Sample small business plan

How to write a small business plan...for dummies!

So, here we are at the sample small business plan page already. At this stage you should have written down your passions and have learned how to profit from those, your goals are set, your motivation is on track, and you got inspired by all the information on my List of Small Business Ideas page.

If you still haven’t, now is a perfect time to do so.

Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece! -Ralph Charell-

We sure have come a long way already in planning your business, but we are not quite there yet. An unknown author said: When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

The biggest reason for failing to plan for most people is the idea that they don’t have enough time. It is unfortunate if you think that way, because the drop of time spend on reading and writing a sample small business plan now, will safe you an ocean of time later!

I really understand people can be impatient and want to skip to the end result: having a flourishing business with a very nice pay check... But in order to get it right, you have to follow the steps, and plan properly. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.

The best way to show bankers, venture capitalists, and angel investors that you are worthy of financial support is to show them that you have written a great business plan. Having a good look at my sample small business plan could be a great start. But what makes a great business plan?

  1. Make sure that your sample small business plan is clear, focused and realistic.
  2. Then show them that you have the tools, talent and team to make it happen. Your written business plan is like your calling card; it will get you in the door where you'll have to convince investors and loan officers that you can put your plan into action.
  3. Once you have raised the money to start or expand your business, your plan will serve as a road map for your business. It is not a static document that you write once and put away. You will reference it often, making sure you stay focused and on track, and meet milestones. It will change and develop as your business evolves.

The most efficient and effective way to write a small business plan is to use a business plan template. There are free business plan templates available but they don't compare to business plan templates you can buy for very little money.

The gold standard for business plan templates are those written by a company called Palo Alto Software. They offer two low-cost options depending on the complexity of your business.

I would really like to over-deliver this valuable information to you. So to point you in the right direction I’ll give you an example of what to think of when writing your small business plan.

Sample small business plan


With your small business plan you’ll present yourself. For instance, if you would like to get a loan from the bank, they'd be interested in what kind of person you are, and what your experience is. You are unique and therefore your company is too. This is what makes a small business plan personal, with personal data and qualities.

Personal data

These are the basics about you. (And your business partner if you have one). Think about your name, address, are you married, do you have a prenuptial agreement, level of education, work history etc.

Personal qualities

Make an effort to map out your personal qualities. Answer these questions for yourself and the person reading them.

Why do you want to become a small business owner?

(e.g. you would like to be financially independent, gaining the freedom of no longer being employed, because you have a good idea and like to position it in the market.)

What are my business goals?

Determine what “success” means to you. (Is success just making a profit, or becoming market leader, maybe personal growth or making valuable contributions to society?

SAMPLE SMALL BUSINESS PLAN: What are you going to do?

Write in detail what you are going to do and for whom. Explain why you choose a certain legal structure, why you choose a certain location.

-What kind of small business do you want to start and when?-In what need do you provide?-How are you going to make a success out of your biz and how did you research this?-What advantages and what risks do you see?

Insider tip: explain your small business plan to friends and family, then to professionals like a bank. Like this you can practice your presentation and you get instant feedback.

Come up with a great name for your business.

What's in a name? A lot, when it comes to small-business success. The right name can make your company the talk of the town; the wrong one can doom it to obscurity and failure. If you're smart, you'll put just as much effort into naming your business as you did into coming up with your idea, writing your business plan and selecting a market and location. Ideally, your name should convey the expertise, value and uniqueness of the product or service you've developed.

SAMPLE SMALL BUSINESS PLAN- Your customer analysis

You only know how you can sell your service or products if you know who your customers will be. With a customer analysis you map out your potential clients as detailed as possible.

Competitors research: what do you know about your competition?

Mostly you are not the only one offering your particular service or product. A competitors research will map out who your competitors are, and how they do what they do.

Why are you so special?

Here you describe what sets you apart from your competition. How are you going to do things better?

SAMPLE SMALL BUSINESS PLAN- What is the internal structure of your biz?

Not the sexiest part, but important to get it right: Admin.

Describe what insurances, permits, licenses and memberships are required to open your biz. Are you going to do your admin yourself, or are you going to hire a professional bookkeeper, list his/her contact details.


State why you do or don’t choose to employ staff. E.g. In first instance I am going to run my company myself, but when my turnover goes up, I will employ someone to help me out.

You should now realize that it's essential to have a Business Plan; it may be the difference between success and failure! It's all about understanding the importance of planning ahead. Invest time putting your plans on paper because it will pay you dividends in securing the funding you need and the future success of your business.

Related articles:

Pet Store Business Plan

Business Plan Photography

Medical business plans

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