Lola.

Business Description

This section describes the industry, your product, and the business and success factors. It should provide a current outlook as well as future trends and developments. You also should address your company’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Summarize your overall strategic direction, your reasons for starting the business, a description of your products and services, your business model, and your company’s value proposition. Consider including the Standard Industrial Classification/North American Industry Classification System (SIC/NAICS) code to specify the industry and insure correct identification. The industry extends beyond where the business is located and operates, and should include national and global dynamics. Table 11.4 shows a sample business description for La Vida Lola.

Industry Analysis and Market Strategies

Here you should define your market in terms of size, structure, growth prospects, trends, and sales potential. You’ll want to include your TAM and forecast the SAM . (Both these terms are discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis .) This is a place to address market segmentation strategies by geography, customer attributes, or product orientation. Describe your positioning relative to your competitors’ in terms of pricing, distribution, promotion plan, and sales potential. Table 11.5 shows an example industry analysis and market strategy for La Vida Lola.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis is a statement of the business strategy as it relates to the competition. You want to be able to identify who are your major competitors and assess what are their market shares, markets served, strategies employed, and expected response to entry? You likely want to conduct a classic SWOT analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) and complete a competitive-strength grid or competitive matrix. Outline your company’s competitive strengths relative to those of the competition in regard to product, distribution, pricing, promotion, and advertising. What are your company’s competitive advantages and their likely impacts on its success? The key is to construct it properly for the relevant features/benefits (by weight, according to customers) and how the startup compares to incumbents. The competitive matrix should show clearly how and why the startup has a clear (if not currently measurable) competitive advantage. Some common features in the example include price, benefits, quality, type of features, locations, and distribution/sales. Sample templates are shown in Figure 11.17 and Figure 11.18 . A competitive analysis helps you create a marketing strategy that will identify assets or skills that your competitors are lacking so you can plan to fill those gaps, giving you a distinct competitive advantage. When creating a competitor analysis, it is important to focus on the key features and elements that matter to customers, rather than focusing too heavily on the entrepreneur’s idea and desires.

Operations and Management Plan

In this section, outline how you will manage your company. Describe its organizational structure. Here you can address the form of ownership and, if warranted, include an organizational chart/structure. Highlight the backgrounds, experiences, qualifications, areas of expertise, and roles of members of the management team. This is also the place to mention any other stakeholders, such as a board of directors or advisory board(s), and their relevant relationship to the founder, experience and value to help make the venture successful, and professional service firms providing management support, such as accounting services and legal counsel.

Table 11.6 shows a sample operations and management plan for La Vida Lola.

Marketing Plan

Here you should outline and describe an effective overall marketing strategy for your venture, providing details regarding pricing, promotion, advertising, distribution, media usage, public relations, and a digital presence. Fully describe your sales management plan and the composition of your sales force, along with a comprehensive and detailed budget for the marketing plan. Table 11.7 shows a sample marketing plan for La Vida Lola.

Financial Plan

A financial plan seeks to forecast revenue and expenses; project a financial narrative; and estimate project costs, valuations, and cash flow projections. This section should present an accurate, realistic, and achievable financial plan for your venture (see Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for detailed discussions about conducting these projections). Include sales forecasts and income projections, pro forma financial statements ( Building the Entrepreneurial Dream Team , a breakeven analysis, and a capital budget. Identify your possible sources of financing (discussed in Conducting a Feasibility Analysis ). Figure 11.19 shows a template of cash-flow needs for La Vida Lola.

Entrepreneur In Action

Laughing man coffee.

Hugh Jackman ( Figure 11.20 ) may best be known for portraying a comic-book superhero who used his mutant abilities to protect the world from villains. But the Wolverine actor is also working to make the planet a better place for real, not through adamantium claws but through social entrepreneurship.

A love of java jolted Jackman into action in 2009, when he traveled to Ethiopia with a Christian humanitarian group to shoot a documentary about the impact of fair-trade certification on coffee growers there. He decided to launch a business and follow in the footsteps of the late Paul Newman, another famous actor turned philanthropist via food ventures.

Jackman launched Laughing Man Coffee two years later; he sold the line to Keurig in 2015. One Laughing Man Coffee café in New York continues to operate independently, investing its proceeds into charitable programs that support better housing, health, and educational initiatives within fair-trade farming communities. 55 Although the New York location is the only café, the coffee brand is still distributed, with Keurig donating an undisclosed portion of Laughing Man proceeds to those causes (whereas Jackman donates all his profits). The company initially donated its profits to World Vision, the Christian humanitarian group Jackman accompanied in 2009. In 2017, it created the Laughing Man Foundation to be more active with its money management and distribution.

  • You be the entrepreneur. If you were Jackman, would you have sold the company to Keurig? Why or why not?
  • Would you have started the Laughing Man Foundation?
  • What else can Jackman do to aid fair-trade practices for coffee growers?

What Can You Do?

Textbooks for change.

Founded in 2014, Textbooks for Change uses a cross-compensation model, in which one customer segment pays for a product or service, and the profit from that revenue is used to provide the same product or service to another, underserved segment. Textbooks for Change partners with student organizations to collect used college textbooks, some of which are re-sold while others are donated to students in need at underserved universities across the globe. The organization has reused or recycled 250,000 textbooks, providing 220,000 students with access through seven campus partners in East Africa. This B-corp social enterprise tackles a problem and offers a solution that is directly relevant to college students like yourself. Have you observed a problem on your college campus or other campuses that is not being served properly? Could it result in a social enterprise?

Work It Out

Franchisee set out.

A franchisee of East Coast Wings, a chain with dozens of restaurants in the United States, has decided to part ways with the chain. The new store will feature the same basic sports-bar-and-restaurant concept and serve the same basic foods: chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and the like. The new restaurant can’t rely on the same distributors and suppliers. A new business plan is needed.

  • What steps should the new restaurant take to create a new business plan?
  • Should it attempt to serve the same customers? Why or why not?

This New York Times video, “An Unlikely Business Plan,” describes entrepreneurial resurgence in Detroit, Michigan.

  • 48 Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future . New York: Crown Business/Random House, 2012.
  • 49 Jonathan Chan. “What These 4 Startup Case Studies Can Teach You about Failure.” . July 12, 2015.
  • 50 Amy Feldman. “Inventor of the Cut Buddy Paid YouTubers to Spark Sales. He Wasn’t Ready for a Video to Go Viral.” Forbes. February 15, 2017.
  • 51 Jennifer Post. “National Business Plan Competitions for Entrepreneurs.” Business News Daily . August 30, 2018.
  • 52 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition . March 2020.
  • 53 “Rice Business Plan Competition, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply.” Rice Business Plan Competition. March 2020.; Based on 2019 RBPC Competition Rules and Format April 4–6, 2019.
  • 54 Foodstart.
  • 55 “Hugh Jackman Journey to Starting a Social Enterprise Coffee Company.” Giving Compass. April 8, 2018.

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  • Publisher/website: OpenStax
  • Book title: Entrepreneurship
  • Publication date: Jan 16, 2020
  • Location: Houston, Texas
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  • CIBC Advice Centre
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  • Resources To Help Youth Entrepreneurship Succeed

Youth entrepreneurship: Building blocks for your budding entrepreneurs


Youth entrepreneurship will arguably grow like wildfire in the Canadian business ecosystems. After being stuck at home for a few years, many young minds with bright business ideas became restless to start their ventures, whether on TikTok, Instagram or on social media in general. What’s more, it became evident that doing business in a traditional “brick and mortar” sense was no longer necessary.

Generation Z — made up of those aged between 10 and 20 years old , the children of Gen Xers — isn’t only the fastest growing generation out there but also the most disruptive, according to  global research conducted by Bank of America Opens in a new window. . The research found that “Gen Z’s economic power was the fastest growing across all generational cohorts. This generation’s income is expected to increase fivefold by 2030 to $33 trillion as they enter the workplace, accounting for over a quarter of global income and then surpassing millennials’ income by 2031.”

It sounds overwhelming but does it make sense? The short answer is “Yes.”

Gen Z, raised with iPads and smartphones, is naturally more tech-savvy than their digitally native “late Millennial” parents or older siblings. Needless to say, they moved on from texting and typing to voice control and AI a long time ago. They’ve also grown up with apps, fin-tech and visual learning, and aren’t likely to dip their toes into traditional ways of doing things — whether that’s banking or building businesses. All this is to say, when it comes to technology, Gen Z knows how to crack the code — sometimes literally, if we’re talking about programming.

When it comes to entrepreneurship and building businesses from scratch, Gen Z will find its customers and sell online. Sixty-two percent of the Gen Z population wants to start their own company or have already done so, notes Microsoft Opens in a new window. . The reason for this is their entrepreneurial ambitions are driven by living a “debt-free, purposeful life and being good to the planet,” according to Forbes Opens in a new window. .

That said, while young entrepreneurs don’t need lessons on how to build a business online or on social media —  they’d probably be the ones teaching — they do need some guidance on the “off-line” and traditional world of running a business that still exists to help keep their goals on track.

Here is a list of guidelines that may help your kids learn to bring their passion projects and innovative business ideas to life:

1. Find your funding

There are several government programs that your kids can take advantage of to fund that new start-up . Below are a few highlighted by the Canadian Youth Entrepreneurship Guide Opens in a new window. .

The Junior Achievement Canada program: Opens in a new window.

The Junior Achievement Canada program is a national platform that teaches young entrepreneurs financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurial skills. For example, with this program, young business owners can learn skills like creating and managing wealth, networking and collaborating with diverse teams, and writing a great business plan . Junior Achievement Canada also offers young entrepreneurs of all ages, but typically students in grades 3 to 12:

  • Awards and scholarships Opens in a new window.
  • Business tools and games Opens in a new window.
  • Additional resources in the Junior Achievement Digital Campus Opens in a new window.

Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program Opens in a new window.

Another great program is the Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program. This program offers young business starters — the “older Gen-Z” — a loan of up to $20,000 from Futurpreneur Canada and up to $40,000 through a special partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), when eligible.

“To be eligible, you should:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and  39
  • Create a business plan for a business that will employ you full time
  • Work with a mentor for 2 years
  • Own at least 51% of your business”

This program goes beyond just funding a loan. It offers mentorship and business guidance to help youth run and grow their business for 2 years with a dedicated business expert. Futurpreneur also provides a program that is catered and inclusive towards Black entrepreneurs Opens in a new window. . Similarly, it has a program that is catered to young Indigenous folks Opens in a new window. .

Rise Small Business Lending Program Opens in a new window.

Rise is here to help young business owners who are trying to juggle both business-building and mental health.

Through the Rise Small Business Lending Program, entrepreneurs aged 16 to 29 who face mental health or addiction challenges receive $300 to $10,000 to help start and grow their businesses. To be eligible for the program, an applicant must:

  • Be a motivated entrepreneur
  • Self-identify as an individual who has experienced mental health conditions or addiction
  • Be unable to access traditional bank financing for their small business
  • Not be in active bankruptcy, behind on child support payments or government taxes
  • Be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant

Rise also offers business development, mentoring and free virtual and in-person coaching to young entrepreneurs.

It’s important to note that your child will need to deposit these funds somewhere. It will be important to help your child open a business account, as they likely won’t be able to do so on their own. Here’s everything you need to know about how to open your first business bank account . 

Open a new CIBC Business Operating Account ®

Whether you’re growing, expanding or establishing your first business account, every entrepreneur deserves an account that fits.

2. Learn the “legals”

Now that we’ve covered funding, let’s talk about the rules and regulations. 

One tip for young entrepreneurs who have access to all kinds of information online, is to get their info from relevant sources. Important details on registering your business, paying taxes and hiring employees can be found on the Government of Canada Opens in a new window. website.

According to the Youth Entrepreneurship guide: “There is no minimum age for starting a business. However, you need to be at least 18 years old to sign contracts or other legal documents. If you are under 18 and starting a business, you may need someone who is over 18 to sign legal documents on your behalf. Discuss your business ideas with a parent or guardian before you start.” To anyone under 18 reading this, hey, we’re just the messengers.

But in all seriousness, 18 might seem far away, but it’s smart to be prepared in advance. To guide your young ones through the nitty-gritty of launching their own companies, we have a helpful checklist . Included on it are tasks like registering your business name and getting a GST or HST. Parents and guardians, let’s just say when the time comes, you might find this checklist handy, so make sure it’s saved in those bookmarks.

Young entrepreneurs should also note that their businesses may need licences and permits from the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government. To find licences and regulations that may affect your business, check out BizPaL Opens in a new window. .

3. Keep learning

Another source that not only provides funding, but also gives practical business advice and resources to youth is BDC Opens in a new window. . 

Imagining, learning and assessing your business idea on an ongoing basis are keys to business improvement and innovation. 

To help young entrepreneurs clear any doubts, BDC offers an Entrepreneurial Potential self-assessment Opens in a new window. . The test asks a series of questions to help young entrepreneurs learn more about their business personalities. Sometimes practice can really make perfect, so allow your business-loving kids at home to start young and learn how to write a business plan with BDC’s business plan template Opens in a new window. .

Young entrepreneurs are great at social-media engagement and creating accessible content, and are great when it comes to acquiring lots of skills in a short time-span . It’s never too early or too late to start the entrepreneurship journey with your kids. Learn more about entrepreneurship from other business owners and get the latest tips to help your kids learn the foundations of starting a business .

To learn more about youth entrepreneurship or starting a business, meet with a CIBC Business Advisor Opens in a new window. . We’re here to help you achieve your goals.

Here’s how CIBC can help

If you’re a young and budding entrepreneur who has started or is looking to start your own business, we can help.

Connect with a dedicated CIBC Business Advisor who will work with you to understand your needs, provide expert advice and customized financial solutions. Whether you need to clarify your borrowing options, learn how to set up a business account, or you just need an extra set of eyes, we’ll make it easy for you to make your ambitions a reality.

  • Want to open a business account? Here are the accounts we offer to fit your business
  • Interested in marketing your business? Learn how to build your brand presence through digital marketing (PDF, 5.4 MB) Opens in a new window.
  • Need help managing your budget? Check out our cash management opportunities

To discuss your Business Banking needs

Book a chat with one of our advisors. They can help set you up for success, today and into the future.

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

Written by Zeba Khan

Zeba Khan is a content creator and communications professional based in the Greater Toronto Area.

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  • (I) Generate business ideas and select the most promising one: (1) Business idea generator, (2) Prioritization of business ideas
  • (II) Define your business model and identify your critical assumptions: (1) Key partners, (2) Key activities, (3) Key resources, (4) Value propositions, (5) Customer relationships, (6) Channels, (7) Customer segments, (8) Cost structure, (9) Revenue stream, (10) Critical assumptions
  • (III) Gather data to validate or invalidate your critical assumptions: (1) Data required to validate or invalidate our critical assumptions, (2) Methods to get the required data, (3) New data and insights, (4) Impacts on our business model, (5) Impacts on our business ideas prioritization
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  • (VII) Carry out a financial analysis: (1) Income statement, (2) Balance sheet, (3) Cash flow statement, (4) Three statements model, (5) Sales and costs analysis, (6) Financial ratios
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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

business plan template for young entrepreneurs

  • How does Brexit impact the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme? »
  • Is there a deadline to register? »
  • Difficulties selecting your Intermediary Organisation during the electronic application »
  • What is the definition of permanent residence? »
  • In which language should I submit my CV? »
  • How do I find about intermediary organisations? »
  • Is there a minimum age requirement to participate in the programme? »
  • How does the selection procedure work? »
  • In which language should I provide my business plan? »
  • How can I be sure of the confidential treatment of my business plan? »
  • Is the business plan mandatory to apply or a brief idea of the project is sufficient? »

The programme does not provide a business plan template. New entrepreneurs can choose the format they like and if they encounter any difficulty, they can contact their intermediary organisation for a more information and advice.

 The business plan must contain:

  • A clear and detailed description of the product or services on offer;
  • A clear and detailed market analysis including a definition and assessment of the target market, a competitor analysis, marketing and sales plane;
  • A 2 year financial plan, including a break even analysis.

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Kean Empowers Student Entrepreneurs at Annual Business Plan Competition

The winner of the Business Plan Competition, Joceline Guerra, stands with Kean's provost holding a big check for $6,000.

A Kean University student’s concept for high-tech activewear with a focus on sustainability took one of the top prizes in Kean’s recent Business Plan Competition, in which young entrepreneurs from several colleges competed for start-up funding for their business ideas.

Joceline Guerra, a senior management and business analytics student from Elizabeth, took the $6,000 top prize in the Next Gen Innovators Track for her business concept, Elyon Activewear, to offer affordable, high-quality and technologically advanced performance sportswear.

“I’m so grateful for this because I realize that I’m not the only one who sees a bright future for Elyon Activewear,” Guerra said. “I really want Elyon to grow, to be able to tell the story of how it started from scratch, how we competed, and how Kean University has been key for this success.”

The competitors and judges at the Business Plan Competition pose on stage.

Hosted by Kean’s College of Business and Public Management (CBPM), the competition awarded a total of $25,000 to winning students in three categories. The Next Gen Innovators Track focused on groundbreaking business concepts; the Community Roots Track supported traditional, community-focused businesses; and the third track was for high school students. 

“This year’s competition encouraged students to be innovators in their communities,” said Jin Wang, Ph.D., dean of CBPM. “It was an opportunity for students to apply their classroom knowledge, hone their entrepreneurial skills, and make a significant impact with their ideas.”

Kean and Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) students competed alongside students from other institutions, including NJIT and Montclair State University. Twelve teams chosen from the 64 submissions pitched their business plans to a panel of professional judges – business leaders and entrepreneurs – at the Miron Student Center on Kean’s Union campus on Monday, April 22. 

Kean and WKU students took eight of the top 10 prizes. 

The student entrepreneurs represented a variety of majors, including computer science, communication and public administration. Business proposals were also varied, offering revolutionary health and wellness programs, AI-based systems, educational training and more.

“The diverse array of projects this year not only demonstrates the innovative spirit of our students but also reinforces the vibrant entrepreneurial culture we nurture here at Kean,” said Assistant Professor Ipek Kocoglu, Ph.D., co-chair of the competition. 

“We are immensely proud of the collaborative spirit and hard work everyone brought to this year's competition,” said Assistant Professor Saran Nurse, Ph.D., co-chair of the competition.

This summer, competitors will participate in a mentorship program designed to further develop and implement their ideas.


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    One simple formula to use is to project start-up cost as follows: Start-Up Cost = Fixed Cost + Variable Cost Over a Few Months. Fixed cost is relatively easy to tabulate as a component of your start-up cost. For example, if you want to start an online business, your fixed cost would include the purchase price of a computer.

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    1. Executive Summary. While your executive summary is the first page of your business plan, it's the section you'll write last. That's because it summarizes your entire business plan into a succinct one-pager. Begin with an executive summary that introduces the reader to your business and gives them an overview of what's inside the ...

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    For example, with this program, young business owners can learn skills like creating and managing wealth, networking and collaborating with diverse teams, and writing a great business plan. Junior Achievement Canada also offers young entrepreneurs of all ages, but typically students in grades 3 to 12: Awards and scholarships Opens in a new window.

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  22. What is a business plan and where can I find a template?

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  23. Kean Empowers Student Entrepreneurs at Annual Business Plan Competition

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