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Simple Business Plan Template (2022) – Forbes Advisors

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Whether you want a quick launch overview or a detailed plan for your investors, your business plan includes the 6 key elements in our free template and what we describe below. must be The main difference between starting a small business and an investor-funded business is the market research and operational and financial details required to support the concept.

1. Mission or Vision

Start by declaring a “dream statement” for your business. This can be called an Executive Summary, Vision Statement, or Mission. Whatever the name is, the first part of your business plan summarizes your idea by answering five questions. Keep it simple, such as an elevator pitch. We’ll expand on these answers in the next section of our simple business plan template.

  • what does your business do? Do you sell products, services, information, or a combination thereof?
  • where does this happen? Do you do business online, in stores, by mobile means, or in specific locations and environments?
  • Who does your business benefit? Who is your target market and ideal customer for your concept?
  • Why do potential customers care? What makes your ideal customer look to your business?
  • How does your product or service outperform your competitors? What makes your ideal customer choose you over your competitors?

With a solid business concept, these answers are easy to come by, but don’t worry if you get stuck. Use the rest of the planning template to brainstorm ideas and tactics. As you explore ideas and options, you’ll quickly find these answers and perhaps new directions.

2. Offers and value propositions

This is where you detail the details of your offer, whether it’s selling a product, offering a service, or both, and why everyone cares. Specifically, I’ll extend my answers to her 1st and her 4th bullet points in Mission/Vision.

After completing this section, researching the value proposition may reveal marketable business opportunities that you have not yet considered. So brainstorm the possibilities in this section.

For example, a cottage bakery startup that specializes in gluten-free or keto-friendly products could be a value proposition that a particular audience is deeply interested in. Additionally, we are able to expand that value proposition by offering wedding and other special occasion cakes that incorporate elements of gluten-free, keto-friendly, and traditional cakes that all guests will enjoy.

3. Target audience and ideal customer

Now for the third bullet point, who your business benefits. Identifying your ideal customers and researching broad audiences for your products and services are essential in defining your sales and marketing strategy, and also help you fine-tune what you offer.

There are many ways to research your prospects, but a shortcut is to identify the people’s problems that your product or service can solve. Starting from a problem solver’s perspective, it’s easy to define your audience and describe the wants and needs of your ideal customer for your marketing efforts.

To use the Cottage Baker startup example, finding freshly baked gluten-free or keto-friendly sweets can be a problem. Examining the wants and needs of these people may reveal a target audience that is health conscious or perhaps coping with health issues and is willing to spend more on hard-to-find items. .

However, having a customer base that can support your business is essential. You may become too professional. For example, our bakery startup attracts a wider audience and drives revenue by offering a wide selection of traditional baked goods, in addition to gluten-free and keto-focused specialties. can do.

4. Revenue Streams, Sales Channels and Marketing

Thanks to the Internet-driven economy, startups have many revenue opportunities and can connect with their target audience through various channels. Revenue streams and sales channels also act as marketing instruments, so this section allows him to cover all three.

Revenue source

Revenue streams are many ways to make money in your business. A plan template lists how you will make money at launch and includes ideas for future expansion. The income potential may surprise you.

For example, our cottage baker startup might consider the following revenue streams:

  • Merchandise sales: Online, pop-up shop, wholesale, (future) over-the-counter sales
  • affiliate income: Monetize your blog and social media posts with affiliate links
  • advertising revenue: Reserve space on your website for advertising
  • e-book sales: (future) publishing an e-book of recipes targeting the gluten-free and keto-friendly dessert niche
  • video income: (Future) Monetize a YouTube channel featuring how-to videos for the gluten-free and keto-friendly dessert niche
  • webinars and online classes: (Future) Monetize coaching-style webinars and online classes covering expert baking tips and techniques.
  • Member-only content: (Future) monetize members-only sections of our website for specialized content that complements our webinars and online classes.
  • franchise: (Future) monetize the concept of a specialty cottage bakery and sell it to franchise entrepreneurs

Sales channel

Sales channels turn revenue streams into action. This section also answers the question “Where does this happen?” in his second bullet point in Vision.

Product sales channels for the Cottage Bakery example include:

  • Mobile point of sale (POS): Mobile platforms like Shopify and Square POS for managing in-person sales at local farmers markets, fairs and festivals
  • e-commerce platform: Online stores such as Shopify, Square, WooCommerce, etc. for online retail and wholesale sales orders
  • social media channels: Shoppable posts for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and pins for online sale via social media channels
  • physical store location: For brick-and-mortar sales, once your business grows to the point where you can support physical locations

Channels that support other revenue streams include:

  • affiliate income: EC site blog section and affiliate partner account
  • advertising revenue: Reserved ad space on EC sites
  • e-book sales: Amazon e-book sales through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
  • video income: a YouTube channel with ad monetization
  • webinars and online classes: an online class and webinar platform that supports member accounts, recordings and playback
  • Member-only content: Password-protected website content using membership apps such as MemberPress


Today, the lines between marketing and sales channels are blurring. Social media, e-books, websites, blogs and videos are both marketing tools and income opportunities. These are ideal marketing vehicles for lean start-ups as most are free and those with advertising options are very economical.

However, many businesses still find value in traditional advertising such as local radio, television, direct mail, newspapers and magazines. You can include these advertising costs in a simple business plan template to help you create your marketing plan and budget.


This section of our simple business plan template will show you how to build and run your business. Details include the type of business organization your startup will undertake, roles and responsibilities, supplier logistics, and day-to-day operations. Also, please include in this section any certifications or permits required to start your company.

For our cottage baker example, we could use the following structure and startup plan:

  • business structure: Sole Proprietorship (DBA).
  • authorization and authentication: County issued food handling license and state cottage food certification for home food production. Optionally, check out our certified commercial kitchen rentals.
  • roles and responsibilities: Solopreneur, all roles and responsibilities with the owner.
  • Supply chain: Bulk ingredients and food packages with annual membership fees from Sam’s Club, Costco and Amazon Prime. Uline for shipping supplies; no membership required.
  • daily work: We source ingredients, bake three days a week, and cater to local and online orders. Reserve time for specialty sales, wholesale partner orders, and market events as needed. Online orders ship every other day. Update your website on non-shipping days and create marketing and affiliate blog posts.

6. Earnings forecast

The final task is to list the projected business start-up and ongoing cost and profit projections in a simple business plan template. Thanks to free business tools like Square and free marketing on social media, lean startups can launch with very little upfront costs. In many cases, you only pay for the item, shipping and packaging, business license, and business card printing.

Cost forecast

Expected lean start-up costs for our cottage baker could include:

Gross profit forecast

This will help you determine the retail price and sales volume you need to keep your business running and hopefully generate income for yourself. , subtract the cost of the goods, such as the cost of the supplier. The total amount is gross profit per item or service.

Below is an example of expected gross profit for our cottage bakery.


Careful thought and detail in your business plan is always beneficial, but don’t get so bogged down in your planning that you never hit the start button to get your business started. Also, remember that a business plan is not a fixed plan. Markets, audiences and technologies change, as do goals and the means to achieve them. Think of your business plan as a living document, regularly reviewed, expanded, and reframed as market opportunities and business growth demands.

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